[LINK] Context aware computers

Frank O'Connor foconnor at ozemail.com.au
Fri Sep 17 04:24:00 EST 2010

I had a little package about 15 to 20 years ago 
whose whole raison d'etre was to watch what I did 
on the Mac. Can't remember the name of it at the 
moment, but it worked by pattern matching and 
relatively primitive heuristics, which I suppose 
is relatively easy to do when the only user input 
to be monitored is by keyboard and interrupt 
driven mouse.

The bottom line is that the pattern matching 
engine sought multiple instances of the same 
pattern, and if it popped up three or more times 
and certain heuristic criteria were met, a 
dialogue box would appear making the observation 
that I seemed to perform this task regularly, and 
would it like me to generate a script to automate 
it. Whether or not the dialogue box would appear 
after the pattern was observed was a function of 
the heuristic engine in the puppy ... which would 
come to its conclusions based on what application 
or series of applications was being used, 
commonalities in the time of day (there was an 
assumption that we are habit driven), the day of 
the week or the like.

Over time this puppy built up a huge database of 
my behaviour with the mouse and keyboard, which 
it correlated against those other factors that 
were the responsibility of the heuristic engine 
and it got quite accurate in its predictions. 
Unfortunately, I found that keeping track of all 
the scripts it produced was more aggravating than 
doing whatever the scripts did manually. (FORTH 
was also a bit like that - worked fine with just 
the primitives, but was a real hassle after the 
user developed huge libraries of complex 
functions that they had to keep track of.)

That said, it did point to what would be possible 
in the future. I'm a bit surprised that its taken 
the idea to take off and reach fruition. I mean, 
if that package had been less intrusive and eager 
to generate scripts, I might still be using it 

A predictive package that 'just did it' in the background would be my ideal.

On the iOS front ... after a few glitches with 
early version 4 implementations, I'm really 
getting to like iOS 4.1. Hopefully 4.2 won't be a 
step backward.

At 3:50 PM +0000 on 16/9/10 you wrote:
>Apple on Wednesday released the first external betas of iOS 4.2 which
>will debut AirPrint wireless printing via a shared printer for iOS
>devices, (eg iPhone, iPod & iPad)  while also delivering long-awaited
>features for the iPad, including multi-tasking, folders & threaded mail.
>How Context-Aware Computing Will Make Gadgets Smarter
>By Priya Ganapati at Wired.com  Wed Sep 15, 2010
>Small always-on handheld devices equipped with low-power sensors could
>signal a new class of "context-aware" gadgets that are more like personal
>Such devices would anticipate your moods, be aware of your feelings and
>make suggestions based on them, says Intel.
>"Context-aware computing is poised to change how we interact with our
>devices," Justin Rattner, CTO of Intel told attendees at the companyís
>developer conference. "Future devices will learn about you, your day,
>where you are, where you are going, to know what you want," he added.
>Link mailing list
>Link at mailman.anu.edu.au

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