HI Dark,

As someone who does tech support for a living I can say I've been
their done that. I hate to sound critical or negative about my clients
as they pay me to help them with things, but your points are very
valid ones. Since the introduction of graphical operating systems like
Windows the general skill level of the average user is abismal. they
don't know what something is called half the time and only know how to
get their by clicking on a certain icon, and you have to describe it
to them. Which of course changes from version to version of Windows
and desktop theme to desktop theme. So its pretty hard for me as a
blind user who can't see all that eye candy to help them. I usually
have to make them read the text on the icon so they click on the right

Usually, as you pointed out, it is basic things like dragging and
dropping files, cutting and pasting documents from folder to folder,
that these people lack. I think in many cases they just purchased
their computer from Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Office Max, whatever turned it
on and started pointing and clicking without any idea what in Hades
they were doing. So as a result of any kind of training they just
never figured out that the way they are using their computer is pretty
limited and amateurish. Unlike Dos where you had to read a starters
manual to do anything Windows lets them feel like they are doing
something by clicking on icons and getting immediate results.

What's this little notepad icon do? Oh, I can write text here. What's
this little picture of a music cd do? Oh, I can play music cds with
this program. What's this picture of a deck of cards do? Oh, its a
game of Solitaire. That's how they find things out, and its limited as
it doesn't really tell them how their computer works or gives them any
real experience using all its  functionality.


On 4/29/11, dark <d...@xgam.org> wrote:
> Interestingly enough this came up recently.
> my mum asked someone she knows a computer related question of how to setup
> an E-mail account, on the basis that this person always uses her pc for
> chatting on msn and buying stuff online so she should know.
> the friend knew nothing because all she knew how to do was open something by
> point and click and type in the boxes.
> While I was a litle too young to get into command line options, after it was
> proved to me that computers could do more than just word process and could
> be fun, I actually started trying stuff out just to see what certain items
> and such did, as well as trying Hal commands.
> while I'd not claime to be a wizard at these things, i do at least know
> enough to for instance try a couple of things if something goes wrong and be
> able to fix basic problems now and again, ---- such as the other day when my
> laptop decided to mute itself.
> This however does not seem to be the norm at all, people don't evenseem to
> know what certin things are called or where they are and the same goes for
> training.
> It really bothers me that when my mum was taught it skills, she was taught
> just to open ms word.
> She actually didn't even know what a folder was and that my documents was a
> folder in windows, rather she thought she could only get there by using
> word.
> This got even worse when she wanted to start using a digital camera and
> storing pictures on her hard drive sinse she had no idea about basic file
> moving skills at all as all she'd been taught to do was open word, ---- none
> of actually what was going on undernieth.
> On one ocasion on the phone to bt who provide my internet, when trying to
> fix connection problems, they were telling me to click on a certain icon.
> i asked if they meant network connections, and they didn't know, sinse they
> didn't know what the icon was called only what it did, much less that there
> are other ways to getting to that particular page of settings than clicking
> the desktop icon.
> A shame really, especially when things go wrong.
> Beware the grue!
> dark.

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