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Blogs Technology Apathy Is Bad For Everyone

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 12 Apr 2012.

  1. XXAOSICXX

    XXAOSICXX Member

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    When I'm helping friends and family with deciding on a technology-related purchase I help them the most by helping them redefine "bare minimum".

    You can, if you choose, build a working computer for less than £200 out of budget OEM parts. You will, of course, end up with faulty components all of the show over the life of the computer and this is naturally a false economy and does nothing more than compound the users view that technology is, and should remain, alien to them.

    Thus, my approach - whether it's PCs, laptops, cameras, phones or whatever - is to look at the bare-minimum they can get away with for their typically limited budget that *doesn't* compromise on quality.

    I think we're often spoiled by technology and how cheap much of it has become...and that's led to some shockingly bad products at the lower end of the market.

    I bought a top-of-the-line Garmin sat-nav about 5 years ago that set me back almost 500 quid and I'm still using it to this day (albeit with updated maps) and it really is superb.

    My super-sceptical boss who hates sat-navs and thinks maps are the future eventually bought a bottom of the range Tom Tom (*spits*) for his wife who absolutely hates it because it's almost completely useless. They wasted 90 quid on a turd of a product when they could have spent just a bit more, say, £150, and had something a bit more respectable that they'd still be using.

    It's a bit like shopping for alcohol....you always want the best one, you can only really afford the "average" one, and you'd never ever ever buy the supermarkets' own brand. Bottom-rung products simply shouldn't be made...people would be far happier with their purchases all round.
     
  2. vampalan

    vampalan New Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5z0Ia5jDt4
    Watch this if you haven't already done so. So, what happens when people ask me what computer to buy, it's get a Mac, buy iCare or what ever its called, and leave me alone.
    But if the question was which bits to buy to play BF3 as fast as possible.. that's different.
     
  3. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    I've been trying to get my dad, an avid hiker, skier and general adventurer, to consider getting a GPS unit but it's been a tough battle. Every time he starts getting close to buying one it's a low end unit which I can tell won't live up to his expectations, but since he's never used anything like it before he won't spend hundreds of dollars on a first purchase. There have been signs of progress, though! I could see a spark of interest showing him Google Maps on my phone.

    Unfortunately that's becoming my stance as well. It fits their need, perhaps not as cheaply as it could, but most importantly they're happy and afterwards if/when they have any technical Mac problems I can say "I told you so" and direct them to the extensive Apple support network rather than fixing/explaining it myself.
     
  4. leexgx

    leexgx CPC hang out zone (i Fix pcs i do )

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    intel its easy now
    any i3+ or celeron dual core (as its just an i3 with some bits choped off) you can never get an bad laptop with i3 or mobile Celeron dual core (just buy one that has an good touch pad)

    you got to be care full with AMD laptops as most shops and laptop makers are miss selling the 1.3ghz Dual-core E-300 or C-50 1ghz dual core AMD cpus in full size laptops when they are for netbooks, that are not much faster then an ATOM cpu (but the GPU is faster thought)

    got one customer that got an e-300 and it was bigger screen 750gb hdd 6gb ram but the system was sluggish if there was 1 core been maxed out (even had the mouse stop moving intermittently)

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/laptops/703_7006_70006_xx_xx/xx-criteria.html the first 3 (C-50/E-300) laptops are slower then C2D laptops and are an waste of money the Intel Celeron b815 is ok as its based on sandy bridge even thought its running at 1.6ghz and the N AMD based laptops are ok

    (cpu would currantly has routeing issues in the UK at the time of posting use Opera with Turbo if it not load the site, its the 4 icon from the bottom left had corner with the speed dial on it to enabled access to the site)

    http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Bobcat/TYPE-C-Series.html are an waste of money (for netbooks only or ultra portables mabe, should Not be in full size laptops)
    http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Celeron_Dual-Core/Intel-Mobile Celeron B815.html ok as they are based of sandy bridge
    http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Athlon II Dual-Core Mobile N330 - AMN330DCR22GM.html are ok as well as they are faster then 2ghz

    only look at the A6 or A8 cpus on amd or dual core 2ghz or higher with amd, no reason to buy single core laptops now (only issue with that is most shops do not show the cpu spec pc world do on the product details page)

    sorry if it looks like an AMD bash but this is more the laptop makers using an CPU what its not intended for, as i have 3-4 of my customers who have buyed an laptop that was slower then there old laptop that have broke (norm C2D or alike), would you use an atom for an full size laptop i would say no and Intel will not allow it, problem is AMD are not enforcing rules to limit the E and C to smaller netbooks or ultra-portables
     
