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Change in computers as a hobbiest... 2853

Change in computers as a hobbiest... 2859
Jukka Aho I don't agree. While the foundation technology has changed, the overall principles of hobby computers remain the same. Audiophiles had to change from tube amps to transistor and then to IC, and from...

Bernd Felsche

Certainly some basic understanding is desirable, but where does it end? I have no idea how my word processor stores and parses the stuff I type in. Do I need to know? No.

I was curious to know how "smart quotes" work, so I experimented around. It was actually simpler than I thought, I had presumed it tried to have balanced open and close, as we're used to from programming, but it doesn't work that way. But I didn't really need to know how it works; and I certainly don't know the code behind it.

I use macros, but don't know the VisualBasic behind them. If I was a heavy sophisticated user it might be helpful, but my simple macros don't require that.

In the mainframe world, at one time we needed to know hardware details to optimize our programming, even with a high level language. (I was taught to use arithmetic IFs rather than logical IFs in Fortran for efficiency, for example and certain binary fields in COBOL). Today the machines are so fast that unless you're working on a very large intensive application, much of that stuff--while it still works--just doesn't matter.

But the message doesn't say that. It says, correctly, "all circuits are busy, try your call again later, dial your operator for buttistance". The telephone company doesn't tell everyday customers about trunks, tandems, loops, etc., because the everyday customer has no need to know. A corporate administrator of a large system would know, but not grandma.

I know how to control the car if something fails. I don't know how to fix it, wouldn't even know where to look (except the brake cylinder resevoir).


Change in computers as a hobbiest... 2854
Still, I look at users taking courses in Word, Excel, or whatever, or struggling to master...


I also know to check my oil, even change it. I don't bother changing it myself because it's a messy nuisance job and it's just easier to let a garage do it. I don't know exactly what's in "dirty" oil, however, or what addictives-characteristics are in fresh motor oil for that matter. There's a code, Sx, indicating the grade of oil. Last I knew it was SE (service extreme), but it's beyond that now.

Long idea my driver's ed teacher had concerns about "atbreastude". Many driver clbuttes did in fact try to teach that in various ways. Some schools used horror films of accident remnants. Atbreastude is a lot harder to teach.

While I think there is a problem with computer based crime, I'm not sure it is to the extent of motor vehicle accidents. Further, I think most drivers know how to drive safely, they merely choose not to.

I do think computer users are a risk to be a criminal victim, that is mostly not because of not understanding the technology, but rather recognizing there are criminals out there who and the need to take precautions. I have no idea how a virus or sypware gets downloaded into one's system, but I use virus protection software and watch where I browse.

I attended a personal defense clbutt given by the police dept. We did not get into the criminal mind, social issues, prisons, etc. and we had no need to. We did get into basic concepts of protecting oneself. The more detailed aspects are left to criminal justice professionals.

What a professional should know is different than what a lay user should know. I don't need to know how to fix the power steering in my car; the odds of it failing are quite low. But I do need my mechanic to know how to inspect it and maintain it.

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