Publication statistics

Pub. period:1998-2005
Pub. count:5
Number of co-authors:10


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Haixia Zhao:
Eben M. Haber:
Leila A. Takayama:



Productive colleagues

Rob Barrett's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Ted Selker:37
Allen Cypher:30
Paul P. Maglio:25

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Rob Barrett


Publications by Rob Barrett (bibliography)

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Kandogan, Eser, Haber, Eben, Barrett, Rob, Cypher, Allen, Maglio, Paul P. and Zhao, Haixia (2005): A1: end-user programming for web-based system administration. In: Proceedings of the 2005 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2005. pp. 211-220.

System administrators work with many different tools to manage and fix complex hardware and software infrastructure in a rapidly paced work environment. Through extensive field studies, we observed that they often build and share custom tools for specific tasks that are not supported by vendor tools. Recent trends toward web-based management consoles offer many advantages but put an extra burden on system administrators, as customization requires web programming, which is beyond the skills of many system administrators. To meet their needs, we developed A1, a spreadsheet-based environment with a task-specific system-administration language for quickly creating small tools or migrating existing scripts to run as web portlets. Using A1, system administrators can build spreadsheets to access remote and heterogeneous systems, gather and integrate status data, and orchestrate control of disparate systems in a uniform way. A preliminary user study showed that in just a few hours, system administrators can learn to use A1 to build relatively complex tools from scratch.

© All rights reserved Kandogan et al. and/or ACM Press

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Barrett, Rob, Kandogan, Eser, Maglio, Paul P., Haber, Eben M., Takayama, Leila A. and Prabaker, Madhu (2004): Field studies of computer system administrators: analysis of system management tools and practices. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW04 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2004. pp. 388-395.

Computer system administrators are the unsung heroes of the information age, working behind the scenes to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot the computer infrastructure that underlies much of modern life. However, little can be found in the literature about the practices and problems of these highly specialized computer users. We conducted a series of field studies in large corporate data centers, observing organizations, work practices, tools, and problem-solving strategies of system administrators. We found system administrators operate within large-scale, complex environments that present significant technical, social, cognitive, and business challenges. In this paper, we describe system administrator tool use in critical, high-cost, labor-intensive work through observational, survey, and interview data. We discuss our findings concerning administrator needs for coordinating work, maintaining situation awareness, planning and rehearsing complex procedures, building tools, and supporting complicated interleaved workflows.

© All rights reserved Barrett et al. and/or ACM Press

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Maglio, Paul P., Barrett, Rob, Campbell, Christopher S. and Selker, Ted (2000): SUITOR: An Attentive Information System. In: Lieberman, Henry (ed.) International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2000 January 9-12, 2000, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. pp. 169-176.

Attentive systems pay attention to what users do so that they can attend to what users need. Such systems track user behavior, model user interests, and anticipate user desires and actions. Because the general class of attentive systems is broad -- ranging from human butlers to web sites that profile users -- we have focused specifically on attentive information systems, which observe user actions with information resources, model user information states, and suggest information that might be helpful to users. In particular, we describe an implemented system, Simple User Interest Tracker (Suitor), that tracks computer users through multiple channels -- gaze, web browsing, application focus -- to determine their interests and to satisfy their information needs. By observing behavior and modeling users, Suitor finds and displays potentially relevant information that is both timely and non-disruptive to the users' ongoing activities.

© All rights reserved Maglio et al. and/or ACM Press

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Maglio, Paul P. and Barrett, Rob (2000): Enabling technologies: intermediaries personalize information streams. In Communications of the ACM, 43 (8) pp. 96-101.

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Barrett, Rob and Maglio, Paul P. (1998): Informative Things: How to Attach Information to the Real World. In: Mynatt, Elizabeth D. and Jacob, Robert J. K. (eds.) Proceedings of the 11th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology November 01 - 04, 1998, San Francisco, California, United States. pp. 81-88.

We describe a new method and implementation for managing information through the use of physical objects. In today's networked world, the trend is toward working in a global virtual environment. To transfer information, users are responsible for finding an appropriate storage location, naming the information, selecting the transport mechanism, and setting the access permissions. Much of the time, these burdens are needless and, in fact, stand in the way of productive use of the networked environment. In many circumstances, a physical floppy disk is the ideal medium for transferring information, as it eliminates these complications. Our Informative Things approach provides a "floppy-like" user interface that gives the impression of storing information on physical objects. In reality, our system stores information in the network, associating pointers to information with objects in the physical world. By hiding these details, we simplify information management. By linking the physical and virtual worlds, we leverage users' highly-developed ability to work in the real world.

© All rights reserved Barrett and Maglio and/or ACM Press

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