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in reply to Re: OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences
in thread OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences

An unskilled driver is a danger to others, potentially even life-threatening. The worst an unskilled computer user can do is inadvertantly pass around a virus. I don't think it's a fair comparison. Though a virus could have the potential to be life-threatening in some situations (perhaps it jams the bandwidth of a hospital's internal network), it's much rarer.

Besides that, licensing computer users could get to be a thorny issue very quickly. ("You use GNU/HURD? Sorry, it's not on the approved list of operating systems. Your computer license is revoked.")

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Re: Re: Re: OT: Users and software - desktop and web user mindset differences
by jryan (Vicar) on Mar 08, 2004 at 17:33 UTC
    An unskilled driver is a danger to others, potentially even life-threatening. The worst an unskilled computer user can do is inadvertantly pass around a virus. I don't think it's a fair comparison.

    Perhaps in the worst case, yeah. But, I think this is a situation where it is more useful to look at the average case rather than the worst case. In the average case, an unskilled driver is a huge pain in the ass for everybody. The same goes for an unskilled computer user. Unskilled computer users are the reason that many viruses are able to spread as far as they can. Unskilled computer users force designers to dumb down interfaces making it harder for skilled users to do what they need. Unskilled users do create a lot of problems that wouldn't exist if the unskilled set had even the slightest bit of clue.

    I agree that "Computer Licenses" (and I think that we're really talking about "Internet Licenses" rather than "Computer Licencing" here. A computer not connected to the internet does no more harm than a car that isn't turned on.) are definitely not the answer, but you can't ignore that unskilled computer users are a problem.