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View Diary: O/T: advice on TECH upgrades (50 comments)

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  •  That's a lovely idea (1+ / 0-)
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    but many people are not prepared on any level to use open source software without a level of support that is unavailable without a "personal geek" around.

    I don't advocate reflexive upgrades, in fact I'm usually conservative about it as productivity IS important (won't do Win8 until the software I use is there).  But "open source" is not an option for what I do on the graphic side - but I appreciate your positive attitude.

    "Curiouser and curiouser!"

    by TechBob on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:00:08 PM PST

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    •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
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      Rereading it, that last part I wrote sounds kind of angry, sorry for that. Your essay got me angry because it sounded like "Oh, you don't like some new thing in computing? SUCK IT UP, GRAMPA! Or do you want to get left behind?" I believe the end user should be in control, their needs and desires come first, and "progress" is what they say it is, not what tech company insiders say it is.

      Mostly, I've helped create back end replacements for closed source software, and for the most part, that included support contracts from open source firms, so the companies I worked with do have their own personal geeks, as much as anyone does. The thing about open source is, you do get your own personal geek. That's what mailing lists and forums are for: people will help you figure things out.

      I say this writing from a Windows 7 computer, though. I like strategy and war games, but try finding any of those on consoles, tablets, Linux, or Macintosh.

      Well. Microsoft has utterly pissed off the PC gaming industry with Windows 8. Maybe that will be the kick in the pants those companies need to move to Linux. You think Steam likes the idea that there is only ONE place to buy Windows 8 software? Or that MS will take 30% off the top? Haha, nope. Microsoft is in for a fight with this one.

      •  Sorry, too - I shouldn't have snapped back (1+ / 0-)
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        I also am very concerned about end users being in control, but I'm afraid many can't or won't take that responsibility.  Because of MY age (60) and being a life-long geek (wrote my first Fortran code @12 - did NOT like it) and also being an ADD-type arts/engineering hybrid - I'm very exposed to people who have NO interest in how things work, they just want to do what they want to do.

        It's a hard balance for me because I can't use anything until I understand everything about it at some level (stuff makes no sense until I get a sufficiently dense information cloud in my brain). It's hard for me to comprehend not wanting to know how the things you have to use work - and how to master them, rather than them mastering you.

        Many people my age and a decade or so younger have no interest in how things work and somewhat afraid of change - some are almost proudly ignorant of the tech that surrounds them - which concerns me even more.  I've made a special effort to enable those around me to access every day tech (all my friends have WAY more technology than they're comfortable with) - from smartphones to home theater and gaming.

        I tend to get a bit evangelical about technology and enabling yourself - guess it comes from shepherding artists into the tech world for so long. It is rewarding when my birds leave the nest and realize it's not so hard - they feel very empowered.  But I also realize that some will never care if they get left behind on even the basic stuff and try not to badger (though it does get me wound up).

        My worry is that eventually basic things like banking and medical access will become "tiered" and some will wind up with 2nd class (and usually more expensive) services at some point.  It does please me that I've been able to bring a couple of dozen octogenarians (including my mother) to a point where they aren't fazed by modern tech.

        After a fairly deep immersion into PCs, Macs, Unix & Linux - I try not to be caught up in an inflexible "OS as religion" trope that seems to be the domain of "fanboys/girls". Open source is fascinating and I've done my share to facilitate many younger, future geeks as a way to educate themselves in what interests them when you don't have the funds to buy what you want.

        Anyway, sorry for the "snap" - I get stubborn when someone holds up what reads as a rigid dogma (and I love to argue - it's genetic).  I'm for Tech Zen - I will "flow" with whatever technology I can get my hands on. :)

        "Curiouser and curiouser!"

        by TechBob on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:57:11 AM PST

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        •  We sound like very similar people (0+ / 0-)

          And not just tech-wise, after all, we are both here on Daily Kos so our politics must be at least sort of similar. ADD type arts/engineering hybrid, started on computers in the 1970s, memorized the internal workings of the Commodore 64, familiar with Windows, Mac, and Linux, why, the list of similarities just goes on and on!

          One meets some of the most fascinating people at Daily Kos.

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