The content on this page is the work of Professor Glenn Blank.
Be advised that Professor Blank is no longer on the active faculty at Lehigh.
This content continues to be available as a courtesy, but it may not be maintained or current.

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The Universal Machine (New Interface for version 1.3)
(It's hot: click on one of the three themes above to see more)

The original interface used a metaphor: exploring problem space is like exploring outer space. The goal of our design was to capture the imagination of newcomers to the field as well as to get them thinking about how computer scientists (and others) structure solutions to problems. Some feedback from our initial release suggested, however, that the interface struck some users as too "juvenile". (The content is intended for first year college students.) This new interface preserves the console, but replaces the galaxies (and stars and planets of other screens) with text for the major themes and giving a summary of each chapter.

Version 1.3, released in August 2000, makes many improvements, including:

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of version 1.3, send email to glenn.blank(at)

The Universal Machine was developed using Macromedia Authorware(TM). To view the interface as it will actually play on the web, you will need to download and then install the Authorware Shockwave Player plug-in. You may then need to restart your browser or even reboot your machine. (Sorry, it depends on how your machine and browser are set up!) Then you'll be able to run this interface as well as several chapter sections and the complete chapter 6 (Software Development Life Cycle) that have been installed on this web site. Note: The Shockwave player needed for this multimedia is not the Director or Flash Shockwave plug-in that is now pre-installed in some browsers but rather the Authorware Shockwave Player. Click on the button to download the Authorware Shockwave player.

I've got the Authorware Shockwave Web Player, let's see the new interface in action!

Ask for a copy of the version 1.3 multimedia CD-ROM

Go to the home page for The Universal Machine