Personal Dynamic Media

Alan Kay concept related to the Dynabook.

A Dynamic Medium for Creative Thought: The Dynabook Imagine having your own self-contained knowledge manipulator in a portable package the size and shape of an ordinary notebook.

a personal dynamic medium the size of a notebook (the Dynabook)

built a communications system: the Smalltalk language, implemented on small computers we refer to as "interim Dynabooks."

We are exploring the use of this system as a programming and problem solving tool; as an interactive memory for the storage and manipulation of data; as a text editor; and as a medium for expression through drawing, painting, animating pictures, and composing and generating music.

keyboard and active editor

Drawing and painting

The Dynabook as a personal medium is flexible to the point of allowing an owner to choose his own ways to view information. Any character font can be described as a matrix of black and white dots. The owner can draw in a character font of his own choosing.

Every description or object in the Dynabook can be displayed and edited. Text, both sequential and structured, can easily be manipulated by combining pointing and a simple "menu" for commands, thus allowing deletion, transposition, and structuring. Multiple windows, as shown in Figure 26.8, allow a document (composed of text, pictures, musical notation) to be created and viewed simultaneously at several levels of refinement. Editing operations on other viewable objects (such as pictures and fonts) are handled in analogous ways

Each subpart of the document, or frame,has its own editor which is automatically invoked when pointed at by the "mouse".

Animation, music, and programming can be thought of as different sensory viewsof dynamic processes

All of the systems are equally controllable by hand or by program

In a very real sense, simulation is the central notion of the Dynabook. Each of the previous examples has shown a simulation of visual or auditory media

What would happen in a world in which everyone had a Dynabook? If such a machine were designed in a way that any owner could mold and channel its power to his own needs, then a new kind of medium would have been created: a metamedium, whose content would be a wide range of already-existing and not-yet-invented media.

The burden of system design and specification is transferred to the user

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