Discussion Activity 05

Topic 5 discusses the various forms of Computer Software … it does a decent job of covering the basics and should be required reading if you are new to the “computer thing.” It starts out with a real basic overview of system software and operating systems, how the machine interacts with the system, what the GUI is, and then jumps into the basic types of application software.

Software isn’t something you can get too jacked up about, but rest assured there are some VERY important things discussed in the topic … so make sure you get in there and read it. Some of the more interesting things discussed are the approaches to programming and a brief history related to the types of computer languages. All-in-all, good stuff and important information to know … Answer the question below and let us know what you think!

Discussion Activity 5

The GUI (pronounced Gooey) has made computing much more accessible to the masses. It also may be responsible for the explosion in popularity of the personal computer. Predict what the world would be like today if the graphical user interface were not invented. Would computers be as popular today without it? Would as many people be using computers without the GUI? How would our lives be different?

41 Replies to “Discussion Activity 05”

  1. From what I read in the article almost all operating systems use GUI to represent commonly used features and function of the system. It controls the icons for typical stuff like internet, folders and so forth. By us selecting these icons we stimulate the application, and as the text had said these icons replaced many complex and hard to remember text commands that was used before to run applications.
    I cant say how much these graphical interfaces have controlled the popularity of the computer since I dont know how hard it was before to understand or get used to the commands. But assuming it was difficult I think its possible to say that computers wouldnt be as popular and technology wouldnt be as rapidly expanding. The difference I think GUI makes in the world would be that world was a little more informed about technology then and how it works since they had to work with commands of some sort other then just an Icon. I think the main impact GUI has made on our lives is for applications. People see the e and know right away internet exploring, or symbols like the little yellow guy for AIM and so forth. I think GUI provides a lot for companies and technology and getting there out there. People see it on other computers and so forth and go right for it cause they know exactly what to expect. I think if it were still commands it wouldnt be the same. People wouldnt be as familiar and comfortable, and therefore I think there would less expansion on applications in technology. I think our lives would be different in all sorts of situations if it werent for GUI. GUI is appealing and gets anyone who doesnt have any background in computers using the systems anyways cause they can see what they want and just click on it.

  2. I think that it’s fairly obvious, not only from the article, but from just having a basic knowledge of the computers that without the GUI, the general public at least, would be worlds behind where we are today in terms of utilizing computer technology. Naturally, this is an IST class so you would figure that many of the people in this class or in related fields would still be able to use computers rather seamlessly, BUT if you consider the amount of novice computer users, particularly college campuses who really never cared for computer until they got to school. These people know just the basics of computing through the GUI; checking e-mail, using AIM, word processing, etc. If there was no GUI, you would see many of the activities we do online, like banking for example, still done in person EVEN IF the technology was available. The GUI also makes lives easier for people in their late 20’s and up, who haven’t had the luxury of growing up with computers, but are only now getting into it. The world would be a much less globally connected place because you would be alienating so many of your average computer users. DOS was a difficult program to mess around with when you had to type in commands and I had a decent knowledge of the stuff growing up. It would be nearly impossible to expect someone to go through a series of computer language command prompts just to get to their e-mail.
    I think that computers would still be popular, but they would not have evolved as quickly into the consumer market without the GUI. Businesses have been using computers for quite some time and even without it, they would still use them and their ever-advancing capabilities to further the cause of their businesses.
    Our lives would be incredibly different if it were not for the GUI, referring to the pictures in the reading of the Apple and MS OS’s you can see that they are just these awkward, unappealing, and difficult things to understand. As I stated, this would almost immediately eliminate most of the older generations from being able to access computers for all their uses. I think that eventually as more people go through college and grew up without GUI, you would see a slow adaptation and move toward it, but until then you wouldn’t be able to have this global connectivity that makes computers so useful. Our world would still be segmented in terms of economic and social patterns with it. The GUI may seem like just some fuzzy cute way of displaying a computer’s capabilities, but it has been perhaps one of the more responsible enhancements to computers in the 20th century. Referring back to our discussion in class, all of these things we talked about with regard to increasing portability and connectivity, well they would still be true, but the penetration rate of these technologies would be much slower since fewer people would be adopting them at their outset. Without rambling on anymore I would just like to note that if we are assuming that GUI would never be invented, the dynamic of business would change entirely and perhaps certain technologies and industries that have become obsolete
    would still be around or not fading as fast as they are (Wireline Telephone, Travel Agencies, etc etc).

  3. After reading the article, I have to say that without GUI (Graphical User Interface) computers would not be as popular nor would they be used as often as we used computers today. If GUI was never invented, most business nor schools would rely so heavinly on the use of computers. Instead of having a person click on an simple icon, they would have to sit and explain the “complex and difficult-to-memorize text commands.” Trying to explain text commands would be very time consuming and frustrating for many people especially older people who do not like the using computers as they are now. Through GUI, we have advantages with computers, we can access many things by just double-clicking on a icon located on the desktop. As stated earlier, without GUI, many older folks will not be able to absorb and learn, not to mention memorize, many of the text commands that were needed to access many of the programs. When I show my grandmother how to get on the internet, I tell her to click on the e icon located on the desktop without GUI it would not be that simple. Our lives would be totally different from now because the heavy use of computers would not be the same and we would not depend on technology as much as we do today.

  4. What would the world be like today without “Gooey”? Well, I know that alot more people besides myself would still be “analog”. The GUI is what allows the general population and an average joe like myself to have the capability to utilize and understand the basic abilities and functions of a computer. If there was know user friendly GUI I don’t understand how people would even want to own a personal computer. Our society probably wouldn’t be as influenced by technology or computers as it is today. Correct me if I am wrong, but without “Gooey” people would have to pretty much understand programming languages in order to get the computer to access the internet, check and send email, etc. Everything that even my Grandma could do now would become too complicated and annoying to the general population causing most people not to fool with computers at all. I don’t think our society would be as technilogically advanced as it is today nor would be depend so much on computers and their systems as we do today.

