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A 3D Desktop for the Mac
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Hawkeye_a
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Jan 21, 2010, 12:33 AM
 
I've been waiting for a true 3D desktop like this since QuartzExtreme was released(2004, i think).

BumpTop Mac: Reinventing your Mac desktop.

It's definitely not "complete" and there are things one could improve on, but it's a start, and the possibilities are quite limitless as to the paradigm shift this will usher in.

I think Apple has applied for a patent similar to this stuff, and i dont know why, but i expect a revolutionary UI to debut with the new device next week(and then be refined and scaled up for the desktop eventually).

Either way, it's awesome to finally see a product like this come to market. granted the input device is a mouse/trackpad, i can only imagine the possibilities with head-tracking and Wii-mote/PS3-wand.

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hyteckit
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Jan 21, 2010, 03:42 AM
 
Wow. Very cool. I think it's well thought out.

I think it'll be many years before the general public will adopt a 3D desktop.
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freudling
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Jan 21, 2010, 04:12 AM
 
Nice find!

This will eventually work with wearable computer glasses. Once you can sort of be in the physical space, this makes way more sense. It won't work on regular desktop and laptop computers though. Interesting concept though.

3D computing spaces with glasses is the next-generation computing paradigm. But we are several years away from this. During this period, you can throw industrial design out the window. Computers will be super tiny, completely fitting inside those wearable computer glasses. Our MacBook Airs and iPhones will be antiques. And Jonathan Ive will be out of a Job. It's all microscopic circuitry design - the Engineers finally will have their day of reckoning.
     
Big Mac
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Jan 21, 2010, 04:16 AM
 
Yeah tis cool.

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Jan 21, 2010, 05:04 AM
 
Until those tiny computers are not embedded in your organism, there are always products to be designed to encompass those computers. And until we all end up in VR Matrix-style, there are always products to design (and even then, virtually). Industrial and product design are much more than just the looks - sayng that painting is dead because of digital art is as wrong as saying newspapers will be dead because of e-readers... There will be always market for them, although not mainstream, perhaps.
     
ctt1wbw
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Jan 21, 2010, 08:06 AM
 
I played with this on Windows 7 and thought it was pretty cool. It didn't last long, though. I thought it was a bit gimmicky.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 21, 2010, 11:24 AM
 
Cool it's in 3D on a 2D monitor!

Sadly it doesn't actually make anything faster or easier to use, just gimmickier!
     
turtle777
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Jan 21, 2010, 11:51 AM
 
Cool in theory.

However, I really don't want another 3D desktop, this time on my computer.
My physical desktop is already a mess, don't need to translate that onto my OS X desktop.

-t
     
-Q-
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Jan 21, 2010, 12:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Cool in theory.

However, I really don't want another 3D desktop, this time on my computer.
My physical desktop is already a mess, don't need to translate that onto my OS X desktop.

-t
This.
     
Atheist
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Jan 21, 2010, 12:30 PM
 
Looks cool but I doubt I'd every use anything like that. What I would like to see is the ability to minimize my apps to the walls. I like to see as much as I can on my screen at once, but dislike clutter (yes I know that sounds contradictory).
     
Buckaroo
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Jan 21, 2010, 02:08 PM
 
I like the demo. I'll wait a while before I try it.
     
osiris
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Jan 21, 2010, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
Cool it's in 3D on a 2D monitor!

Sadly it doesn't actually make anything faster or easier to use, just gimmickier!
Exactly.

There was a program similar to this years ago - Virtual Desktop (I think).
It was fun for a few minutes, but became a major annoyance.
However, a 3D hologram as my desktop would be a different story. Now that would gimmickier-er.
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mdc
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Jan 21, 2010, 03:59 PM
 
Tried this out for a few minutes and I think I'm just not the targeted user. I really didn't find it useful. The stacks/piles idea is neat but if I have a bunch of files lying around that I want to collect into a group I create a folder and put them in there.

I don't understand why the desktop needs to look like a 3D room, or a drawer. I wonder if it'd be possible for them to make the stacks/piles idea work on your regular Finder desktop. No fancy 3D room or anything, just the ability to select files and stack them. I think that'd be more useful than what it currently is.
     
MrsLarry
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Jan 21, 2010, 04:00 PM
 
Hello, CSI Miami. Any watchers?

