[SIGCIS-Members] Resources re: history of menus in computing?

William McMillan billmcmillan at gmail.com
Sun Mar 16 13:36:23 PDT 2014

Hello, Laine.

Menus were central to the UI of UCSD Pascal, Ken Bowles's project in
the 1970s.  Bowles talked with Steve Jobs int he early days (and
later, Gates) and some of the students who worked on UCSD Pascal went
to Apple and influenced the development of the Lisa etc.  Apple Pascal
(an OS as well as a programming environment) for the Apple II was UCSD

There are a lot of good web resources on UCSD Pascal, and I had a
magazine article on its history in IEEE Spectrum.

This was certainly an early and influential deployment of a
menu-driven UI.  Games were developed in UCSD Pascal, but I don't know
if they were notable at all.

- Bill

On 3/15/14, Laine Nooney <laine.nooney at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm currently pulling together a short essay for a game history lexicon on
> the emergence of the menu in games. This topic is running me a bit in
> circles--menus seem to be one of those components that are so "obvious," or
> taken for granted in the game dev realm, that they aren't deeply,
> explicitly talked about.
> I'm wondering what the respective literature around "menus" might be in the
> history of computing. Are there obvious touchstones or definitive
> transitions to be aware of (especially beyond the visible
> PARC/Apple/Windows GUI histories)?
> And to be clear, I'm trying to keep this distinct from UI issues (insofar
> as that's possible!)
> Any leads, food for thought, or general chatter would be much appreciated!
> Best,
> Laine Nooney
> Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory
> Stony Brook University
> Editorial Assistant to the Journal of Visual Culture
> vcu.sagepub.com
> www.lainenooney.com

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