October 26, 2009

Interesting Articles

  • Here’s a review of the original Macintosh, done in 1984. It’s amazing to read this now with 25 years of perspective and realize both how different it was and how similarly things still work today. But even back then some people seemed to “get it”.

    When LabVIEW was first released in 1986, it was for the Mac, because that was the dominant graphical platform of the day, and LabVIEW is and has always been a graphical language. Makes sense to me. (We actually have a couple LabVIEW R&D members who’ve been around since version 1.0 – if you came to NIWeek in 2006, you saw them present onstage.) It wasn’t until 1992 that the first Windows version appeared.
  • Learn information better by getting it wrong first. This is an interesting idea, and it makes sense to me. Answers are always better when they come from within. Here in LV R&D we encourage tech writers to find answers to their problems (given the proper resources) before asking others for help. This often involves getting it wrong. But even outwardly, I employed this concept when I designed the Statechart Module Getting Started tutorial. How? I instructed users to build a broken statechart – and then try and run it. The idea is that the resulting error would serve as a sort of opposite-approach to good statechart design – e.g., here’s what not to do. It also gets users familiar with the error-reporting mechanism in the software and one of the key rules of statechart development.

    I guess the challenge is that if you fail too much it becomes frustrating and demotivating, so there’s a fine line to walk. We certainly don’t make a habit of publishing documentation that leads to failure :-)


  1. You might find this 1986 review of some obscure product to be interesting. ;)

  2. Wow, that's awesome. Thanks for sharing, Yair! I'm going to forward this on to the dev team :-)