Linked by Kostis Kapelonis on Mon 29th Nov 2004 18:55 UTC
Editorial The IT sector today is a complete mess. The end-users rarely understand this, but most insiders reach a point when they realize that things should be different. The problems are numerous but they all reduce to a basic principle. IT and consumer electronics companies are interested more about money than helping people solve their problems. Of course companies need to make a profit and nobody denies that. They should however make money by helping people and not by creating more problems for them.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
by David on Wed 1st Dec 2004 21:56 UTC

Dr Smithy,

Yes, I agree that there is a level of abstraction in using the command-line, in that we are not dealing directly with binary code or manipulation of data at its most fundamental level. Yes, we also still do use metaphors such as "electronic mail." However, the next layer of abstraction, that involving metaphors pertianing ot the desktop, such as "trash cans" and so on are eliminated.

Directly coding pages via HTML or LaTeX is a better learning method than using WYSIWYG.

There needs to be soem degree of abstraction as we do not think like machines, so an interface is needed but not one whereby we lose sight of how the machine works.

On your second point, you mention that we can use a mobile 'phone to connect to a computer now and read e.-mail. What I was referring to was to do this via voice. In other words, connect via a remote portable device to a computer sitting in a house, have voice pattern recognition as a password subsittute and then say, "Open Mutt. Retrieve E.-Mail"

Computer would respond with voice output "Five new messages."

I Would then state, "Filter for new messages from Fred Smith. Read."

It woudl then read the messages from Fred to me down the 'phone line.

Does such a technology actually exist already? Obviously,t he various elements are there but I have not heard of them being put together in this way. If so, please supply me with more ifnomraiton.