GUIdebook: Graphical User Interface galleryHome > Extras > Quotes
Go backExtrasQuotes

This page lists GUI-related quotes:

Show options
But even “good” metaphors don’t always work. For instance, in an informal survey of Macintosh-literate university students, many people failed to employ the word “desktop” anywhere in their description of the Finder.Mac OS
(Brenda Laurel, “Computers as theatre,” p. 5, 1993)

But there are two ways to fall off the desktop. One is when you start looking for the other things that “go” with it and you can’t find them – filing cabinets, telephones, blotters for doodling and making notes or even an administrative assistant to make some calls or type some letters. The other way to fall of the desktop is to find something on it that doesn’t go with everything else – for example, a trash can that gobbles up your trash seemingly at random and eject your disks.
(Brenda Laurel, “Computers as theatre,” p. 131, 1990)

GeoWorks Ensemble is a little-known but worthy competitor for Windows. GeoWorks is a good value. It can bring easier, more productive computing to desktops where Windows strikes out.GEOS/GeoWorksWindows
(Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, October 24, 1991)

Here’s today’s true confession: I like Bob. No, I don’t mean Bob Dole or Bob Dylan. I mean Microsoft Bob, the radical new $99 software program designed to replace the sometimes confusing menus and icons of Microsoft’s Windows.BobWindows
(Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 1995)

My favorite Macintosh example is an error message that I sometimes encounter while running Multifinder: “Excel (or some other application) has unexpectedly quit.” “Well,” I usually reply, “the capricious little bastard!”Mac OS
(Brenda Laurel, “Computers as theatre,” p. 63, 1993)

Newton has set the whole category of PDAs back by two years.Newton OS
(Bill Gates, Microsoft’s CEO)

No. It’s no evolution at all. It’s no advance at all. [The users are still] stuck in this morass of overlapping windows.Mac OS
(Jef Raskin on Mac OS X)

Steve [Jobs] had an incredible ability to rally people towards some common cause by painting an incredibly glorious cosmic objective. One of his favorite statements about the Lisa was, “Let’s make a dent in the universe. We’ll make it so important that it will make a dent in the universe.”Lisa Office System
(Trip Hawkins, manager of marketing planning for Lisa)

The Lisa failed because it was very underpowered, and so, while it did beautiful things, it did them very slowly.Lisa Office System
(Alan Kay)

The NeXT interface was beautiful, smooth, and consistent. It had great flexibility, and other features that would not be seen on PCs till later, such as voice e-mail, and a built-in synthesizer. it also had software to create a hypertext program. Its failure to take over the industry, despite all these advantages, became for me a cautionary tale. NeXT required users to accept all these innovations at once – too much.NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP/Rhapsody
(Tim Berners-Lee, “Weaving the web,” p. 28, 1999)

The NeXT machine’s “black hole” icon is an interesting alternative [to Macintosh’s trash can], but as a metaphor it suggests a disturbing irreversibility. One can, after all, take things back out of a trash can – usually.Mac OSNeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP/Rhapsody
(Brenda Laurel, “Computers as theatre,” p. 131, 1993)

The mouse is quite sturdy and can tolerate a lot of rolling and button-pressing. However, a sudden impact could damage the sensors inside. Avoid dropping the mouse or hitting it against hard objects.Lisa Office System
(from Lisa Owner’s Guide)

There is also a little arrow on the screen which points NNE. This is the mouse-pointer.Lisa Office System
(Richard King, Apple’s Lisa)

We are told to believe that this is a “metaphor” for a “desktop.” But I have never personally seen a desktop where pointing at a lower piece of paper makes it jump to the top, or where placing a sheet of paper on top of a file folder caused the folder to gobble it up; I do not believe such desks exist; and I do not think I would want one if it did.
(Theodor H. Nelson, “The right way to think about software design,” 1990)

We want to drive this industry. We could have introduced Lisa a year ago, but we wanted to make it perfect. We’re prepared to live with Lisa for the next ten years.Lisa Office System
(Steve Jobs, Time magazine, January 1983)

Whatever Apple’s plans are, we think it extremely unlikely that it would introduce a similar product that would undercut their Lisa system so soon after its costly development and introduction. Indeed, we cannot see the benefit that would be gained by such action. So, whatever MacIntosh [sic] may turn out to be and whenever it finally appears, we think it is more likely that it will be clearly differentiated from the Lisa offering.Lisa Office SystemMac OS
(Joseph L. Ehardt, The Seybold Report on Professional Computing, January 1983)

When the mouse is moved on the surface of a desk, an arrow moves on Lisa’s TV-like monitor screen. This permits the user to juggle words or statistics around in much the same way that a child uses a joystick to manipulate spaceships in a video game.Lisa Office System
(Peter Nulty, Apple’s bid to stay in the big time)

[Lisa] turns the tedious chore of drafting office reports into something close to playing a video game.Lisa Office System
(Peter Nulty, Apple’s bid to stay in the big time)

See also: Trivia
Page added on 22nd January 2005.

Copyright © 2002-2006 Marcin Wichary, unless stated otherwise.