BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Barry Smit » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



Anyone listen to the programme 'Logged On'
PC this, PC that, PC t'other, oh and suppose we had
better mention the Mac.
WHAT ABOUT ACORN ?

I must admit I didn't hear the whole programme but got
the impression they were only interested in talking about
getting a fast PC with 64 Mb ram + big hard drive + internet
facilities. They didn't seem to mention software.

A computer without good software is like a car without petrol.
If PC's could run Acorn software I'd buy one tomorrow.

Barry
--
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BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Jim Lesur » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




Quote:> Anyone listen to the programme 'Logged On'
> PC this, PC that, PC t'other, oh and suppose we had
> better mention the Mac.

Yes. Heard it.

It was obvious from the start that it hadn't even entered the heads of
anyone involved that there was any 'choice' other than IBM/windows. The
only reason Macs got mentioned was because a *caller* asked about them.
Even then, their response was 'faintly negative'. Not 'compatible', and
less 'choice' of software, apparently.

Worse, although they gave some sensible general advice at the start about
"Ask if you really *need* a computer" and "Choose on the basis of what you
need it *for*" they virtually ignored this when answering questions.

I doesn't surprise me that they didn't mention 'Acorn'. But it was sad
that the program was down to the usual ultra-low standard of recent BBC
'computer' programs. No real info, no real help. But then R4 has been
headed downhill for sometime. The 'big fat controller' recently fired
Chris Dunkly from 'Feedback'. This means he can avoid having to face him
*again* in the future and explain why he still had not honoured his
promise to resign when the viewing figures fell as a result of the changes
he has made. [1]

BTW 'Computers' were discussed in another R4 prog a few days earlier.
Can't recall the name, not a specifically computer program. Their general
attitude was that "all computers crash a lot, are unreliable and over
complex by nature." General air that these things are a sort of "Act of
God" or "Natural Law"...

Not much help for the great British public, there, either...  :-(

Slainte,

Jim

[1] For those who don't know, 'Feedback' is R4's program where listeners
write in and voice their complaints/opinions on the BBC's radio output.
Chris D. has fronted it for 13 years and become an excellent interviewer
and presenter. Persistent and effective at confronting BBC execs and
producers with the idiocy and unpopularity of some of their doings. The
next series is to have a 'new format' where listener opinions will be
diluted with BBC 'features' about what they are doing - i.e. padded with
PR.

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BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Dave Coope » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




> Anyone listen to the programme 'Logged On'
> PC this, PC that, PC t'other, oh and suppose we had
> better mention the Mac.
> WHAT ABOUT ACORN ?

> I must admit I didn't hear the whole programme but got
> the impression they were only interested in talking about
> getting a fast PC with 64 Mb ram + big hard drive + internet
> facilities. They didn't seem to mention software.

> A computer without good software is like a car without petrol.
> If PC's could run Acorn software I'd buy one tomorrow.

> Barry

They didn't mention Acorn at all.

The reason they just discussed hardware was that this was the first of 13?
programmes - ie Buying your machine
Being about PC's next weeks programme is (I think) about 'when things go
wrong.' Honestly!

Regards, Dave C.

--
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BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Barry Smit » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00






> > Anyone listen to the programme 'Logged On'
> > PC this, PC that, PC t'other, oh and suppose we had
> > better mention the Mac.

> Yes. Heard it.
> I doesn't surprise me that they didn't mention 'Acorn'.

I didn't surprise me, but it did annoy me.  Let's see what next
weeks installment brings. My guess - pc's, pc's and more pc's :-(

Barry
--
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BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Jim Lesur » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00








> > > Anyone listen to the programme 'Logged On'
> > > PC this, PC that, PC t'other, oh and suppose we had
> > > better mention the Mac.

> > Yes. Heard it.
> > I doesn't surprise me that they didn't mention 'Acorn'.
> I didn't surprise me, but it did annoy me.  Let's see what next
> weeks installment brings. My guess - pc's, pc's and more pc's :-(

And 'windows, windows...'.

I confess I don't get annoyed with programs like this due to a 'failure to
mention Acorn'. I do, however, get bothered by the 'monoculture' they
present.

Personally, I have no great interest in Macs, Linux, etc. But I know
others do, and that they have their valid uses. I feel that a program
should at least *mention* that there are a variety of options and outline
their relative pros/cons. If they then went on to say, "well, most people
buy w98" and then spend most time on it, fair enough.

