[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: A good charge against free operating systems

You clearly have never had to train a secretary!  Generally, Word pays for
itself by allowing you employ people who already know how to use Word
because its on their home machines.  Its what economists call the network
effect and was an interesting plank in the DoJ case against MS.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Rank" <Stephen.Rank@durham.ac.uk>
To: "Frédéric Aguiard" <frederic.aguiard@swapcom.fr>
Cc: <debian-curiosa@lists.debian.org>
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 10:39 AM
Subject: Re: A good charge against free operating systems

| Frédéric Aguiard wrote:
| > You can't ask a secretary to understand all the complexity of a linux
| > system. You can't even ask her to use a shell, nor anything like vi or
| > or anything else. This is not HER job. She just needs a tool, a tool
| > providing her what she needs for her daily work, a tool that does not
| > up in her hands while just using basis functions, nor doing something
| > reasonably foolish.
| Bear in mind the first commercial users of Unix were ``three Patent
| Department typists who spent the day busily typing, editing, and
| formatting patent applications''.
| http://www.bell-labs.com/history/unix/firstport.html
| Sounds a lot like secretarial work to me.
| When did vi last break up in your hands?  Word's stability, on the other
| hand...
| The Great Myth of {Uni,Linu}x is that it's `too hard to use', which is
| Not True.  The problem is that it's difficult (not `too difficult') to
| _learn_.  The effort spent in learning early on is repaid several times
| over later on.  Speaking from my own experience, so not necessarily
| verifiable fact :)  It's not obvious, on first approaching a Linux box,
| what the user should do in order to type a letter to their great-aunt,
| but once you've learned, it's straigtforward [*].
| I had problems learning to tie my shoelaces (when I was 4; I've been
| doing it succesfully for over 20 years now), but after making the effort
| all those years ago, I can do it without thinking.  Same with a shell,
| Emacs, vi, etc. 5 years ago.  If I'd stuck with Word and Windows, I'd be
| far less productive than I am now.  These days I find Windows, Word,
| etc. hard to use; they focus exclusively on easy to learn, so someone
| who knows what they want to do is hamstrung by the interface.  I'm not
| particularly singling out Windows here; substitue your least-favourite
| point-and-drool interface if my use of MS products offends.
| Just a mid-morning rant, ignore it if you want :)
| Stephen
| [*] Actually, it's not all that obvious on approaching a Windows box,
| come to think of it.
| --
| To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to debian-curiosa-request@lists.debian.org
| with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact

Reply to: