Re: [unrev-II] user education

From: Jeff Miller (
Date: Sun Jan 30 2000 - 22:18:27 PST

From: Jeff Miller <>

On Sun, Jan 30, 2000 at 10:12:10PM -0800, Eugene Kim wrote:
> From: Eugene Kim <>
> People aren't risking their lives when they fire up their word processor.
> :-)

They could be if they ask their system/network administrator the 1000th
dumb question of the day. :-). in case, you hadn't guessed I'm at the end
of a day were I got very little "useful" done.

> You need to draw a distinction between a general purpose computer and its
> applications. Clearly, if you want to take advantage of the power of
> general purpose computing, you must be willing to traverse a fairly steep
> learning curve. But if you're just using your word processor,
> spreadsheet, web browser, and e-mail client, it seems reasonable to expect
> almost instant usability.

I agree there. my mother was using my laptop the other night to look at
gardening websites, while a bit tentative she was able to use it to read
some interesting articles on the gardening autralia website
( from memory). BTW, my laptop was and is
running linux.
> electric motors in the early 1900s. Back in those days, Sears and Roebuck
> sold a household electric motor; you could then buy attachments that used
> that motor, including sewing machines, mixers, fans, etc. Nowadays, of
> course, these attachments are now separate appliances, and you don't think
> twice about the motor.

Now tell a service tech that he can't use his multimeter or his
screwdriver set. hence, my comment about the usablity/power gradient. We
can have a simple interface that does the simple things but grows as you
discover new features. Then after using it for a short period of time you
look back and discover that you actually have quite a powerful command set
at your disposal. It sneaks up on you.


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