Re: They don't need our stinkin' manuals??

Subject: Re: They don't need our stinkin' manuals??
From: "John Fleming" <johnf -at- ecn -dot- ab -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 00:47:56 -0700

OK, it looks like I will have to admit defeat here.

Maybe my perception of kids, seniors, and computers is skewed by
experience with a non-representative sample. Over the last half
decade I've had to give more than a little user support to some older
workers who had trouble with some pretty basic tasks.

I can agree there are some older people who are really quite adept
with PCs. I can also agree there are some older people who would have
trouble if their lives depended on an ability to use a PC. Ditto for
younger users.

Perhaps the view that, "when in trouble on the PC, ask a kid," is
circulated by a segment of the older computer user crowd who do rely
on their kids to explain the ins and outs of the PC.

Thanks, Marilynne and Bruce for reminding me that not all older
computer users are babes in the woods, and that not all younger users
are the greatest thing since sliced bread.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Marilynne Smith" <marilyns -at- qualcomm -dot- com>
To: "John Fleming" <johnf -at- ecn -dot- ab -dot- ca>; "TECHWR-L"
<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Cc: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: January 2, 2001 1:25 PM
Subject: Re: They don't need our stinkin' manuals??

> I've been working with computers since the early 70s. I've been my
> computer repairman since I my first PC-AT. Do I know everything
> computers? Of course not. There are too many variations, too many
ways to
> use a computer. If we are both computer gurus, I can talk over your
> and you can talk over mine. You need to find your niche and learn
how to
> operate in that niche.
> The idea that grownups are afraid of their computers is largely a
myth. I
> know a lot of seniors who are quite capable with a computer. I know
> seniors who designed computers in their working days. I know some
> who can't wind a clock unless you tell them how, but who still
manage to do
> what they want to on a computer. I do know some who are afraid to
> the keyboard for fear they'll do something wrong. You should see
> faces when I put their hands on the keyboard and just hit lots of
keys. It
> gets them by the initial fear. I've been known to say "You've got
> power" and point to the power switch.
> Today's PCs are friendly, usable pieces of equipment. The reason
for that
> is we have good programmers, system admins, etc. Most of those
people are
> well over the age of 25 and very knowledgeable. Perhaps someday
these kids
> will do wonderful things with computers, but not yet. They're still
> kids: confident of their abilities and led by their own interests.
> Who do they think invented the computer anyway, little Johnnie in
the 8th
> grade?
> Marilynne
> ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~ ~!~
> Marilynne Smith
> Sr. Technical Writer
> marilyns -at- qualcomm -dot- com
> (858) 651-6664
> T-130J
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


John Fleming
Technical Writer
Edmonton, Alberta
email: johnf -at- ecn -dot- ab -dot- ca

Develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver! (STC Discount.)
**NEW DATE/LOCATION!** January 16-17, 2001, New York, NY. or 800-646-9989.

Sponsored by DigiPub Solutions Corp, producers of PDF 2001
Conference East, June 4-5, Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. or toll-free 877/278-2131.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Corel Ventura 8 - Happy or Horror Stories Needed
Next by Author: Re: FWD: Dealing with a challenging work situation
Previous by Thread: Re: They don't need our stinkin' manuals??
Next by Thread: Cursors! Foiled again.

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads