In praise of Kai’s Power Goo

“Power Goo’s features — the ability to smear regions of an image around and paint bits of one photo onto another to create composites—seem unexceptional today, but in the ’90s, this was mind-meltingly exciting stuff, not in and of itself maybe, but in how easy and fun Power Goo made the process,” Christopher Phin writes for Macworld.

“Just look at that interface! That’s the thing I remember about Power Goo at least as much as the images you could create with it,” Phin writes. “It really felt for a few years that this was how software might look in the future: not staid, rectilinear, essentially monochrome buttons and menus, but big, juicy, floating 3D buttons and big, exciting levers that you pull to change variables.”

Phin writes, “It was a future that lots of people thought was horrendous, of course—silly Fisher Price exuberances getting in the way of your work—but after decades of the command line and the established modern GUI conventions, it was at the very least new, and I’d argue intoxicating too.”

Much more – with many screenshots, too – in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Kai’s Power Goo — and later, Super Goo — featured some of the oddest UI choices ever made. Part of the fun was clicking things just to see what the heck would happen!

14 Comments

    1. And the software was a spectacular joy to play with. Even did some serious work using his tools. The man was a mathematical genius and a fantastic match for Apple.
      Real inspiration and innovation in software. Poser today still holds similar user interface that was set by Kai.
      Apple could use some of this fun injected back into its DNA.

    2. Kai had an UNapologetic imagination that mixed art with function. If you are UNcreative, you won’t like any of his software. He wrote ONLY for the creative.

      I wish Kai was still writing software today. What we have instead is deadly dull in comparison. I owned and enjoyed ALL of his software.

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