THAT is a 3D Desktop - they fling stuff up on the wall, it's amazing. Would it serve a purpose in real life? Doubtful. But it would certainly impress at parties.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 21, 2010, 07:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
Exactly.

There was a program similar to this years ago - Virtual Desktop (I think).
It was fun for a few minutes, but became a major annoyance.
However, a 3D hologram as my desktop would be a different story. Now that would gimmickier-er.
This 3D desktop bologna reminds me how in the 80's and 90's we all thought we would be speaking commands to out computer or it would be understanding our handwriting. Turns out people don't like handwriting to begin with and fixing all the mistakes and fumbling with a stylus sucked. With voice you have to correct mistakes again plus you don't have any privacy and talk unnaturally.

In the late 90's and early 2000's everyone thought that information needed to constantly "pushed" to your desktop displaying up to the second weather, stocks and news. Windows sidebar in Vista endorsed this trend. Again, in the real world who the heck hangs around on the computer desktop all day and need that information with no delays? People are in their web browser reading email and RSS 95% of the time. Apples Dashboard got it right, you pull up the info when you need it from where ever.

This 3D stuff feels the same to me, it seems like it SHOULD be the cool future thing but when you actually use it nothing is faster, easier or better. Just different cuz its cool.

Personally I hate the whole desktop/finder/windows metaphor for the past 5 years so I hope OSX 10.7 goes more like the iPhone OS and simplifies.
     
Big Mac
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Jan 21, 2010, 07:42 PM
 
You really want an opaque computing experience on the desktop? That may work for cell phones and gadgets, but on a general purpose computer? Are you kidding? I'm not at all comfortable with abstraction on the desktop much beyond what we have with iTunes and iPhoto.

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Brien
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Jan 21, 2010, 07:45 PM
 
There are some ideas in there I'd love to see in 10.7. This could make Spaces and Stacks a lot more intuitive.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 21, 2010, 11:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
You really want an opaque computing experience on the desktop? That may work for cell phones and gadgets, but on a general purpose computer? Are you kidding? I'm not at all comfortable with abstraction on the desktop much beyond what we have with iTunes and iPhoto.
No we still need some sort of file management I just hate the random and inconsistent windows/size/locations/appearance with all the layers and views etc. I also hate the fact that it has to relate to real world objects like desks, folders etc.
     
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Jan 22, 2010, 01:38 AM
 
BumpTop and the like seem like a neat idea to me and I can see it being useful to some degree.

I gave the demo a try, though, and my graphics card couldn't come close to keeping up with it - it was just a mess. Maybe at some point it'll be worth revisiting (if we aren't already on to the next thing).
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jan 22, 2010, 04:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
This 3D desktop bologna reminds me how in the 90's we all thought we would be wearing VR glasses and navigating virtual spaces with cybersuits and gloves.
Fixed.

No. It never happened. It will never happen. And yes, that is one thing you can quote me on.

3D is not THE NEXT PARADIGM in general computing. It has it's uses for entertainment, medical imaging and other niche purposes. Seriously you think the next paradigm will be people wearing glasses? Do you wear glasses in real life right now? Do you know how tiring that is over long stretches? Have you ever watched a 3D movie and not felt mentally exhausted afterwards?

God damn this was hilarious at the mid to late nineties, but it's downright pathetic today.

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turtle777
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Jan 22, 2010, 07:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Do you wear glasses in real life right now? Do you know how tiring that is over long stretches?
Are you on crack ?

I've been wearing glasses for the last 20 years. Haven't grown tired of them yet.
Billions of people wear glasses on a regular basis.

(If you have been referring to polarized 3D glasses, then the obvious answer is no. But that assumption would be silly anyways, so I assumed you did refer to regular glasses.)

-t
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 22, 2010, 08:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Do you wear glasses in real life right now? Do you know how tiring that is over long stretches?
If you're referring to regular spectacles, not 3D ones, then you really need to switch opticians ASAP.

