greed (was)

Heiko Wundram heikowu at
Tue Feb 4 08:51:04 CET 2003

Am Die, 2003-02-04 um 03.34 schrieb Brandon Van Every:
> The problem with freeware / open source / volunteer mentality is it only
> concerns itself with the needs of the hobbyist engineers.  Ease of use is
> terribly low on the list of priorities.  Marshalling companies to ensure
> driver availability and compatibility just doesn't happen.  That's a main
> part of the job Microsoft does, BTW.  Development happens at the pace the
> engineers are willing to do it.  When you put money on the table, it focuses
> people.

Tell me, why is it that we keep hiding the complexity of some
(computer-)system behind a masquerade of "user-friendliness"? People out
there don't know crap about their computer, and that's what keeps
getting them into a mess, and that's what makes software such as M$ so
incredibly unstable, as they only see the need for "new ideas", instead
of concentrating on teaching their users to use their system properly
(and feature-freezing at some point).

I always compare this to driving. Luckily people aren't allowed to drive
a car, before they've taken driving lessons. At least they know what all
those handles do before they're allowed out on the street. They won't be
able to mechanically fix a car, but they know that if the car stops,
they'll be able to restart it by turning the starter-key. And if the gas
runs out, they'll have to refuel. People owning a computer sometimes
don't know that you have to plug the power-chord into a wall-socket to
have it run (I've had such cases as an admin, believe me...).

Along with this comes the incredible unsuspectability of the average
user towards virii, mail-bombs, and the like... And when they've broken
something badly, they don't even know the most basic ways to fix things
(format and reinstall).

How is it that Botnets can actually grow/evolve? Because people accept
Files via IRC, and don't suspect them to be evil, and don't even later
acknowledge them as being Virii. Botnets make up a large part of the
DDOS-attacks that we see currently, btw., and as such just these people
do quite a lot of harm on the net. If people knew what these files do,
only the computers belonging to the actual script-kiddies could be used
for DDOS attacks, and identified correctly. (I'm still mourning for

I could name hundreds of others of such examples where users didn't even
know the most basic rules of networking and owning a computer.

Maybe you can't make money with an engineering approach, but it'd
certainly assure that people all over the world would reconsider how to
behave in an open forum such as the Internet. And by knowing at least a
little about internal workings of a computer, you'd assure that they
would at least be able to judge the cause of an error. And could correct
it for themselves. I don't go running to a police-officer when my car
goes out, I just turn it back on.

just-a-rant-from-an-exhausted-admin'ly yours,

Heiko Wundram.

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