Unreasonable Expectations

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by rapska » Wed, 02 Apr 2003 06:36:41



You should not have to be a geek to be able to use a computer for simple
everyday tasks.

I agree with this statement 100%.  I think it is totally unreasonable to
expect everyone to become proficient in computers and their associated
apps in order to be able to send an email, or write a letter, or browse
the web.

I also believe that it is unreasonable for everyone to be able to drive
like Mario Andretti just to operate a vehicle.

HOWEVER...I do think that there is a minimum level of competance that a
person needs to achieve to be able to successfully operate a vehicle or a
computer, or a TV or a microwave or justabout any of the modern
conveniences that we have available to us.

It is an unreasonable expectation to make a General Purpose application
that anyone would be able to sit down and immediately be able to use
without needing any instruction and/or documentation.

While I do think that it should be simple enough to use, I think that some
expectations for the user to RTFM and/or otherwise obtain the skill and
knowledge necessary to successfully operate the software in question is
not unreasonable at all.

I had to learn how to drive really quick.  Actually, I learned in a day,
and the next day I got my license.  I was able to pick up quickly enough
on the basics of operating a vehicle, but I still required some training
to be able to do it.

The same is true of computers.  You can't just expect to sit in the
drivers' seat and obtain the skills by osmosis.  Granted, the software
should help you as much as possible along the way, but to expect the
software to become clairevoyant and be able to tell what you want to do
before you do it is completely unreasonable.

This is what persons that say that LGX is "not user friendly" seem to
expect.  For them, they expect that they should never have to read
anything, type anything, or even think anything and the software should
just automagically do what they want it to do.

Not even Windows does this.  No software that I know of does this, so why
is it that these completely unreasonable expectations are placed upon LGX
to accomplish this feat?

I mean, c'mon, LGX is good, but it's not *that* damned good!

While there are areas on LGX that definitely could stand to be "dumbed
down" a bit, for the most part it is already about as simple as it can
get.  Especially for mainstream distros like Redhat, SuSE and Mandrake.

Look, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you simply cannot expect
LGX or any software to be able to read your mind.  You are going to have
to learn it, how it does things, how to accomplish tasks.

You learned on Windows, you invested the time and did the research without
complaint.  Now you are using something different, so it stands to reason
that some things will have to be re-learned.

It's not really that hard, just take it one step at a time.   Learn a
little bit each day.  Try to accomplish one task a day and before you know
it you'll be up to speed doing almost that you used to do on Windows and
more.

LGX is not difficult.  It's not hard.  it can be easy to use, but it is
different and this can give the illusion of difficulty due to the fact
that you are not used to it.

I used to think installing software LGX was hard, until I actually did it
a few times, then I learned that it was just as simple, and sometimes even
simpler!  The same for when I first added a hard drive, it was daunting at
first becuase I never did it before.  Then, when I actually did it, I saw
it was cake.  The same for compiling a kernel, now I can almost do it with
my eyes shut.

If you have preset notions of what computing is from other platforms, then
you will prejudice yourself against LGX from the start.  Everything will
seem harder or more difficult, everything will seem not to work if you
don't want to take the minimal time to configure it.

Don't put unreasonable expectations on LGX.  It is very good, but it can't
do miracles.  You will have to take some effort on your part to be able to
take advantage of the benefits of this awesome platform.

--
rapskat -  23:10:53 up 12:13,  3 users,  load average: 0.03, 0.04, 0.24
Gentoo Base System version 1.4.2.8 kernel 2.5.65 on a Pentium III (Coppermine)
"Strange game...the only winning move is not to play."

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Dave Leig » Wed, 02 Apr 2003 09:42:53


rapskat wrote on Monday 31 March 2003 23:36 in message

Quote:> You should not have to be a geek to be able to use a computer for simple
> everyday tasks.

> I agree with this statement 100%.??I?think?it?is?totally?unreasonable?to
> expect everyone to become proficient in computers and their associated
> apps in order to be able to send an email, or write a letter, or browse
> the web.

> I also believe that it is unreasonable for everyone to be able to drive
> like Mario Andretti just to operate a vehicle.

Correct. Unreasonable Expectation #1: Installation.

You do you *not* have to be able to build your own car in order to operate
a vehicle. You even have have to install an engine into a pre-built car.
Most people have at the best only a vague concept of how their engine
works. It's just everyday magic as far as they're concerned.

Similarly, the vast majority of Windows users have *never* installed their
operating systems. These users buy Windows pre-installed on their hardware.
It was put there and pre-configured by experts. Put those same users in
front of a Linux system that was pre-installed and pre-configured and on
the average they have no more trouble with Linux than they did with
Windows... some will have less trouble, some more.

I'm amused by efforts to compare the users "experience" when the comparison
is between a pre-built desktop appliance (Windows) and a do-it-yourself kit
(Linux). When Linux makes significant inroads into the home market it will
not be because of the sale of boxed distributions or downloaded source
code... it will be because of pre-installs on OEM hardware, which is a
phenomenon we're just beginning to see in earnest now. If you want to make
a sale in this market, you come up with a decent, properly configured
system and you offer service. A lower price is nice, but to the OEM you
really don't need it if you can offer better value-added service at the
same price as your competitors' sans-service pricing.

