Page 153

Notes

1. According to Cynthia Crossen in the Wall Street Journal (1996, pp. B1, B11) "Not even computer industry executives can explain the illogic of the modern keyboard ... a device jerry-built from technology as old as 1867 and as new as this year. Because there has never been an overarching plan or design, [it] defies common sense. Its terminology is inscrutable (alt, ctrl, esc, home), and the simplest tasks require memorizing keystroke combinations that have no intuitive basis."

2. Today's elegant cellular phone interfaces emerged after a period of what some observers deem excessive feature creep. See Virzi et al. (1996).

3. A Reuters business information survey of 1,300 managers reported complaints about stress associated with an excess of information, fostered by information technology (King, 1996, p. 4).

4. See, for example, Munk (1996). She reports estimates that 27 percent ($3,510) of the $13,000 annual cost of a networked personal computer goes for providing technical support to the user, and writes, "There's a Parkinson's Law in effect here: computer software grows to fill the expanded hardware. This is not to say that all the new software isn't useful; it often is. But not everybody needs it. For mundane uses, the older software may, paradoxically, be more efficient" (p. 280).

5. In addition to instances of software for scientific and engineering applications, current popular examples, such as the World Wide Web and assorted approaches to electronic publishing, derived from efforts of technical users to design systems to meet their own needs.

6. Gould et al. (1987b) notes that equivalent reading speed for screens and for paper depends on high-resolution antialiased fonts, an element of output display (see Chapter 3).

7. A meaningful approach to computer literacy, including essential concepts and skills, is the focus of an anticipated Computer Science and Telecommunications Board project.

8. The Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Access Program (TIIAP), run by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, funds diverse public-interest (including government services-related, educational, library, and other) information infrastructure projects that would form a natural platform for evaluation if funding were sufficient. See O'Hara (1996, p. 6).

9. For independent innovations, "early adopters" were regarded as having a competitive advantage over those still using older technologies; for interdependent innovations, early adopters do not achieve full benefits from the new technology until the late adopters come on board (Rogers, 1983).



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement