freebsd as the basis for something better?

Bart Silverstrim bsilver at
Mon Jun 27 12:22:25 GMT 2005

On Jun 27, 2005, at 2:40 AM, Kurt Buff wrote:

> Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
>>> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Nikolas 
>>> Britton
>>> Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 8:10 PM
>>> To: el-sino at
>>> Cc: questions at
>>> Subject: Re: freebsd as the basis for something better?
>>>> a project where real unix would meet real life, or where open
>>>> source would meet open minds -- would have to make unix more human-
>>>> oriented rather than machine-oriented. and in addition to bringing
>>>> order to the chaos that was laid as the foundation for all unix
>>>> variants decades ago, it should also deal with new ways of
>>>> interacting with unix visually. for instance, in ways more
>>>> convenient than x, and its conventional graphical user interfaces
>>>> (though these won't go away any time soon).
>>> UNIX is user friendly. It's just selective about who its friends are.
>>> New gui tools are needed. lets bring the CLI tools to the GUI, like
>>> pipes, redirects, etc. some of apples ideas are nice aka NeXTSTEP. 
>>> Why
>>> are we trying to emulate windows when mircosoft just steals it's
>>> idea's from apple? lets cut the middle man out. BeOS was cool too.
>> Ahhhh!!!!!
>> Why are you guys still beating the GUI interface?  That is so 70's
>> computing technology.  The real next generation OS will be
>> voice command.  Until then it's just more Window dressing.  It's
>> like the Emperor's new clothes - the little boy said "Computer
>> please get me a drink of water" and the crowd was amazed when
>> the $64,000 OS stacked to the ceiling with GUI just sat there
>> lifeless and dumb.
>> Ted
> Must seriously disagree. Voice command is of very limited use - it's 
> not
> private, and difficult to use in crowded surroundings.
> Further, if you consider the space in the human brain for visual
> processing vs. aural processing, I think you'll find that visual
> processing wins. At least for feedback, the human visual system is much
> better.
> However, the best interface for human input to machines is, IMHO, still
> to be determined. I don't claim that the keyboard/mouse interface is
> best, but it is, again IMHO, superior to voice command. What would be
> better than keyboard/mouse? I really don't know. One SWAG would be
> reading brainwaves, or perhap eyeball gestures - but that's just sheer
> speculation.


The ultimate interface is one where you sit at a table and the whole 
table surface is a tactile interface to a computer, three 
dimensionally.  File system navigation?  The table acts like a 3D 
version of FSV (ever run that program?  It's kind of limited and 
dated...could use a small overhaul...still a nice one for quickly 
looking at what is hogging up space in my home directory though at a 
glance).  The table will dance with cubes and pyramids as I just "touch 
and drag" a cube representing a file I'm copying to another location on 
the table.  Then tap it a couple times to open it...and a "monitor" 
grows from the table to display the contents.  A rubbery keyboard also 
grows from the tabletop as well.  Ow...wrists kind of sore from typing 
too long...tap a "customize" panel and then draw your finger through 
the middle of the tactile keyboard, and it splits as if cut by an 
invisible blade on my finger.  Then grasp each half of the keyboard, 
pull it apart about six inches, and raise the interior pointing side of 
the keyboard halves about an inch up, angling the keys...instant 
"ergonomic" keyboard.

When I'm done, you just tell the computer to log you out...the table 
then settles back into a flat matte surface and activates a "table 
saver" of gradually pulsating multicolor ripples as if looking a velvet 
pond while playing some light acoustic music, waiting for the next user 
to log in.

That would be an interesting interface...

And would we really want eyeball gestures?  I mean, it's hard enough to 
deny what we're looking at on the ads and displays to our significant 
others without the pointer giving us away. :-)

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