New Deal software runs in a preemptive, multithreaded multitasking environment. But what does that mean? Here's an explanation from one of the designers of the software.
The Walking and Chewing Gum Theory
Single-Tasking: You are walking down the street and decide you would like to chew gum. You stop, untie your shoes and take them off, get a pack of gum from your pocket, take out a stick, put it in your mouth and chew. When you are done chewing you remove the gum, place it carefully back inside the wrapper and back in your pocket, put your shoes on and continue to walk.
Task-Switching: You are walking down the street and decide you would like to chew gum. You slip out of your loafers, grab the piece of gum you have stashed behind your ear for just such an emergency and chew, chew, chew. When you are done chewing, you remove the gum from your mouth and quickly place it behind your ear (making sure, of course, that no one sees you do something so disgusting), slip your loafers back on and continue walking.
Cooperative Multi-tasking: You are walking down the street with gum in your mouth. Your shoes have been especially
designed to release your brain at the end of every other step. As soon as your brain is free it notices that you have gum in your mouth. You chew your gum twice. Your gum then releases its grip on your brain. Your brain looks around and realizes that you are standing in the middle of a busy street with your mouth open. You quickly start to walk, hoping you will reach the sidewalk before you are hit by a car and lose your gum. Warning, there may be bugs in your shoes or your gum. Several users have reported uncontrollable chewing while standing on one leg.
Pre-Emptive Multi-tasking: You are walking down the street and chewing your gum just like the other coordinated human being. Little do they know you are really an android: a flesh covered machine from the future, stalking the streets of the city, looking for a haircut.