RE: Gates on CSPAN

Joe Barrera (
Thu, 1 May 1997 13:56:11 -0700

> * 3. A pen is more convenient for taking down short notes mixed with
> * pictures and arrows, e.g. drawing little maps when someone gives you
> * directions over the phone. Drawing with a mouse just sucks.

> Some boys in Cupertino at the Newton division couldn't agree more.

Maybe they're right.

Just because something doesn't do well in the market *now* doesn't mean
that it won't be a good idea once the market and/or technology catches

(Am I *really* having to explain this to an audience of NeXT and Apple

> * I've seen steady progress in handwriting recognition over the years,
> * enough progress to indicate to me that it's largely just a problem
> * MIPS...

> ah -huh. So were going to need a 100 giga CPU and a gig of software
> into these little boxes?

Sure, why not? And they'll run for ten years on a watch battery that
will be sealed in the case because you'll throw it away way before then.

My Pilot has a meg of memory and a bitmapped display and a multi-MIP
CPU, all running on a couple of AAA batteries. Compare that to a VAX/780
circa 1979, or a Mac circa 1984...

(BTW there's a Java compiler for the Pilot [called JUMP]. One of these
days I'll have to see what Quake on Java on the Pilot looks like... :-)

> * > So you ask "Oh great CobraBoy sage of FoRK what do you see?"
> * >
> * > Well what I would like to see it more connectivity.
> *
> * Yeah, but of *course* we'll have this. Everyone already *knows* that
> * we'll have this.
> No I don't agree. I don't believe people are looking at it correctly.
> Everybody has there own version and it isn't being driven by the free
> market. Well at least not since Ms joined the party.

Can you expand on this? What is Microsoft doing to impede connectivity
of everything to everything? It sounds like you're saying that you're
concerned that Microsoft will set de facto standards that everyone else
will have to follow. One could argue that this will actually accelerate
universal connectivity, not impede it.

> * But wouldn't it make more sense to just say, "tape Millenium for
> No Picard it doesn't. I want a visual representation of what is going

But oral commands (input) and visual representations (output) are not
mutually exclusive.

> Maybe I don't want to say, "tape Millenium,
> and oh by the way when is the next F1 race, I'm sorry computer,
> One, ooops, computer please inform me of the next scheduled Formula
> race." Maybe just maybe looking at a calendar of scheduled events was
> quicker and easier.

Voice recognition won't catch on until it's easy to use. At some point,
we *will* have systems that can understand "when's the next F1 race"
without getting all confused.

> * Besides, who's asking that you emotionally bond with your computer?
> * That's quite a step from just talking to it.
> Oh is it? You mean like the little smiling paper clip in Word 97? Do
> honestly believe given Microsofts unique ability to "dumb down" the
> interface

Unique? You mean Microsoft should have been suing Apple over the

> (IE: Bob, Word 97 paper clip window)

Mr. Friendly Paperclip gets nuked immediately on any computer I use.
Right-click on Mr. Friendly Paperclip, Options, and clear the box for
"show the tip of the day at startup".

But wouldn't you rather say out loud, "yo, paperclip, get the f* off my
screen and don't you EVER come back?"

(Actually, for a while I ran with the bloated dog instead, as ironic
commentary on the resources consumed by Office 97. But then that got

- Joe