A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Operating Systems

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1.
#21604

Aero, El Escritorio Que Viene

El futuro de Windows pasa por Longhorn, el nuevo sistema operativo que Microsoft prepara para 2005 y que supondrá, según ellos, la 'inmersión vital' de los usuarios en la nueva tecnología. Revisamos lo que se sabe de ello hasta el momento.

Dursteler, Juan Carlos. InfoVis (2003). (Spanish) Articles>User Interface>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows

2.
#21743

Apple Human Interface Guidelines   (PDF)

These guidelines are designed to assist you in developing products that provide Mac OS X users with a consistent visual and behavioral experience across applications and the operating system.

Apple Inc. (2003). Design>User Interface>Operating Systems

3.
#21808

Cleaning Your Windows

If you're stuck in the rut of the default settings that Microsoft applies to its software, you're missing out: Here's a guide to customizing Windows systems to strip away annoying 'features' and enhance usability.

Garfinkel, Simson L. Technology Review (2004). Articles>Software>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows

4.
#20949

Deeper into the Paradigm   (PDF)

The screen may be flat, but the illusion of depth grows stronger. With Apple’s new operating system, OS X, the evolutionary trend of the user interface becomes clear. Starting as flat, monochromatic symbols, the Mac’s icons have become progressively more naturalistic, and the suggestion of depth created by layers of overlapping windows has been enhanced, first by the Classic bas-relief shading on the window frames, and now, with Aqua, the OS X interface, by the addition of feathered drop shadows cast by the windows.

Shinn, Nick. ShinnType (2002). Design>User Interface>Operating Systems>Macintosh

5.
#22753

Difficulties in Modeling GNU/Linux User Behaviors

Creating models of user behavior has been helpful in predicting basic outcomes of computer usability testing involving human subjects. However, models and methods have been based on a narrow view of computer use; namely, they are not compatible with behaviors resulting from using the Linux operating system. How different could Linux be from other operating systems?! This article provides a few points of comparison.

Queen, Matt. Usability Professionals Association (2004). Articles>Usability>Operating Systems>Linux

6.
#31006

Documentation: Give It Up; It Won't Happen

Is providing Linux documentation an insurmountable task? I'm starting to think so. The major technical book publishers have dropped their efforts to recruit authors and publish sysadmin books. Instead, they have started focusing most of their attention on programming. Who can blame them.

Adelstein, Tom. Linux Journal (2007). Articles>Documentation>Operating Systems>Linux

7.
#35295

Learn Linux, 101: File and Directory Management

You've probably heard that everything in Linux is a file, so start on the right path with a solid grounding in file and directory management -- finding, listing, moving, copying, and archiving. You can use this material in this article to study for the LPI® 101 exam for Linux system administrator certification, or just to learn for fun.

Shields, Ian. IBM (2009). Articles>Software>Operating Systems>Linux

8.
#19615

Linux Documentation

A website with resources for Linux documentation writers (and readers).

Linux.com. Resources>Documentation>Operating Systems>Linux

9.
#34050

Living Free With Linux: 2 Weeks without Windows

Ubuntu's biggest Achilles heel is software installation and updating. Installing some software was simple, but installing others was so baffling as to be nearly incomprehensible. The same holds true for updates; I ultimately gave up on even trying to update OpenOffice.org.

Gralla, Preston. Computerworld (2009). Articles>Usability>Operating Systems>Linux

10.
#22405

Mac OS X For Web Development

Macintosh has long been passed over by the typical Web developer, as it's considered a niche operating system and platform for development. Until OS X, Macintosh was almost solely the domain of designers and artists, and just another piece of the Web development puzzle. This is no longer the case.

Warrene, Blane. SitePoint (2004). Design>Web Design>Operating Systems>Macintosh

11.
#21040

Microsoft "Longhorn" Help Highlights

Microsoft’s specification for 'Longhorn' Help represents a major revolution in user assistance development for the Windows platform. Instead of simply refining the technical infrastructure of Help (windowing, links, search, etc.), Microsoft has given a good deal of thought to the needs of both Help authors and end-users.

Ellison, Matthew. WritersUA (2003). Articles>Documentation>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows

12.
#34320

Operating System Interface Design Between 1981-2009

Over the years a range of GUI’s have been developed for different operating systems such as OS/2, Macintosh, Windowsamiga, Linux, Symbian OS, and more. We’ll be taking a look at the evolution of the interface designs of the major operating systems since the 80’s.

Webdesigner Depot (2009). Articles>User Interface>Operating Systems>History

13.
#14808

Painless Linux (Part Two)  (link broken)

If you're expecting to be lost in the interstellar darkness of the command line, you're in for a surprise. Although Linux includes some handy command line tools, today most of Linux's install programs, desktops, and programs now boast graphical windows. The desktops and the windows look a little different from the ones you see in other operating systems, but they're recognizable for what they are. As you'll see in this article, you have to look deeper to see the differences: They lie not only in the performance, but also in a design philosophy that favors small tools over monolithic ones, customization over standardization, and a hands-on approach over hidden complexity. Once you adjust to the novelties, even the command line is not the empty vacuum you expected, but a teeming ecology that in many ways is more powerful--and empowering--than the GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces). If Linux is somewhat rougher in patches than Windows, many people feel that this design philosophy more than compensates. After all, one day in the next few years, Linux is going to have the GUI sophistication, too.

