> Inspired by a thread above, "thoughts from a Linux newbie" and my
> current experience with teaching my poor old Dad how to use Win2k, I'm
> reminded of how difficult it actually is to learn Windows.
> Dad has zero computer experience and was given a 486 machine on which I
> installed Win98. Mom and Dad got our old Pent266/192 megs machine (more
> than adequate for internet and e-mail) for Christmas onto which I
> installed Win2kpro SP2.
> The progress over the last 2 months, working on these machines with him
> has been very difficult. I'm reminded constantly by the fact that there
> is no previous life experience providing analogous experience from which
> to draw.
> I recall being amazed about 8 years ago when a Microsoft support guy
> introduced the concept of dragging a file to me! Copy and paste... all
> that stuff that is tertiary nature to many of us by now.
> Dad calls the Desktop his "Icon field". Calls all windows--"pages".
> Dialogue boxes are little pages--logically so. Thinks Google is a
> permanent feature of Internet Explorer. He's pulling out of this now,
> scratching at that threshold where it all makes some sense, but though
> I'm just in the process of only downloading the Mandrake 8.1 ISO, I am
> reminded that Windows is not automatically the idiot proof, perfectly
> intuitive OS a Win-veteran/Linux newbie may think it is in the face of
> tackling Linux.
> I suspect that someone who has been a long time Linux user would find
> Windows to be just as alien. FWIW..... Dave
This is another example of what I try to remind people about when they
make claims about the ease of use of Windows. Many people seem to have
forgotten the difficulty of the Windows for many Windows neophytes. I
was one of those persons who had to train workers it use the Windows
Training workers for the Dos, unix, etc environments was a realitive
cinch compared with the Windows environment. Over the phone problem
analysis and resolution was a real nightmare, to the point that it meant
much more travel to client locations to solve some of the most minor
I got a panicked call of "All the the programs are gone". It turned out
that she had maximized the program manager group window and had by
accident created a new group windows.
I gat a call of "WordPerfect is gone", he had accidently drag-and-drop'ed
the icon for WordPerfect to a different group. Oh the joys of the
program manager (progman.exe).
I got another panicked call of "All the the programs are gone". This
time it turned out that he was logged in as supervisor and had
drag-and-drop'ed the directory that contained all of the primary
applications software to a different locations, taking down all the
client worstations dependant on the same primary fileserver as his
Then there are the joys of accidental mouse click by someone with shaky
hands. As well as the joys of teaching people to click and double click
without moving the mouse.
Then taking the brunt of user dissatisfaction with having to learn so
many little useless details to do the same job that they did faster
before with just a few keystrokes.
I run Linux, no *y RedHat, Debian, Slackware, or Corel, just Linux.
May all that you wish upon me and mine be visited upon you ten fold.