Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Computers' started by Sam Posten, Feb 19, 2013.
Being one I say good riddance! Again! http://www.imore.com/power-users-vs-empowered-users
Vast misunderstanding in my mind, as has always been, what a power user is. To me, a power user is a head of engineering running three displays and a CAM robot. People just haven't understood what power users are and keep equating it with things ranging from games to simple office Tasks. get me someone putting out patent ready cam sheets, and I will show you a power user. A bioengineer putting out biochemical charts...
No I don't agree with that at all Matt. Although the article tends to equate power users with the types you do, I'd call that a professional user. A power user would be more akin to someone like Scoble, who thinks that they have all the answers about how to best use things and usually aren't too shy about sharing with the world about how they would do things differently and how regular users would be better off if they would just be reasonable and do things their way. Worse, they badger the developers to make things work to fit their specialized use cases and encourage flexibility in how many different ways a task can be accomplished. "Isn't choice wonderful" is their byword.
...and there we have the first problem with the article, without an agreement on what a "power user" is, a discussion about them is rather pointless.
Also how do you get "Death of the Power User" from that article? There was nothing in it suggesting power users are going away. Rather, she/he simply talks about how basic computer tasks are more easily handled by iOS.
I guess you could, like the author, call that "empowerment." Of course, you can also call the Autopia attraction at Disneyland driving. Any empowerment a user might experience with iOS is tempered by rather severe limitations.
To me, "empowerment" should be making complexity more accessible without limitations. Sadly, Apple no longer feels the same way.
Yeah, this is my problem as well. I think there will always be a market for what I consider power users. I think there always has been, and a tablet will not at any point in the future handle it because they aren't the right format for it. I'm sorry, but that's just a fact. No matter how powerful a tablet is, I cannot imagine any moment in the future where CAM designers and engineers will whip out an iPad or whatever and use it to create super-precise building plans. I don't imagine chemical engineers using it to run the math. It just won't happen.
But that's me. I could be wildly wrong.
Of course. Everybody knows that you don't use an iPad; that the machine you use for this is a really old Macintosh with a black-and-white 9" screen. Step 1: Say "Computer ..." Step 2: Upon being corrected by your colleague, pick up the mouse, and say "Computer ..." into it, as though it were a microphone. Step 3: Resign yourself to using the keyboard ("how quaint"). Step 4: Give your chemical formula to someone whom you aren't sure should have it, in return for an inferior product delivered right now. ... Step N: Profit !?!
Ok, that's a great reference. And the moment that happens, I've got a pair of chemical engineers who will be all over those souped up MacSEs
Actually, that's how I would describe Apple's corporate attitude toward technology.
Absolutely. And this drives people who consider themselves experts and power users absolutely f'ing crazy. It takes the need for them out of the loop. Instead of them sitting in their castle being consulted on what the best way to do things in all so many choices Apple sinmply cuts all the crap away and says "Do it this way". Gruber nails that this AM:
http://daringfireball.net/2013/03/open_and_shut He nails the fundamental disconnect here. It's not a matter how how open something is technologically but philosophically that matters. People think that having a benign dictator is worse than having paralyzing complexity. It's the fundamental story of the downfall of Anakin Skywalker after all! =) [video]http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0Ti9NXc7CM[/video] How dare Apple decide what is best for all of us?
I just helped out an 80 year old neighbor who couldn't get Flash videos running on her Mac. I had to install Chrome since it appears you can no longer install Flash for Safari. Took me 15 minutes to figure out where the program was and how to pin it to the task bar. I have no fucking idea where anything is on a Mac, and everything seems counter-intuitive. Apparently, Apple doesn't want her to go to CNN.com and watch videos. This 80 year old lady who's nice as can be and wants to see Jeanie Moos pieces on CNN. I mean, fuck her, right? And fuck me too, since I want a "complicated" file browser. Apparently, if I know anything about using computers and want to leverage that, I'm the enemy. Fuck that.