  5. What would the computing world be like today without graphical user interfaces? Well that’s a pretty easy question to answer, computers would not be anywhere near as popular in the home, and while the business world would still use computers, it would be on a very reduced scale, and the users of these computers would have far more knowledge of the systems. Think about this, how many people can’t point and click there way through creating a word document, browsing the Internet, or a variety of other common computer tasks? The answer is a ton. There are still more people that can barely perform these computer tasks. Hand them ms-dos, and tell them to type a paper, and it simply can’t be done. Thanks to the mouse in a large part, and more specifically GUI’s, people can get along. The computer didn’t really take off until the first GUI was on the market, then the computer became more of an appliance rather than a machine. A machine that needs trained professionals to use and maintain. Our lives would be very different without the GUI. There would be no instant messaging, no point here and click here, no pictures of applications, or icons, as they are known as, and more importantly, no Microsoft windows as we know it. It is hard to say what the world would really be like, maybe people would have just learned about the computers so we could still use them widely, or maybe the computers would be something for business and government use only. One thing is for sure though; the world would be quite a different place. Computers are everywhere now, and without the GUI, they wouldn’t be on the map much at all, at least not for years to come. The rapid acceptance of the computer would not have happened, who knows how long it would have taken to get to the point we are now without the GUI. When the GUI was created, I’m sure no one realized that our lives would never be the same, but now, there is no doubt that because of the GUI, computers have been brought to the masses and into the home. Certainly we all know now, that because of the GUI, our lives will never be the same.

  6. From reading the article I can see that almost all systems use GUI. Folders and Icons have replaced streams of what I guess would be numerical data that one would have to type in to get where they wanted to go. Even though I have never used a computer like that, nor do I think I will ever have to, I think that with out the invention of the DUI personal computer use would not be even close to as big. Could you imagian if ever time I wanted to access a file on my computer I had to type in streams of data. I would never do it. The point of the computer is to make it easier to access information, not have to know how to put in data. The average user of a PC has no clue even how to run simple idiot proof applications. Anyway as you can see I believe that without the invention of DUI, short cuts or anything of that nature, the pc would not have taken off like it did.

  7. Issac Asimov stated, “I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them,” which would be true if a major component, the graphical user interface (GUI), was not part of the computers we have today. Gooey’s (GUI) give us a visual of what we’re doing on a computer, by enabling us to click on icons to get where we need to be. The GUI has made personal computers more accessible and user friendly, which could explain why computers are one of the most desirable electronic appliances to have.

    I believe that the popularity wouldn’t be where it is today for computers if we didn’t have the invention of the graphical user interface. GUI has made computers easier to navigate through, since all you need is a little common sense and a click of the mouse. GUI’s give us an icon, a visual picture, of what we need to navigate ourselves though what could be a very confusing and endless maze of knowing assembler languages, machine languages, high-level languages, object-oriented languages, etc (many of these ‘languages’ are still used in specific programs, which is why you get trained for them). Computers for many people are too confusing and that’s why they don’t use them, but think how confusing it would be for everyday users if we didn’t have icons available to steer us through uncomplicated software programs like Microsoft Word or Excel (which could be complicated without the use of icons). Without GUI’s it would be too time consuming and stressful for people to have personal computers, considering that you used to have to write instructions in the form of a string of binary digits or other numerical systems. If computers never had GUI’s then I believe that they would only be found in the business aspect of our lives, where we would gain specific training for specific programs. Without having personal computers our lives would be less technological than they are today. We would not be as advanced, as well as dependent on technology to guide us through our everyday tasks. Computers are found in every aspect of our lives, and they give us all the information we could ever need or want. Without the use of computers we would be very far behind of where we are today.

    By having GUI’s it allows computers to be user friendly, not making it too difficult for someone to figure out exactly what they want to do on the computer. With the use of icons, completing tasks can be done in a timely manner, with little stress and confusion. The GUI, I believe, is one of the best things to happen to computers, because without it computers would not be as popular as they are today!

  8. I honestly do not believe that the personal computer would exist in America today without GUI’s. If you look back at the big boom in PC’s in the mid to late 90’s, the only two reasons the average consumer had a desire to own a computer was because they had become relatively cheaper, due to demand, and because they had become so much more user-friendly — the latter, due entirely to the integration of a better GUI by microsoft and apple.

    You are lying to yourself if you really believe most Americans sit down and read the manuals for the things they purchase – we are a nation that demands simplicity and ease of use out of our products. We don’t “have time” to train ourselves on our “toys”, and so if we cannot take it out of the box and start playing, we do not want it. That is why I believe companies like Dell and Gateway would not exist today if not for the GUI. Because of this, computers would probably still be expensive, still be fairly large, and still only be used by those who need them in their work field had the GUI not been implemented into computers.

    I really cannot imagine how personal computers would even exist today without an interface that was super user-friendly. The average home pc’ers have their hands full with, what i consider to be, OVERLY simplified GUI’s — that is probably why so many jobs exist within the technical support field — So to imagine a world completely void of GUI’s and still filled with personal computers seems mostly like a pipe-dream. The success of personal computers in America can be nearly entirely attributed to the implementation of the graphical user interface.

  9. The graphical user interface has made computing more accessible to everyone. The GUI provides users with friendly graphics and an easy way to maneuver throughout a computer. This program interface takes advantage of the computer’s graphics capabilities to make programs easier to use. It frees the user from learning complex command language and makes it easier to move data from one application to another.
    In the early days of computing, there was a huge barrier between users and computers. Computer interfaces were all text-based and contained lines of computer jargon. It was clear that the computer was oriented toward computer technologists.
    Major imporvements were made such as the introduction of the GUI that made computers more available to businesses and users. Users were now able to interact with icons and use the mouse to point and click on the screen. The interface provided simplicity as well as room for experimentation to
    the user.
    What if the graphical user interface was never created? How would our world look? Everyday life for the average person would change dramatically if the GUI had never been invented. Many of the daily functions which we have come to rely on are electronic and often dependent on the proper functioning of the computer. The primary means of communication in the electronic age – e-mail, would be eliminated or only used by computer programmers. One would expect to see a return to a dependence on telephones, fax machines and old-fashinioned letter writing.
    Life without the GUI would be slower and less efficient. Access to global resources would be more restricted. Information would not be readily available. Processing and storage of large quanities of
    information would be cumbersome and slow. Face to face communication would be more common, as interaction with individuals would be more necessary.
    Computers would not be as popular today if the graphic user interface had not been created. Using a computer would be tedious and difficult. The purchasing price of a computer would prohibit most people from owning one. The average person would not have the skills which would be required to run a personal computer either. That is one thing that computer companies hate. They want their products to be able to be run by someone who has little knowledge of the subject.
    Businesses would be reluctant to use computers because it would be necessary to train personnel in computer technology. The cost and time of this training would outweigh the questionable advantages. The computer would not be as efficient or organized so most companies would probably not purchase it in the first place.
    Our lives would be very different if the graphic user organizer had not been invented. This paper for example, would probably have been written using a typewriter. Books or journals would have been consulted for reference. A rough draft would have probably been hand-written. After necessary corrections, it would have been typed. If mistakes were made, “white out” would be used to correct them. We would have to perform our own spell check. If additional copies were needed we would either use carbon paper or type the paper twice.
    On-line chatting and e-mail if existent, would not be used like it is today. The telephone would be the main form of distance communication. More trips to stores and banks would be necessary since on-line shopping and on-line banking would not be possible. Most of us would probably be listening to records or cassette tapes because the CD would not have the popularity that it does today.
    In conclusion, the graphic user interface has transformed the world of technology. It has helped create today’s personal computer. The computer interface has made the union of information technology, communication, media and the emergence of the internet possible. Our world would be a different place if this revolutionary device had never been invented.

