Re: John-ny! John-ny! John-ny! (LONG)

  • From: "F.M. Taylor" <root@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Technocracy <technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 09:11:55 -0500 (EST)

While I also have no love for JCD, I must admit that I agree with this
latest rant.  I haven't seen anything new or inovative in at least 10
years (more like 20 years).  
  Maybe its just a problem for those of us who are old enough to remember
what it was like to blast you own EPROM after spending weeks diggiing thru
hardware and chip specs to write the code.  It was fun. 
  While I don't blame the MAC, the first one did have some minor
expandibility.  I blame the types of users that the MAC and Windows
created.  The computer stopped being a computer, and it became a VCR, or a
Nintendo, or a blender, just another home appliance that you needed to
keep up with the neighbors.  No longer did you have to actually understand
how a computer worked, or be able to program, just flip a switch, point
and click.
  Now we have a whole new generation of lusers, some of which call
themselfs programmers, who have no clue how the machine works beyond the
point and click, and if I pulled the EEPROM from their system, couldnt
make it boot if their life depended on it.
  I also have no love for the GUI.  It is a crutch for people who can't
operate a keyboard.  If I remove the mouse from your system, and you can't
use it, then you are nothing more than a glorified data entry operator
(best slam that came to mind).  If I remove your keyboard, and you don't
notice right away, same thing.
  It really gets under my skin the number of people that think they are
programmers, and use tools that start with the word Visual.  I guess that
sells better than "language for the weak minded".
  I am not sure how many people are on this list, but I would bet that
only a few (very few) of us could code a monitor program in machine
language, or even know what a monitor program is.
  And don't even get me started on the "professional web developers" that
use tools like FrontPage or Dreamweaver.  While they may be very good at
operating a specific program, or even a set of programs, using the words
professional and developer is just wrong.  They are professional, like
professional wresteling, and developers, line packageing developers AKA
cardboard box assemblers.
  I am sure that none of us have ever heard "we can't do that here",
refering to your wanting to actually upgrade something, or *GASP* change a
user interface, or actually force the users to get a clue.
  How long is it going to be before they change the phrase from "going
postal" to "going techie".

Enuf for now...........wheres my semi-automatic, I got some policies to

 On Tue, 13 Feb 2001, Troy V. Barkmeier wrote:

