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Re: NM: the usual rant

On Tue, 2009-03-03 at 09:11 -0700, Phil Meyer wrote:
> It is my opinion, that non technical persons should not touch a
> computer at all, but that is unrealistic in today's society.

I have similar feelings.  I view being asked to fix up someone else's
computer with the same amount of enthusiasm as if I'd been asked to
unblock their toilet with my bare hands.

I don't know why people who're really uninterested in computers want
one, much less why those who're useless with them continue at it.  I
dread the day that those incompetent at first aid get mad keen on
practising it.

> So there are two fields of view here:
> 1.   Educate the consumer.

Some are really beyond it, many it's not worth the effort, and most
probably don't want to be (many certainly don't want to be).

> 2.   Dumb down the computer.

Make a computer that an idiot can use, and idiots will use it (and then
they'll cause merry hell for everyone else).  Oh, hang on, Microsoft's
already catering for that demographic, and all the viruses, scams, etc,
spread about by computer morons have made life hell for everyone.  You
have a Fisher Price interface, and limited functionality in an expensive
gadget that should really have nearly unlimited capability, yet it's a
Pandora's box that's all too easily exploited to spread its evils unto
all and sundry (viruses, owned boxes of zombies, and commercial

> The vast majority of people want the computer to be dumbed down.  Make
> it easier to do things, but then they really don't know what they want
> to do, because they have no idea what a computer CAN do.

It's a "magic box".  Some people (including some that I have to
regularly deal with), think that putting a computer in will solve all
their problems.  Problems that they don't understand in the first place,
never mind trying to understand a computer, as well, to manage their

[tim localhost ~]$ uname -r

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.  I
read messages from the public lists.

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