  10. Without the graphical user interface (GUI), it would be harder for people, without a lot of instruction, to operate and interact with different applications on a operating system. Icons, which allow us to easily open programs, such as the internet browsers, are part of the GUI. Think about if the human race had to enter in codes to even begin the use of such programs, no one would waste their time, except the people in the particular field. Plus, the facade that is the GUI, would not exist, all the pretty icons and other graphical objects to interact with on operating systems. It is pretty much, a cover that makes you want to read a book. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” would not be happening, people would definitely judge. Think about how lazy we are as a society, we could not even handle internet that was dial-up. How are we possibly going to sit down and enter in different codes to access the internet, before we can even worry about the speed of the internet? We wouldn’t even waste our time sitting down. I think it is amazing how the computer has come together, everything working together in harmony. The GUI lets you easily interact, launch and control the application systems, but this GUI is being displayed by our Operating System. This Operating System can handle many applications at a time and actually lets s communicate directly with computer hardware. It is all one big happy family, without one of the family members the whole family falls apart. When this happens, people will not use the device. Computers would definitely not be as popular today, without the GUI. We would not be so dependent on our personal computing. We would not be such a technologically advanced society and the American worker would be working a lot harder. The outer skin, the GUI, lets the common person access helpfull applications such as an internet browser.

  11. The answer to this question is easy and I think most will agree with me: NO.

    For instance, my friend has been trying to get me to switch over the the Linux OS, but I really don’t feel like learning all of the commands to do a simple task. I believe that many people are like this.

    Even though I think Windows is just retarded, it did breakthrough (“bug-free” Windows 95…hmmmm) to many people who wouldn’t otherwise touch a computer because people understand picutres. As DOS reliant OS’s faded out, more people started to use PC’s.

    But I think perhaps the largest impact in a world without GUI’s would affect the generation that grew up with computers. GUI’s make it possible for 4 & 5 year-olds to sit down at a computer and “play” on it while they learn the computer operates.

    We live in a society that lives for simple, quicker, and more powerful things. The GUI’s make using computers much more simple, not to mention much quicker.

    My mom even uses a computer to play card games and such, and you can bet that without GUI’s she would be avioding the computer at all costs.

  12. In today’s world, almost any human being can work with some type of computer, whether it be a laptop or desktop. Computer labs in libraries and other public places have allowed access for millions of people to at least a basic form of computer. People with little computer skills can easily type up a document or send an email without much effort. All of this has been made possible by the development of “user-friendly” operating systems. User-friendly is a term thrown around so frequently in marketing stratgies that it has become almost too common in computer language. Every Operating System is user friendly, along with almost every other piece of software that can be purchased. User friendly deals with the GUI or Graphical User Interface in that it is very simple to launch applications and enter commands into a computer. Without these interfaces, users would have to memorize hundreds or thousands of codes and other types of computer jargon just to be able to start a computer and launch a few applications. If this was the case, computers would be left for certain people in specialized fields. The typical home would not own a computer, because no one would know how to use it to it’s fullest potential. The development of the GUI has allowed literally any breathing human being to be able to use the computer, and therefore is the main reason why computer sales have skyrocketed during the last 15-20 years. Without the GUI, we would still have people struggling with typewriters and other “prehistoric” forms of documentation. In the workplace, the GUI has allowed workers to be much more productive than in the past. Reports and presentations are compiled in much less time than in the years before the GUI. Graphs, pictures, and analyses can all be produced simply and with less waste than printing them out on large pieces of poster-board. Our everyday lives would be affected as well. Almost every company that we deal with, whether it is an insurance company, a credit card company, or simply the cable company, all use databases so that they can pull up our files with the click of a button. In the past, they would have to locate your file in a stack of thousands or millions which took a much greater amount of time. We can now get instant credit reports or file insurance claims over the phone in less than 20 minutes. This has allowed companies to grow and take on many more clients than in the past. They can easily handle this increase in volume thanks to the GUI. It has helped everyone become more efficient and has given the common person the ability to get tasks done in much less time.

  13. First of all, I was never introduced to a personal computer without GUI. The first computer I ever owned, or my family owned, was a Compaq with Windows 3.something. But even then the GUI system was used with that old version of windows. Granted one still had to use dos to install various programs, once the windows operating system was up and running, all was well using those simple to click icons.
    If the creation of GUI had never happened the biggest concern I can see is that there would not be nearly as many people using computers. The previous interfaces for using computers was meant for the professionals, and basically it would have stayed that way. People would most likely not have personal computers everywhere. There are six computers in my room, SIX. All running on Windows XP, all using the Graphical user interface. Computers would not be nearly as popular as they are today, but I am almost sure that something different would have arrisen to introduce personal computers to the masses if not GUI.
    Our lives would most definately be different without GUI because the masses would not be as dependent on computers as we are today. Some may say this would be positive, others say negative. I of course have to lean towards the negative, because there are so many different branches of information technology that used software off of the GUI. So without GUI, our world would be drastically different in the information technology area’s.

