25 May 2000, 19:48.55.

Comments Off on 25 May 2000, 19:48.55.

Well, how are things in my world? Well, my car is still buggered, indeed more so than ever before – it’s periodic decisions to stop have now become regular stopping off points – I have my own section of hard-shoulder with “Reserved” painted on it now *g*.

Not only that, but my “region free” DVD drive has opted to become a diskless DVD drive – in that a large selection of the disks I put in cannot be played….at all. And some of those that can be played ski[p like buggery, or (as in the case of “blade” – which incidentally I got for 6UKP) simply stop completely.

So that’s not good. However on the plus side there is a possibility that I will b able to get my “reactolight” glasses which should be called: “don’treacttolight-butcoldinstead” changed for normal lenses……I would be more pleased but they want me to send them back to the branch where I bought them (as opposed to simply popping down to my local branch) – unfortunately I bought them in Birmingham.

The other good thing that’s happened is that I got a phone-call from a company about my CV, for a web consultancy role – which I’d be quite fond of, and also most importantly the hormones are definately doing something….yes indeed….apart from the fact I definately feel happier, there’s also the fact that I’m quite distictly getting “better” (i.e. softer/smoother) skin, and my chest is definately developing! So, I’m really quite happy about that.

But what’s been in my brain recently is something that James said: he described the generic ability to use computer software as a skill, and I’m beginning to fear that there are some people who will never master it – in much the same way as there are people who will never master violin playing, or painting.

It surely cannot be something that you’re born with? I mean it can’t be that the majority of people really have to relearn all the skills when they change package can it?

The fear that perhaps it really is true was sparked by an occurance at work. I popped mozilla onto one of the machines in the office – purely because I wanted to check what some pages ‘d look like in something other than MSIE 5, and that happened to be handy. (Since I’d downloaded it to take home). Anyway it fired it up and Chris said “What’s that?” in a kind of, what type of software is it – so I said it’s a browser, and he explained that it would take him ages to be able to use it.

And I looked at it and thought – but it’s essentially the same. It’s not like going from say Notepad to Word where you have whole new sets of options and new things you can do. This is essentially the same in all important respects, so “favourites” are called “bookmarks” and there’s no button for it on the toolbar – how hard can it be to click the menu option.

I thought “but what do these people do when we upgrade?” and then I realised – they ask for help, they want classes in using it – they don’t learn conceptually, they learn specific details. Whereas me, James and I suspect most techie people simply lear a concept.

Point, click – it’s a concept that we apply, where as other people learn to “press the left mouse button”. To us an icon is an icon, to them a word icon starts word when you double click on it. That’s as far as they go.

But what I don’t get is most of these people can use any coooker or any TV. They get the concepts for that – why not for operating systems and software?

So that’s my question for the day. Why do people not gain a conceptual understanding of operating systems and software?




Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.