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This title in other editions

Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies


Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

2003 IEEE-USAB Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Public Understanding of the Profession. and Selected as a Finalist in the category of Computer/Internet in the 2002 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs) presented by Independent Publisher Magazine

Ben Shneiderman's book dramatically raises computer users' expectations of what they should get from technology. He opens their eyes to new possibilities and invites them to think freshly about future technology. He challenges developers to build products that better support human needs and that are usable at any bandwidth. Shneiderman proposes Leonardo da Vinci as an inspirational muse for the "new computing." He wonders how Leonardo would use a laptop and what applications he would create.

Shneiderman shifts the focus from what computers can do to what users can do. A key transformation is to what he calls "universal usability," enabling participation by young and old, novice and expert, able and disabled. This transformation would empower those yearning for literacy or coping with their limitations. Shneiderman proposes new computing applications in education, medicine, business, and government. He envisions a World Wide Med that delivers secure patient histories in local languages at any emergency room and thriving million-person communities for e-commerce and e-government. Raising larger questions about human relationships and society, he explores the computer's potential to support creativity, consensus-seeking, and conflict resolution. Each chapter ends with a Skeptic's Corner that challenges assumptions about trust, privacy, and digital divides.


Using the inspiration of Leonardo da Vinci to build a new, humanistic computing that focuses on users' needs and goals.


Includes bibliographical references (p. [251]-257) and index.

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.

Product Details

Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies
Shneiderman, Ben
The MIT Press
Cambridge, Mass.
Internet - General
Computer Science
Electronic data processing
Technological forecasting
Human-computer interaction
Social Aspects - Human-Computer Interaction
Series Volume:
no. 98-31
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » Sociology of Science

Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies Used Hardcover
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Product details 281 pages MIT Press - English 9780262194761 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Using the inspiration of Leonardo da Vinci to build a new, humanistic computing that focuses on users' needs and goals.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. [251]-257) and index.
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