  14. Computer Technology today is amazing. There are so many systems and software out there that have made our computers better than ever. System software in particular has had a great impact, making computers extremely user-friendly. Many different organizations out there are in the software market, making all sorts of systems and application software. The organizations that are developing and selling user-friendly information technology products are more likely to succeed financially in today’s computer market.

    It seems as though many software companies are starting to invest in customized software packages, instead of just ‘off the shelf’ software packages and suites. These organizations are developing customized software for a variety of reasons, but mainly to gain competitive advantage through the unique application of information technology. Another reason many organizations are seriously investing in the development of customized software solutions is that commercial software may not meet the needs of the many different organizations out there. Tons of money has been wasted by corporations on the development of software because user needs were not properly assessed.

    The main functions of system software in computers are to coordinate the utilities, device drivers, and language translators of the computer system. Application software is the actual tool users need to do what they want to do. Whether it be playing games or designing a web site, application tools allow users to do these tasks. The major player, however, in the running of the computer systems is the operating system.

    The operating system is in charge of running the applications, coordinating hardware components, and providing a user interface. The operating system starts up the computer and displays the GUI so that we can open and control the software applications. The graphical user interface has made computers much easier to use and is responsible for the popularity of personal computers.

    The world we live in today would be a lot different without the invention of the graphical user interface. Running programs would be a lot slower without the GUI and you would not be able to do as much at one time. One of the great features about the GUI and the operating system is that you can multitask really easily. Users can work on more than one program or application at a time and get things done a lot faster.

    For example, the computers of old, which ran off of DOS were a pain to use because the user had to use the command prompt and type out each and every command. Computers today allow for users to ‘drag and drop’ and ‘point and click’ objects. These are just a few of the many great features of the graphical user interface. Without the GUI the world would still be stuck back in the 1980s technology wise. So many things today are done digitally or using computer systems that it would be impossible for our industries to move at the same speed, and with the same efficiency that they do today.

    Without the use of the graphical user interface, computers would most likely not be as popular as they are today. The computers we have are so easy to use and so user-friendly that everyone wants one…you don’t have to know a lot about computers to be able to create documents and presentations. Without these ‘easy to use’ features, many people would stay away from the technology because after all, sometimes it’s just easier to write things down.

    But is it really easier to write things down? Maybe, but it is certainly not easier to make corrections to things that are simply written down, without creating a mess of the paper. This just shows how different our lives would be without the use of graphical interfaces. Without these interfaces, our lives would be look like slow motion compared to the speed with which they run today. The world we live in today is much better off with the GUI because things just wouldn’t get done like they need to be and we just wouldn’t be able to keep up.

  15. It should be no surprise to people that the GUI’s has made computing much more accessible to the masses. If GUI’s were never created there would be an enormous drop in computer users in all types of fields. The reason for this is time or just convenience. If there were no GUI’s, do you think there would be people spending tons of hours learning different programming language just to write a paper or check their email. What if you were dealing with a more difficult like assembly code, it would take hours just to get input from the keyboard or whatever. Would the masses spend the time to do all of this, history shows that they don’t have the time or patience to. The GUI’s have all the code already done for you, behind all the pictures and icons is tons of code that took some people many hours to do so the average user wouldn’t have to. A good example of this is, in C++ which is a somewhat newer programming language (object oriented) it could take someone that knew C++ 15-75 minutes to make a simple calculator. With the GUI’s it takes someone a couple of seconds to get to a calculator and use it.

    Our lives would be a faint shadow of what they are now if GUI were never made. For one thing everyone would have very large file cabinets or closets to keep all their paperwork, music, and movies collections. For banks not too much would change, there just wouldn’t be nice interfaces for tellers to use, it would all be text based like all databases would be. Mainly personal computer would not be close to as convenient as they are today, people would have to use that horrid thing call a library, to gather information, because a text based internet may be too time consuming and probably too frustrating for the average Joe.

  16. If it hadn’t been for the graphical user interface, computers wouldn’t even be apart of most of our lives. GUI has taken a machine that is relatively complex and has made it user friendly to the average person. Now someone who has no idea how to use a computer can sit down and take a look at the main screen of the OS and navigate. They can figure out how to get a word processing program, use a spreadsheet, or even access the internet with out having to do anything but double click the mouse.

    Without the user interface, I don’t even think computers would be in the business world. It would be too costly to have companies training their employees how to input data to run the program. The fact that almost every family in America has a home computer would not be the case with GUI. I think in the early 90s that people were afraid of computers; they didn’t know how to run them and figured they were too complicated. Now because of the interface, people are investing in the computers because they think they can use it for their advantage…and they can! They may not realize what the computer is doing when they double click on the icon, but they know how to open the program which is really all that matters to the average computer user.

    Without everyone using computers, I don’t think there would be any real need for workers in the computer industry. Programmers would not be needed because if consumers can’t run the program (input the code), there is no point in expanding the computer industry really. The IST major probably wouldn’t even be necessary at Penn State if it wasn’t for GUI because people would have no use for the machines.

    School-wise, everything would be back to pen and paper. Imagine having our professors hand-write the tests, or post the questions on the black board and we had to copy them down. It would be very time consuming and our hands hurt from all that writing!

    Computers have come a LONG way in the last 20 or so years and it would have never been possible without the graphical user interface!

  17. The GUI has become one the greatest innovations to the personal computer today. After reading the article you begin to understand how much the GUI has revolutionized the computer. The interface just made dealing with computers so much easier and user friendly. Children could now even learn how to use the computer because the GUI just made it so much more simplistic. I mean let’s face it, the general public would not be willing to read a huge manual and memorize all the commands to do things such as you had to with DOS.

    Apple and Microsoft reinvented the personal computer when they decided to bring out the new graphical interface to the market. Customers were pleased how easy they could learn to do things compared to the old computer language ways. The GUI opened up a new door to creativity also which allowed people to customize their computers like never before at the time. Software could now be used more efficiently and more user friendly to the public. New ideas just poured in with from all over the place on what the personal computer could do from now on. The computer mouse would of been never invented if it were not for the graphical user interface. Popularity in the personal computer really pushed technology along its path. If the public did not find the computer worth the trouble then we might not of even gotten into the digital age.

