Interactivity Research

Open activities :

  • Minimum set of data entered for them:  specifically, activity name, activity type, activity date, and, if applicable, location.
  • Once these data about an activity are entered, the activity is “open”, and is saved to the database.
  • They are generated when you check out an object stored in the DTR, a version-controlled resource. They contain the new versions of an object. You can undo any changes you made here.

Closed activities:

  • Activities for which all required information has been entered.
  • For example, in order for an activity to be considered “closed”, a provider must enter data about the hours of instruction, physician and non-physician participants, sponsorship, whether  commercial support was received, and if it was, how much was received and from how many supporters.
  • Once all required fields for an activity contain data, PARS considers the activity “closed”.
  • These are the activities after you checked them in. You can no longer change these activities. They contain the new versions of an object. They are used, for example, to integrate the object contents into other workspaces.

Physical interaction

  • The quality, state, or process of  two or more things acting on each other.
Internal interaction
  • A description of the methodology used for analyzing problems relating to the internal interaction of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) energy is presented.

The history of human and computer interactivity

The history of the computer explains how the computer was and how it is today. The need to perform large amounts of mathematical calculations and process large data has led to the evolution of the computer from one historical period to the other: prehistorical period, period of electronics, period of mini and micro, and period of network. With one period in possession of a more advanced machine, with improved technics   than the preceding one.

Input and output devices –


1. Keyboard

The invention of the modern computer keyboard began with the invention of the typewriter. Christopher Latham Sholes patented the typewriter that we commonly use today in 1868. The Remington Company mass marketed the first typewriters starting in 1877.
A few key technological developments created the transition of the typewriter into the computer keyboard. The teletype machine, introduced in the 1930s, combined the technology of the typewriter with the telegraph.

Elsewhere, punched card systems were combined with typewriters to create what was called keypunches. Keypunches were the basis of early adding machines and IBM was selling over one million dollars worth of adding machines in 1931.

Early computer keyboards were first adapted from the punch card and teletype technologies. In 1946, the Eniac computer used a punched card reader as its input and output device. In 1948, the Binac computer used an electro-mechanically controlled typewriter to both input data directly onto magnetic tape (for feeding the computer data) and to print results. The emerging electric typewriter further improved the technological marriage between the typewriter and the computer.

By 1964, MIT, Bell Laboratories and General Electric had collaborated to create a computer system called Multics; a time sharing, multi-user system. Multics encouraged the development of a new user interface, the video display terminal. The video display terminals (VDT) combined the technology of the cathode ray tube used in televisions and electric typewriters. Computer users could now see what text they were typing on their display screens making text easier to create, edit and delete, and computers easier to program and use.
Earlier computer keyboards had been based either on teletype machines or keypunches. There were many electromechanical steps in transmitting data between the keyboard and the computer that slowed things down. With VDT technology and electric keyboards, the keyboard’s keys could now send electronic impulses directly to the computer and save time. By the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, all computers used electronic keyboards and VDTs. Nevertheless, the layout of the computer keyboard still owes its origin to the inventor of the first typewriter, Christopher Latham Sholes.
  • The Keyboard is considered as the principal input device and permits to enter text information in the form of the figures or symbols.
  • It can also be used to type the commands directing the computer to perform certain actions.
  • There are three types of the keyboard, the German, the English and the French that is Qwertzy, Qwerty, Azerty respectively.
  • It contains 120 buttons and it is divided into five parts: numeral part, alphabetic, functional, key control and displacement keys.

2. Mouse

The first known publication of the term mouse as a pointing device is in Bill English’s 1965 publication “Computer-Aided Display Control”.

Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute invented the first mouse prototype in 1963, with the assistance of his colleague Bill English. They christened the device the mouse as early models had a cord attached to the rear part of the device looking like a tail and generally resembling the common mouse. Engelbart never received any royalties for it, as his patent ran out before it became widely used in personal computers. The invention of the mouse was just a small part of Engelbart’s much larger project, aimed at augmenting human intellect.

Several other experimental pointing-devices developed for Engelbart’s oN-Line System (NLS) exploited different body movements – for example, head-mounted devices attached to the chin or nose – but ultimately the mouse won out because of its simplicity and convenience.

The first mouse, a bulky device (pictured) used two wheels perpendicular to each other: the rotation of each wheel translated into motion along one axis.

Just a few weeks before Engelbart released his demo in 1968, a mouse had already been developed and published by the German company Telefunken. Unlike Engelbart’s mouse, the Telefunken model had a ball, as it can be seen in most later models until today. The second marketed integrated mouse shipped as a part of a computer and intended for personal computer navigation came with the Xerox 8010 Star Information System in 1981. However, the mouse remained relatively obscure until the 1984 appearance of the Apple Macintosh, which included an updated version of the original Lisa Mouse. In 1984 PC columnist John C. Dvorakdismissively commented on the newly-released computer with a mouse: “There is no evidence that people want to use these things”.

