# Re: I can't beleive this

On Thu, 11 Mar 1999, Steve Lamb wrote:
>On Thu, 11 Mar 1999 14:40:35 -0500 (EST), Michael Stenner wrote:
>
>>But it shouldn't be an "exclusive or".  As time has passed, I have come
>>to respect the people who view computers as tools.  They don't want to
>>have to learn, they don't want to have to configure, and they don't want
>>fine-grained control.  They just want to run mathematica, or type some
>>documents, etc.
>
>    I have no respect for those people.  Yes, a computer is a tool.  But
>lets drop in a few other examples.
>
>    Say... a car.  A car is a tool.  People don't want to learn, they don't
>want to have to learn how to drive, they certainly don't want stick shifts.
>Wait, they don't want to learn how to drive...  Well, do you want to be on
>the road with those people?  I don't.
>
>    How about...  a tablesaw.  A tablesaw is a tool.  People don't want to
>learn, they don't want to have to learn how to configure it, they certainly
>don't want fine grained control.  But, gee, if you don't know how to
>configure it then, guess what, you lose a few fingers.  I'm sure the trauma
>centers around the world would much prefer these people to learn.

These are safety issues.  I am all for users being educated in computer
related safety issues, like....  hmmm... can't think of any.

Take the old physicist down the hall... he has this great new thing for
numerical integration.  It makes many things possible that just weren't
before.  Why should he give a *&^% about IRQs, printcaps, I/O addresses,
kernel modules, monitor hsync, or ipmasks?

1) safety?   No.

2) so he doesn't get ripped off on crappy stuff?  No.  there are plenty
of good sources (friends, consumer reports, etc.) for answering this
UNAVOIDABLE question.

3) because he has to?  certainly not.  Win95 (and to a lesser extent,
RedHat) will take care of all of these things for him.  Sure, there are
tradeoffs, but it's a reasonable one for him.  After all, he just wants
to do some integrals.  He doesn't really care if he has to reboot
occasionally.

So, why do you have no respect for this guy?  He's not likely to hurt
any little kids with his ignorance.  Must everyone be interested in the
inner workings of computers to earn your respect?

Others have said that you cannot have this automation and power.  I
don't see why there cannot (physically) be two installation programs.
Choose which one to run at the beginning.  One autodetects things and
makes assumptions about what you want, the other gives you
"fine-grained" control.  Now if you guys in on the development say it's
impossible, and we've got to go one route or the other, i'll defer to

\begin{point}

I'm getting really tired of us sitting around and insulting people who
don't have the same _interests_ that we do.  That's just about as snobby
and pious as it gets.

\end{point}

-Michael
P.S.
(trailing off now...)

Why do people thing that windows is pure badness?  You will have a hard
time convincing me that it's impossibe to have a system which DOES
autodetect my ethernet card & install drivers, but DOES NOT crash all
the time.  Whenever I point out that windows does something cool,
everybody lashes back that it's a pile of crap.  I couldn't agree more,
but it still does some cool stuff.

I think they've got a good programmer chained in the basement or
something...

Michael Stenner			Office Phone: 919-660-2513
Duke University, Dept. of Physics	  mstenner@phy.duke.edu
Box 90305, Durham N.C. 27708-0305