    The computer would not be anywhere as popular as it is today if it was not for the GUI. Computers would be more used for processing certain things such as calculations for certain businesses. Without the GUI people would find a hard time accessing the computer and I believe it would be rare to find one in the home. Our lives without the computers would be totally different in that we would still be using many things longhand and would not have advanced electronically as we did. Banking and shopping would never be done at home and we would still be having those long lines at those businesses. The enhanced technologies we have today such as the new cell phones and mp3 players would not exist and people might as well still be using the typewriter to type homework assignments. I would probably not be in the situation as I am now because the Information Science and Technology school in Penn State might not exist because there would be no demand for the technology. The GUI was a breakthrough to the digital age which now has endless opportunities.

  18. From the reading I gathered that a significant amount of operating systems use GUI to conduct simple operations such as selecting icons to launch and program and send signals and so forth. Without the invention of GUI, the computer world as well as the real world would be dramatically different. You tend to forget what the old time computers were like because we are so accustomed to using the GUI computers today. I believe that the GUI has a lot to do with the sky rocketing effect that computers have undertook on our society. It is not a coincidence that when the graphical user interface had started to take off and was seen in every computer that you started to see computers in every business and almost every household. Computers look that much more inviting with the GUI rather than the old black backdrop screen and white letters. GUI catches your eye, so if that is true it makes advertising on the internet much more effective and efficient. Just as when you’re driving on highways the billboards that catch your attention are the big colorful attractive ones, the same goes with the internet thanks to GUI. To be honest I do not know where computers would be if it wasn’t for the invention of GUI, but I can guarantee that they most definitely would not be as popular as they are today. I am sure computers would still be accessed for the writing of school papers as well as corporations need for everyday use, but I can’t see to many kids and adults just messing around on the computer or surfing the net like we do today.

  19. If computers had no graphics, no pictures,no colors, no motion, Computers would not be a household product like today. Interent, games, and most software applications have user-friendly interavtive graphics that make computers easy to use. If computers were all text then many people might be turned off with the appearance. They want to see pretty things on the screen.
    If there were no GUI on computers then the only thing computers could be able to do is store text and numbers. So I believe that would be only business oriented, such as for storing text information like personal information, statistics, prices etc. I don’t think people would be interested in a machine that just displays text. Games and the internet are one of the most popular uses with computers for the average consumer. If the interenet was not as intereactive as it is today with a GUI then the world might actually get out more instead of staying indoors on their computers all the time, even though that may be a good thing, there would be some severe disadvantages. There are many many jobs involving graphic designing and so it would severly limit those who would wan to seek a career in the arts and technology or even in arts in general. Web designing, game designing wouldn’t exhist. Programmers would have a difficult time making there software user-friendly.

  20. What is single most important development in bringing computers to the public? I’m sure many people would agree with me that the graphical user interface (GUI) is that development. Before windows or Macs first GUI computers were know of but could only be used by those willing to learn “computer language” type programs. The common household had no need or interest to own something that was difficult to use. But with the introduction of windows and Mac OS showed the limitless options that computers hold even to the most neophyte of users. With the ease that the GUI creates it opens the doors to a geographic that never thought they would be smart enough to learn how to use a computers. Senior citizens are now connecting to the web to chat or order their meds with the same ease that a college student orders a meal or business man in his 40’s sells his old comic books on eBay. It’s safe to say that not as many computers would be on desktops without the GUI. With its appeal and straightforwardness many people boot there computer up when they wake and don’t stop interacting with PC’s (relatively) until the “shut down” at night. A DOS like system would never reach to the lengths it has without the GUI. Companies like Apple and Microsoft now are competing to make the prettiest gooey to put out for people to buy. Who knows how crazy the GUI will get from here but one things for sure… they’re here to stay.

  21. The graphical user interface was created for use of stability, predictability and certainty. If the graphical user interface was never invented then the computer, as we know it, would still remain fairly popular but more difficult to use for the average individual. This difficulty would not stop our society from being technologically driven but our lives would be slightly different. Business’, schools, politics, and so forth would still heavily rely on the computer but as a means of easy communication the computer would probably be outrun by cellular devices (possibly even face-to-face communication). This would not necessarily be a bad thing but it would be easier for all generations, both young and old, to communicate through something easier such as a cellular phone.
    This would obviously decrease computer industry sales and demand for innovation in the wireless phone industry. As soon as the GUI were invented, mobile industry’s would already have that head start. Who knows who would be leading the way to more useful technology.

  22. Personal computers would not be where they are at today without some form of GUI. GUI’s have made it possible for people who don’t know coding and other specifics of software to be able to use computer software without knowing anything about it. GUI gives any user of a PC a much easier way to use the programs of PC.
    I’ve done some quick basic and C++ coding without using any sort of interface, and those small programs with just a few inputs are just not very user friendly at all. If I were to have used Visual Basic or Visual C++, those small, 50 line programs would have been much easier to use.
    GUI’s have allowed anyone anywhere to use a computer. My parents, people I never thought would even touch a computer, are playing games, sending emails, and doing everything other PC users are doing, all because GUI’s make using a computer and the software that runs that computer much easier.
    I don’t think that the recent surge of information technologies would be happening if PC’s never really had that way of graphically interfacing with the person using it. Instead of looking at text all day, people can easily look at an icon and know what program it’s going to run when double-clicked.
    Without a GUI, computers may still have been used, but not nearly as much as they are being used with a GUI.

  23. I think the GUI interface has made the use of computers much easier. It makes the applications more accessible to the user since they do not have to memorize the exact program command to start the application. To a person that is learning computers, the icons create a much easier path that is less cumbersome than a command prompt. If the user is able to reach the application with little to no trouble it might entice the learner to explore the application and its uses. If a person wants to open a piece of software, they do not want the aggrivation of searching through books or notes to find the correct command. The more user friendly that a application is, the more people will use it and tell their colleages about the program which in turn will sell more copies.
    Computers would not be as popular today if it were not for the GUI interface. Much fewer people would be using the computers because they would not be as user friendly and computer technology would not be where it is today.

