Linked by David Adams on Wed 24th May 2006 04:08 UTC
Editorial It's conventional wisdom that computers need to be "easier to use." But do they? More reliable, yes. Easier to troubleshoot, yes. But now that so many people use computers so much, I think there's something to be said for making them less easy-to-use and less intuitive.
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Deus Ex Machina
by transami on Wed 24th May 2006 15:47 UTC
transami
Member since:
2006-02-28

Okay, maybe you about face by the end of your article -- I admit I haven't finished it. But let's be clear, the opening is about the worse piece of "RTFM" illogic I have ever read.

Until computer interaction is as easy as having a conversation with a fellow (and reasonablly rational) human being, they are not easy enough. PERIOD.

Any familiarity with the way computers work now is but a crutch on the road to the eventual personfication of our automa.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Deus Ex Machina
by Bnonn on Wed 24th May 2006 22:15 in reply to "Deus Ex Machina"
Bnonn Member since:
2005-09-02

It sounds like what you're looking for is a person, not a computer. Why should a computer have to act like a person? Do we expect any other piece of equipment to be anything other than what it is? Any complex piece of technology requires some knowledge and training to use. This is how technology is. I don't /want/ to talk to my computer. I don't /want/ to say some semantically correct, and even colloquial English sentence to get it to copy files. I want a reliable, consistent method that I know will work without the computer having to interpret my voice, words, accent.

I think you're being unreasonable and illogical. Sorry. Perhaps you could explain why you think computers are not "easy" enough if you can't talk to them like a normal person. I can think of some improvements I would make to my computer if I could, but a verbal interface, or any system which avoids me needing to be consistent, is not among them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Deus Ex Machina
by Luke McCarthy on Thu 25th May 2006 08:53 in reply to "Deus Ex Machina"
Luke McCarthy Member since:
2005-07-06

Until computer interaction is as easy as having a conversation with a fellow (and reasonablly rational) human being, they are not easy enough. PERIOD.

I dunno, I'm sure the 'sterotypical geek' finds it easier to use a computer than hold a conversation. ;-) It's not like the goals are the same. Computers are more than just communication.

The personal computer is by far the most unreliable piece of equipment in the modern household or workplace.

Tell that to my kettle that blew up! In all seriousness, software reliability is a difficult problem, but it will not be realised by the current IT industry or 'mainstream' open-source. To quote Hoare, for reliability simplicity is an absolute prerequisite. Simplicity is HARD.

Reply Parent Score: 1