"Open" vs. "Closed" has been going on for a long, long time... Original Macintosh Hardware Design Decisions - Walter.
Installed it a month ago. Updated it last week.
An interesting thread, on the connotation of "power user". Matt's example, to me, is a professional user; a practical, pragmatic user, who needs the fastest computer available. But they're not a "power user".
Sam's example is how I've understood they term over the years. The "power user" is someone who enjoys computers for their own sake, and goes to great lengths to extract every bit of efficiency from their work process, with hacks, tweaks, keyboard shortcuts, niche software, niche hardware. The also tend to live on the forward edge of computer hardware, but don't necessarily need the power. Caring deeply about all this stuff, the person is the resource for friends; and may also be an evangelist for their "better" way of doing things.
The scientist running NASTRAN models on the fastest hardware available, or doing CUDA programming in MATLAB, doesn't care about computers per se. They're a power user, but not a "power user"
The Mac Pro hits both groups. With the decline of the Mac Pro, Apple seems increasingly disinterested in the high-end professional user. Though with the i7 iMacs, they've got hardware to suit all but the serious engineering and technically oriented.
The "power user" is also less well served by OS X, it seems. I've not cared about this sort of tweaking and customization for a decade, but it appears there's not nearly the ability for tweaks and hacks and so forth as in Windows. But I wouldn't stake my career on that since there's a lot do be done with custom keyboard shortcuts, AppleScripts, Automator, and the Unix terminal.
We did that. Would not install. Unlike Windows, it gave us no reason why it wouldn't install.
I guess I would consider myself a true power user. That is a user who wants to be able to have access to and control every aspect of their system and not be beholden to how the Windows or Mac OS people say how things should be done and never allow anything that isn't scripted in an install script. Can't get that 3rd party mouse to work because you need a special driver written by someone else to deal with a hardware incompatibility with your graphics card? In the brave new world of "empowered users": too damn bad. If the install script can't handle the situation correctly then there is nothing you can do thanks to the "protection for your own good" OS. It isn't that the whole UI system doesn't need improvement (I've been and still do complain about terrible UIs and workflows on most applications in existence), it is the ridiculous notion that this is an either/or situation. I sort of got into this issue when we were discussing the PS4 possibly being download only. If it wasn't for IBM losing control of the PC, computers would not be anywhere near as prevalent as they are now and certainly no where near as cheap. And what Sam and the article is asking for is to go back to those "good old days" of closed systems and having to pick from among 5 different computer manufacturers that were making 5 different computers that were not in any way compatible. Hope you picked the right company or you wound up with a doorstop after a few years when no one was writing software for it because of such a small market share.
I think too it is overstated how easy Apple products are to use compared to Windows and Android. Almost everyone can figure out the latter. The example of the iPad in the article was more of the ease of getting the internet with a data connected device rather than an example of Windows being user unfriendly. It would have been the same situation if the old man owned a Mac.
I have a co-worker whose husband calls me for tech support every now and then for pretty easy stuff like burning a disc or transferring files using a thumbdrive. She told me he bought one of those cheapo Chinese Android tablets, the kind with low end specs and low res screens and probably Gingerbread. I said sympathetically, "he regrets it, huh?" Nope, it turns out he loves it. That really opened my eyes -- here's a 65 year old tech unsavvy guy, and he has zero problems using it. Huh, maybe the power users who presume that "normal users" would have great difficulty with Android tablets are underestimating "normal users".
Wasn't a Power PC Mac by any chance was it? And I get what you are saying on the "just works" aspect of the latest Android tablets, I haven't reskinned my Nexus 7 after all. It's not my favorite device by any means but it's serviceable for what it is. For me. I think my parents would hate it tho, compared to an iPad, tho I think part of that would be the smaller screen. I wish like hell I could get at least my mom onto a tablet, any tablet, and off the PC, but she has no interest at this time so I can't confirm....
Technology is the stuff that doesn't work. Everything else is furniture.