I want to BBC to promote the freely informed ability of listeners to make
real *choices*. As it is, they simply promote a monoculture.

Slainte,

Jim

--
Electronics  http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/intro/electron.htm
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BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Tarc » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




Quote:> Anyone listen to the programme 'Logged On'
> PC this, PC that, PC t'other, oh and suppose we had
> better mention the Mac.
> WHAT ABOUT ACORN ?

What about the Atari ST?  The Amiga?  You neglected to mention them,
in just the same way that the programme neglected to mention Acorn.
All three are only of relevance to an extremely small minority of
people these days, so what else can be expected, like it or not?

Besides, what's wrong with being part of an exclusive crowd!

If Acorn would release RiscOS to the public, those in the Acorn
community who are able to contribute practical help could get on with
the job, as it is their delaying has meant that there appears to be a
brain-drain going on.

--
From the keyboard of Tarcus himself, running Linux in the UK.
                 -- There are no facts, only opinions --

 
 
 

BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Dickon Hoo » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00









: > > > Anyone listen to the programme 'Logged On'
: > > > PC this, PC that, PC t'other, oh and suppose we had
: > > > better mention the Mac.

: > > Yes. Heard it.

: > > I doesn't surprise me that they didn't mention 'Acorn'.

: > I didn't surprise me, but it did annoy me.  Let's see what next
: > weeks installment brings. My guess - pc's, pc's and more pc's :-(

I think what you're all forgetting is that there's no *point* in buying an
Acorn machine any more as there's a diminishing developer base, no further
machines will be produced, and (IMHO), we're damned lucky to be getting this
last release of the OS.  Where's the incentive?  (And before anyone says
'Steering Group' etc., I suggest you take a good look from a realist
perspective and apply some thought - not advocacy - to the situation).

: And 'windows, windows...'.

: I confess I don't get annoyed with programs like this due to a 'failure to
: mention Acorn'. I do, however, get bothered by the 'monoculture' they
: present.

: Personally, I have no great interest in Macs, Linux, etc. But I know
: others do, and that they have their valid uses. I feel that a program
: should at least *mention* that there are a variety of options and outline
: their relative pros/cons. If they then went on to say, "well, most people
: buy w98" and then spend most time on it, fair enough.

I'd hope they mention Apple at *some* point, not because I have any great
love of the machines (I loathe them, actually :-), but because it isn't
windows.  However, there isn't much point in mentioning anything else as
those capable of running them (linux, *BSD, etc., etc.) will already know
about them, and a programme like this is aimed at the beginner.

: I want to BBC to promote the freely informed ability of listeners to make
: real *choices*. As it is, they simply promote a monoculture.

Because there is no other real choice ATM.  Apple just about makes it, but
even they're a small minority.  For the average User-On-The-Street, a
'doze-based PC probably *is* the best option, sad to say.

--
*on Hood

Due to binaries posted to non-binary newsgroups, my .sig is
temporarily unavailable.  Normal service will be resumed as soon as
possible.  We apologise for the inconvenience in the mean time.

 
 
 

BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Jim Lesur » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00






> : Personally, I have no great interest in Macs, Linux, etc. But I know
> : others do, and that they have their valid uses. I feel that a program
> : should at least *mention* that there are a variety of options and
> : outline their relative pros/cons. If they then went on to say, "well,
> : most people buy w98" and then spend most time on it, fair enough.
> I'd hope they mention Apple at *some* point, not because I have any
> great love of the machines (I loathe them, actually :-), but because it
> isn't windows.  However, there isn't much point in mentioning anything
> else as those capable of running them (linux, *BSD, etc., etc.) will
> already know about them, and a programme like this is aimed at the
> beginner.

I understand why you are saying this, but I feel it is a 'dangerous'
viewpoint. It implies that *only* those who have *already* heard of linux,
etc, by 10th Jan 1999, are capable of learning how to use or prefer them.
How will those 'capable of running them' know about the existence of
alternatives if no-one ever tells them?

I'd be the first to agree that 'unix as we have known it' isn't exactly
user-friendly for newbies.  :-)  Nor am very keen on Macs...  However, we
have to consider how anyone who is currently growing up, or learning about
computers for the first time, will even know that alternatives *exist*.

By *not* even admitting that such alternatives exist, the BBC and others
are providing a form of 'censorship'. As my previous message said, I can
see why such programs would concentrate on win98, but I am bothered by the
complete 'invisibility' of potential alternatives.

