Why is it so much trouble?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andre F, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    I went to install a USB 2.0 card in my father-in-law's computer tonight along with an external CD-RW and it went pretty smooth. A couple of hours later everything was working but not without going to manufacturer sites and downloading updates etc. I didn't much of it until my father-in-law said that the same job would have taken him days. It just goes to show how far the PC is really from being totally mainstream.
     
  2. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like a premise for a Mac switch ad.
     
  3. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    [​IMG] No, not at all. I'm perfectly happy although I've yet to seriously try a Mac, however I could not afford to do that. Anyway, I was just thinking about computing in general is still a mystery to a lot of people.
     
  4. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Most people in the world are not on line. Most people in North American society don't know a lot about the internal combustion engine, or the workings of government. As for home computers, systems that attempt (or promise!) to do everything, the pace of change, and the incompatibilities and instabilities in systems that arise from these factors, together with the jargon, are beyond the understanding and control of many of us.
    I believe there have been studies done on how bug-filled most softwares are, or how useless the HELP menus on many programs are.
    Anyway, we've known a few people who have "dropped out", and gotten rid of their home computers.
    Fred Langa's Newsletter circulated the following recently : "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -- Arthur C. Clark
    Actually, the number of people who think they understand computers is perhaps surprising, at least when I consider how often I can't get answers [​IMG]
     
  5. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    You think thats bad, try installing Redhat Linux 8 in a dual boot situation! I d/l it this weekend to put it on my 2nd HD. I've got an 80GB one that I've got windows 2000 on and a 30GB that was just my storage and junk drive. First of all the installer would lock up right off the bat. After searching all over for a solution I decided to yank the USB devices out. That worked (gotta love that testing!). Then the install went fine, but even though I told it NOT to touch the main HD it still did. It changed the master boot record on the main HD. There was no indication on the installation screens saying it was going to do that. It was hidden behind an advanced button with no clue that thats where it was. So I spent most of the day trying to remove linux and get my MBR back the way it should be. You can access the small partition the installer creates in windows, in fact windows asks if you want to format it. If you delete it you can't boot your system (does the instructions mention that? Nope.) So I had to reinstall Linux just to get access to my windows install! Eventually I got the MBR back to what it should be by using the repair console on the windows 2000 install cd. But what a pain in the ass. I won't even go into actually using Linux (and I telnet and use AIX all day at work, so I kinda know what I'm doing. And I installed and setup PowerPC Linux on my powermac). This is why it will NEVER be more than a toy and niche product. They just don't have a clue on how to make Unix usable to the normal person. Hell if I had problems with it I can only imagine the violence that would happen if my parents tried!
     
  6. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    Mike,
    You win! [​IMG] I don't think I would go near that...
     
  7. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    Mike, I recently did a similar thing with the Mandrake 9 distribution. It worked without a hitch. But yeah, as far as user friendly goes, Linux is at the bottom. It's just too damn complicated for the average user still.
     
  8. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    That's nothing.

    RedHat/XFree86 won't work with the Radeon 9700 AT ALL. I'm stuck in text mode.

    Damn Linux.

    I had this conversation with someone else recently. Any OS should allow any piece of hardware to work at a minimum level. That means XWindows, even at 640x480x8bpp.

    Mike
     
  9. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Is it the OS or the hardware? You'd think that any graphics board would have all the basic VESA modes that were standardized more than ten years ago. But apparently ATI and Matrox and the others think they can get by without VESA modes in their BIOS these days. Their thinking is that nobody plays games using VESA modes anyway.
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i think we just take it for granted that everyone knows how to use a pc.
    i tried a while ago to show my uncle how to load a dvd into his pc and play it. you would not believe how long of a process that was. he barely knows how to navigate the thing.
    in my former job i ran into a LOT of people who didn't know how to use a pc. i ended up becoming sort of the unofficial "pc guy" for the department. i used to get frustrated at how difficult it was for some of them to grasp (what i considered) simple concepts and instructions. it really surprised me how pc-illiterate some of them were. i always thought if they only had stronger pc skills they could go so much further.
    but then i think about my own experience. i've been dinking with pc's since the mid 80's....so for me, it's no big deal.
    i just have to remember it's different strokes for different folks. everytime i talk to my friend who helped design the low-terrain guidance system for the B-2 bomber...it's put *everything* in perspective. [​IMG]
     
  11. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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  12. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    Your 100% right Ted. I onced talked my Aunt through swapping out and installing a new internal modem, over instant messenger. Talk about difficult! My parents actually get by pretty well, but I still get phone calls with questions at least once a week. My dad even drove from FL to TX just so I could fix his laptop. Totally wiped the HD and reinstalled windows. No way he could have done that on his own.
     
  13. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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  14. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    funny thing is i bet a lot of us were/are self-taught. i never took a single class in any of this stuff. i suppose some people just have an aptitude for this stuff.
    it's pretty cool, but i always tried to be humble about it and let them know it's no big deal, they can learn too, etc. i think that's why people liked me helping them. i always tried to be helpful and not condescending.
    unlike that tech-support help character from SNL...
    "Move over!" [​IMG]
     

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