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Re: A good charge against free operating systems

On Fri, Mar 09, 2001 at 12:42:26PM -0600, Rob VanFleet wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 09, 2001 at 12:40:07PM +0100, Frodo Baggins wrote:
> > On Fri, Mar 09, 2001 at 11:03:06AM +0100, Fr?d?ric Aguiard scripsit:
> > >...snip...
> > > 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 latex
> > > 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 break
> > > up in her hands while just using basis functions, nor doing something
> > > reasonably foolish.
> > > I, as a computer engineer, can understand most of the subtle technical
> > 
> >  This is bullshit. Classical from head-inflated engineer to despise of
> > 'secretary' as unable to understand the wonderful things they do oh
> > soooooooo weeeeeeeeeeellllll.

> I remember seeing the secretaries at a hospital when I was a child,
> typing away on terminals connected to the hospitals refrigerator-sized
> minicomputer.  I don't know what OS it was, but they sure as hell didn't
> seem to have a problem with cryptic command sequences or the CLI.
> It's all about what you're used to, not what you're "capable" of.

I strongly agree. My girlfriend never used a computer in her life (scary,
I know) - until we began dating, of course. Her only experience was playing
Solitaire and writing simple stuff in Write (on Win 3.11).

I created an user account for her on my box, she chose to use GNOME with
sawfish, I thought her how to configure several things, teached her a bit
about basic shell commands. Nowadays she is totally lost in Windows, she
can't check her mail from there, feels lost amidst those unknown icons
and lack of terminal prompt (but she is comfortable enough to go to a
terminal, use fetchmail, run mutt and Emacs and use it if needed - although she
prefers Sylpheed under GNOME).

Similar things happen to her brother, whose computer experienced is somewhat limited
to my box.

All in all, it's just a matter of getting used to something. Either a secretary
or a 'computer enginner'. My friend 'computer enginner' always finished the sentences
stating that he is one, but feels so embaraced by not knowing anything about
Unix that he says he doesn't do more because 'he  is not in a mood for it.

Best Regards,


(History Student at Lisbon's University and Programmer)
SDF Public Access UNIX System - http://sdf.lonestar.org

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