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

  • From: Hunter <hunters@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 14 Feb 101 11:30:17 -0500 (EST)

>   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.

But that's the problem. A lot has changed in the last 20 years. We've gone from
the 8086 to P4s and Athlons. Nobody *has* to know how to program in assembly.
You don't have to understand the concepts behind the internal combustion
engine, or the chemcial properties of galvanized rubber to drive your car.
You have to know to fill it up with gas when it gets low, and change your
oil every 3000 miles. 

Now maybe mechanics all stand around saying basically what we're complaining 
about here, but instead of pulling EEPROMS, they talk about gaskets and CV 
joints; I don't know.

I find it is much easier when the users are *completely clueless* about 
the computer they're working on. They are so afraid that they will screw-up
something that they don't get smart and try to fix problems (invariably making
them worse than they were.) A more dangerous animal is the user who *thinks*
they know what's going on. They edit the registry or trash preferences the
moment a tiny little problem pops-up because they *think* they know how the 
system works.

>   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.

To play the devil's advocate here, what about handicapped people? Surely they
should be allowed to use computers should they want to.

>   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".

But if I'd rather not spend a whole day writing a stupid little program, what's
wrong with using, say Visual Basic? Sure it's 50x the size, and runs 3x slower 
than if I had written it in C, but if it only took me 15mins to write, why
should I care? Now I do object to building *entire commercial applications* in
VB, but some stupid 18-line utillity that only I'm going to use doesn't need
to be small or quick.

>   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.

Not that assembly is so great. At ISU I took what I thought, when I signed up
for it, was an x86 assembly course. It turned out to be IBM 390 mainframe
assembly. I now know how to write programs in assembly for that machine. I
know more about those systems than anybody ever needs to know. Does it do me
any good? Well no, not really. The State of the Art (SOTA) is advacning much
too rapidly for me to bother an learn low-level languages. Even if I had taken
an x86 assembly class, I doubt I would really be doing much in the way of 
writing in assembly.

I think the ultimate example of what computers are becoming is the computers in
Star Trek. Nobody but the engineers really understand how the thing works, but
everybody can use it. It has no real interface, does what you tell it, and does
it more quickly that you'd think is possible.

Speaking of things that piss people off, I am completely pissed off at Google
for just pulling the rug out from under's users the way it has. No
warning, no continuation of the old service, nothing. One minute you're looking
at, and the next it's Shesh!

Steven Hunter  | hunters@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
"HEY! Check out these crescent fresh skulls in my salad!" - Sifl & Olly

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