Quote:> If you have preset notions of what computing is from other platforms,
> then you will prejudice yourself against LGX from the start.  Everything
> will seem harder or more difficult, everything will seem not to work if
> you don't want to take the minimal time to configure it.

Keep in mind as well that if you start with Linux, then you prejudice
yourself against Windows from the start. Everything will seem harder or
more difficult, everything will seem not to work if you don't want to take
the minimal time to configure it... much of that time spent downloading and
installing GNU software that you really want to use, and none of which
shipped with even the most complete Windows pre-install.

--
Dave Leigh, Consulting Systems Analyst
Cratchit.org

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Peter Haye » Wed, 02 Apr 2003 14:57:46


<some snippage for brevity and clarity>

Quote:> You should not have to be a geek to be able to use a computer for simple
> everyday tasks.

> I agree with this statement 100%.  I think it is totally unreasonable to
> expect everyone to become proficient in computers and their associated
> apps in order to be able to send an email, or write a letter, or browse
> the web.

Add games, and that's what most domestic machines are used for.

Quote:> HOWEVER...I do think that there is a minimum level of competance that a
> person needs to achieve to be able to successfully operate a vehicle or a
> computer, or a TV or a microwave or justabout any of the modern
> conveniences that we have available to us.

That's self evident.

Quote:> I had to learn how to drive really quick.  Actually, I learned in a day,
> and the next day I got my license.

Really?

You stepped into a car, never having seen one or travelled in one before and
learnt how to drive in one day? Amazing.

I suspect you spent many years previously travelling in all sorts of vehicles,
picking up the basics by osmosis, so when you stepped into the driver's seat
for the first time for real you knew what the pedals did, what the steering
wheel did, how and why you signal, etc, etc. You knew what side of the road
to drive on, you understood the concepts of speed limits, traffic lights and
a whole host of other aspects of driving. Few computer users will have such a
wide background experience when placed in front of the monitor for the first
time. Nothing is intuitive, even the mouse has to be learnt, especially the
double-click.

Quote:> Look, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you simply cannot expect
> LGX or any software to be able to read your mind.  You are going to have
> to learn it, how it does things, how to accomplish tasks.

> You learned on Windows, you invested the time and did the research without
> complaint.  Now you are using something different, so it stands to reason
> that some things will have to be re-learned.

You won't have to for distros modelled to copy the Windows paradigm. For other
distros, that's a positive choice made by the individual, not one forced on
them by a marketplace monopoly.

Quote:> I used to think installing software LGX was hard, until I actually did it
> a few times, then I learned that it was just as simple, and sometimes even
> simpler!

Installing Linux software is only as simple or simpler than Windows if you
confine yourself to one distro, and one release within that distro.
Installing software released for SuSE 8.1 on a SuSE 8.0 system is a
nightmare. Installing software released for any Mandrake distro on any SuSE
system is virtually impossible.

Installing from source is no answer,

cd glib-2<TAB>; ./configure; make; make install; cd ../libxml2<TAB>;
./configure; make; make install; cd ../atk<TAB>; ./configure; make; make
install; cd ../pango<TAB>; ./configure; make; make install; cd ../gtk-2<TAB>;
./configure; make; make install; cd ../gnat<TAB>; ./configure; make; make
install; cd ../gtkspell<TAB>; ./configure; make; make install; cd
../pan<TAB>; ./configure; make; make install

just to install a newsreader. Sheesh.

Quote:> If you have preset notions of what computing is from other platforms, then
> you will prejudice yourself against LGX from the start.  Everything will
> seem harder or more difficult, everything will seem not to work if you
> don't want to take the minimal time to configure it.

The problems are exacerbated by the multitude of distros, some of which seem
to be copying Microsoft by making cross-release and cross-distro installation
unnecessarily difficult. This will eventually be seen as the evolutionary
dead end that it is.

--

Peter

Remove NOSPAM. to e-mail

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Eric Wilhel » Wed, 02 Apr 2003 15:23:21



> You learned on Windows, you invested the time and did the research
> without complaint.  Now you are using something different, so it stands
> to reason that some things will have to be re-learned.

A lot of users have actually taken courses to learn how to use the
software they have now.  For them, anything different is a huge obstacle,
because their previous notes (click on * bear, click apply, click ok,
click file, click save, click on bunny...) don't mean anything anymore.

For these users, you have to give them almost exactly the same interface,
or they will never adjust.  Not that the software is harder, just
different, which means learning something new, which is hard.

For this reason alone, LGX won't take hold with most of the older
generation unless it can happen without their noticing the change.

