Chapter 1

Historical Context

Human-computer interaction. In the beginning, there were humans. In the 1940s came computers. Then in the 1980s came interaction. Wait! What happened between 1940 and 1980? Were humans not interacting with computers then? Well, yes, but not just any human. Computers in those days were too precious, too complicated, to allow the average human to mess with them. Computers were carefully guarded. They lived a secluded life in large air-conditioned rooms with raised floors and locked doors in corporate or university research labs or government facilities. The rooms often had glass walls to show off the unique status of the behemoths within.

If you were of that breed of human who was permitted access, you were probably ...

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