Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1698 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Commands and Documentation
Anton Aylward wrote:
Mind you, it makes me wonder.
The average American can drive most cars. It doesn't matter abut the
details of the layouts of the controls, the radio, the hears & a/c, even
if the gear shift on on the floor or on the steering wheel stalk.

Well, with tongue in cheek a bit, I'd say that's not quite true. Many
Americans can't use manual gearboxes (and in most countries its a
separate test), many can't safely drive around a roundabout (especially
in the Netherlands). I still regularly use the windscreen wipers to
signal a turn when I drive a German car (I normally drive a Japanese
one). I still don't remember which is the windscreen heater button and
which is the rear screen heater in my own car, and I've had it nearly
ten years!

And the really important parts - the wheel and the pedals, are standard.

So why should the difference between Office 97 and Office 2008 bother them?

In a car, at least all the controls are in front of you and you can
directly see and manipulate them. In computer programs, they're buried
in layers of menus, or dialog boxes, or config files or registries and
you have to discover where they are before you can even begin to try to
understand them. Direct manipulation without understanding also can have
more severe effects than switching on the wrong screen heater.

its a Learned Disability driven my marketing.

You are definitely correct that there are vested interests in computer
training though.

And never underestimate the stupidity of the general public. The Amstrad
computer manuals had a picture of a mains plug and a socket at the
beginning. That was because of the length of time the support people had
to spend answering questions about why the computer didn't work that
resolved down to it not being plugged in, and then the user not
understanding exactly what had to be plugged in!

Cheers, Dave
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