  24. What if GUI’s didn’t exist? LOL, laugh out loud. I’ve taken the other DQ questions seriously so this one will be a little creative a bit humurous. Honestly, a more funny picture is if GUI’s went back to command lines and basic navigation now. Can you imagine the utter chaos. THe GUI is designed so that a toddler could use it. And today’s society about 75 percent of the US is composed of these toddlers. Come on admit it you’d never touch a computer if it wasn’t user friendly. Imagine if everything was still binary. No globalization, no e-commerce, essentially we’d be back in the pre-information age. If we could only have that. There would be no regulation on the information flow. Well not stuff like music and illegal pirating cause the RIAA wouldn’t know about it! If we could go back in time to 1999. That was a good year for pirated material. But governements would have probably better security over world. The only competition would be amongst themselves. I believe that security would be enhanced if the internet wouldn’t be as popular as today.

    But in real terms we have GUI interfaces because their easy to navigate and very efficient. But I always wanted to read 1’s and 0’s like Neo in the Matrix. On a positive note without a GUI interface demand would be lower on computers. Then children would have a higher incentive to actually do physical activites. There by making the US a better and healthier nation, instead of this overweight mongrol that we’ve become. I still laugh at the fact that China had to design theater seats to be wider just because we were overweight. GUI has expanded the computer universe. It’s ease of use has very much adapted to all aspects of our lives, whether it be in education, business, or even leisure use.

  25. When I read this question, it makes me think back to the days when I had an Apple IIE sitting my basement. The computer wasn’t used very much. I was a kid then, and you had to know too many commands to get the computer to do anything.

    Where I’m getting at is if there were no GUI interfaces, I believe computers would not be used nearly as much as they are now. Young kids would not use them because they would be not necessarily too difficult, but who is going to take the time to each it?

    In the same sense, people today have become very lazy. Almost everyone uses a computer in their day-to-day life. Sitting in front of a computer has robbed some people of their physical fitness. They do not get up and move as much as they used to. Everyone wants their own printer in their office so they don’t have to get up and walk to the next room over to get their copies. I do not want to go as far as to say people would be more fit if the GUI interface wasn’t created but, I think on the grand scale people might be more in shape.

    Some computer languages are GUI based like Visual Basic. If there was no GUI this simplified computer language would not have been created. Almost anyone can learn visual basic and write simple programs. This in a way makes computer more popular because people can not only use the program but, create their own programs to simplify their lives rather than waiting for someone else to create it and circulate it.

    Overall, I feel that the GUI has made computers extremely more user friendly. The effect of this is more people use computers. As more computer software was written and hardware devices were created, people have grown to rely on the computer more and more. This has all made the computer more popular by simplifying computer use.

  26. I can remember using DOS and the difficulties that came with it. To run a program, you started off in DOS, having to enter the correct commands to start the program. I was able to get around in it, because that was my first computer. My parents on the other hand had many more difficulties than me. I don’t think my mother even used the computer before the first Windows came out in the market. Without GUI, many people would not have given personal computers a chance. They say how difficult it was and didn’t want to take the time to learn, or they didn’t have the time to. GUI lets people of all backgrounds use computers; you don’t need to know to much how a computer works to be able to use Windows. If GUI had never been invented, we would not be the same kind of America we are today. I don’t think that many people would have personal computers. Computers never would have received the acceptance into our homes and most would probably have failed over time.
    Our lives would be so dramatically different. Since most people wouldn’t have a computer, we wouldn’t be e-mailing, playing games, completing school or business related tasks as easily as we do today. I don’t think technology would be as advanced in other areas as well. PDA’s would not be possible and cell phones would not be where they are today. Not only would the personal computer market be affected, so would the rest of technology that relies on graphical interfaces.

  27. The interface, application software, and operating systems have brought computers to where they are today. They made them more user friendly and therefore more marketable. If users were still forced to load programs in DOS and such, computers would not be where they are today, especially with younger crowds.

    I think the biggest difference would definately be in the application software and operating systems. No longer are we forced to try to call up programs in DOS, but instead we have our word processors, games, and everything else right in front of our faces with easy to use desktop icons. You just double click and it by passes all that annoying “C://” stuff that had to deal with in DOS. Pure brilliance. The application software made computers more desirable because they allowed computers to be used for more and more things from word processing, gaming, banking, internet, to just about anything else. The institution of the operating system allowed users to bypass that coding and run programs easily. Without application software and operating systems, computers would basically be a few steps above a calculator. Why would people use a computer if it required a computer science degree just to get it to do the things you wanted it to do?

    Perhaps even more important than the operating system and application software would be the interface. This is hugely important because it basically dumbed down the use of computers. Now instead of staring at the black screen of DOS you can stare at Apple’s silver lined boxes and find everything you need to simply by clicking. Everything is easily laid out and simple to find. The GUI has allowed everyone (especially adults not familiar with computers) to become at least somewhat proficient in computers.

    Not to mention, people wouldn’t want to use a computer if it were ugly. In a society driven by beauty and sleakness, computers would not have succeeded without fancy interfaces. It not only makes them easier to use but definately more marketable.

    Without application software, operating systems, and easy to use interfaces, society would not be in the digital age we are in today. It would be a darker time shadowed by the black screen of DOS.

  28. Without the invention of the graphical user interface, the world would be much different. Computers would not be nearly as popular as they are today. With our society being as lazy as it is, I don’t believe people would take the time or energy to learn and memorize each of the text commands that would be needed to run a program on a computer. It is much easier to just turn on your computer and double-click on an icon to run the program you would like.

    If GUI were not invented, computers would not be as popular. I don’t believe individuals would buy them as frequently as they do now if they would be more difficult to use. People like that computers are easy to use and basic commands can be learned by almost anyone. Without GUI, it wouldn’t be like that. Our society would not be as technologically advanced as it is today. The use of computers would not be as frequent as it is in schools and other organizations without GUI because they would be too difficult and complicated to use.

    Graphical user interface has been a huge step in our technological society. It makes it much simpler for the general public and the average person to use a computer with ease. Without GUI, computers would definately not be as popular as they currently are and our society would not be as dependent on computers as they are today.

  29. It’s fairly obvious that most people use computers as well as other technology to simplify their lives. If GUI was not available, I most certainly think computers would not be as popular. My mom already has a hard time with the computer. I can’t imagine teaching her to use commands and codes as opposed to clicking on an icon. The article does not go into depth about GUI, so I did a little research of my own to find out more about it. GUI not only simplifies single applications, it also helps to integrate two programs. Most GUI’s have a standard format representing text and graphics, and this makes it easy to copy a graph created by one program to be inserted into a word processor. Also, as compared to commands, GUI lets you have more than one application running at a time. Therefore if you need to switch back between programs, you can easily do so. I’m not arguing whether or not GUI is better than CLI (command-line interface), because I have not actually used CLI before. However, I would argue that GUI is why computers are more popular. People would not be as interested in using commands. They want to do whatever is the simplest.