A similar barrier exists with certain types of applications.  CAD is the
example with which I am most familiar.  After using one app for so long,
you know all of the ins and outs.  To change from one to another is
torturous because all of the knowledge which you have invested is lost and
you are starting from nothing again.  This is a lot of knowledge because
there are so many commands and shortcuts, you know all of the fastest
keyboard and mouse patterns by memory and you don't even think about using
the software, just about the thing you are trying to accomplish.  With
something this complex, it is not unlike a programmer switching languages.

Granted, web/ e-mail/ word-processor users won't notice this sort of
thing.  But for those who are deeper into their apps, support for the
particular application can be the major barrier to switching systems.

--Eric

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Peter Jense » Wed, 02 Apr 2003 20:38:23



>> You learned on Windows, you invested the time and did the research
>> without complaint.  Now you are using something different, so it stands
>> to reason that some things will have to be re-learned.

> A lot of users have actually taken courses to learn how to use the
> software they have now.  For them, anything different is a huge obstacle,
> because their previous notes (click on * bear, click apply, click ok,
> click file, click save, click on bunny...) don't mean anything anymore.

> For these users, you have to give them almost exactly the same interface,
> or they will never adjust.  Not that the software is harder, just
> different, which means learning something new, which is hard.

And then again, some people are just plain "slow" ...

Take a look at http://www.veryComputer.com/
Search for 'look and feel' :-)

--
PeKaJe

Don't look now, but there is a multi-legged creature on your shoulder.

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Ian Hilliar » Wed, 02 Apr 2003 21:34:08




Quote:> You should not have to be a geek to be able to use a computer for simple
> everyday tasks.

> I agree with this statement 100%.  I think it is totally unreasonable to
> expect everyone to become proficient in computers and their associated
> apps in order to be able to send an email, or write a letter, or browse
> the web.
< big snip >
> --
> rapskat -  23:10:53 up 12:13,  3 users,  load average: 0.03, 0.04, 0.24
> Gentoo Base System version 1.4.2.8 kernel 2.5.65 on a Pentium III
(Coppermine)
> "Strange game...the only winning move is not to play."

I've been writing software for a very long time, and I know it is all too
easy to fall in love with the exquisite beauty of something, that I've
created and forget that all I've created is a bigger wrench for cracking
bigger nuts. I have to keep telling myself a computer is "Just a Tool". That
way, I can see what I'm producing from the user's perspective.

When looking at Linux usage, you have to be honest with yourself. Do you
want to see every man and his dog using Linux or do you want to see Linux as
a private club, where only those who are smart enough and or willing to
spend the time can use the object of mutual admiration.

For me, I fell in love with Unix in the early 80's. The problem with Unix is
that it was too expensive for the average user. If in the late 80's, SCO had
priced their product to just a little bit more than DOS, we wouldn't be
having this discussion about Linux, because Linux would have been still
born. We'd all be using Unix. That wasn't the case, and when MS bought a
chunk of SCO, it was clear, that was never going to be the case.

The point is that *ix remained a thing that only "experts" and university
students used. There was no pressure to make *ix user friendly. As a result,
it is extremely powerful, but it's anything but turn-key, unless it's used
as a single task device. The average user wants to have a system that they
can just turn on, and with the minimum amount of effort, achieve what it is
they want to achieve.

I for one would love to see any form of *ix become the * OS, but that
won't happen until those who are developing for it, realize that it is "Just
a tool".

I think the work being done by the distributors is great. What is clearly
being aimed for, but not yet achieved, is a system that allows to user to go
as deep as they want into the OS. The important thing is that the users be
able to decide for themselves how deep they want to go. If the OS forces the
users to jump in at the deep end, they won't go swimming.

It needs to be remembered that lots of people drive cars, but only a small
portion want to do their own mechanical repairs. We need to make Linux easy
enough for a child to use, because these will be the next generation of
developers. We need to make Linux easy enough for anyone to use, because
that is how Linux will move to being the mainstream OS.

My two cents worth.
(Gets off soap box:)

Ian

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Roodwr.. » Thu, 03 Apr 2003 00:40:01



> For this reason alone, LGX won't take hold with most of the older
> generation unless it can happen without their noticing the change.

I'm not criticizing the rest of the post, but this statement actually plays
into the hands of the commercial software makers. Since older people buy a
lot of the computers, you're making it seem harder to use Linux than
Windows. In fact, from what I can see, they're about the same
difficulty--just slightly different, and not all that different.

The older generation consists not just of the senile, but doctors, lawyers,
teachers, professors, and the just generally intellectually curious retired
from all kinds of jobs who now have time to pursue their interests. I've
been surprised, sometimes, at the older people that ask me about Linux.
It's too easy to forget that some of the computer pioneers have died now
from old age. Computers are hardly a young person's game anymore. Some of
those fabled computer whiz kids are quickly approaching middle age.

I'd say your point may be more true for the intellectually lazy or those who
have no interest in computers (a group I have some affinity with). And even
for them, the perceived difficulty mainly amounts to FUD.

