[Gllug] Controversial Joel Spolsky article

Christopher Currie ccurrie at bloxwich.demon.co.uk
Mon Dec 22 21:27:43 UTC 2003

> On Mon, Dec 22, 2003 at 04:03:06PM +0000, Bernard Peek wrote:
> > 
> > That depends a lot on what you mean by efficiency. Home computers have 
> > improved to the point where most people can use them reasonably easily 
> > and reasonably efficiently. The Windows way is to compromise on 
> > efficiency to make the systems easier to use (and more secure, if you 
> > believe Bill's latest announcements.)
> It's spin.  Most home computer systems sputter on till they fail from
> simple accumulation of errors, at which point the home user either
> reinstalls or buys a new PC, usually losing a large amount of data each
> time this happens.  In the meantime, the user is diverted from the tasks
> for which s/he originally bought the PC - games, Internet browsing,
> occasional letters or bookkeeping - to constant tweaking and
> maintenance.  

An excellently concise restatement of my original point and summary
of the position I was complaining about...

But my experience is that the Linux-on-a-desktop 'sputters on' much
longer than the Windows system, so that the diversion of tasks is less.
But, to some extent, the time saved by not having to constantly tweak
the system is lost in the effort (compared with a Windows setup)
to get some functions -- those not commonly used by the majority
of customers -- installed and working in the first place.

I still think the Aunt Madges, who mostly don't want those functions,
would have an easier time with the present-day Linux desktops than 
with Windows.

UCE is the other growing source of user labour overhead, common to all
systems. Defensive devices always seem to fail sooner or later; the
only solution would seem to be legislation and detection sufficient
to jail the large-scale spammers in their country of origin. 
(Simple arithmetic shows that the worst of them probably deserve
life imprisonment). Possibly the threat of most countries' joining 
an Outernet that excluded Uncle Spam might just do it. At some point 
the costs of devising and implementing such a network would be less 
than those of handling spam.

> The help forums of domestic ISPs are filled with people
> who have become amateur PC gurus (in a very small way) through necessity
> and who are now more or less hooked on it.

Went through that stage in the 80s and would really like to be able
to forget it. It appals me that so little progress has been made.

Christopher Currie	
ccurrie at bloxwich.demon.co.uk	
Gllug mailing list  -  Gllug at gllug.org.uk

More information about the GLLUG mailing list