> Warning: anyone who thinks ZDNet and the writers there employed are the 
> last bastion of responsible, insightful IT journalism should probably 
> read no further. Delete this message immediately. Really.
> "I think Windows 3.0 will get a lot of attention; people will check it 
> out, and before long they'll all drift back to raw DOS. Once in a while 
> they'll boot Windows for some specific purpose, but many will put it in 
> the closet with the Commodore 64." - John C. Dvorak, May 1990
> I hate John Dvorak. It's very difficult for me to admit this, because in 
> general I'm a very "live-and-let-live" sort of individual, but I hate, 
> loathe and despise this man. I hate him because he's the 'net equivalent 
> of those guys who love to tell racist/sexist/whateverist jokes at 
> parties, who are so sure that they are being brave and witty by 
> expressing their true feelings, that "everyone else thinks the same as I 
> do, but I'm the only one who's not too chickenshit to admit it." You know 
> the guys I'm talking about -- they think they're Bill Maher when they're 
> actually Rush Limbaugh. Worse yet, when you tell them that, they take it 
> as a compliment. I think I mostly hate John because unlike TV's 
> flamebaiting idiots such as Jerry Springer and Howard Stern, whose daily 
> desperate struggles to remain controversial are about as provocative to 
> me as reruns of "The Facts of Life" (and get flipped past just as 
> quickly), Dvorak possesses a unique blend of stupidity and self-assurance 
> that is always capable of inciting me to fits of genuine rage. Because I 
> consider myself to be pretty open-minded, I often feel some actual guilt 
> that I'm letting somebody I've never even met infuriate me to 
> distraction. In fact, the only way I can reassure myself is to read even 
> more of his drivel, which invariably confirms the fact that he is an 
> overpaid smarmy idiotic Luddite headcase, thereby proving that my hatred 
> is totally justifiable. Of course, every time I hit his site to read his 
> latest crap, he gets paid even more, and the vicious circle is unbroken. 
> And I hate him for that, too.
> Not wanting to suffer alone, but not wanting John to see any more profit 
> if I can help it, I've made the ultimate sacrifice. I submit, for your 
> disapproval, the latest opus from the magnificent D. Notice that I have 
> deliberately not provided a link (apologies to those using text-based 
> readers, but I did warn you...). Infringement of ZD's copyright? I won't 
> even dignify that with a response. Read carefully and enjoy -- rarely 
> have I seen such a fine example of a thesis, which is perfectly invalid 
> in its own right, being supported by "evidence" and "arguments" which are 
> even less provable and/or, in many cases, outright lies. 
> ================
> Blame It on the Pros
> By John C. Dvorak
> February 2, 2001
> Computer sales are down, because computers are not fun anymore. It's not 
> that there aren't fun things to do with them, but computers themselves 
> stopped being fun years ago. This is partly due to the increased 
> complexity that came with the GUI. I blame the Mac and the people who 
> bought it. They didn't want to learn the few commands of the command line 
> interface. And although it was fun to use -- mainly because it was 
> different -- the Macintosh was actually the first "un-fun" computer. 
> There was nothing you could do to the computer itself; it was a sealed 
> box, and even the operating system was buried deep. 
> Compare that with the Apple II and its open architecture, or the then-new 
> IBM PC with its card slots. In 1984 you could still "burn a ROM" and 
> install a handmade BIOS into an IBM PC. Today, nobody knows what a ROM 
> burner is, and few users know a programming language. 
> Not My Idea of Fun
> When desktop computers first appeared, they were considered an extension 
> of the brain -- something that could be explored so that new and radical 
> uses could evolve. But nothing could evolve unless the owner/user of the 
> computer could actually control the device. People needed some 
> programming experience to modify the computer as needed. 
> The early freedom resulted in the invention of desktop word processing, 
> the spreadsheet, the computer game, image manipulation, and all the rest. 
> Since the GUI has dominated the computing scene, all new ideas come not 
> from the masses but from professionals. And although there is a lot of 
> cool stuff that professional programmers can do, they tend to be limited 
> in both creativity and courage by the corporations for which they work. 
> So what we see in today's market are mere improvements on old ideas. This 
> is the current computing scene: old wine in new bottles. 
> Take the computer game market (please!). I don't know of any new game on 
> the market today that is not derivative. What new game genre has been 
> invented since the standard GUI slammed the door on game companies that 
> were developing their own user interfaces running under DOS? What's 
> special about a me-too, first-person shooter? New weapons? A 
> better-looking wall? Some of these ideas are over ten years old. Yeah, 
> the smoke looks a lot better. Big deal. The improved graphics have much 
> more to do with 3-D cards than anything else. 
> Some fun did come with the invention of the Web browser in 1993. It 
> spawned an entire house-of-mirrors industry that flourished because it 
> reintroduced a smidgen of fun into the computing equation. Individuals 
> began to regain control of their machines in a very small but important 
> way. They could "code" HTML and make their machines do what they 
> commanded. 
> Go Pro and Die
> Along came the professionals once again. Complexity was added to HTML. 
> Java was invented. XML now threatens to replace HTML completely. And Web 
> pages are now a jigsaw puzzle-inspired jumble of graphics. Recently, a 
> guy told me that he uses my Universal Home Page to do testing because 
> "it's the last pure HTML page left on the Internet." Sheesh. 
> Even worse, people are no longer encouraged to create their own pages 
> from scratch. Instead, they are told to use tools and templates dreamed 
> up by professionals. It's like painting by numbers: You can create an oil 
> painting -- but hardly anything to be proud of. There seems to be an 
> underlying societal desire to keep the individual as far away from the 
> basics as possible. 
> As this trend continues, does anyone find it surprising that the dot-com 
> world collapsed in April of 2000, followed by a continuing bloodbath 
> right up until the end of the year? Fun was waning, and people were 
> losing interest. The computer makers suddenly found their sales down 
> substantially by the end of the year -- all part of the same trend. Get a 
> clue, folks. 
> It seems to me that in 1998 and 1999 there was a lot more interest on the 
> part of individuals in creating their own Web pages. I used to ridicule 
> the vanity page; every high school girl had one loaded with pictures of 
> her cat. But such pages are increasingly hard to find. A few years ago, 
> companies were making real money selling HTML editors, but no more. Along 
> came the professionals and out went the fun. Hmm. And out went the 
> profits with the fun.
> ======================================================================
> Observation attributed to Prof. Robert Wilensky of the University of 
> California at Berkeley:
> "We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters 
> will eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the 
> Internet, we know this is not true."

Mike Taylor
Coordinator of Systems Administration and Network Security
Indiana State University.               Rankin Hall Rm 039
210 N 7th St.                           Terre Haute, IN.
Voice: 812-237-8843                                  47809
"You have zero privacy anyway.  Get over it."
           --Scott McNealy, Sun MicroSystems. 

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