If glasses are tiring for you, there's something wrong with them - this can be a subtle thing like distortion caused by the frame exerting pressure at one point of an imperfectly cut lens, or the whole thing just being outright at the wrong strength for your eyes, but either way, if glasses don't allow for relaxed vision over long periods of time, they're broken.
     
stevesnj
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Jan 22, 2010, 09:36 AM
 
I installed the demo yesterday and I think this is great, though the only thing is that the wall should be auto selected when dragged to it..other than that this would be awesome on the MAc Tablet
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analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 22, 2010, 11:57 AM
 
Tried it out last night. Just terrible. Doesn't even look nice. Seems all oriented around making stacks of files on your desktop and leaving yourself sticky notes. Useful stuff.
     
Eug
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Jan 22, 2010, 02:31 PM
 
I didn't install it but watched the video. While I'm not overly enamoured with the 3D-ness of it, I do like some of the added features. Some of the features could be easily be integrated into OS X's Finder without requiring 3D, and without the overt gimmickiness that was described earlier.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 22, 2010, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I didn't install it but watched the video. While I'm not overly enamoured with the 3D-ness of it, I do like some of the added features. Some of the features could be easily be integrated into OS X's Finder without requiring 3D, and without the overt gimmickiness that was described earlier.
Try it and use it for a day to sort your files and see how much you like it. I bet you don't last 20 min.
     
Eug
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Jan 22, 2010, 03:13 PM
 
Like I said, I think it's too gimmicky. However, a few of the features could be integrated into the Finder without being too gimmicky.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 22, 2010, 04:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Like I said, I think it's too gimmicky. However, a few of the features could be integrated into the Finder without being too gimmicky.
liiike...?
     
Salty
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Jan 22, 2010, 05:01 PM
 
Honestly I like some of the ideas. Variable icon sizes honestly makes a lot of sense. Perhaps you want to make a folder of images you're using and have a final draft with several ones that you saved as sort of steps along the way or resource files containing original elements that are altered in the final, you might store all of those as smaller icons with your final one bigger. Granted I typically just label them all and have the final one named FINAL, or something, but to each their own. As far as the shifting icon sizes for however much it's a good idea, their current implementation is too windowsy. It requires a contextual menu when an obviously simpler approach would be to either use mutlitouch to pinch it, or for those using a mouse, to have when moused over have one corner glow brighter. Ultimately it's not an interface convention that people NEED to know is there, but more one that's helpful for people who figure it out.
     
moonmonkey
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Jan 22, 2010, 05:14 PM
 
I actually like it, especially double clicking the desktop to hide the walls, very nice, although I would like to try gestures before I pay for it.
29 seems a bit steep too.
     
Hawkeye_a  (op)
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Jan 22, 2010, 08:35 PM
 
For an analogy, i think this product is at a stage similar to what the Alto was in terms of GUIs.

You can sort-of see how a system like this will possibly work, with multi-touch, and stacks/piles... but what it needs is the kind of research and refinement only Apple(imo) can bring in terms of Human-Interface guidelines to define a system-wide paradigm.

As far as the gimmick-ness of this product....people thought the mouse and pictures on screen were gimmicks, untill they were utilized properly.....if anything imagine how you would like a system with this sort of technology to work. The differences could be as drastic as those between the Alto and the original Mac desktop.....almost night-n-day.
     
turtle777
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Jan 22, 2010, 08:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
As far as the gimmick-ness of this product....people thought the mouse and pictures on screen were gimmicks, untill they were utilized properly.....if anything imagine how you would like a system with this sort of technology to work. The differences could be as drastic as those between the Alto and the original Mac desktop.....almost night-n-day.
That's an interesting thought. I agree that the mouse and a GUI must have seemed gimmicky in the beginning, and that it was hard to imagine how it would develop into a real productive environment.

One reason why I'm more doubtful about the 3D desktop thing is because it takes a step BACK to something familiar, rather than being innovative and creating something completely new.

The mouse and the GUI created a completely new paradigm of computing.
3D desktops merely try to emulate the (failed) paradigm of an offline desktop. I just have a hard time to see how this will suddenly become revolutionary.

-t
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jan 23, 2010, 01:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
If you're referring to regular spectacles, not 3D ones, then you really need to switch opticians ASAP.

If glasses are tiring for you, there's something wrong with them - this can be a subtle thing like distortion caused by the frame exerting pressure at one point of an imperfectly cut lens, or the whole thing just being outright at the wrong strength for your eyes, but either way, if glasses don't allow for relaxed vision over long periods of time, they're broken.
I was talking about the frame. They can be as comfortable as all hell, but they still put a strain on your scalp and ears.