--Rod

--
Author of "Linux for Non-Geeks--Clear-eyed Answers for Practical Consumers"
and "Boring Stories from Uncle Rod." Both are available at
http://www.rodwriterpublishing.com/index.html

To reply by e-mail, take the extra "o" out of my e-mail address. It's to
confuse spambots, of course.

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Rex Ballar » Thu, 03 Apr 2003 06:35:31


 > rapskat wrote on Monday 31 March 2003 23:36 in message

 >
 >
 >> You should not have to be a geek to be able to use a
 >> computer for simple everyday tasks.
 >>
 >> I agree with this statement 100%.  I think it is totally
 >> unreasonable to expect everyone to become proficient in
 >> computers and their associated apps in order to be able to
 >> send an email, or write a letter, or browse the web.

Keep in mind that if you are dealing with a preconfigured Linux
system, or a system certified to work with that version of
Linux, then you don't need to be a computer guru to use Linux.

In a preconfigured system, the PnP works, configures everything,
and all you need to do is point and click, same as windows.

 >> I also believe that it is unreasonable for everyone to be
 >> able to drive like Mario Andretti just to operate a
 >> vehicle.
 >
 >
 > Correct. Unreasonable Expectation #1: Installation.
 >
 > You do you *not* have to be able to build your own car in
 > order to operate a vehicle. You even have have to install an
 > engine into a pre-built car. Most people have at the best
 > only a vague concept of how their engine works. It's just
 > everyday magic as far as they're concerned.

This is a good analogy.  But more accurately, many of the
"Flatfish Configurations" involve computer hardware which is
known not to support Linux.  Using the car analogy, you have a
diesel engine, a gear box configured to a gasoline engine, and a
differential configured to a *el.  And when the user tries to
put the diesel engine into the car, he can't understand why it
doesn't work.  Furthermore, it's a Chevy engine, Honda Gearbox,
and Mazda differential.

 > Similarly, the vast majority of Windows users have *never*
 > installed their operating systems. These users buy Windows
 > pre-installed on their hardware. It was put there and
 > pre-configured by experts.

Not only that, but hardware vendors had to get approval from
Microsoft before their peripherals could be configured into OEM
systems.  Part of that approval included a nondisclosure
agreement which forced them to NOT release the Linux drivers.

Ironically, many of these chip sets and peripherals are tested
on Linux long before they are configured for Windows.  It's
illegal, but since Linux doesn't have enough economic clout to
drive prosecutors the way Sun and Netscape (AOL) did, Linux has
to find ways to drag Microsoft through the courts for contempt.

Ironically, SCO/Caldera is probably targeting the wrong company.
  IBM has been supportive of both Linux and UNIX.  They have
contributed $millions, even $billions to UNIX over 20 years, and
have been contributing to Linux for about 5 years.

Microsoft on the other hand, forced Michael Dell to stop selling
SCO UNIX on their DELL workstations and servers back in 1992.
They forced Novell to stop developing UnixWare workstations in a
one-sided agreement which Micrososft was secretly violating
before it was even signed.  Microsoft also forced Corel to drop
it's support for Linux, and forced OEMs such as IBM stop selling
Caldera Linux on their T20 and T21 laptops.

 > Put those same users in front of a Linux system that was
 > pre-installed and pre-configured and on the average they have
 > no more trouble with Linux than they did with Windows... some
 > will have less trouble, some more.

They will need to learn to do things differently.  At first they
will be uncomfortable.  But over the course of 2-3 months, they
will discover features in Linux that Windows wouldn't even think
about offering.  They'll start to play with new applications.

 > I'm amused by efforts to compare the users "experience" when
 > the comparison is between a pre-built desktop appliance
 > (Windows) and a do-it-yourself kit (Linux).

 > When Linux makes significant inroads into the home market it
 > will not be because of the sale of boxed distributions or
 > downloaded source code... it will be because of pre-installs
 > on OEM hardware, which is a phenomenon we're just beginning
 > to see in earnest now.

Linux could quickly make it to the corporate desktop however,
simply by having a "corporate configuration" of both hardware
and software, corporate users could get a "standard
configuration" which includes both commercial distribution such
as Red Hat, SuSE, or Caldera, and also includes company specific
configuration information such as VPN settings, reporting tools,
and other company-specific software.  This would probably also
include a WINE or comparable Windows implementation environment
which could be used to run some legacy Windows applications.

 > If you want to make a sale in this market, you come up with a
 > decent, properly configured system and you offer service. A
 > lower price is nice, but to the OEM you really don't need it
 > if you can offer better value-added service at the same price
 > as your competitors' sans-service pricing.

I think we may even find that the prices for Linux systems may
even be slightly higher than Windows systems.  The hardware
costs would be about the same.  Microsoft would still make the
OEM purchase licenses, and the OEM would probably install
Windows.  As a result, Linux would be effectively additional
software.  In addition, the OEMs would either offer their own
support, or would resell support from distributors such as Red
Hat or SuSE.

More important than the basic distributions pre-installed, would
be having the OEMs support the distributors to make sure that
each release works with both their current hardware, and their
older models.  The OEMs don't want to create the perception that
their hardware will be obsolete in 1 year or two releases,
whichever comes first.

