Has computer technology outpaced common people?

Anymore I find myself sitting in front of a screen figuring out why something isn’t working. Used to be a time back in the days of DOS, I had a warm fuzzy feeling when I saw C:. I knew what to do and some simple basic programing got me whatever I needed. I still recall my first Sanyo PC with double disk 5 1/4 inch floppy and an RGB monitor. I was in heaven. I was the envy of a very large university group. 3,000 U.S. and printer on top. I programmed my impact printer with all the ASCI codes and went to a SUG (Sanyo User Group) packing the machine into my Gremlin and shuffling off to a great meeting.
Those were the days! Now that I have tried to keep abreast of all the upgrades I have SHIT! Nothing works right. I just tried to burn some CDs to a flash drive. It was more problem that I want to contend with. It imbeds music crap that NOBODY in his right mind will listen to and I can’t even get the CD’s onto the right track of the flash.
Don’t even go there with HDMI. I bought a big screen with HDMI, thinking it was just a “plug and play” Good luck on that one. You will be trying to figure it out for weeks. Bought a new ACER Aspire One. It was a good buy but it was loaded with Windows XP in Chinese. No problem, I will re-format and load my legal version of English XP and Office Pro. Of course, it doesn’t have a disc drive so off to a computer shop to buy a USB portable CD.
Things were easier before. Not a long time before but - before. Before Microsoft wizards were sitting in cubicles with their specialized knowledge of their product. Back then, I was writing many briefs for courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court on WordPerfect. It worked and well. I didn’t have to research how to do anything. It just worked. Know I spend more time figuring out how to do shit than I spend on actual work. OK! My rant is winding down.
HDML. I will get somebody in to figure out why it won’t work and fix it. I will buy a portable CD to re-format my Aspire and load the proper software. I will write my grandmother a letter on regular white paper with a stamp at the P.O. I know I will get an answer sooner than all this shit on my desk will get it too me. And by the way, what the hell should one do with all these damnable cables.

That may be your mistake … you don’t burn a file on a flash drive, it will damage the device :no-no: :slight_smile:

What belgian pie said +1.

To answer your question, however, yes. Most common people would be quite satisfied with a socket 939, 512 DDR RAM and CD-ROM.

It’s just computer junkies like me that will be buying Intel’s upcoming 6-core processor, dual video cards, etc. :smiley:

A good essay question, that.

Some stuff has got nicer. At least there’s Unicode now to make working in different languages easier. And I find I can solve most of my of computer problems quite quickly by reading the Help file (I think those have got better) or Googling.

Still, I think quite a few people have that feeling: that computer technology has left them behind. I think that’s why Apple stuff is so popular. Generally, it’s very easy and intuitive to use. This isn’t an Apple bash at all, by the way. I’d say (albeit grudgingly) that the iPhone is the current benchmark for usability on a PDA phone.

I wonder whether technology will actually get more usable over time. “Usability expert” certainly seems to be a term that’s bandied around a lot!

I think this just points out the obvious. I used the term “burn” beacuse it was an option to copy. In my mind it meant to coppy the files from one media to another. Obviously I was wrong. So what the hell does it mean. I my present mind, it means burn in hell.
How about 939, 312 DDRM Ram Cd Rom, 6 Core.? Most of us just want this shit to work without becoming techno wizards.

It is a byproduct of the times. Technology will continue to out pace most people that do not use that type of tech each day. Your kids will grow up using more advanced technology than we used as kids. With the next generation they will be more adept at using what ever tech they used as kids and continued to use as teenagers and later into adulthood. but even they will have the same problem with advanced tech as the average person today has with “common” tech. If you do not force yourself to adapt and learn (often relearn) many forms of tech, both hardware and software (and this is by no means easy), you will fall farther and farther behind the “average person” as the average will change with time. The only real hope is to keep learning and never stop trying, patience is your greatest tool when dealing with new or faulty tech. i am a tech head both by hobby and profession, this is only my opinion and i could be both biased and incorrect or any combination of several other words in the dictionary.


As an odd note of irony as I type this reply, my buddy just walked into my computer room, picked up my flash drive (thumb drive to some) that has a SIM card reader built into it and asked me what it was.

