Tracing the Dynabook: A Dissertation

John Maxwell jmax at
Fri Jan 19 00:33:28 UTC 2007

Hi, everybody,

For the past few years, I have been working on a historical study on  
the Dynabook vision as conceived in the early 1970s as well as how  
the idea and its various incarnations have played out in the  
intervening three-and-a-half decades. This has been part of my PhD  
work in education at the University of BC -- as such, I am working  
from an educational perspective, rather than a compsci one.

As of November 2006 I finally finished the thing, and successfully  
defended it. I hereby unleash it on this community, in the hopes that  
it will provoke discussion on the Squeak-oriented mailing lists and  
beyond. Squeak-dev and Squeakland have been major resources to me all  
the while, and I'd like to thank everyone on these lists for  
providing such a rich ongoing commentary.

The entire work is roughly 300 pages. This link is to a PDF just  
under 2 megabytes. At some point, if I have some time, I want to  
break this out into some more granular web pages, but I'm already  
late in releasing it, so here it is in its entirety. You can find it  
(along with a brief abstract and ToC) at:

I'm very interested in any comments you might have.

  - John Maxwell
    Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing
    Simon Fraser University
    jmax at

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