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Anyone try NBOR demo yet?

I make sure to try *everything* that is mentioned on JOS. :-}

I downloaded it and installed NBOR. It's a pig at 15 meg.

I didn't get very far. I *think* the purpose of the download is that it's a sort of Powerpoint style walkthrough of capabilities of the environment. (yeah, I know, my puny linear brain doesn't grasp the innate elegance of it so I use inadequate metaphors like "Powerpoint" like.)

I think I broke the formatting of one of the first presentations. I somehow detached the text from the accompanying graphics so it wouldn't scroll properly. Or something.

It looks intriguing, but don't dilletantes like Jerry Pournelle exist to investigate bleeding edge twilight zone stuff like this and report on what's actually useful? I'll probably deinstall it unless someone I respect posts something more encouraging on it...

Bored Bystander
Friday, January 16, 2004

If you are going to ask for comments, maybe it would help to explain what NBOR is and how to download it.

Harvey Motulsky
Friday, January 16, 2004

NBOR thread (OP was accused of stealth marketing so I'm not going to post the URL to the company):

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=103478&ixReplies=40

Bored Bystander
Friday, January 16, 2004

Your time has just been wasted by the Idiot Clown Geek Police.

Someone expressed interest in the technology and release and a member of the posse started squeaking about "marketing."

The link is www.nbor.com.  The company is attempting to develop fully realized "3D" interface that manipulates objects in pseudo 3D environment.  An interesting technology that will slowly develop over time.

FullNameNotRequired
Friday, January 16, 2004

Reasons why NBOR will never take off in the mainstream:

1.  It is not a platform even though it is advertised as such.  It is more of a 3D word processor/ graphics/ audio/ internet browser combo.  It's eye candy.

2.  It attempts to mimic behavior using non-traditional, unnatural methods that have to be re-learned.  Ex. Draw a stair-case to create an outline.  So now instead of clicking the outline icon or even just starting to type an outline people have to draw a staircase?  No advantage gained but none lost either.

3.  Drawing shapes that embed information on another persons BlackSpace is not as good a communication device as a web page with text.  It is a neat idea in concept and may be fun for a while or for younger children, but in the real working world people don't want to see stars or lines or spheres, they want to see the information needed to get things done.  "Hrm... Tim drew a red sphere on my BlackSpace must be meeting time?"...

4.  It provides no new technological advantage.  It is basically an environment that contains many different programs each of which accomplish a separate task and none of which contain any unique features.  This is how a traditional computer works.

How to make money on NBOR now:

1.  Market it to schools, specifically grades K - 8.  This may or may not work.

2.  Play on the ignorance of executives.  This always works.

How to improve NBOR to create something for the mass market:

1. Focus on one concept, for example, the "Draw on a remote BlackSpace" idea is kind of cool and if improved upon you may come up with a nice collaboration tool.

2. Restate NBOR's objective.  NBOR is a "collaboration tool" or NBOR is "An Advance Graphical and Typesetting System".

Soft Spoken with a Broken Jaw
Friday, January 16, 2004

Yeah, I think the same things too. The principles of use are absolutely opaque to me.  Grasping what's going on is like trying to smell a color or see an odor. And *Gawd* is it ugly.

Nbor's marketing "inner warrior" needs to go back to basic training. The demo-ware they include with the download is apparently intended to get the user to interact with the live system; however, it is so easy to go off in a blind tangent and get stuck that I don't see that the demo will even be viewed properly by very many people.

More useful:

**Welcome** ... to Zombo-Com....

This is... Zombo-Com... Welcome.

You can do anything at Zombo-Com.

(www.zombo.com. Simple and hilarious. And relevant.)

Bored Bystander
Friday, January 16, 2004

Bored Bystander said "... trying to see an odor ..." and reminded me of something my father used to say.  His favourite bad habit was, after passing wind in a most foul manner, to say "Catch that and whack a coat of paint on it to warn any innocent bystanders".

We should do something similar with this noxious piece of flat(ulence)ware. I've never seen so much nonsense written about so much garbage in my life.

HeWhoMustBeConfused
Friday, January 16, 2004

The original NBOR idea was probably good but its author missed one crucial point:

For every "correct" interpretation of a gesture, there are a hundred "wrong" ones.

Alex.ro
Friday, January 16, 2004

NBOR unfortunately haven't got their mac version out yet.  <g> if I was a little more motivated Id download it to one of the windows test machines but I must admit their marketing has rather put me off.
Coincidentally enough a few days back I was having trouble getting any actual work done, so I decided to have a play with a quickie 3d project.  (joys of being the boss :)

Im in the process of developing a standardish database application for a client with all the usual requirements...clients, orders etc etc.
Ive wanted to try something with a 3d interface for interaction for ages, just cause the basic idea is pretty funky.
So I used the 3d space thingie in REALbasic (hey, some more stealth marketing...) and whipped up a wee demo to display search results from the database in a 3d display.
I created a basic card 3dmf shape in meshworks and set it up so that some basic data from the search could be written onto that shape on one side (drawing text directly is a little rough, so to get a professional interface I suspect youd have to create proper 3d letters, but the direct drawing of text was sufficient for the demo).
Then I played with different ways of displaying those cards, stacked in a pile with the ability to scan the camera up and down them, arranged in a kind of ferris wheel circle with easy ability to spin to see the hidden results etc etc.

all in all it took about 4-5 or so hours to do learn enough to setup and create a basic demo of the ideas with actual data etc.

Once it was done I played around with using it a bit and a couple of things became clear.
The main one is that for a 3d interface to be an improvement over the standard 2d display I need some more clever ideas about displaying and interacting with the info.
The main issue is that you cant really do anything in 3d with a standard mouse interface that you cannot do more easily and effectively with 2d...selecting of data, moving through the results etc is all pretty much exactly the same process., requiring much the same number of clicks etc.

I believe that 3d interfaces _are_ the eventual way to go, but I dont think it will really happen until we have better ways of interacting and a much bigger display area...Im picturing the standard virtual reality type interfaces where you can push things aside with your hands, zoom into distant corners with a glance etc etc.

Something like NOBR is prolly the early stages of that, but in and of itself I dont believe its a real step forward yet, a good 3d interface will really need more hardware tech than we have at the moment.

<g> still think that 3d interfaces are a funky idea though so Ill keep thinking.

FullNameRequired
Friday, January 16, 2004

member of the posse started squeaking...

I'm a member of no posse and if people can't see the difference between a joke and paranoia I can't be bothered to explain it.

Oh and my voice is  far too well modulated to ever squeak.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, January 17, 2004

<g> hes still a little upset at everyones reaction to his marketing

FullNameRequired
Saturday, January 17, 2004

A legitimate review is at:

http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=5687

Bored Bystander
Saturday, January 17, 2004

I tried the demo, you have to read exactly what it is, and what it does, but once I did that I found that the possiblitites were endless. I think that a few people just dont get it yet, I did.

I think the point that most people are missing, is that you don't have to draw shapes, its just one of many ways to do it. As to the palette, you can use millions of colours to draw with. If you click on the 'G' button on the small palette window, you will find a new millions of colours palette is shown.

Simon Brown
Sunday, January 18, 2004

"If you click on the 'G' button on the small palette window, you will find a new millions of colours palette is shown. "

thats pretty intuitive :)

FullNameRequired
Sunday, January 18, 2004

It actually originated as a powerful multi track music mixing app. From my understanding they figured the education market would be a great application for this environment. Good idea while they perfect a specialized product for a small market.

bosco jones
Thursday, January 22, 2004

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