[TUHS] TUHS Digest, Vol 32, Issue 8

Jose R. Valverde jrvalverde at cnb.uam.es
Mon Jun 12 23:02:56 AEST 2006

That is a bit self-complacent.

I for one would *love* to believe it. The truth is it isn't true. See,
what happens is that besides the odd Leonardo or Erasmus, most of us
have a limited brain with a limited ability to cope with the Real World.

As a result we all must take decisions about what we do, learn, master
or relay to others to do for us. Everyday more so. This implies we
learn something well and just the basics (if anything) of all the rest,
relying on others to do the work for us.

Most Windows users started as people who needed an easy way to do an odd
job efficiently. For the odd job, it is by far orders of magnitude more
efficient to point and click than learning a new language.

A professional user needs to learn the tools and language of the trade
and abhors the Windows way. That's why if you look around, you'll discover
windows power users programming spreadhseets, wirting macros, etc...

So, why Windows? Because computers are a recent addition to our home
life (see, UNIX and UNIX-like systems where unattainable till mid-90s)
and Microsoft is very successfult at equating OS with Windows (see,
they have a quasi-monopoly), and all of us are frightened in front of
change and novelties (since we were slime molds).

The average user starts on Windows because it is easier to point and
click once a month than learning a new language. When they become pro's
they see the shortcoming but it's easier to use VisualBASIC than jumping

When the average user starts on *X with CDE/KDE/Gnome/whatever and then
needs to become pro and learn the language, they find a friendlier system
underneath. If only they could share their work with the 90% of their
colleagues who use windows instead of UNIX/Linux/Mac... But then MS
wouldn't keep a monopoly, would they? Guess where all their PR is going
to be invested ;-)

Don't blame the users, they are doing as best they can with whatever it
is they have at hand (even if it is Windows) and we should be really
astonished at their tenacious efforts to get things done.


On Fri, 9 Jun 2006 20:58:04 -0700
lm at bitmover.com (Larry McVoy) wrote:
> > There's a reason Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson have been awarded  
> > the U.S. National Medal of Technology (1998) and are fellows of the  
> > Computer History Museum Online. Dave Cutler hasn't and isn't.
> > "You are not expected to understand this."
> And while I think this is a little unfair to Dave that's a great .sig
> It goes well with the recent post about Unix vs NT that concluded about 
> NT "there is no there there".  I live on both platforms and I couldn't
> agree more.
> Some day I'll post my view on this but here is the really short summary.
> There are two classes of people: those who derive answers and those who
> memorize them.  As Mark Twain said, the latter group is much larger than
> the former.  My claim is that Unix appeals to the first group - you can 
> guess what it is going to do and you'll be right most of the time.
> Windows appeals to the other group.  They don't have the ability to derive
> any answer and they are comfortable with a system that mostly works but
> has "no there there".  They can't tell the difference.
> The sad part (and the good part!) is that all of us on this list are
> in the former group which is smaller.  I think we (well, many of us)
> wish that more people thought like we do and figured stuff out for
> themselves but the reality is that most people aren't inclined to do that.
> So the good and bad part is that we're a small select group.  Personally,
> I've come to accept that and like it.  I've gotten to the point where I
> realize that people who can derive the answer are special, they are gift,
> and I consider myself lucky when I run into a concentrated group of them.
> Cough, cough, that would be you.  :)
> -- 
> ---
> Larry McVoy                lm at bitmover.com           http://www.bitkeeper.com
> _______________________________________________
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