Congratulations, Humanized!

At this time last year, I was hard at work with a team of extremely talented developers, designing and building the humane computing environment that Jef Raskin described in his book, The Humane Interface.

That project basically fell apart after Jef passed away (for a number of reasons), but some of the developers went on to start a company founded on the principles of humane computing. That company is Humanized.

Today, Humanized released their first product, Enso, which comes in two flavors, Launcher and Words.

Launcher gives you lightening fast, mouse-free access to launching your programs by making use of a quasi-mode that you invoke by pressing the caps lock key. Finally, caps lock does something useful!

Words is invoked in the same way, but is adds a spellcheck that works exactly the same in every program – even programs that don’t have spellcheck built in. Brilliant!

Both of the products do other things as well. I recommend checking out the demos on the Humanized site. You can also download trial versions of both products. You might also want to check out Walt Mossberg’s review of the products.

I’m very proud of what the guys at Humanized have accomplished in less than a year. They’ve carried on Jef Raskin’s work in a practical, accessible way that I’m sure will lead to some exciting innovations in both user interfaces and ways of interacting with your computer.

Side note: Some of the work we did is still available at the Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces website.

Piccolo, a lightweight library for building ZUIs, announced

Ben Bederson sent a message to the jazz-announce list today announcing Piccolo, a lightweight library for building interactive 2D graphical applications (with or without zooming). It’s based on Jazz and was written by Jesse Grosjean, with support from Ben.

Lately, I’ve been looking for a way to endulge the programming geek in me. I’ve done a pretty good job of hiding it these last few years (most of the people I work with at Stanford don’t even know I used to be a programmer). This toolkit looks like it might be a nice, digestable, way to start playing around in the oh-so-interesting world of ZUI’s.

AmigaOS 4

The Amiga lives!

That’s right, coolest OS from “back in the day” is still alive and still being developed.

Amiga recently published a preview of AmigaOS 4 containing screenshots of the upcomming OS.

At this point it looks largely like most Linuxes, save Intuition’s snazzy menus. Also, there are no descriptions of how a user will interact with the system, but that’s (unfortunately) to be expected from an OS company at this stage of the game.

If you poke around the Amiga website a bit, you’ll find some of the principles guiding the development of the new OS. Quite interesting…

Handspring’s Treo 270 & 90

Truly wireless ‘blogging is now closer than ever with Handspring’s announcement of the Treo 270.

I’ve always wondered what it’s like to thumb one of those tiny keyboards. When I worked for Intel, everyone I knew had a Crackberry. The Treo keyboards look about the same size as the Crackberry’s, but it’s hard to tell from the pictures. I can’t wait to play with one.

I wonder if our friends at IDEO had anything to do with this little gem? I know they worked on the original Treo.