A P.C. PC Question

That would be “A Politically Correct Personal Computer Question.”

I just noticed this today - the computer that I’m working on has a “Recycling Bin” on the desktop. I guess the computers I’ve worked on for the past 4 years or so have had this as well. But I seem to remember them being labelled as “Trash Cans”. Why the switch, and when did it occur?

It’s not as if the electrons were being destroyed or thrown away under the old system!

As I recall, Apple invented the ''Trash Can" and Windows has always used a “Recycling Bin” to avoid copyright infringement.

But I could be wrong.

That’s right. Microsoft wanted to be completely original and not copy Apple so they invented the “Recycling Bin” which should never be confused with the “Trash Can” invented for the Macintosh operating system because that is, um, completely different and Microsoft didn’t want to take any of their ideas. :rolleyes:

BTW, the “Recycling Bin” was added as part of Windows 95 and has been in place since. It didn’t exist in Window 3.1 or higher but the “Trash Can” has been part of the Macintosh operating system since it debuted in 1984.

make that Windows 3.1 or lower

Thanks. You guys are money.

As a footnote, I should mention that Apple’s new UNIX-based MacOS X operating system now uses “Wastebasket” instead of “Trash can.”

I have no word on whether or not Microsoft plans to rename “Recycling bin” in a fit of “innovation”, but given all the other stuff they’ve copied from Apple, it wouldn’t surprise me. :rolleyes: :wink:

And OS/2 called it a shredder, if I remember correctly. Seemed very appropriate coming from IBM. That must predate the Win95 Recycle Bin too.

Hmm, I just noticed that my Japanese version of Win2K has a “gomibako” which means trash can, not recycle bin. Anyone know what the Japanese version of MacOS has?

No, they still call it “Trash”. Calling it “Wastebasket” would infringe on the look and feel of the Commodore GEOS operating system! heh.

As an aside, I can recall a shareware program that would create a “shredder” on a Mac desktop right next to the trash can. The shredder was for documents you wanted to delete instantly and permanently; putting an item in the shredder would delete it, and the computer would immediately overwrite the space it occupied on the hard drive.

Ever notice how some words sound funny when you say them a lot? Trash, trash, trash, trash, trash…

Well, I can recall a piece of shareware that would change your Mac trashcan into a toilet!

(Complete with the menu command being changed from “Empty Trash” to “Flush Toilet”).

Well, I can recall a piece of shareware that would change your Mac trashcan into a toilet!

(Complete with the menu command being changed from “Empty Trash” to “Flush Toilet”).

The trashcan, like most Mac user interface ideas, was in turn stolen from Xerox’s workstations such as the dandelion. So Bill did not rip off Apple, he ripped off Xerox. (In this little matter.)

(I was using a WISYWIG system with a mouse way back in '78, the Xerox Alto. A great machine. Ahh, Parker Pinball.)

Considering Apple paid Xerox(*) for the rights to use the Xerox STAR’s GUI, I don’t see how that constitutes Apple “rip[ping] off” Xerox, or anyone else.

(* = If I remember right, Apple paid $1 million in stock options, and Xerox eventually sold them for several times the price)

And to get really geeky here, I’ll point out that many of the WIMP (Windows/Icons/Menu/Pointers) GUI conventions we use today originated on the Apple Lisa, and not the Xerox STAR. These include double-clicking, dragging, and shift-clicking (to select multiple items). In that regard, Microsoft did rip off Apple … again.

I stand corrected on the MacOS X “Wastebasket” goof, though. I probably had it confused with Apple’s old habit (pre-MacOS X) of renaming the Trash Can into “Wastebasket” for European markets…

I did some web checking on rjungs post. The stock deal was apparently not known to Xerox Parc people at the time as they were quite unhappy about showing Apple their stuff. They felt they were ripped off (and apparently still do if Triumph of the Nerds is right).

I see a lot of variation about what was/was not in the Star (thanks for reminding me of that name) including the trash can. I definitely remember an icon to drag deleted files to on the Dandelion (the last Xerox workstation I used). As for double clicking, I guess some people mean a particular thing. For the Bravo editor on Altos, I double clicked to select words, triple to get select sentences and quadruple to select paragraphs. I also dragged the mouse to extend selections.

The most puzzling aspect of Apple borrowing from Xerox, is why the **** did they choose only one mouse button? I can’t stand mice that have two buttons, let alone one. Now you have mice with all sorts of extra wheels and buttons. Another left in the dust issue that could have/should have been avoided.

The unconfirmed word is that Apple did some extensive human interface testing in the early '80s – they’d find computer-illiterate people (not hard at the time), sit them behind a proto-Lisa or proto-Macintosh, then watched them try to figure out what to do. Multiple mouse buttons were one of the things that consistently confused people, so the decision was made to go with a single mouse button. And even though today’s Macs support contextual menus and scroll wheels, the entire Mac GUI can still be controlled with just one mouse button.

(Having taught novices how to use computers in the past, I can attest that multiple mouse buttons is confusing to us non-geeks. Sure, over time, multiple buttons are convenient, but they make that initial learning curve steeper…)