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OSNews: The Command Line--The Best Newbie Interface?

Mar 09, 2004, 19:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Wareham)

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"Around 2001 I spent some time working part-time at a local adult-education centre teaching CLAIT, a beginners computing course, to a wide variety of people. These were complete beginners; many had never turned on a machine before. It was as much an education to myself as it was to them.

"The key thing to remember about these newbies that I taught is that they were not in any way stupid or slow. Many of them had mastered complex technical jobs and excelled in their chosen field. All these people felt that they were being left behind by IT and that there was some percieved intellectual barrier to entering the computer-enhanced world. This initial assumption on their part is key to the following discussion. These people are technophobic both in that they fear being left behind by the rapid advance of technology and that they fear the technology itself. The former fear is best addressed at the social level but the latter fear may have some justification based on their mental model of the world..."

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