But shouldn’t an old person with no expertise be able to buy a state of the art computer, turn it on, find his music online, save it and email his/her kids without a new uni ecuaction? If I was an “old guy” (some of you should stop chuckling - your day is coming.) shouldn’t I just be able to upack, plug in and use it. My blender was that way. My microwave was that (poor dog getting dried) and wasn’t it that way with my new fangled electric blanket. I really do try to stay abreast of this stuff but I think anybody who has tried, failed. Just give us a product that will do what we want and when we overstep the bounds of expected senilicy, just tell us in plain English what we should do. Don’t give me sequels and 935’s and burn’s and what the fuck do you think your doing? Just help me sort it out. In conclusion, and I may be off to bed here unless I get pissed off at some post, I just want technology that works.
I recall a time in my office when I was studying for a Masters. A collegue dropped in and ask me what I was up to. I explained that I studing a new form of remote education using “high tech”. He asked me what the hell is this “high tech”. I was immediatel angry, but I have recalled what he said. Hi Tech is just another word for tomorrows “low tech” I hope I am not here to see the day. If it gets any more complicated, I swear I am back to paper and pen. I recall, I know, I’m rambling but that’s my job. I was helping a new businessman with his new bowling alley. My wife was a CPA and was also helpng him get a start. She loaded all the software she thought he need into his new computer. We had a meeting the following week at this office in the alley. When we went in, it was obvious that the compter and printer were absent. When questioned about it, he explained that the fucking piece of shit was in the parking lot three floors below his office. My guess is that more than I think this way. It is just way out of hand. We need a simple sytem that helps us do what we want to do, when we want to do it. We really do not want to be experts. We want our information, music and emails. Save the rest of the shit for others.
Wow! Prescribed drugs are great! Unspricibed? How would I know. I am but an innocent babe in the woods.
Ok! I swear I am off to bed.

I gave up Windows because I didn’t want to be an expert. Sure, I could write a simple program in DOS to make a jeep role over a landscape, but that’s about it. Now, with drag and drop functionality that really works, my end products run into my own artistic limitations, not code walls. Last Christmas, I gave my grandmother an iPod and clock radio dock: send her the audio books, they’re uploaded to the iPod, and rather than sitting alone in her kitchen, she’s keeping company with some of her favourite old stories, and a few new ones she never would have read. That’s something she could never have managed before. Full speed ahead.

Heh, I understand what you are talking about.

The hard part for the non-tech folk is that the stuff they are using today is more stream lined than the tech of yesterday. Computer tech is the worst by far for rapid advances that are placed in the public’s hands soon after creation with very little testing or the testing is done by the public. But it will not be long, if not already, before other commonplace items are just as complicated as an average computer. There are refrigerators that will monitor a persons diet and what foods they have and how often they should be replace, beds that control both temperature, mattress resistance, and angle, and so many more. The interfaces will most likely be easy (I use this term lightly) to understand for the average person with an average level of tech understanding. The older generation or less tech based consumer will be at a disadvantage while the younger generation will have an advantage. I often wonder what some of my buddies, who still complain about browser issues when sending emails, would do if they had to send emails back before TCP/IP and SMTP just to name a few of the alphabet soup that make the WWW work. :laughing: I think their heads would explode.

I still have to advocate practice and patience on both the teacher/ consultant/ tech support and on the student/ consumer/ user. Anyone can learn how to use any of these products by themselves. I don’t recommend it though. It is much faster and easier if they have a teach or friend to help them out.

As for tech support, well they have on average, gotten arrogant and need to reel themselves in a bit. This arrogance is in part the consumers and societies fault as much as their own. The tech support job is not all that difficult (yes, I have done my fair share of tech support work). However, not many people believe this and they are encouraged to maintain this belief. Most average people also do not want to learn anything from this field. These two things added together make tech support a small and specialized field that the average person can not live with out in the modern world, hence the seeds of arrogance are sown.

Advance tech belongs to those that enjoy the thrill of cutting edge work and all the bugs, problems and headaches that come with forging a new path in your chosen field. It is not for everyone, heh, its not even for most people. To work in this section of technology you have to live with and even enjoy things not working as intended, breaking, and in a few cases catching on fire :smiling_imp: The amount of stress can be just as bad as any other advanced field of study. The issue that comes from here is caused mostly by financial decisions forcing the developers hand to release it early. This is very bad and more often becoming a habit. So high tech become common tech with out the streamlining and the testing process happening later. By the time its smoothed out, it becomes low tech and is replaced by something new.

Sadly I am not sure if this will ever get fixed. It is a circle between the idea people and the money people. The idea people are never completely finish with a product (Ever!) and the money people want the product out on the shelves making them money as soon as possible. Finding that perfect balance is exceedingly difficult and often ignored in the face of money concerns. I still haven’t figured out why the money people haven’t learn that a better product will make them more money than a rushed lower quality one. At least I understand the idea people a little bit, it helps me sleep at night.

Just remember patience, practice and never stop learning no matter what the subject. :smiley:

Old tech is incompatible with new tech, so it doesn’t work. New tech hasn’t been polished, so it doesn’t work either. Everything is broken, all the time. I’m a full-time programmer, and heck if I can make my SATA DVD drive work under Gutsy.

Alternatively … It’s a strange aspect of the PC world that there isn’t any perceived correlation between price and quality. Apple make fantastic computers in which the parts work together and the system rarely breaks, but we don’t buy them because they’re pricey. There are upmarket PC vendors who test all their hardware and support software issues, and we don’t buy them either. We buy the cheapest knock-off crap we can find down at GuangHua or Nova and then complain when the pieces don’t go together.

We wouldn’t do that with a house or a motorbike*, but we do it with computers.

*: Unless of course we were Taiwanese, and look at the results of that.

OK. A nap did wonders. No jeeps for me. I just want an ipod in my kitchen. If granpa doesn’t mind, got a number? Some coffee, a hot role and an ipod . . . . discontinued out of respect. Sorry, I’m back to bed.