And someone has one... Re: Virus Alert !!!

From: Julian Richardson <>
Date: Thu Mar 8 04:32:17 2001

        OK, my 2 cents on this one...

> As someone else here stated, perhaps people who lack the intellect
> be able use some random flavor of UNIX, VMS, etc. shouldn't be
> computers. That said, I believe that most computers users are not
> incapable of using *NIX, etc.; they're not lacking intellegence,
> they're just naieve when it comes to computers, and they would
> probably like *NIX, etc. once they began using it.

Absolutely. The problem is that today's culture is such that people expect
to just dive right in and be able to do something without actually knowing
anything about what it is they're doing. You don't get into a car, having
never driven in your life before, and head straight out onto the motorway.
Same as you wouldn't expect to be able to run a power station without
reading a few manuals first!

Don't get me wrong, I hate Microsoft as much as anyone else, but fair dues
to them for trying to bring computers to the masses. In my opinion they're
going about it in totally the wrong way though; don't throw together a lot
of buggy, bloated software the looks nice and on the surface is easy to use
- instead build a robust, logical product and provide good documentation on
how to use it. Expect your users to have to actually *learn* something in
order to harness its potential.

>> substance every time. If it weren't for them, Detroit would have
>> been a wasteland decades ago. They're what the US economy
>> on.
> Well designed cars, now turned "classic," are, like classic
> vanishing.
> Regarding Detroit: After renting a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis for
> nearly two months, I will say that it's not as nice a car as my
> Mercury Montego MX Broughm - despite many nice modern features
> dome lights that dim as they go out, however, it's still a much
> car than any of the little Japanese cars and most other imports
> I've seen.

Yep. My Triumph turns 30 next year, and it's so much nicer than any modern
car. A car is there to get you from A to B in a reasonable amount of time
and comfort - and I'll add that it should look nice, but it would still do
its job even if it didn't. You don't need lights that fade rather than just
go out, electrically adjustable mirrors, heated windscreen washer jets and
all the other garbage that people pile into new vehicles these days.

I'd also argue that you don't need airbags and side impact bars and all the
rest of it - I mean, human beings are not immortal (and never will be) and
if they're going to chuck themselves around the country at high speed then
what do they expect!?

It's the same with the fridge example that someone else came up with. A
fridge is there to keep cool food; that's its job and it doesn't need to do
anything else.

I suppose given peoples' desire for the latest-and-greatest thing which is
more feature-packed than ever before - and better than what their next door
neighbour has - one of two things will happen:

a) people will gradually see sense and start to buy products according to
how functional they are.*
b) people will continue to buy according to unnecessary features and
marketing hype.

I don't think case a) is too likely, at least not for many years - but maybe
as far as the computer inductry is concerned we're seeing the start of that
with the recent downturn in .com investment? And if case b) holds out then
there's nothing we can do to change things anyway - just let it take its
course and stop worrying about it! :-)

* I'm not saying we should all buy things which look like big, dull, grey
boxes :) But a product can be functional as well as reliable,
cost-effective, pleasing on the eye etc. - current trend seems to be to
ignore function over all the other things. I believe that's only a recent
thing (last hundred years or so) that's come about with increase in global
communication and wider markets - presumably because if company X can make a
product that looks nicer than company Y's offering - regardless of how well
it performs - they will typically make more money and therefore survive.
Hopefully it'll come round full circle eventually and people will start
taking some pride in the things that they produce again.

Anyway, enough off-topicness for one day... and it was probably way more
than a 2 cents opinion. And I probably made no sense either. :-)


Received on Thu Mar 08 2001 - 04:32:17 GMT

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