Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(July 2002)

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Subject: Re: Please prune this list!
From: Thomas Gramstad <thomas @ ifi . uio . no>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2002 09:35:32 +0200 (MEST)
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <3D25427B . 5080307 @ queernet . org>
Reply-to: Thomas Gramstad <thomas @ ifi . uio . no>

On Thu, 4 Jul 2002, Roger B.A. Klorese wrote:
> Thomas Gramstad wrote:
>> Not at all.  Better to give them safe, stable and simple tools,
>> and encourage them to learn to use those tools.

> But what if, like most, they don't *want* to learn?

That's a learned behavior, inculcated by Microsoft commercials.
In all other areas of life than computers, people understand that
a minimum of effort is necessary in order to learn to use a new
tool.  It's not necessary to be a car mechanic to own and drive a
car, but it's necessary to learn and understand the pedals, the
steering wheel, and where/how to inject gasoline.  It doesn't hurt
to know how to change oil, or how to change tyres either.  But
with computers, a much more complex tool, people have been told
repeatedly that they don't even have to know the basics, the
equivalents of pedals and steering wheel.  And that's when and
why accidents happen.

> I can show you about 350 of our 400 list-owners who believe they
> shouldn't need to learn anything to run a list

Then I say that they shouldn't be running lists.  On the other
hand, what they need to know to run lists can be learned within an
hour.  But if they aren't willing to invest that one hour, they
really have no business running a list.

> -- imagine how most people feel about email.

And see what the world looks like for it.
And no, I don't want to go back to the academics-only network;
but I would have preferred slower growth in some areas, and
faster growth in others.  (Slower growth in numbers; faster
growth in technology, interfaces and learning curves.)

>> For most people that implies a good GUI (dropdown menues help
>> too), for example the MacIntosh platform; or more recently,
>> products like OpenOffice, StarOffice and KDE.

> Those UNIX and Linux UIs may seem good to you, but to most users,
> they're impenetrable.

No, you are absolutely wrong -- outdated -- about that.  What you
say was true a couple of years ago, but not today; today it's
difficult for them to see the difference between Word and
OpenOffice configured to look/work like Word.  I see a lot of
non-experts making the transition without problems, because they
see how much money they can save by escaping the Microsoft forced
upgrade cycle.

>> Microsoft on the other hand, offers poor-to-mediocre GUIs, and
>> unsafe, unstable and non-simple products.

> But they *understand* Microsoft UIs, and things like StarOffice
> and KDE make no sense to them at all.

No, you're wrong on both counts: they don't *understand* Microsoft
UIs (they only look somewhat familiar to them), and recent
versions of the free Office versions are good enough to make
transitions painless.

Thomas Gramstad
thomas @
 ifi .
 uio .

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From: "Roger B.A. Klorese" <rogerk @ queernet . org>
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