Byfield, Bruce. TECHWR-L (2002). Articles>Software>Operating Systems>Linux

14.
#21419

Panther: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

For a long time, people have been writing me, asking that I do an in depth review of OS X. I held off because I really didn't think OS X was ready for prime time. That's all changed. OS X, in the form of the Panther release, is more than ready.

Tognazzini, Bruce. Nielsen Norman Group (2004). Articles>User Interface>Operating Systems>Macintosh

15.
#34075

Put Yourself In Command  (link broken)

Commands enable you to do all sorts of powerful things on your computer. Let's look at a task that might be familiar to you. If you use a digital camera, you probably have a folder full of images on your computer. Imagine you wish to resize the image profile.jpg so it is 300 pixels wide and save it as a new image called profile_small.jpg.

FLOSS Manuals (2009). Articles>Documentation>Operating Systems>Linux

16.
#13958

Some Effects of the Macintosh on Technical Writing Assignments   (peer-reviewed)

This paper reports on a study examining writing on the Apple Macintosh and on paper by upper-level students who are novice writers but computer-literate. To gain a better understanding of writing behaviors using the Macintosh versus using pen and paper, we sought to answer two questions: 1) Do these writers revise differently, in terms of the number and types of revisions, when using the Macintosh? 2) Do they produce higher-quality texts on the Macintosh? In addition, we sought to determine whether this population would produce longer texts on the computer than they did with paper and pencil techniques, as previous studies showed with other populations.

Friedlander, Alexander and Mike Markel. Computers and Composition (1990). Articles>Software>Operating Systems>Macintosh

17.
#34213

Speaking UNIX, Part 1: Command the Power of the Command Line

Learn the basics of the UNIX shell and discover how you can use the command line to combine the finite set of UNIX utilities into innumerable data transforms.

Streicher, Martin. IBM (2006). Articles>Software>Operating Systems>UNIX

18.
#20786

Technical Communicators, Windows NT and Unix/Linux

An overview of the importance of computer operating systems to technical communicators.

Albert, Thomas and Becky Phung. WordDesign (1999). Articles>TC>Operating Systems>Linux

19.
#23669

A Tip on Record-Keeping in Windows

Microsoft Windows keeps all your files in folders (within directories and subdirectories), and allows you to have as many folders as you want. You can also name them in almost any way you want, but that sometimes leads to confusion, because Windows needs to be told how you want these folders ordered.

Pinkham, Gordon. MetroVoice (2004). Articles>Software>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows

20.
#21418

Top Ten Nine Reasons the Apple Dock Still Sucks

Apple Sales is apparently in love with the Dock. You can't go into an Apple store without seeing it splayed across the bottom of the screen, in the very configuration least conducive to computing on a Macintosh. Why? Because it's sexy and it sells. Unfortunately, as a productivity device, it just doesn't work.

Tognazzini, Bruce. Nielsen Norman Group (2004). Design>User Interface>Operating Systems>Macintosh

21.
#23463

Transferability of Long File Names

If you use Win95, NT, Mac, or any other operating system that allows long file names, are you aware of the problems that can arise when files are transferred to Win 3.11 or DOS? The problems particularly affect files that have long file names in which the first eight characters are the same, e.g. 'minutes of 20 Sept meeting' and 'minutes of 14 Nov meeting'. The problem arises as soon as a file is opened in an operating system that allows only eight characters in the file name, suffix excluded.

Gärdegard, Karin. TC-FORUM (1998). Articles>Collaboration>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows

22.
#23273

The UNIX GUI Manifesto

GUI fragmentation is the greatest competitive weakness of UNIX. There is no standard Unix File Manager or Text Editor or Help -- that's shocking, in this age! Every Windows or Mac machine has a standard file manager and text editor and help system. The casual end user can accomplish elementary end-user tasks without encountering anything different from machine to machine.

Hoffman, Michael. Hypertext Navigation. Design>User Interface>Operating Systems>UNIX

23.
#21605

Visualización Espacialmente Consciente

Las pantallas de los ordenadores son como una ventana al ciberespacio, a menudo demasiado pequeñas y limitadas. Los dispositivos capaces de localizarse en el espacio personal del usuario ofrecen una ventana a espacios virtuales 3D en el que la combinación de movimiento e interacción abre nuevas posibilidades de visualización.

Dursteler, Juan Carlos. InfoVis (2003). (Spanish) Design>User Interface>Operating Systems>PDA

24.
#38643

Windows 8: Disappointing Usability for Both Novice and Power Users

Hidden features, reduced discoverability, cognitive overhead from dual environments, and reduced power from a single-window UI and low information density. Too bad.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2012). Articles>Usability>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows

25.
#21879

The Windows 95 User Interface: A Case Study in Usability Engineering

The development of the user interface for a large commercial software product like Microsoft Windows 95 involves many people, broad design goals, and an aggressive work schedule. This design briefing describes how the usability engineering principles of iterative design and problem tracking were successfully applied to make the development of the UI more manageable. Specific design problems and their solutions are also discussed.

Sullivan, Kent. Microsoft (1995). Articles>Usability>Operating Systems>Microsoft Windows

 
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