Linked by Scott Cabana on Thu 2nd Dec 2004 20:18 UTC
Editorial A couple of days ago, I read an interesting article by Kevin Kostis about how complex computer systems are and how they have a long way to go. I have to partly agree with his assessment, however a lot of folks don't take the time to learn about there own investment.
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RE: two separate points in the article
by TLy on Thu 2nd Dec 2004 21:38 UTC

Sure an oil change is 10 minutes time, but I don't need to know it to drive my car.

It's one thing to know how to do it, it's another story to know WHEN to do it. Yes, there are people who don't know.

You should NOT have to learn to remove spyware, install programs, install drivers, install new hardware, change themes, reformat

In this day and age, everyone must learn how to prevent or remove spyware. It's like checking/changing your car's oil. Can you get by without doing it? Sure. But if you ignore it will bad things happen? Definitely. Installing programs is a necessity if you want your computer to be more than an over glorified Solitaire or WordPad machine. However, the rest of the items on your list probably are best left up to someone with more know-how.

I think the article is a little backwards in the sense that he described computers of the 90's as more complicated than they are now. Hardware has come a long way and have become easily serviceable for the average user. But maintanence of an OS (such as Windows in particular) requires more knowledge than ever before. I don't mean the basic usage like checking email, typing a Word document. I'm talking about the working knowledge needed to keep the system in good health. Some companies have it backwards: "oh will just throw firewalls, antivirus, pop-up blockers at them." I'm talking to YOU Microsoft and AOL.

That's bad practice because people develop the mentality of "oh I have anti-virus/firewall/popup blocker, I don't have to do anything." That just creates a lazy user. Knowledge is power, not software to clean up after your mess.