At the same time, the distributors need to be careful to not
break on older hardware.  Mandrake 8.2 couldn't deal with IBM's
track-point mouse, SuSE 8.1 couldn't deal with the video cards
and displays on Thinkpad 770s.  Yet both of these computers
worked with previous versions of Linux.  Distributors and OEMs
must work much more closely with each other.

 >> If you have preset notions of what computing is from other
 >> platforms, then you will prejudice yourself against LGX
 >> from the start.  Everything will seem harder or more
 >> difficult, everything will seem not to work if you don't
 >> want to take the minimal time to configure it.

This is part of the adjustment process.  Linux is an innovation,
but any innovation brings with it fear of change, fear of the
unknown, and adjustment.

Of course, on the other side of that change is discovery,
possibility, and whole new possibilities in the domain of
information processing.  Those of us who have been using Linux
are very aware of these possibilities, but even these are only
in very rough terms.  While we can see real-time processing,
conferencing, e-meetings, real-time chats, and voice recognition
capabilities, it would be a bit like seeing Lynx, and trying to
visualize the modern Web Browsers of today.

Ultimately, Linux users will spend less time doing manual
cut-paste, and will spend more time doing streight through
processing, real-time collaboration, cluster services, autonomic
systems, and other shifts.  IBM calls it E-Business on demand,
CA, Dell, and HP have similar concepts.  The Linux server is the
beginning, but the Linux workstations create the opportunities
for whole new breakthroughs in productivity.

 > Keep in mind as well that if you start with Linux, then you
 > prejudice yourself against Windows from the start. Everything
 > will seem harder or more difficult, everything will seem not
 > to work if you don't want to take the minimal time to
 > configure it... much of that time spent downloading and
 > installing GNU software that you really want to use, and none
 > of which shipped with even the most complete Windows
 > pre-install.

It's currently hard to imagine anyone who has used Linux and has
never used Windows before that.  In reality, most Linux users
have developed a preference for Linux, after being exposed to
BOTH systems for a few staff-months of real use.

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Handover Phis » Thu, 03 Apr 2003 07:02:02



> rapskat wrote on Monday 31 March 2003 23:36 in message

>> You should not have to be a geek to be able to use a computer for simple
>> everyday tasks.

>> I agree with this statement 100%.??I?think?it?is?totally?unreasonable?to
>> expect everyone to become proficient in computers and their associated
>> apps in order to be able to send an email, or write a letter, or browse
>> the web.

>> I also believe that it is unreasonable for everyone to be able to drive
>> like Mario Andretti just to operate a vehicle.

> Correct. Unreasonable Expectation #1: Installation.

> You do you *not* have to be able to build your own car in order to operate
> a vehicle. You even have have to install an engine into a pre-built car.
> Most people have at the best only a vague concept of how their engine
> works. It's just everyday magic as far as they're concerned.

Folks are starting to see Linux as more than just everyday magic,
though. I cater to the "Prebuilt car right pedal go left pedal stop"
crowd, and I've put a couple of Linux boxes out on the floor. This
started a few months ago and now I have 1 box out there with scanner
that prints quite nicely to a Lexmark Optra S 1855 network printer. It
runs KDE on the desktop and everything is nice and perky.

The customers like experimenting with something new, and I like the
fact that it doesn't break. Not Just Everyday Magic!

Quote:> Similarly, the vast majority of Windows users have *never* installed their
> operating systems. These users buy Windows pre-installed on their hardware.
> It was put there and pre-configured by experts. Put those same users in
> front of a Linux system that was pre-installed and pre-configured and on
> the average they have no more trouble with Linux than they did with
> Windows... some will have less trouble, some more.

Some have no trouble at all. It starts up in the morning, and I put
Mozilla up. Some folks never realise their using Linux unless I tell
them or they read the signs.

Quote:> I'm amused by efforts to compare the users "experience" when the comparison
> is between a pre-built desktop appliance (Windows) and a do-it-yourself kit
> (Linux). When Linux makes significant inroads into the home market it will
> not be because of the sale of boxed distributions or downloaded source
> code... it will be because of pre-installs on OEM hardware, which is a
> phenomenon we're just beginning to see in earnest now. If you want to make
> a sale in this market, you come up with a decent, properly configured
> system and you offer service. A lower price is nice, but to the OEM you
> really don't need it if you can offer better value-added service at the
> same price as your competitors' sans-service pricing.

Ya flattened that nail! This is bang on.

Quote:>> If you have preset notions of what computing is from other platforms,
>> then you will prejudice yourself against LGX from the start.  Everything
>> will seem harder or more difficult, everything will seem not to work if
>> you don't want to take the minimal time to configure it.

> Keep in mind as well that if you start with Linux, then you prejudice
> yourself against Windows from the start. Everything will seem harder or
> more difficult, everything will seem not to work if you don't want to take
> the minimal time to configure it... much of that time spent downloading and
> installing GNU software that you really want to use, and none of which
> shipped with even the most complete Windows pre-install.

