Eugene Leitl (
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 23:09:19 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 4 Jun 1997 wrote:

> Eugene Leitl writes:
> > [ walking while reading ]
> Please no! It's bad enough having people who think they can talk on their
> phones and walk at the same time, but reading!?

Am I the only one wondering why cellphones usually have no headsets? But
agreed, jabbering on the street is very thete. Rather give me a BAC, or
an implant to generate output vectors at will. You won't see nor hear a
single thing.

> > [ vote Treebeard ]
> Why, exactly, do you need a head-up and a head tracker to replace paper ?

Because paper is static, and not smart. Because it's flat, monochrome,
kills trees, produces waste, and requires lots of pointless infrastructure
which is not under my immediate control. The only niche for the paper is
not bureau, but the toilet. Paper does not listen when I talk to it, and
it doesn't at all search well. Because I need hands to handle it. Paper
doesn't render VRML very well, nor can it do live video. Only audio paper
can do is <rustle> <rustle>. Paper heaps have no memory on their previous
arrangement. Paper is bulky, not machine readable, and does not age
gracefully. Paper can't add, divide, or FFT. Paper attracts termites and
fires. Paper contains dioxines. People have been killed by collapsing
paper. On the whole, paper is a definite hazard to civilization.

(Ok, HMD is no good at origami).

> When was the last time you walk around with paper stuck to your face ?

Think see-thru headups, as non-dominant eye monocles, or i-glasses type
of display (but better resolution, structureless pixel, wide-angle large
opening pupil, eye tracking, etc.)

> (don't answer). Here's a good replacement for paper, paper! Smart paper,
> made from thin, flexible displays or smart ink. You can pick it up, write on
> it, save the document and leave it for the next person.

The idea is, everybody has an augmented reality rig. I let the
representation of a document hover in space for the next guy to pick up.
I can toss the document to a passer-by, whether it is a real passer-by,
or a ghost. I can beam it to anybody who is interested. And best of all, I
don't need even hands for that.

> > People yearn for wearables. They just don't know it yet.
> I think people know exactly what they want - something that works, something
> that makes life easier. I think one of the reasons why they aren't getting

People buy what other people tell them. It's called marketing and peer
pressure. 95% of all people suspend all ratio when buying consumer goods.

> what they want is the acceptance that computers are complex, difficult
> machines.

Humans are also complex, difficult machines. But surprisingly user-friendly
(well, some of them). Whatever happened to our fabled human design?
Unable to cloak boring complexity. Tsk, tsk. Baaad designer.

> Can anyone tell me why an SG O2, a professional workstation, is easier to
> setup, install, use and upgrade than a home PC ? It's not the cost!

Because the average consumer is a turkey. Ever seen a Lisp machine? Ever
seen a Forth machine? Ever seen an Oberon 2 machine?

Forget unix. Unix is not sexy. Unix is simply the lesser evil of those on
the market. Make? C? Memory leaks? Dangling pointers? Core dumps?

Brittle? Who _dares_ to say brittle?

> >Now this is a challenge for marketing.
> It's a lot to ask from an industry seems to spend more time making colorful
> icons than making computers that don't crash, files that don't corrupt and
> applications that don't just decide to 'loose all unsaved information'.
> ~Wax

For crying out aloud, it has taken the industry mainstream two decades to
adopt virtual machines and garbage collection. Brave brand new world. I
feel like breaking down and crying.

Drivers? Why the device either understands the message, or doesn't. What,
no incremental compilation? Files? Which files? Ah, you probably mean
persistant objects. Which "corruption"? This is distributed nonvolatile
holographic store. What is 'save'? You mean your computer can drop state,
and does not keep a history? Aw come on, joker.

Wake up, 'gene. This is 1997, and IBM, Microsoft and Intel are not to
blame. You and I are to blame. The consumer boneheads.