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Spheric Harlot
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Jan 23, 2010, 03:55 AM
 
I find that no less confusing.

If glasses hurt your ears, you need a better optician - one who's capable of properly adjusting a frame.
     
ghporter
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Jan 23, 2010, 07:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Like I said, I think it's too gimmicky. However, a few of the features could be integrated into the Finder without being too gimmicky.
I think that if we look back, a lot of "gimmicky" features from past "innovative" interfaces have become part of our world and even our culture. The mouse was a gimmick at one time...

So while I think this particular innovative gizmo would facilitate my lack of organization ("piles of files" is a very dysfunctional habit of mine on my physical desk top...), I think that there are some useful and at least handy features here. The "select by circling" paradigm is cool, and being able to both aggregate a bunch of objects together and then sift through them-and leaving a different file on top by how you sift the lot of them-appears pretty interesting.

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analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 23, 2010, 07:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I think that if we look back, a lot of "gimmicky" features from past "innovative" interfaces have become part of our world and even our culture. The mouse was a gimmick at one time...
"A gimmick is a quirky feature that distinguishes a product or service without adding any obvious function or value. Thus, a gimmick sells solely on the basis of distinctiveness and may not appeal to the more savvy or shrewd customer."

Ya that sounds exactly like a mouse. I think you mean some people CALLED the mouse (and the Mac) a gimmick but as it actually had a useful function and stuck around for 30 years.

Not a gimmick.
     
ghporter
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Jan 23, 2010, 07:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
"A gimmick is a quirky feature that distinguishes a product or service without adding any obvious function or value. Thus, a gimmick sells solely on the basis of distinctiveness and may not appeal to the more savvy or shrewd customer."

Ya that sounds exactly like a mouse. I think you mean some people CALLED the mouse (and the Mac) a gimmick but as it actually had a useful function and stuck around for 30 years.

Not a gimmick.
Until people began using them, mice were a gimmick to most people. I remember distinctly not "needing" a mouse at first because I knew all the key combination shortcuts to do what I needed to very efficiently. In Word Perfect. And DOS 2.something. In 1985. There was no driving need because I didn't have any software that drove that need. When Windows 1 was replaced by the (actually much better) Windows 2, I suddenly did need a mouse and it ceased to be a gimmick for me.

Gimmick is a relative term in many contexts. My neato waiter's corkscrew may seem like a gimmick to someone who uses a dual lever corkscrew.

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analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 23, 2010, 08:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Until people began using them, mice were a gimmick to most people. I remember distinctly not "needing" a mouse at first because I knew all the key combination shortcuts to do what I needed to very efficiently. In Word Perfect. And DOS 2.something. In 1985. There was no driving need because I didn't have any software that drove that need. When Windows 1 was replaced by the (actually much better) Windows 2, I suddenly did need a mouse and it ceased to be a gimmick for me.

Gimmick is a relative term in many contexts. My neato waiter's corkscrew may seem like a gimmick to someone who uses a dual lever corkscrew.
A mouse on a PC with keyboard interface is not a gimmick, it is a useless pairing.
That is like buying training wheels for your car.

The mouse came out on the Mac and was a vital device as you couldn't use it fully without it, or at least not like it was designed to.

Just because PC manufacturers bundled them in without the interface to back it up does not make the mouse "a gimmick that became part of our world".

It is a revolutionary device from day 1 and the long life it still holds proves that.
     
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Jan 23, 2010, 09:35 PM
 
I was, of course, referring to those of us who got "the computer the company provided" in the 1980s. Which was a PC in the majority of cases. And remember that EVERYTHING started out character based. The way Apple handled the transition to a GUI was of course far superior to the way Microsoft did-Apple simply gave you a GUI and you had to work at getting to a character based command line. MS did the opposite and that's how most people in the mid-80s encountered a mouse-an afterthought the MS seemed to want to impose on people used to command line interfaces.

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analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 24, 2010, 01:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I was, of course, referring to those of us who got "the computer the company provided" in the 1980s. Which was a PC in the majority of cases. And remember that EVERYTHING started out character based. The way Apple handled the transition to a GUI was of course far superior to the way Microsoft did-Apple simply gave you a GUI and you had to work at getting to a character based command line. MS did the opposite and that's how most people in the mid-80s encountered a mouse-an afterthought the MS seemed to want to impose on people used to command line interfaces.
Well sorry dude just because PC users bundled them unnecessarily does NOT make the mouse a gimmick, only their methods. "A gimmick is a quirky feature that distinguishes a product or service without adding any obvious function or value."

