last updated May 29th, 2005 and is permanently morphing...
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interface (în´ter-fâs´) noun
1. A surface forming a common boundary between adjacent regions, bodies, substances, or phases.
2. A point at which independent systems or diverse groups interact: "the interface between crime and politics where much of our reality is to be found" (Jack Kroll).
3. Computer Science. The point of interaction or communication between a computer and any other entity, such as a printer or human operator.
interfaced, interfacing, interfaces (în´ter-fâs´) verb, transitive
1. To join by means of an interface.
2. To serve as an interface for.
1. To serve as an interface or become interfaced.
2. To interact or coordinate smoothly: "Theatergoers were lured out of their seats and interfaced with the scenery" (New York Times).
- in´terfa´cial adjective
interface (in'ter-fâs`) noun
1. The point at which a connection is made between two elements so that they can work with one another.
2. Software that enables a program to work with the user (the user interface, which can be a command-line interface, menu-driven, or a graphical user interface), with another program such as the operating system, or with the computer's hardware.
3. A card, plug, or other device that connects pieces of hardware with the computer so that information can be moved from place to place. For example, standardized interfaces such as RS-232-C standard and SCSI enable communications between computers and printers or disks.
4. A networking or communications standard, such as the ISO/OSI model, that defines ways for different systems to connect and communicate.
Interface, the point at which a connection is made between two elements so that they can work with one another. In computing, different types of interfacing occur on different levels, ranging from highly visible user interfaces that enable people to communicate with programs to often invisible, yet necessary, hardware interfaces that connect devices and components inside the computer. User interfaces consist of the graphical design, the commands, prompts, and other devices that enable a user to interact with a program. At less visible software levels within the computer are other types of interfaces, such as those that enable an application to work with the operating system and those that enable an operating system to work with the computer's hardware. In hardware, interfaces are cards, plugs, and other devices that connect pieces of hardware with the computer so that information can be moved from place to place.
encounter, confrontation, interface, convergence
partition: interface, septum, diaphragm, midriff, center
be contiguous: osculate, intercommunicate, interface, touch base with, connect
User Interface, any system that human beings use to communicate with computers. A computer user controls a computer with instructions called input. Input is entered by various devices and translated into electronic signals that a computer can process. These signals are coordinated by the central processing unit (CPU) and by software called the operating system. The CPU may communicate with the user by sending electronic signals, called output, to one or more output devices.
Input and Output Devices
Most personal computers (PCs) include a keyboard. A mouse, trackball, light pen, and joystick are other input devices. Touch screens that detect fingers are used in cash dispensing machines. Computerized sound and speech recognition are still imperfect. Familiar output devices are printers and video screens. Audio output is also common.
Command and Graphical
Command-line interfaces require the user to type brief commands to direct the computer. Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) use windows to organize files and programs represented by icons (small pictures) and menus listing commands. The user indicates, highlights, and drags items with a mouse or trackball. GUIs are easier but slower, so GUIs usually have alternative command-line equivalents.
Special interfaces extend computer use. Visually impaired people use screen readers to translate individual lines of text from the screen into speech, and printers that produce text in the Braille system. Virtual reality (VR) provides users with the illusion of being in a three-dimensional (3D) world. There are two types of VR systems: immersive and nonimmersive. Immersive systems involve wearing a head-mounted display or helmet and data gloves that translate the user's hand motions into computer data. Nonimmersive VR systems display alternate environments for users to navigate through but do not require specialized equipment.
One of the most compelling snares is the use of the term metaphor to describe a correspondence between what the users see on the screen and how they should think about what they are manipulating ... There are clear connotations to the stage, theatrics, magic; all of which give much stronger hints as to the direction to be followed. For example, the screen as 'paper to be marked on' is a metaphor that suggests pencils, brushes, and typewriting....Should we transfer the paper metaphor so perfectly that the screen is as hard as paper to erase and change? Clearly not. If it is to be like magical paper, then it is the magical part that is all important...
Alan Kay, "User Interface: A Personal View"
At the moment we are choosing to interface with the electromagnetic machine. we are not the computer, the television, the satellite or the brain. These are the tools which allow manifestation of the knowledge obvious in visible movement - patterns imposed from a natural organizing principle. These devices allow us to glimpse our unconscious processes - how we maneuver, how we attract and repel things.
- Clive Austen - _The Golden Age Is..._
"We used to live in the imaginary world of the mirror, of the divided self and of the stage, of otherness and alienation. Today we live in the imaginary world of the screen, of the interface and the reduplication of contiguity and networks. All our machines are screens. We too have become screens, and the interactivity of men has become the interactivity of screens."
- Jean Baudrillard, _Xerox & Infinity_.
The poet, the artist, the
sleuth - whoever sharpens our perception
tends to be anti social; rarely "well-adjusted," he cannot go along
with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists
among anti-social types in their power to see environments as they
really are. This need to interface, to confront environments
with a certain anti-social power, is manifest in the famous
story, "The Emperor's New Clothes" "Well adjusted" courtiers,
having vested interests, saw the Emperor as beautifully
appointed. The anti-social brat, unaccustomed to the old
environment, clearly saw that the emperor "ain't got nothin' on."
- Marshall McLuhan - _The Medium Is The Massage_
Sadie Plant sees drugs as cyborgizing -- inorganic elements "inserted" into the body and interfacing with the nervous system to enable perceptions and sensations inaccessible to the undrugged organism.
|HairIO: Human Hair user interface