[unrev-II] Revised book spam for everybody

From: Dick Karpinski (dick@cfcl.com)
Date: Sat Jun 24 2000 - 23:06:03 PDT

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    I'm sorry if I've already spammed you, but at least the last few
    paragraphs are new, today, written for an Amazon review.


    Enclosure: Must read book offer and analysis


    Jef Raskin's new book, The Humane Interface, is just out and everybody
    who cares to understand why computers are so hard to use, and how to
    fix them, should read it. I've spent two or three years pressing Jef
    to finish the book. He did, eight times. I've marked up manuscripts in
    detail, noting flaws and unclarities which Jef has fixed beautifully.

    The biggest rewrite recently removed the personal stories which I loved
    and thus could not tell him to remove; others did that.

    I believe that the book will make you a much better critic of computer
    systems. Further, it's liable to change the face of computing, quite
    literally. Jef did that before. He invented the Macintosh.


    I'm so sure that you'll want to keep the book that I'm offering to
    purchase the copy that you bought if you don't want to keep it. I'll be
    happy to pay twice what you had to pay if you'll explain a bit about
    why you decided not to keep it.

    Jef has a summary at www.JefRaskin.com along with other goodies.

    Please write me about this book when you get a chance.


    When you analyze what Jef has done, you see that this is a magnum opus.
    First, he gathers the most relevant material from cognitive psychology
    and other fields. That would be enough for a good textbook.

    But he goes further. He unifies the concepts and even recreates the
    formulas to show how closely related they are. And he creates new
    formulas to capture more of human interface considerations in
    mathematically precise form. And he shows exactly how to apply those
    formulas to real situations. That would be more than enough for a truly
    great textbook.

    But he goes further. He describes a system which behaves as though a
    dozen or so of the axioms of humane interfaces were respected. And he
    describes a real, commercial system which used many of these ideas,
    complete with screen shots. You wouldn't believe the rapidity with which
    untrained executives can become fully trained and competent with a huge
    hospital information system, so I won't say. Read the book. Now.

    But if such dramatic improvements are possible in that context, consider
    the effect on the information economy if computers became that easy to
    use and friendly in general. The entire economy would take off like a
    rocket! Everybody would smile when they think of their computer.


    So I want someone to call his bluff and contract with him to create a
    humane system. He seems to think he knows how to do it in about a year.
    If such an angel were truly beneficent, she would then put the result
    under Larry Wall's Artistic License. Now who will give him the million
    dollars to test whether Raskin really can deliver a truly humane
    interface that people can actually learn and use?

    Dick Karpinski dick@cfcl.com The world's largest leprechaun. |=|:-}=

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