[SIGCIS-Members] First instructional videos for Macintosh?

Paul McJones paul at mcjones.org
Tue Sep 9 11:53:52 PDT 2014

On Sep 9, 2014, at 10:26 AM, Luisa Emmi Beck <emmi.beck at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm fascinated by Doug Engelbart's early three-button mouse and chorded keyset system. Some people I've talked to say that Doug used it for almost all tasks except for when he was typing long texts- which is when he switched to using the QWERTY keyboard). When Steve Jobs commissioned IDEO to design the mouse for Lisa, he told David Kelley to only include one button. And the keyset was entirely lost. 
> The reason most people mention is that the keyset and three-button mouse were difficult to learn. .... 
> So my key questions are: 
> What happened to the chorded keyset? Why didn't it become popular? 
I can give first-hand information from Xerox from late 1976 through early 1981: I worked at Xerox SDD organization in Palo Alto, designing the Pilot operating system that was part of the Xerox Star 8010 office system. We used Altos for software development (until we’d bootstrapped to the new Star hardware), for document editing, and for electronic mail(!).  During that time, I knew of only one or two people at SDD or down the street at PARC who used the five-finger keyset. Learning the mouse was fast and intuitive, but learning the keyset took more time than most people were willing to devote to it. I’m pretty sure most Altos still came with a keyset, but they were unused. The one person I remember using the keyset was Donald “Smokey” Wallace, who came to Xerox from Eglebart’s NLS project.  He used an editor named UGH that ran on the Alto and mimicked the functionality of NLS. The rest of us enjoyed his demonstrations, but went back to using Bravo and other editors that didn’t take advantage of the keyset. (Bill Duvall of PARC wrote UGH, so I assume he used the keyset too, but I didn’t witness that.)

Paul McJones

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