[sf-lug] Consumer & admin (was: Possibly interesting data point on jobs postings)

Greg Nelson gnelson at gmail.com
Tue May 16 13:35:54 PDT 2006

On 5/16/06, Adrien Lamothe <alamozzz at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Computers, and their attendant operating systems, are very complicated
> pieces of technology. Unfortunately, there is usually no way to perform a
> complicated operation without first understanding the complexity and then
> understanding the operational techniques to affect the desired change(s).
> The best we can hope for is to use a computer that is pre-configured in a
> manner that supports our normal usage, then either learn how or hire someone
> to perform whatever changes/maintenance is needed.

I agree that computing systems are complicated, but we should think about
why they are complicated and whether they must be.  And I think your "best
hope" is too pessimistic.

The wonderful thing about computers is that they are programmable and
> therefore flexible.  They can replace a pocket calculator, or, if you
> prefer, they can replace a slide rule.  Or a library card catalog or a
> typewriter.  Programmability is an endless wonder.  I think, also, that it
> is the source of the complexity that is the bane of the third millennium.
> But the complexity is not inherent, it is under our control.  A small
> measure of complexity is the inevitable consequence of programmability, but
> that much we all could live with.  The sad fact is that most computer
> operating systems and applications are burdened with gratuitous complexity
> that could have been avoided if they had been better-designed.
> with hope,

Greg Nelson
greg at perlnelson.org
839 Richardson Ct Palo Alto, CA USA 94303
(650) 856 8103 (home) (650) 856 8103 (office) (650) 954 5338 (mobile)
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