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