- Series: MIT Press
- Paperback: 281 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press (August 11, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262692996
- ISBN-13: 978-0262692991
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,500,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies (MIT Press)
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[A] very useful book...(First Monday Reviews)
[I]t's easy...to get caught up in the author's techno-Utopian vision of a world hotwired to serve its populace.(ComputerUser.com)
...Schneiderman is blessed with an engaging writing style and the ability to make this material interesting and lively.(Modbee.com)
This book is an inspiration, a must read.(International Journal of Human Computer Interaction)
This book will change the way you think about web design.(Web Reference)
This is an eloquently written and visionary book.(The Rational Edge)
Who should read Leonardo's Laptop? Everyone who cares about mankind, technology, and the future.(SAP Design Guild)
My favourite sentence in this book is 'easy to say, but tough to do.' Ben Shneiderman addresses many of the key issues in creating powerful tools that empower and liberate users. By comparison with a bygone age, and a true polymath (Leonardo), Ben puts his finger on how specialised and compartmentalised our thinking has become. I can't help feeling that if everyone were to read this book we would have a lot less technology and interface induced grief. Definitely one for the pocket and desk and not the bookshelf.(Peter Cochrane, Co-Founder, ConceptLabs California)
A lot of people talk about a new wave of innovation driven by human need, rather than by technology, but Ben Shneiderman is actually doing the innovating. This timely book is about the new ways technology will help us mobilise human agency, not replace it.(John Thackara, First Perceptron, Doors of Perception)
About the Author
Ben Shneiderman is Professor of Computer Science and Founding Director (1983--2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland, College Park.
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Top customer reviews
There has definitely been growth in user-centric computing and a corresponding growth in interest in user-centric design in computing (which I agree is a good thing), but the trend started in the 80's with introduction of the PC and accelerated with the introduction of the Web in the 90's, so it's not really all that "new". And the "old computing", i.e., the more technical world of hardware-oriented system infrastructure development isn't going away just because user-driven computing is growing in popularity. Quite the contrary. Old computing provides a necessary platform for new computing and the latter makes the former even more important. It takes a lot of software and network engineering to make the "new computing" experience possible.
The author also jumps on the bandwagon of AI-bashing, claiming that the quest for machine intelligence is dead and is being replaced by human intelligence extension. The Turing Test notwithstanding, extending human capability has been the quest of most of AI research all along, and it's been quite successful (neural nets, fuzzy logic, expert systems, natural language understanding, computer games, search techniques, robotics, etc.). A few AI researchers are trying unsuccessfully to create HAL (and learning from the experience), but most are trying to create useful tools to empower humans and they're generally succeeding.
The book contains some interesting reflections on changes taking place in computing, but doesn't provide anything substantially new in terms of perspective.
This book offers a model, the same process of Leonardo's thought - COLLECT, RELATE, CREATE, DONATE. (CRCD) Clearly, this process has unlimited applications and Shneiderman highlights education, commerce, medicine and of course government, itself, sa varied spectrum of political ramifications. Most computer users master the technical side. Shneiderman reminds us that if we just stop for a moment, in the imaginative Renaissance spirit of "virtue" or his modern model CRCD, this technical tool can benefit various aspects of social living. Leonardo did not have this opportunity yet,because he well understood the human condition, we still positively enjoy his legacy. Shneiderman's model serves this same inspiration in today's world. Since the computer is here to stay, let's use it well!
Most recent customer reviews
I really dislike this book. At first, I was looking forward to reading it.Read more