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Work in progress, presented at the History of Material Texts workshop at the University of Pennsylvania 23 February 2004 (references therefore are omitted).
Montfort investigates into human-computer interaction before the screen and questions "how early print-based interfaces inform our understanding of print and paper metaphors in current computer interfaces."
My own idea is that while the material experience of an interactive computer program is important, screen-essential approaches to new media tend to collapse important distinctions, and perhaps, by ignoring the print-based history of new media and the fact that computer interface was based on paper to begin with, even understate in some ways how the screen changed the experience of computing, while neglecting the formal and computational continuity that we've seen across computer interfaces.
Critical writing referenced