Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I am first of all not a science fiction writer I write, I suppose, what the Latin Americans call magic realism."
- Harlan Ellison

Desk (Personal Computer)  
  A computer for students.  

Each student had a "desk", a small computer that was used for performing exercises as well as communicating with other students. The desks were also used for Free Play, a game environment that doubled as a psychological evaluation tool.

Ender doodled on his desk, drawing contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three dimensions from every angle...

The bell rang. Everyone signed off their desks or hurriedly typed in reminders to themselves. Some were dumping lessons or data into their computers at home. A few gathered at the printers... Ender spread his hands over the keyboard near the edge of the desk and wondered what it would feel like to have hands as large as a grown-up's... Of course, they had bigger keyboards - but how could their thick fingers draw a fine line, the way Ender could...

From Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card.
Published by Tor in 1985
Additional resources -

The desk computers came in different sizes; student lockers at Battle School came with a compartment for a small desk.

The precise shape and configuration of the desks is not made entirely clear, but it seems likely that they had a tablet configuration and a touchscreen display that students could manipulate with their fingers similar to an iPad but with a physical keyboard attached. In an October, 2010 interview, Steve Jobs expressed the opinion that a 7" tablet computer is too small, remarking that "This size is useless unless you include sandpaper so users can sand their fingers down to a quarter of their size."

For some historical perspective, Texas Instruments came out with its "Speak & Spell" toy in 1978 that had a small text screen combined with a physical keyboard.


(TI "Speak & Spell" toy circa 1978)

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ender's Game
  More Ideas and Technology by Orson Scott Card
  Tech news articles related to Ender's Game
  Tech news articles related to works by Orson Scott Card

Desk (Personal Computer)-related news articles:
  - South Korean Students Go All Tablet By 2015
  - Desktopography Makes Virtual Desktops Real
  - SynergyNet Multi-Touch Classroom

Articles related to Computer
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.