Then, like with her car that she also doesn’t understand, she should be paying someone to maintain her computer since, according to you, she is too stupid to understand the release notes and too stupid to understand her computing environment. So your excuse for her is that she is a boob? So your excuse for her is that, unlike other *critical* updates, that this one presents itself
in the popup window noting that it is a service pack but she can’t recognize the difference in an CRITCIAL automatic update and one that intrudes with a descriptive dialog?
The point is to prod them into doing the THINKING that they were too lazy to perform before. Since they were too lazy to read the release notes, I put the links in their face so that maybe they will go read those notes. Gee, if a software install causes problems, yeah, let’s not point out or clue in that maybe they shouldn’t install it.
Rhetoric, passions, opinions, and commentary flow through the internet like water. After a while you get used to the way people express themselves in a public forum, which may or may not be the way they express themselves in public and that’s a completely separate topic that’s been considered before by book writers and bloggers alike. But this individual is expressing a very common opinion, which as I sort of stated above is indicative of the entire market.
And that’s what gets me about this whole thing – it’s not the forum comments of individuals, it’s the mindset of the masses. I decided when I saw that to post my response here. I generally don’t post notes like this here and then put a link back in the original forum to have people come back here to read it – I don’t want to perpetuate an argument but to comment about how I see the market. So this one is just between you and me for now.
Personally I think people should have a driver’s license to run a PC just like they have one to run a vehicle – and this needs to be updated every couple years. But we both need to get a better grip on reality. In my case people will continue to be provided with PC’s as long as they can afford them, and most non-technical end-users will read as little as possible once they get them. And you need to learn the difference between what people actually say and what words you put into their mouths. I did not question the intelligence of the user, that’s irrelevant.
The problem here is that "personal" computers are expected to be "personal" and therefore easy to understand but this is not really the case. Proper maintenance of a PC requires a good amount of knowledge – or assets to pay others with knowledge. The concept of simplicity is abused by users and providers alike. Users assume they can answer yes to everything and it will be OK – primarily because they rely on the developers to ensure that whatever is being proposed for their system is safe. Developers and vendors package software and marketing in a way that makes people think that all you need to do is turn on the box and you can run your home or business without further worry. Microsoft’s fiasco with Vista is a response to this – so many people just plug n play that they felt they needed to put prompts on every operation. But they’re asking users to make decisions when they don’t have enough information, so users click yes yes yes, get very frustrated, and the world asks Microsoft to come up with a secure system without bothering the user to make decisions. Tough spot but that’s the market and level of expectation that we’ve all created.
If we had followed the auto industry (not the best example but since you mentioned it) then we would be more forceful about the idea that the tool is complex and requires competent personnel for maintenance. Then grandma here wouldn’t find herself loading a service pack on an operating system, she would have someone else do it for cash or cookies, like her auto mechanic or grandson. Consider Software As a Service, Service Oriented Architectures, thin-client applications, remote desktops, and Virtualization. All of these concepts are coming of age in large part because the average consumer, home user, office worker do not have the skills to properly administer their own workstation – so the I.T. / I.S. community is taking steps to remove the burden (on themselves and the users) and centralize these operations back where it can be managed by people with a clue. I’m not saying these I.T. geeks (myself included) are any smarter than grandma, Suzie the receptionist, or Bob the sales guy – but these people don’t have time, desire, nor skills (anymore) to do what we’re asking of them with modern technology. It’s not fair to them to ask them to make decisions about loading patches, setting Trust permissions, or about protecting themselves against geeks who spend every free moment trying to figure out some new way to ruin the day of these poor people.
And you ask grandma why she didn’t read the release notes? It’s ironic that this industry is based giving people with attention deficit everything they can consume without asking them to think about it first – and of course that only creates more of an attention deficit. It’s gotta be easy to click right there on the screen – don’t make them reach for a manual or you’ve failed the GUI development effort. And then we push out software under the same guise that it should be easy to "click and it works", but then when it doesn’t work we push it back on the user and ask "didn’t you read the mannual?"
It’s really a sad state..
And there we are. I’ll have another blog entry soon which shows another example of how my approach to problems is often pretty broad in scope. Look for "Ask a professional". Thanks for your time.