Telefunken’s mouse was then sold commercially as optional equipment for their TR-440 computer, which was first marketed in 1968. Telefunken did not apply for a patent on their device.

Bill English, builder of Engelbart’s original mouse,[14] created a ball mouse in 1972 while working for Xerox PARC.[15]

  • The ball mouse replaced the external wheels with a single ball that could rotate in any direction. It came as part of the hardware package of the Xerox Alto computer.
  • Perpendicular chopper wheels housed inside the mouse’s body chopped beams of light on the way to light sensors, thus detecting in their turn the motion of the ball.
  • This variant of the mouse resembled an inverted trackball and became the predominant form used with personal computers throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
  • The Xerox PARC group also settled on the modern technique of using both hands to type on a full-size keyboard and grabbing the mouse when required.
  • Engelbart’s original mouse did not require a mousepad; the mouse had two large wheels which could roll on virtually any surface. However, most subsequent mechanical mice starting with the steel roller ball mouse have required a mousepad for optimal performance.
  • The mousepad, the most common mouse accessory, appears most commonly in conjunction with mechanical mice, because to roll smoothly the ball requires more friction than common desk surfaces usually provide.

3. Scanner

Even though they don’t have that long a history compared to other gadgets available on the market, image scanners have evolved a lot since their beginnings, now being available as flatbed scanners, planetary scanners or digital camera scanners, with a wide variation of designs and functions.

  • Scanners are considered to have evolved from the early telephotography input devices, which consisted of a rotating drum with a single photo detector at a standard speed of 60 or 120 rpm. They sent a linear analog AM signal through standard telephone voice lines to receptors, which synchronously printed the proportional intensity on special paper.
  • The first image scanner ever developed was built in 1957, at the US National Bureau of Standards, by a team led by Russel Kirsch, and it was a drum scanner.
  • The first image ever scanned on this machine was a 5 cm square photograph of Kirsch’s then-three-month-old son, Walden. The black and white image had a resolution of 176 pixels.

From then on, scanners have slowly developed into the modern devices that we use today, going through a variety of models and several scanning technologies that have resulted into multiple types of image scanners.


1. Monitor 

A monitor or display (also called screen or visual display unit) were originally used for data processing while television receiverswere used for entertainment. From the 1980s onwards, computers (and their monitors) have been used for both data processing and entertainment, while televisions have implemented some computer functionality. The common aspect ratio of televisions, and then computer monitors, has also changed from 4:3 to 16:9.
  • The first computer monitors used cathode ray tubes(CRT).
  • Until the early 1980s, they were known as video display terminals and were physically attached to the computer and keyboard.
  • The monitors were monochrome, flickered and the image quality was poor.
  • In 1981, IBM introduced the Color Graphics Adapter, which could display four colors with a resolution of 320 by 200 pixels.
  • In 1984 IBM introduced the Enhanced Graphics Adapter which was capable of producing 16 colors and had a resolution of 640 by 350.
  • There are multiple technologies that have been used to implement Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs). Throughout the 1990s the primary use of LCD technology as computer monitors was in laptops where the lower power consumption, lighter weight, and smaller physical size of LCDs justified the higher price versus a CRT.
  • TFT is a variant of liquid crystal display (LCD) which is now the dominant technology used for computer monitors.
  • The first standalone LCD displays appeared in the mid 1990s selling for high prices. As prices declined over a period of years they became more popular. During the 2000s TFT LCDs gradually displaced CRTs, eventually becoming the primary technology used for computer monitors.
  • The main advantages of LCDs over CRT displays are that LCDs consume less power, take up much less space, and are considerably lighter. The now common active matrix TFT-LCD technology also has less flickering than CRTs, which reduces eye strain.

2. Printers

  • In 1953, the first high-speed printer was developed by Remington-Rand for use on the Univac computer.
  • In 1938, Chester Carlson invented a dry printing process called electrophotography commonly called a Xerox, the foundation technology for laser printers to come.

The original laser printer called EARS was developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center beginning in 1969 and completed in November, 1971. 

Starkweather adapted Xerox copier technology adding a laser beam to it to come up with the laser printer. According to Xerox, “The Xerox 9700 Electronic Printing System, the first xerographic laser printer product, was released in 1977. The 9700, a direct descendent from the original PARC “EARS” printer which pioneered in laser scanning optics, character generation electronics, and page-formatting software, was the first product on the market to be enabled by PARC research.”

A laser printer that operated at speeds of more than 100 impressions-per-minute. It was the first printer to combine laser technology and electrophotography according to IBM.

In 1992, Hewlett-Packard released the popular LaserJet 4, the first 600 by 600 dots per inch resolution laser printer. 

In 1976, the inkjet printer was invented, but it took until 1988 for the inkjet to become a home consumer item with Hewlett-Parkard’s release of the DeskJet inkjet printer, priced at a whopping $1000. 
To be Continued:


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