An example of a tech gimmick would be the transparent computers like the gumbdrop iMacs. Or the interchangeable faceplates on the Xbox 360. "without adding any obvious function or value.

You mentioned how plenty of gimmicks became everyday in our world. I can't think of any that lasted 10 years to be honest. Can you?

The only thing I can come up with is the aqua knockoff face on Windows 7 but that won't last 10 years.
     
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Jan 24, 2010, 04:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
Well sorry dude just because PC users bundled them unnecessarily does NOT make the mouse a gimmick, only their methods. "A gimmick is a quirky feature that distinguishes a product or service without adding any obvious function or value."

An example of a tech gimmick would be the transparent computers like the gumbdrop iMacs. Or the interchangeable faceplates on the Xbox 360. "without adding any obvious function or value.
You're aiming for truth, but this I must disagree with:

Creating attractive design (or trying to and failing, as the case may be) is not "gimmick"; it's pretty fundamental (ooo pun).

The gumdrop design made the iMac iconic and was the first push to get computers out of the office and into the living room.

A gimmick is something that's useless but fun and is consequently used maybe twice, plus another fifteen times for showing off, and then falls by the wayside, completely ignored for the rest of the device's useful life.
     
ghporter
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Jan 24, 2010, 09:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
Well sorry dude just because PC users bundled them unnecessarily does NOT make the mouse a gimmick, only their methods. "A gimmick is a quirky feature that distinguishes a product or service without adding any obvious function or value."
My point was not about the mouse, but about bundling it with the earliest Windows machines -- and about Windows' earliest versions themselves. The mouse as a tool has never been a gimmick. Throwing thousands of DOS users a curve by making them LOAD Windows from DOS and then use a mouse to do what they had been doing with a keyboard quite adequately was the root of the "gimmick" of giving them a mouse.

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analogue SPRINKLES
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Jan 24, 2010, 12:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post

The gumdrop design made the iMac iconic and was the first push to get computers out of the office and into the living room.

A gimmick is something that's useless but fun and is consequently used maybe twice, plus another fifteen times for showing off, and then falls by the wayside, completely ignored for the rest of the device's useful life.
Exactly. By those terms the mouse is ANYTHING but a gimmick. It wasn't useless, it wasn't a fad, it didn't disappear after a couple/month/years.

The translucent iMac's however were a gimmick by making them transparent and in colours. It added no useful function, kept coming in new colours and patterns. The entire industry followed the same fad making things like staplers, PC's and disk drives all transparent colours.

And guess what... the gimmick didn't last 5 years. It matches your gimmick description perfectly. I liked the iMac's and yes the pretty colours did make them more popular but that doesn't' mean it wasn't a gimmick. iPod nano's/shuffles in new colours each year also fall under gimmick.

So I am still waiting for an example of ghporter's "a lot of "gimmicky" features from past "innovative" interfaces have become part of our world and even our culture."

Liiiiiike.....
     
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May 3, 2010, 04:44 AM
 
Google *bump*
     
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May 4, 2010, 03:24 PM
 
Google masters of bland interfaces now can add some silly uselessness to their portfolio.
     
Doofy
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May 4, 2010, 03:42 PM
 
Today, we have a big announcement to make: we're excited to announce that we've been acquired by Google!
It's only a matter of time before everyone on the planet says the same thing.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
imitchellg5
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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May 4, 2010, 09:25 PM
 
I bet David Cameron tried to buy it first.

Edit: James Cameron. Not a Conservative.
( Last edited by imitchellg5; May 4, 2010 at 10:21 PM. )
     
Doofy
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May 4, 2010, 09:30 PM
 
Not understanding that Camoron joke there Mitch.
?
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
imitchellg5
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May 4, 2010, 10:21 PM
 
Erm. I meant James Cameron. Boy it's been a long day.
     
lpkmckenna
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May 4, 2010, 10:39 PM
 
I watched a BumpTop demo on YouTube. Not for me. Where are the file names?
     
 
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