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Run programs on the cursor

It's often the only thing left working
  (+5, -6)
(+5, -6)
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I may be exposing my vast ignorance here.

When a WIMP system crashes, frequently the only bit left working seems to be the cursor, which can still be controlled by the mouse. It's just a shame that the cursor itself has limited functionality.
Consequently, rather than bothering with what's underneath it, i propose sixty-four enormous cursors, each covering most of the screen, and run the usual stuff inside its confines, so you've got your browser, text editor, office apps, raytracing stuff, raster and vector graphics and media player, whatever, all operating in different, screen-sized cursors accessed by a plethora of about fifty pointing devices, and forget about the rest of the WIMP. Most of the time, you keep the mice in a stack of small intrays, labelled accordingly. When you want to use a particular application, take down the mouse, pen, trackball or other device and the appropriate cursor is activated and brought into focus. You then use mouse gestures or the like to operate the program.

nineteenthly, Oct 21 2008

Wimp System http://www.accu.inf...ssue5/progwimp.html
I only feel the tiniest bit wiser now. [normzone, Oct 21 2008]

Computer on a mouse. Computer_20on_20a_20mouse
[monojohnny, Oct 22 2008]


       Why not put the a flat screen in the mouse and eliminate the system entirely.
theGem, Oct 21 2008

       Yes, and then you could have a device which has numbers and symbols on the buttons and a mini display of its own instead of the Calculator, one with a keyboard and screen instead of the word processor, and so on.
nineteenthly, Oct 21 2008

       [nineteenthly], the cursor keeps running because, as part of a hardware driver, it generates its own "interrupt" which breaks out of whatever code is running and executes the mouse handler, while everything else in userland is part of the timeslice schedule.   

       Theoretically, you could have another whole operating system running, generating interrupts to do its work, as a backup, but you run the risk of that causing the crash in the first place, or it crashing itself.   

       Or, if you still wanted to go the "run programs on the cursor" route, there's nothing stopping you from using the keyboard as well. And then, if you make everything work that way, what you basically have is a Real Time Operating System, or RTOS, which is very baked. If you are so inclined you can install one yourself, examples of Desktop metaphor RTOSs include Contiki, Windows CE, Symbian and also real-time versions of Linux and BSD. Another way to fix this problem would be to use a non-multitasking OS like DOS.   

       Usually, though, you can fix this situation. In Windows, press CTRL+ALT+DEL or in some versions CTRL+SHIFT+ESC (which by the way generates its own interrupt, just like the cursor, unlike other keyboard sequences), kill every instance of EXPLORER.EXE (and anything else that isn't responding) and then click File->New Task and type EXPLORER.EXE in the box and click OK.   

       On most Unix-likes, simply press CTRL+ALT+BKSP. (Why can't it be like that in Windows?)
Spacecoyote, Oct 21 2008

       Thanks, [Spacecoyote], i was sort of subliminally aware of that and i don't mean this idea entirely seriously. I've used QNX but this computer is really screwed up nowadays and won't boot from the optical drives despite endless BIOS fiddling. Don't know what that's about, but this isn't a hardware forum so i won't go on.
nineteenthly, Oct 21 2008

       wow..... I'm pretty confused.... are you talking "virtual machine" as they say, or some sort of subset or.....
FlyingToaster, Oct 21 2008

       He's talking about putting program code into the mouse handler so the program always works, even if the operating system is out of whack.
Spacecoyote, Oct 21 2008

       I think the mouse cursor, once confronted with so much responsibility, will become somewhat less reliable.
mylodon, Oct 21 2008

       If you combine this with "My computer on a mouse", I'll split the royalties with you ;-)   


       Bunning this, as its all too familiar to me : the scenario with a useless little mouse pointer roving around a dead desktop of 'not responding' frozen apps....
monojohnny, Oct 22 2008

       My mouse stopped working a couple of days ago. There was this terrible stench throughout the kitchen which I eventually traced to the mouse, which had expired beside the compressor of the freezer.   

       I tried to reboot it, but it was too rotten.
wagster, Oct 22 2008

       Have you ever had mice expire inside cavity walls? That's seriously unpleasant.
nineteenthly, Oct 22 2008

       I was hoping it wasn't in a wall. I don't mind taking a fitted kitchen apart, but breaking walls is not fun. Is that where yours went?
wagster, Oct 22 2008

       Yep. We lost the ability to smell its decomposing corpse after a few weeks, but for a while it stank the house out so badly we couldn't even sleep. The smell is now apparently gone. A good argument against rodent poison, i think.
nineteenthly, Oct 22 2008

       Holy crap. Two days is bad enough. Do you still have a nose?
wagster, Oct 22 2008


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