Fair enough if the vast majority choose win98 for reasons that make sense
to them. But what about the minority who *might* have preferred something
else if only they had known it existed?...

Just my view, though. Based on a strong dislike of censorship and partial
information. To me 'free choice' implies the availablity of the relevant
information. I feel the BBC fails in its duties in this general field. But
then I also take a dim view of the BBC in general, these days. Must be I'm
getting old!  ;->

Quote:> : I want to BBC to promote the freely informed ability of listeners to
> : make real *choices*. As it is, they simply promote a monoculture.
> Because there is no other real choice ATM.  Apple just about makes it,
> but even they're a small minority.  For the average User-On-The-Street,
> a 'doze-based PC probably *is* the best option, sad to say.

For the "average" (by which I assume you mean "majority") perhaps yes...
but what about various 'minorities'?

The BBC at least take semi-seriously its responsibility to provide
programs and information for racial minorities, the disabled, etc. They
don't say (any more!) that "Most UK people are fit and white, so we can
ignore anyone who isn't."

I accept the above isn't really a fair comparison, but as an analogy I
think it does serve to make a point. Note that there are lots of special
interest features in other areas. e.g. I just saw a BBC2 prog about TVR.
Interesting program, impressive engineering, but perhaps the BBC should
not have made it as only a tiny minority will ever buy or drive a TVR?...
;->

Sainte,

Jim

--
Electronics  http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/intro/electron.htm
MMWaves  http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/MMWave/Index.html
Barbirolli Soc. http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/JBSoc/JBSoc.html
TechWriter http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/TechWrite/Tips1.html
Dutton CDs  http://www.duttonlabs.demon.co.uk/index.html

 
 
 

BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Dickon Hoo » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00






: > I'd hope they mention Apple at *some* point, not because I have any
: > great love of the machines (I loathe them, actually :-), but because it
: > isn't windows.  However, there isn't much point in mentioning anything
: > else as those capable of running them (linux, *BSD, etc., etc.) will
: > already know about them, and a programme like this is aimed at the
: > beginner.

: I understand why you are saying this, but I feel it is a 'dangerous'
: viewpoint. It implies that *only* those who have *already* heard of linux,
: etc, by 10th Jan 1999, are capable of learning how to use or prefer them.
: How will those 'capable of running them' know about the existence of
: alternatives if no-one ever tells them?

They will undoubtedly come across them if they look.  Hells, even if they
*don't* look - linux has been front-page news on a number of PC mags
recently.

: I'd be the first to agree that 'unix as we have known it' isn't exactly
: user-friendly for newbies.  :-)  Nor am very keen on Macs...  However, we
: have to consider how anyone who is currently growing up, or learning about
: computers for the first time, will even know that alternatives *exist*.

: By *not* even admitting that such alternatives exist, the BBC and others
: are providing a form of 'censorship'. As my previous message said, I can
: see why such programs would concentrate on win98, but I am bothered by the
: complete 'invisibility' of potential alternatives.

I think *that's* going too far.

: Fair enough if the vast majority choose win98 for reasons that make sense
: to them. But what about the minority who *might* have preferred something
: else if only they had known it existed?...

They'll find it.  It isn't all that difficult.  There's such as thing as
drowning a user in choice; people faced with a decision with too many
variables invariably get it wrong.

[...]

: > Because there is no other real choice ATM.  Apple just about makes it,
: > but even they're a small minority.  For the average User-On-The-Street, a
: > 'doze-based PC probably *is* the best option, sad to say.

: For the "average" (by which I assume you mean "majority") perhaps yes...
: but what about various 'minorities'?

They'll find what they're looking for if they're even vaguely competant.

[...]

: Note that there are lots of special interest features in other areas. e.g.
: I just saw a BBC2 prog about TVR. Interesting program, impressive
: engineering, but perhaps the BBC should not have made it as only a tiny
: minority will ever buy or drive a TVR?...  ;->

No, you've got confused.  Lots of people (I assume) will be interested in
that programme as they're interested in cars (I myself am not, but that's
another matter).  The TVR is (assuming I'm thinking of the same thing - quite
possible I'm not...) a piece of interesting engineering that people
interested in cars will be interested in knowing more about, if nothing else,
just to take a look at it.  The same cannot really be said for computer
operating systems, IMHO.