The person(s) willing to start this trend are going to be wealthy folk.
Just my 2 cents.

--
I'm wearing PAMPERS!!

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Erik Funkenbusc » Thu, 03 Apr 2003 08:58:01




>  > rapskat wrote on Monday 31 March 2003 23:36 in message

>  >> You should not have to be a geek to be able to use a
>  >> computer for simple everyday tasks.

>  >> I agree with this statement 100%.  I think it is totally
>  >> unreasonable to expect everyone to become proficient in
>  >> computers and their associated apps in order to be able to
>  >> send an email, or write a letter, or browse the web.

> Keep in mind that if you are dealing with a preconfigured Linux
> system, or a system certified to work with that version of
> Linux, then you don't need to be a computer guru to use Linux.

> In a preconfigured system, the PnP works, configures everything,
> and all you need to do is point and click, same as windows.

Until you need to change something.  For instance, if you want to install
a USB Cable modem.  Your typical end user can do that just fine with the
directions provided.  Plug in modem, insert driver disk when asked, click
next a few times, ready to go.

Linux?  It's not going to be that simple, assuming it works at all.

Quote:> Not only that, but hardware vendors had to get approval from
> Microsoft before their peripherals could be configured into OEM
> systems.  Part of that approval included a nondisclosure
> agreement which forced them to NOT release the Linux drivers.

That's complete bullshit Rex.  If that were so, then why does nVidia
release both OEM products and Linux drivers?

Quote:> Microsoft on the other hand, forced Michael Dell to stop selling
> SCO UNIX on their DELL workstations and servers back in 1992.
> They forced Novell to stop developing UnixWare workstations in a
> one-sided agreement which Micrososft was secretly violating
> before it was even signed.  Microsoft also forced Corel to drop
> it's support for Linux, and forced OEMs such as IBM stop selling
> Caldera Linux on their T20 and T21 laptops.

How can someone violate an agreement before it's even made?  You're
talking nonsense Rex.  Further, Microsoft was quite upset with Corel for
them dropping out of the Linux market, since they had an agreement with
them to develop the Linux version of .NET which Corel eventually just
completely bailed on.
 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Lee Wei Shu » Thu, 03 Apr 2003 13:05:32


<snip>

Quote:>> In a preconfigured system, the PnP works, configures everything,
>> and all you need to do is point and click, same as windows.

> Until you need to change something.  For instance, if you want to install
> a USB Cable modem.  Your typical end user can do that just fine with the
> directions provided.  Plug in modem, insert driver disk when asked, click
> next a few times, ready to go.

Chicken and Egg scenario. For old modems, this assumes that you had the
foresight to download the updated disk. If your driver disk is old, there
is a high chance that you would be stuck when upgrading any OS.

If you bought a new modem, it had better say "OS foo supported".

If not, stick to "standard" stuff like Ethernet cable modems.

Quote:> Linux?  It's not going to be that simple, assuming it works at all.

See above. If it was preconfigured, and the correct *supported* USB modem
was purchased, it would work like the above, working with a few simple
instructions.

Regards,
Wei Shun

--
Change to leews to mail.
Linux user #61399
The beginning of the
end

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Ilari Liusvaar » Thu, 03 Apr 2003 18:46:23


Datagram from Rex Ballard incoming on netlink socket

Quote:> Keep in mind that if you are dealing with a preconfigured Linux
> system, or a system certified to work with that version of
> Linux, then you don't need to be a computer guru to use Linux.

> In a preconfigured system, the PnP works, configures everything,
> and all you need to do is point and click, same as windows.

Also there is by far less chance that anything gets messed up
either accidentally or spontaneously on preconfigured Linux system.

Ideally, precofiguration includes configuration to allow the user
to install with user priviledges almost anything that doesn't involve
dangerous priviledges. Most of that setup is setting up all those search
paths to go through user homedir.

-Ilari
--
Of course MS is to be blame. -- Erik Funkenbusch
Linux LK_Perkele_IV9 2.4.20-lsm1 #7 Sun Jan 12 12:49:06 EET 2003 i686 unknown
  7:42pm  up 26 days, 23:37,  7 users,  load average: 0.06, 0.08, 0.12

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Pete Goodwi » Sun, 06 Apr 2003 10:03:20




Quote:> You should not have to be a geek to be able to use a computer for
> simple everyday tasks.

True.

Quote:> I agree with this statement 100%.  I think it is totally unreasonable
> to expect everyone to become proficient in computers and their
> associated apps in order to be able to send an email, or write a
> letter, or browse the web.

True.

Quote:> I also believe that it is unreasonable for everyone to be able to
> drive like Mario Andretti just to operate a vehicle.

Who? I don't follow car racing...

Quote:> HOWEVER...I do think that there is a minimum level of competance that
> a person needs to achieve to be able to successfully operate a vehicle
> or a computer, or a TV or a microwave or justabout any of the modern
> conveniences that we have available to us.

