https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USyoT_Ha_bA (part 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKM3CmRqK2o (part 2)
“John, we’re going to show you... a man actually talking to a computer. In a way, far different than it’s ever been possible to do before.”
“Surely, not with his voice?!”
“No, he’s going to be taking graphically.”
I almost fell off my chair. You really have to hear it to appreciate how ridiculous the reporter thought that would be.
So wonderful. It just gets better from there. Great link, thank you!
It was neat. Strange, but neat.
It was a musical, not a play. Though not the typical musical one thinks of. I sat behind Jaron Lanier.
(It’s too late to edit my previous comment.)
It won't surprise anyone who read http://canonical.org/~kragen/memory-models/ that the most interesting part to me was the way Sutherland uses memory — he calls out his use of structs (he calls them "blocks" or "n-component elements") as a departure from the tradition of arrays ("tables"), but for me the more interesting part is how his use of them differs from the directed-graph memory model we use almost universally nowadays. (See p.37, "N-component elements", for his introduction to structs.) Rather than simply using single pointers, the participants in each many-to-one relationship are linked together into a doubly-linked list ("ring") with its head ("hen" (!)) in the item on the "one" side of the relationship, and the list nodes ("chickens") in the items on the "many" side. This means you can efficiently traverse the relationships in either direction, which considerably simplifies the implementation of the Observer pattern.
Literally every GUI program is based on SKETCHPAD. Sometimes Alan Kay gives Sutherland credit for inventing object-orientation, although Smalltalk and Simula clearly contain some ideas that aren't in SKETCHPAD.
If you liked SKETCHPAD you'll probably love GENESYS, which demonstrates Bret Victor’s acting-out-based animation interface on a tablet — on the TX-2 in 1969: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYIPKLxoTcQ
>The Geometer's Sketchpad is a commercial interactive geometry software program for exploring Euclidean geometry, algebra, calculus, and other areas of mathematics. It was created by Nicholas Jackiw for the Visual Geometry Project at Swarthmore College. It is designed to run on Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 or later and Mac OS 8.6 or later (including Mac OS X). It also runs on Linux under Wine with a few bugs.
>The Sketchpad Story
>The origins of The Geometer's Sketchpad date back to the 1980s and to the Visual Geometry Project, a research project at Swarthmore College under the direction of Drs. Eugene Klotz and Doris Schattschneider. This project, funded by the National Science Foundation, aimed to develop new technology-based materials for use in the teaching of geometry. Under its umbrella, Nicholas Jackiw pioneered the development of the first version of The Geometer's Sketchpad. The program's name honors Ivan Sutherland's 1963 SKETCHPAD program, a groundbreaking early work in interactive computer graphics (Sutherland, 1963).
Geometer's Sketchpad Tutorial:
Short Video Showing What's New in The Geometer's Sketchpad® 5:
Geometer's Sketchpad: Demonstration:
Edit: that's not how links work on HN apparently
I've been thinking of experimenting with building a Sketchpad-like system on it. With Rust, you have access to LLVM fairly easily, so you could probably do something with JIT compiling code (maybe a Smalltalk dialect) to give whatever you build a programmable interface.
Why Smalltalk? It's simple syntax would be easier to deal with on the reMarkable, and you might be able to look at doing handwriting recognition to let you write the code with the stylus. Could also go with a Lisp, for similar reasons.
All of this is just speculation because I haven't started it for lack of time, but I'm really interested in exploring what's possible in that space. The system specs will probably be constraining (I haven't looked at them recently) but I'm sure they're far far more than what Sketchpad had.
For that purpose, it is excellent. The software has a few bugs that I've bumped into from time to time, but nothing show stopping. The feel of the stylus on the screen is much closer to pen and paper than anything else I've tried.
It's running Linux and you can shell into it when it's connected to a computer via USB (it appears as a network device on the host), so even if the company collapses, it's very hackable as evidenced by the library I mentioned above.
That said, the price point is a bit high for what it does, and the first thing I always get asked about it is whether it converts my writing to text, which it doesn't.
My wife is in grad school and used to print out papers she needed to read for class so she could write margin notes, and now she just loads the PDFs on her reMarkable and keeps notes there.
The EPUB support was dodgy last time I tried it. The one book I loaded on it would only show one line per page until I adjusted the font size. I generally prefer PDF format anyway, since it's usually laid out better and I'm usually reading technical books on it anyway.
All that said, I highly recommend it, if it's something you think you'd find useful, and aren't put off by the price tag.
Do not miss the "Chickens and Hens" data structure. (I am still trying to understand the analogy since they both lay eggs! :) It is a doubly linked-list with some extra sauce.
Alan Kay's talk referencing it is now also 30 years old:
I also wrote a little piece a while ago relating Sketchpad and constraint programming to things like bindings and FRP:
Failing that, I'd be happy to just have a reimplementation, that's a faithful as possible to the original.
Presumably it would be somewhat simpler than the PDP-1 simulator, and perhaps could even use the same scope simulation code — Norbert Landsteiner tells me that simulating the visual effects of the scope tube was the hardest part of writing the PDP-1 simulator.