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Communications of the ACM

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Personal computing

HDTV and the computer industry

In the 1940s, television and radio combinations like the one on the left were the precursors of today's "entertainment centers ." About 25 years later, black and white television gave way to color. The next leap, high resolution …

User cube: a taxonomy of end users

The user cube, a precise and comprehensive graphical taxonomy designed to provide a common base for understanding and classifying end users in organizations, can be used to assess the risks associated with end-user computing. …

What best predicts computer proficiency?

Identifying variables that predict computer aptitude can help educators and employers target potential students and employees. The authors examine a number of possible explanatory variables including demographic profiles, high …

Information technologies for the 1990s: an organizational impact perspective

When a thing is new, people say: "It is not true." Later, when its truth becomes obvious, they say: "It is not important." Finally, when its importance cannot be denied, they say: "Anyway, it is not new." Adapted from William …

An experimental analysis of the performance of fourth generation tools on PCs

The performance of several Fourth Generation Language (4GL) tools is analyzed empirically and compared with equivalent programs written in the third generation COBOL programming language. A set of performance benchmarks consisting …

The adaptable user interface

A single adaptable user interface (AUI) which allows the user to switch between any number of different dialogue modes at any time—even in the middle of a command—can be useful to a variety of users who are neither beginners  …