It’s quite funny how we don’t reflect on the interface pretty much all of us are using on today’s computers anymore. We’re more focused on what has to be done during the day rather than marveling over the fact that we can actually do all that by multitasking. User interface and multitasking are words that haven’t always been available or understood by the masses.
Before 1982, it seems we could only do one thing at a time on any computer, whether it was a simple calculation or just typing text. However, thanks to some genius computer geeks, the first prototype was born. For the first time we could venture into the birth of what has now become our daily standard. How we managed to get anything done before I have no idea, but we did, and I don’t think we would be where we are today if it hadn’t been for its infancy geekiness.
In 1982, Rob Pike and Bart Locanthi invented and developed the Blit Terminal. It was a first generation Windows environment where users could take advantage of the multitasking feature for the very first time. Back then “terminal” or “layers” were the common words for a Windows environment. You have to agree that the geekiness back then was way more sophisticated than it is today.
Today we are trying to put simple words on uber technological stuff to make the ordinary citizen think it’s the easiest gadget to use in the world. It’s genius marketing, but ultimately boring in my own opinion. This video from back in 1982 explains the whole Blit Terminal multitasking and user interface approach. Pay attention to the super awesome background music (if you could call it that being in your face all the time). This is for sure some brilliant retro geek stuff!