True.

Quote:> It is an unreasonable expectation to make a General Purpose
> application that anyone would be able to sit down and immediately be
> able to use without needing any instruction and/or documentation.

It is a _perfectly reasonable_ expectation to make a General Purpose
application or even a specialist one that anyone would be able to sit
down and immediately be productive without reading documentation!

That's the whole point of well written GUIs!

I've got Open Office installed on my system. How often have I read the
manuals in order to figure out how to use it at the basics level. NEVER!

I recently bought Sonic Foundry Vegas 4.0 - I started using that
IMMEDIATELY as it was so obvious to use!

Quote:> While I do think that it should be simple enough to use, I think that
> some expectations for the user to RTFM and/or otherwise obtain the
> skill and knowledge necessary to successfully operate the software in
> question is not unreasonable at all.

I only need RTFM if I need an advanced or an obscure feature.

Quote:> I had to learn how to drive really quick.  Actually, I learned in a
> day, and the next day I got my license.  I was able to pick up quickly
> enough on the basics of operating a vehicle, but I still required some
> training to be able to do it.

It took me several weeks and I failed first time around.

Quote:> The same is true of computers.  You can't just expect to sit in the
> drivers' seat and obtain the skills by osmosis.  Granted, the software
> should help you as much as possible along the way, but to expect the
> software to become clairevoyant and be able to tell what you want to
> do before you do it is completely unreasonable.

See above. You're setting your expectations too low, but then, judging by
your being used to Linux, I'm not surprised!

Quote:> This is what persons that say that LGX is "not user friendly" seem to
> expect.  For them, they expect that they should never have to read
> anything, type anything, or even think anything and the software
> should just automagically do what they want it to do.

See above. It can be done! It _IS_ done!

Quote:> Not even Windows does this.  No software that I know of does this, so
> why is it that these completely unreasonable expectations are placed
> upon LGX to accomplish this feat?

What?!? Where have you had your head buried?

Quote:> I mean, c'mon, LGX is good, but it's not *that* damned good!

Ah so Windows applications are so much better.

Quote:> While there are areas on LGX that definitely could stand to be "dumbed
> down" a bit, for the most part it is already about as simple as it can
> get.  Especially for mainstream distros like Redhat, SuSE and
> Mandrake.

That's where you're wrong.

Quote:> Look, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you simply cannot
> expect LGX or any software to be able to read your mind.  You are
> going to have to learn it, how it does things, how to accomplish
> tasks.

It doesn't need to read your mind! It just needs to be more helpful. If
Windows and associated applications can do it - why not Linux?

Quote:> You learned on Windows, you invested the time and did the research
> without complaint.  Now you are using something different, so it
> stands to reason that some things will have to be re-learned.

Nahhhh!

Quote:> It's not really that hard, just take it one step at a time.   Learn a
> little bit each day.  Try to accomplish one task a day and before you
> know it you'll be up to speed doing almost that you used to do on
> Windows and more.

Wrongo!

Quote:> LGX is not difficult.  It's not hard.  it can be easy to use, but it
> is different and this can give the illusion of difficulty due to the
> fact that you are not used to it.

It is different and it is harder to use than it can be.

Quote:> I used to think installing software LGX was hard, until I actually did
> it a few times, then I learned that it was just as simple, and
> sometimes even simpler!  The same for when I first added a hard drive,
> it was daunting at first becuase I never did it before.  Then, when I
> actually did it, I saw it was cake.  The same for compiling a kernel,
> now I can almost do it with my eyes shut.

You just don't get it do you? You do not _need_ to rebuild the kernel!

Quote:> If you have preset notions of what computing is from other platforms,
> then you will prejudice yourself against LGX from the start.
> Everything will seem harder or more difficult, everything will seem
> not to work if you don't want to take the minimal time to configure
> it.

Its only harder on Linux because the level of USER INTERFACE on Linux
makes it so.

Quote:> Don't put unreasonable expectations on LGX.  It is very good, but it
> can't do miracles.  You will have to take some effort on your part to
> be able to take advantage of the benefits of this awesome platform.

I expect it to be better and easier to use than Windows. It is not.

--
Pete Goodwin, running on Windows XP

 
 
 

Unreasonable Expectations

Post by Rex Ballar » Mon, 07 Apr 2003 02:04:20



 >
 >
 >>

 >>> rapskat wrote on Monday 31 March 2003 23:36 in message

 >>>
 >>>
 >>>> You should not have to be a geek to be able to use a
 >>>> computer for simple everyday tasks.
 >>>>
 >>>> I agree with this statement 100%.  I think it is
 >>>> totally unreasonable to expect everyone to become
 >>>> proficient in computers and their associated apps in
 >>>> order to be able to send an email, or write a letter,
 >>>> or browse the web.
 >>
 >> Keep in mind that if you are dealing with a preconfigured
 >> Linux system, or a system certified to work with that
 >> version of Linux, then you don't need to be a computer guru
 >> to use Linux.
 >>
 >> In a preconfigured system, the PnP works, configures
 >> everything, and all you need to do is point and click, same
 >> as windows.
 >
 >
 > Until you need to change something.  For instance, if you
 > want to install a USB Cable modem.  Your typical end user can
 > do that just fine with the directions provided.  Plug in
 > modem, insert driver disk when asked, click next a few times,
 > ready to go.
 >
 > Linux?  It's not going to be that simple, assuming it works
 > at all.