  30. The GUI was also talked about in Topic 3: The History of Computing. This chapter pointed out how the original computer systems were using non-user friendly interactive systems. It goes on to say how the GUI was being used by employees at Xerox for they’re in office workstations. It was Apple that realized that the GUI could greatly increase the ease of operation of computers in the home. I just thought it was crazy that Xerox never realized the capabilities of the GUI.
    I don’t know what the world and computing would be like without the GUI. Prior to the GUI it was very difficult for the average person to operate a computer. People might still be using simple language based programs like DOS. Computers would definitely not be as popular without the GUI. I took programming in BASIC and C++ in high school and it was not fun, I am glad that there is a simple point and click icon based application embedded in the computer like the GUI. The average user would never have been interested in computers without its introduction.
    To me no GUI means that a much smaller percentage of people would be using computers today. The Internet would not be a reality without the GUI. I also believe that there is no way that the idea never would have came about because people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates realized that computers could be used by everybody in the future, but that they just weren’t user-friendly yet for the masses.

  31. The Graphical User Interface(GUI) has made the use of personal computers exactly what they are today; user friendly. If this had never been invented, using a computer for your everyday tasks which the majority of the country does now, would be a strenuous task. In addition, anyone who would want to use it would be forced to go through serious memorization of the common tasks needed to access information easier. The usage of computers would be an ability only the older generations could have. Children in schools would not be able to perform the same complicated commands that one would normally have to perform. Thus the use of computers for education of for instance elementary school children would be impossible.
    With all the difficulty posed from a world without GUI, I highly doubt the personal computer could be anywhere near as popular as it is today. The reason why they are so popular right now is because they are becoming easier to use and less expensive to own. The capabilities have become unlimited and therefore, the pc has become such an important commodity in the daily lives of millions of people.
    The abilities that GUI gives us make it the vital part of personal computer technology. The simplicity of opening an application is what sets it apart from the earlier forms of accessing them. As soon as you turn on the computer there are different portals to different applications staring right at you, awaiting a click from your mouse. Instant messaging, exploring the internet, and creating word documents have become a task that requires barely any thinking at all. This is what makes computers so appealing to consumers and thus have expanded into what it is today. The dawn of GUI has brought businesses more productivity than ever before as well as giving the everyday person a simpler way of accessing information at the touch of a button.

  32. World without GUI?

    Just about all applications use graphics, which allows almost all consumers in the developed world the ability to access the internet and everyday application tools. Without graphics, I still believe that word processing and email at work would be highly used, but would be limited to just these areas.

    My family had a home computer in the early 80’s, maybe one of the few in town, but on the other hand a lot of kids had atari and activision games set, which were (somewhat) graphic oriented. Prior to GUI, the only folks using the internet were the tech nerds of the time. I believe we would still be in much of the same situation. The personal computing industry would be limited to a small niche of consumers. Video Arcades seem to be dying, but I think without the GUI and a PC in every home, the arcade would still be the place to be after school.

    I think the development of GUI was a natural progress and it advent and the wide scale use of PC was inevitable.

  33. The GUI is an extremely important part of the computer. It made things easier in all senses for the public and schools to use for personal use. The publics computers would not be in the place they are now if it wasnt for GUI. THere are some people that if a computer wasnt an extremely simple machine to use they would have never went out and bought one. To tell you the truth this may have been better if the GUI was never invented cause maybe the public would not be so dependendent on computers. That is just my opinion though. Grocery shopping, banking and going to the mall would be alot more personal and we would just go out more to get these things rather then hopping on to our computers and buying it from there. I know that most people that are in IST would be able to figure out a computer if there was no GUI but to an average person a computer would be too complex. The older the generation the harder it would get for the user to memorize text commands and computers may not be used by them at all. The public is definitly dependent on GUI’s and if we didnt have them installed in our computer, computers would be less used.

  34. The GUI revolutionized the face of computing, both figuratively and literally, in our society. It opened up the world of computing to a far greater portion of the population, and undoubtedly helped put computers and technology on the fast track that they continue to race forward on today. That being said, to me, the GUI seems to be almost a natural progression in computing. As human beings, visualizing and relating to images seems to be inherent and is highly integrated into our thought processes and daily lives. The designers responsible for the first GUI, used this idea to create a system of interfacing with computers that is more efficient and accessible than cumbersome and tedious text commands by vast bounds.

    Computers and technology have affected my life in significant ways, so its evident to me just how profound an effect the GUI has had on computing, and how different both our way of life and my life in particular would be if the GUI had never been conceived. When I think of using a computer today, I think of images. Whether they are the images rendered while playing a game on my laptop, or the pictures I can send and receive over the internet, the GUI has allowed creativity and imagery to be fused with computing. Without a GUI, many of the applications we use and take for granted today probably wouldn’t exist, or at the very least, exist in such a user-friendly format. Being able to point and click instead of having to type in an arsenal of memorized commands not only makes using computers much more productive, but it makes them, and the multitude of things they are capable of, accessible to nearly everyone.

    It is this increased accessibilty to the public that really allowed computers to make the sort of impact they have on society today. If computing wasn’t as widespread, I doubt the internet would be as prevalent in society today, or present as rich and diverse an array of information and opportunities. However, the GUI has had a larger consequential effect on our society than many would even consider. Just think of all of the jobs and even all of the job markets that have been created as a result of the GUI. The field of Graphic Design may not even exist, and assuredly the field of IST would be far different, and probably far less integral for business and commerce than it is today. Who knows, IST might not even be a major at Penn State today if not for the GUI!

    Many aspects of our lives would be changed if the GUI had never been invented. Communication in particular would be more time consuming for many people. Education, especially here at Penn State, where almost all of my classes use the internet for either message boards, acquiring files or displaying schedules, would be far more difficult to access, and may not even exist. Business and trade would be less efficient and e-commerce would be drastically reduced. Computers have had a profound effect on our society, but there are many components that allowed them to penetrate so deeply into our lives. One major component is clearly the GUI.

