Browse Prior Art Database

IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 3 -- The Open Channel Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131482D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 4 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Charles McCabe: AUTHOR [+2]


The Open Channel * Gibberish ** A design proposal to enhance execution speed * Examples in IBM assembler language ** Decimal instructions ** Nondecimal instructions

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 36% of the total text.

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This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1982 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

The Open Channel

Charles McCabe.

San Francisco Chronicle

"Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art."

The Open Channel is exactly what the name implies: a forum for the free exchange of technical ideas. Try to hold your contributions to one page maximum in the final magazine format (about 1000 words).

We'll accept anything (short of libel or obscenity) so long as it's submitted by a member of the Computer Society. If it's really bizarre we may require you to get another member to cosponsor your item.

Send everything to Jim Haynes, Applied Sciences, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064.


The computer industry is increasingly confronting the general public with intimidating machines, arrogance, and annoyances. A frustrated populace will not be receptive to computers. It is clear that public interfaces should be taken out of the hands of systems analysts, computer engineers, and others of their ilk. This sect has grown too aloof from the common citizens to handle the job. The machine needs humanity for its human interfaces, but how do we bring this about?

I am the curious owner of a still- shiny "Virtualteller" card. Heading toward the bank I discover a long line inside, but the area around the shiny new Virtualteller machine is deserted. An omen perhaps? I am armed with card and "access code" (secretly written on the back of my driver's license).

I insert card into slot just as the picture shows (machine accepts card in only one orientation). Machine instantly rejects card, flashing blatant message:


Would I feed the thing my gas credit card? My perforated badge? Try again . . . again . . . success! Enter secret code.


Now my brow dampens. With only a four-digit code, how many guesses will I be allowed? Shall I divulge my secret inscription by pulling out my wallet? Why the multisyllabic "code incorrect" when "wrong code" would do? Why XXXX

IEEE Computer Society, Mar 01, 1982 Page 1 IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 3, Pages 80-82

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IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 3 -- The Open Channel

on screen? I didn't enter that (this guy must have been weaned on KSRs). "Try again": a clear gesture of friendliness, but with an arrogant suggestion of another failure. Hesitantly and carefully. I try again, transposing the first two digits of the failure.



Well, I certainly hope so. although I would hardly claim that what I have done fits this fanciful description. If it was busy, why didn't it say please wait...