Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

7Sep/06Off

That Difference In Interface Makes Simple Operations Terrifying

I do not particularly understand the terror that most of my fellow tech support folks feel when they are confronted by a Macintosh. Even before I had one that I carried around with me everywhere it was pretty easy to chuck a quick Google search from my Linux desktop at work and read the answer back to people. I'm guessing that a good part of it is just reluctance to taint themselves by touching a machine that doesn't have a registry but the unwillingness to learn simple tasks that are largely delegated to users by the operating system. Adding a printer should not require a whole lot of anxiety but I am routinely consulted for things like this that are executed by pressing a button adorned with a plus symbol and following the bouncing ball afterwards. What makes this more interesting and troublesome is that so many people I've spoken to recently have acquired their first piece of Apple hardware and are baffled that so few people can answer very basic questions.

Suddenly the outright fear displayed by most people that are 'technical' at least by job title when confronted by any Linux desktop that isn't a neutered variety of KDE makes a whole lot of sense. Intuitive interfaces really don't matter in most cases as people seem to see only !Windows and freeze. Pairing this with the inability to use search engines for anything but porn/video games or to read and comprehend simple instructions presented in numbered steps is enough to make me feel like some kind of super genius by simply being able to read and follow simple instructions and to necessarily deviate from them slightly when they are a little out of date. I've overheard so many phone conversations that terminated with an utterance something like this: "You don't see a button on the lower left that says "x?" Well, you're going to have to see desktop support for that then." I don't particularly empathize with this but at least it makes more sense to me now. This also makes the incredibly tedious arguments that come along with any interface seems a little less ridiculous. Again, it's comical but I guess the people I'm surrounded by aren't especially brain damaged and I should be less surprised when people ask questions that could be answered with a minute or two spent trying to learn something new. I don't find this comforting but at least there is some kind of reason behind it. No attempt will be made to properly quantify 'some' because the effort would probably kill me. This may have something to do with a lack of sleep.

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