  35. When asking what the world would be like today if the GUI was never invented, after reading the article and links I would guess there would not be such a popularity with the personal computers. The reason the public took to these technology devices is because of their convenience especially when first brought out in the work force. Now computers are apart of daily lives at home and school. Classes are integrated with the internet now too for more accessiblity and convenience for students aqnd teachers.
    As for the use of computers without GUI, I don’t think there would have been much of a future do to the complexity of the computer itself. People would not like the set-up and remembering text to get into and out of programs. The public likes simple user-friendly devices, not difficult to use ones. Our lives would be extremely different without the adoption of computers. These are now becoming the basis of most of the work and communication in my daily life, along with other students and people especially my age. I am personally glad the GUI was invented because I enjoy the benefit to my life the computer provides.

  36. The Graphical User Interface has made the personal computer easy enough for any moron to navigate. It is a major component of the personal computer and without it the computer would be as user friendly. The GUI gives us a a graphical representation of what we are doing on the computer, it allows us to work through a visual interface which simplifies the aspect of navigation.
    If the GUI was not a component of the personal computer I do not believe that one of the most desired electronic devices of our day and age would be nearly as popular. Without GUI’s computers would not be nearly as user friendly and this is one of the main reasons for the rise in popularity of the personal computer. Computers certainly would not have reached as many consumers without this component because it would be much less desirable and much harder to navigate which would turn off masses of people.
    People of today’s age like simplicity when they buy something. They don’t expect a device to contain a huge learning curve in order to properly operate it. The learning curve for computers would greatly differ and some people that use computers without any problem today would never be able to figure out how to properly operate one. Although most people don’t use a computer to its full potential, if Gui’s did not exist the only people using computers would be the ones that now can use one to its full potential.
    Our lives would vary greatly without the personal computer. If as I predicted the PC did not reach nearly as many people as it did today, our lives would not be based around technology like it is today. The lack of personal computers would create a lack of communication. The world would not have accepted the personal computer into their lives like we have today. On a personal note, my mother has a job based through a user friendly interface and if it weren’t for GUI’s she probably would be out of a job because she would not be able to navigate the computer. Also, I would not be able to communicate with my grandparents and aunts and uncles through email. The world would be a much different place.

  37. I do a lot of work with linux, and I can tell you how much of a difference GUI’s make. Hardcore linux uses only command prompt and terminals. When I first started using linux, the terminal style really upset me and I wanted to give up. Later on, after I learned how to use it and its commands, it got a lot easier. I think that if the GUI wasn’t invented, most of the people would have turned from computers a long time ago. The digital music/video/gaming industry would not exist today due to the inability to easily navigate through it. People that did stay with computers, in a non-GUI atmosphere, would have become awsome programmers for complex engineering and mathmatical applications. The government would probably be the major audiance of the computer industry, NASA and the military to be specific.

    Without GUI’s, I don’t believe the hardware we have today would exist. We would still have super-expensive abicus’s for sale at about $3000.00 each. With the lack of GUI’s, there would be no use for the complex color monitors that we have today. We could very well still be using bulky, CRT, monocrhome monitors.

    Imagine how video games (even console game systems) would have evolved. We would probably still have the original Nintendo, Sega, and Atari as the major form of video entertainment. Obviously that would get old fast, so kids today would probably be our playing sports instead of being glued to the TV/monitor screens.

  38. It was a sad world without the gooey. A world of dark screens, and blinking cursors. A world without inviting menus, and emoticons. A sad world indeed.

    I remember this world, and hated it. Without the gooey it took forever to do anything for anyone who wasn’t computer savvy, especially 12 year olds who’s only desire was to kill monsters in doom. People were intimintated by computers back then. I even remember Mac commercials playing off the difficulty of MS-DOS.

    Without the gooey, the computer would never be so prevelant in people’s homes as it is today. Using a computer with gooey is like playing with a child’s learning toy. It’s just a matter of locating pointing and clicking. No one wants to spend to time finding/remembering to type C:Program Files/ Games/ Doom/ Doom2 and so on and so forth ( i promise i haven’t played doom since i was a boy).

    What the gooey truly created was user friendliness. And with that people were ready to see what the computers could do, with being intimatated.

  39. What the world would be like today without the graphical user interface? Obviously, the computers would not be as popular as today. Because the GUI was a user friendly system letting us clicks on the graphical icon to run the applications. Think about this, if there’s no one-click icon for the internet browser, it would reduce tons of scale for checking emails, or searching information.

    Not many people would use the computer. However, we would expect the business or financial people would train with inputting commands so to do their supplicated calculation.

    There would not be so many computers around us if there is not GUI. We would no longer see the iMac computers, Dell machines install in the commons or the hub. Since those supplicated one require a redundant and complicated commands for running those software application. And I have gone through the ages for inputting the commands to direct software applications. It takes me a while to open the application. Sometimes when I put a wrong step, I have to retype the whole commands again. It was very frustrating and user-unfriendly. Think about this, if GUI was not invented people at those 50s’ would have a hard time to learn those commands. And computers would not be popular as now.

    All in all, the computer users would be trained to input commands for computer without GUI. The popularity of computer would greatly reduce because of its user-unfriendliness.

  40. The GUI is a very important part of the computer world, there is no doubt of that, but is the GUI really neccessary for our society to be at the level of computing its at today? No. Except for graphical applications (which would not be a computer job at all without GUI), there is really no real need for GUI in the business world. This is best shown by the vast amount of businesses that run GUI-less programs (banks, video rental, many retail stores, supermarkets, et cetera), and nearly all programs that do run within a GUI OS can be completely navigated with hotkeys, which allows it to be run without a GUI.
    As for home computing, nearly every non-graphical function(which is pretty uch everything except looking at images, movies, or playing games) can be done without a GUI. People can still chat on AIM, surf the web, type papers, and do pretty much anything else as theyc an do today, with a GUI. Even though the GUI was skipped over for a mysterious reason, someone would still invent AIM, someone would still invent the internet, and the innovation associated with computers would continue. It is probable that computers would be just as popular as they are today, for they could be used for the same functions, just with a different interface. The only real problems with not having a GUI would be the lack of image editing on computers, and the lack of sweet games for Nevin to play…

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