But I did invent a new system. It would not be appropriate for personal files so I dismissed it as cute but useless 'til I got Webfeet. What this system is good for is managing millions of files (not hundreds . . . millions . . . tens of millions).
It is the graphic analog of hypertext. Or, to put it exactly,
What then is a field viewer?Let me put this in right here.
This is my personal creation without reference to anyone else's designs but I have to assume that many others have had similar ideas. They're just not available yet. You will see something like this in the next two years. (Hopefully)
This is a Field Viewer,
WRL: 08:11 , 21:09 , 362:128 is like a URL except it refers to map coordinates on the field. (In this case a map of North America) There are three levels to this map:
After you select the level you want with the space bar, you cruise the terrain with the fieldmouse (a word that I see someone else is using already). The function of the fieldmouse I call "Click 'n Go". This means that you put the pointer on some part of the map and click once and that selection becomes the new center of the present map. If you want to go to that map (at a larger scale) or view the web site which is at the center of the map, just click the center and you're there.
Drag and drop to the side bars whatever you wish to save or view later or e-mail later, etc.
Hypertext is like going somewhere efficiently but blind. A fieldviewer adds the element of visual serendipity lacking in hypertext. As you click 'n go through the lower maps (along visually represented roads and highways) you might encounter excellent and curious things "up in those mountains" or "down by Lake Tahoe", etc. (wherever someone has rented pixels . . . and bear in mind that pixels rented next to, say, Microsoft, will be more expensive . . . location, location, location).
Now if you look back at the gif file, you see a little square in the center. That square is meant to be expandable in the standard way. It will show what lies under that place on the larger map. It is the actual "Fieldviewer". It is a telescope/microscope. Make it long or wide or big or small to suit your needs. At the bottom of the screen is a toggle Fieldviewer / Fieldmouse. Click on Fieldviewer and it changes color to show it is now in use. Move it with your mouse and look around from high up. You know where you are on the main map and on the second level because both are immediately visible. (The exact position on the main map is at the crosshairs of the fieldviewer. Also note that the viewer must get smaller as it approaches the edges of the main map.)
The side bars have user created tools. The ones I've designed here are just containers for URLs and WRLs that you have gone to. Click on one and you go directly to it. They scroll by clicking on the label button (e.g. [USER 1]) and holding, or, drag 'n drop the button up or down or put it somewhere else (snaps to sides).
Storage on the CD romIn this example there are about 500 second level maps at, let's say 50K each = ~ 25 Megabytes worth of pictures which leaves, on a 5 Gigabyte rom, ~ 5 Gigabytes for Web pages.
We have then about 200,000 pixels per map (x) 500 maps = 100,000,000 pixels to sell.
5 Gigs is 5,000,000,000 bytes (/) 100,000,000 pixels = 50 bytes per pixel ( enough for about 6 words and a URL). If a site ad is one kilobyte, about 5 million Web sites can be accomodated as 1K ads.
You get to specify the color of your pixel(s) [256 colors only]. The remainder of your ad is in HTML.
The arrangement of the material on the CD will determine the overall access speed. If the thing is too slow it will go over like a 286 on the net (DOA).
But the main speed enhancement will be roads. Most Web sites will have addresses on roads. When you're cruising the ROM, you stay on a road because the road you are on is rammed first. If you stay on it, you don't have to wait for a new load from the CD player. The roads are physically stored on the CDrom in sequence so that the entire road can be loaded with maximum efficiency.
What might happen on the maps . . .This is a somewhat fanciful account of things that might develop on such CD roms.
They are just guesses.
Large companies will have many pixels rented (perhaps enough to appear on the secondary maps). Individuals might try to rent pixels right next to, say, Microsoft. So the rent will go up on those pixels.