Again, does the manufacturer state that this product is
supported by Linux?  I had no problem connecting my cable-modem
to my ethernet card.  In about 3 minutes, DHCP had given Linux
the correct address, and the web interface had the computer
modem working perfectly.

I haven't tried a USB cable modem because it's too limiting.
With a USB cable modem, I can't later add a NAT firewall and
share mulitple PCs with the modem.  Is this another case of
citing a peripheral or known not to be supported by Linux?

 >> Not only that, but hardware vendors had to get approval
 >> from Microsoft before their peripherals could be configured
 >> into OEM systems.  Part of that approval included a
 >> nondisclosure agreement which forced them to NOT release
 >> the Linux drivers.
 >
 > That's complete bullshit Rex.  If that were so, then why does
 > nVidia release both OEM products and Linux drivers?

Actually, there is a 3-6 month lag between the release of new
nVidia chips and the publication of the Linux drivers.  I had a
card that wasn't supported by SuSE 8.0 that was supported by
8.1.  I actually had to wait about 6 weeks from the time that I
bought the card.

Since that experience, I check the video card to make sure that
it is supported by Linux.  I do the same with LAN cards,
wireless cards, and any other peripherals.  When I choose those
cards, Linux configures itself at reboot.  For Lan cards I have
to use YAST or Red Hat Network configuration to get it set to
the appropriate interface and either DHCP or fixed address.

Remember, my premise that when users use equipment DESIGNED FOR
LINUX, that they don't have to be Linux gurus.

 >> Microsoft on the other hand, forced Michael Dell to stop
 >> selling SCO UNIX on their DELL workstations and servers
 >> back in 1992. They forced Novell to stop developing
 >> UnixWare workstations in a one-sided agreement which
 >> Micrososft was secretly violating before it was even
 >> signed.  Microsoft also forced Corel to drop it's support
 >> for Linux, and forced OEMs such as IBM stop selling Caldera
 >> Linux on their T20 and T21 laptops.
 >
 > How can someone violate an agreement before it's even made?

The point was that when Microsoft got Novell to agree, they not
only had no intention of cancelling NT Server, they continued
development at full speed.  I was working with a team at Dow
Jones who were working on NT Server based projects and Microsoft
didn't even hesitate.  I remember Novell taking the position of
terminating their Workstation program, because Caldera was
announced a few weeks later.

 > You're talking nonsense Rex.  Further, Microsoft was quite
 > upset with Corel for them dropping out of the Linux market,
 > since they had an agreement with them to develop the Linux
 > version of .NET which Corel eventually just completely bailed
 > on.

Actually, Corel stopped all support for Linux about two weeks
after Microsoft gave them the Bail-out money.  In addition, the
CEO was replaced with someone pretty much chosen by Microsoft.
Microsoft just sold their share of the company for $15 million.
  It was probably the best $150 million Microsoft had ever
invested.  It gave them enough board votes and proxy votes to
drive the company completely into the ground, with no ability
(capital, intellectual property, staffing, market channels) to
reenter the Linux market.

--
Rex Ballard
Leading Open Source Advocate
http://www.open4success.org/bio

 
 
 

1. programmer and a clinet-is this an unreasonable expectation?

I am in the process of developing a community website that is based on
memberships. I am not programmer nor have much knowledge in this field
so I would like to ask people here for your opinion.

 I have hired a programmer and he sent me a registration form for my
review. The registration form contains no rules for each field: for
example, when I test the form, I am able to register writing just "t"
for the email field. OR just one charcter for password section.  an
alphabet charcter for zipcode field, etc.  None of the fields has any
rules.  I am little surprised to find that the programmer didn't
attempt to set any kind of limitations and requirements for the
fields.  However, he insisted that it is my job to request specifics
of those.  I am told that it is the industry standard.

I am little surprised about this as i thought that those things i
mentioned above are given and that a good programmer should at least
attempt to set some sort of requirements (for example, making zipcode
fields a numeric field).

i am told that my expectations are of a typical sort coming from
someone who never made a website before.  This could be very true
since this IS my first time. I would like to know your opinion
regarding this.  Thank you

2. {}

3. unreasonable load on Sol 2.5.1 on SS20

4. Argument for "find"

5. Is this unreasonable?

6. apache 1.3.6 -- .htaccess stopped working

7. Expectations & Tuneables message queues in 2.3

8. A question on ipfwadm and firewall toolkits

9. Sun F15K Performance Expectations

10. gigabit bandwidth expectations?

11. Query: Sig11s and hardware expectations

12. Consulting rate expectations?

13. Newsgroup expectations