--
*on Hood

Due to binaries posted to non-binary newsgroups, my .sig is
temporarily unavailable.  Normal service will be resumed as soon as
possible.  We apologise for the inconvenience in the mean time.

 
 
 

BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Russell Buckne » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




Quote:> Being about PC's next weeks programme is (I think) about 'when things go
> wrong.' Honestly!

Could be quite a long one then ;-)

Russell

--
* He who dies with the most toys - wins!
 ___                 _ _

|   / || (_-<_-</ -_) | |   Acorn Risc PC 700 50m 1.0G 8xCD
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BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Tony Spenc » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




Quote:

> BTW 'Computers' were discussed in another R4 prog a few days earlier.
> Can't recall the name, not a specifically computer program. Their general
> attitude was that "all computers crash a lot, are unreliable and over
> complex by nature." General air that these things are a sort of "Act of
> God" or "Natural Law"...

There was some discussion of PCs on 'Shop Talk', I only caught the last few
minutes of the article. The bit I heard seemed to have been about the PCs

problems with a scanner she had bought for her husband and one of the
'experts' admitted that they had never managed to get a scanner to work
first time because of the complexity. Some day people will wake up to the
fact that the computer industry is ripping them off by providing poor
quality and over-priced products which rarely match up to the claims made
for them (there have been some noteable exceptions, of course ;-)

--
Tony Spence

 
 
 

BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Barry Smit » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




> They'll find it.  It isn't all that difficult.  There's such as thing as
> drowning a user in choice; people faced with a decision with too many
> variables invariably get it wrong.

It would be interesting to know where the evidence for this is.

One problem I find is that computer magazines are platform specific
and those that are aimed at novices assume you have (or will be
buying) a PC.  The Radio 4 programme follows this path.

If people don't even get the chance to choose, there are
many who will buy a PC because they don't know otherwise.

Barry
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BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Barry Smit » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00






> > WHAT ABOUT ACORN ?

> What about the Atari ST?  The Amiga?  You neglected to mention them,
> in just the same way that the programme neglected to mention Acorn.
> All three are only of relevance to an extremely small minority of
> people these days, so what else can be expected, like it or not?

> Besides, what's wrong with being part of an exclusive crowd!

I wasn't aware of Atari or Amiga being in the same league, in terms
of machine performance, as PC/Acorn/Mac, but the producers of the
programme cannot plead any ignorance. If I was in their position
I would have done my 'homework'

There's nothing wrong with being part of an exclusive crowd, but
image if Acorn and PC swapped places - advantages of availabilty
and low prices of soft/hardware due to large customer base.  We won't
even aspire to that if we don't stand up for our preferred choice.

Barry
--
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BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Stephen Scot » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00






> > They'll find it.  It isn't all that difficult.  There's such as thing as
> > drowning a user in choice; people faced with a decision with too many
> > variables invariably get it wrong.

> It would be interesting to know where the evidence for this is.

> One problem I find is that computer magazines are platform specific
> and those that are aimed at novices assume you have (or will be
> buying) a PC.  The Radio 4 programme follows this path.

> If people don't even get the chance to choose, there are
> many who will buy a PC because they don't know otherwise.

Its strange for an organisation like the BBC, who've gone digital, and
online, to make programmes that still insist on being biased towards a
single platform. It really counterbalances their otherwise worthy
advances in communication.

Its easier to think that everyone has the same machine. But we know it
isn't like that. And sooner or later, the Beeb and other tv companies
and producers will realise this. In one form or another, digital
convergence between tvs and pcs (in whatever form) will be happening
in the future.

The best approach to any programme such as this is an independent one,
where the software rules, not the operating system. There must be some
computer independent topics of discussion that programmes such as this
can cover?

Regards,

Stephen (my opinion, not the employers)

--

Expansion Manager, Tau Press (http://www.tau-press.com/)
Acorn User (http://www.acornuser.com/)

January 1999 issue - on sale Thursday 7th January

 
 
 

BBC radio 4, Friday 3pm

Post by Paul Cork » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




> PC this, PC that, PC t'other, oh and suppose we had
> better mention the Mac.
> WHAT ABOUT ACORN ?

Because Acorn isn't available in Dixons, PC World, or erm... wherever
the third place was.

They did say that the salesman in PC World "didn't listen to what I
wanted and seemed to be on a commission for one particular machine" (to
paraphrase).  So at least there's some accuracy in there :)

Paul.
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