    Last edited: 13 Apr 2012
  5. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    I completely disagree with this. GNOME has been the default desktop environment of linux for a very long time, and it is not windows-like at all except the window decorations (title bar, minimize, maximize, cloze, etc) and the taskbar. KDE has been very windows-like, but also adopted many mac features. I like to think of it as if windows and mac had a child together who grew up to be rebellious and do things his own way. As many people on this forum have posted, people like familiar things. It is daunting to switch an entire OS and use a whole new collection of programs, and it becomes overwhelming to some people when everything looks and operates differently too.
    When you look at the lesser-popular environments like XFCE or Englightenment, those are just simply weird. LXDE is probably the only one that is strikingly similar to windows out-of-the-box (windows 2000 anyway).

    As for Unity, that is massively unpopular. If you go to distrowatch.com, you'll find that ubuntu's popularity has dropped by nearly 1000 hits-per-day since unity became the default. Linux in general is becoming more known and accepted as a desktop OS coincidentally around the same time that unity came out because its starting to do better than windows at nearly everything. Linux's nvidia drivers perform almost on-par with windows, and the intel drivers are faster than windows'. CPU and RAM usage has always been better with linux for over 10 years now. Nearly all modern wifi, audio, and video capture devices work out of the box. EXT4 and Btrfs filesystems are either superior in features or superior in performance to NTFS. These things, as well as many other reasons, are why linux is gaining popularity. The desktop environments I'd say have a minimal (but an existing) impact.
     
  6. erratum1

    erratum1 New Member

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    The problem with this article is that new hardware comes out prices fall new technologies are created.

    You can spend thousands on a pc with the hope that your going to use that power on something and within 6 months it's old.

    Buy a pc for what you need it for, if you get into photography later then the prices will have dropped by then or new faster cpu's will be out.
     
  7. PingCrosby

    PingCrosby New Member

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    apathy?...who cares
     
  8. lacuna

    lacuna Member

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    I bought myself an iPad for Christmas and it has basically completely replaced my laptop and PC. I've used my laptop once and my PC no more than 5 times since getting it
     
  9. Bakes

    Bakes New Member

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    You've made the classic blunder of thinking that everyone has the same needs as yourself. I'll go through your post point by point.

    It's not at all daunting to switch OS and use completely different programs. Apple has sold hundreds of millions of iOS devices, and they've been picked up by the users very well. It's far more daunting to use similar software, because you're looking for the visual cues you've been used to (but they aren't there). For example, switching from Windows to OSX would almost certainly be difficult for the majority of British people for the simple reason that lots of the keys are switched around, and the shortcuts are different. Meanwhile, the ribbon in Word 2011 is different to the ribbon in Word 2010, it contains different items and behaves slightly differently. This is yet another difficulty.
    A new piece of technology is much easier to learn than a modified old one, because you don't need to unlearn what you already know.
    Learning to use KDE is a problem for this exact reason - you expect something to work like Windows, but it doesn't, so you see if it works like OSX (it doesn't), so it becomes a massive chore, because you're constantly recalling your knowledge about other operating systems, which is not necessarily helpful.
    Similarities are only useful if the behaviour is very similar in most use - it's why Open Office was so successful at the start.

    Learning iOS is a much easier experience, purely because its behaviour is so different.

    Unity is currently unpopular - but only because it's still immature software. It's been improving as its matured.

    Now, performance;

    My post was about a computer for an old lady who currently computes on a Celeron running at 1.6GHz. She seems to use her computer for the internet and for office. It's safe to assume that she does not give a rats arse about the superiorities of the nVidia drivers or the qualities of her filesystem.

    If you're a systems engineer, sure, these are important considerations. For the majority of people, they are not - I am definitely a power user, and yet I place very little weighting on the filesystem used in my chosen operating system.

    The vast majority of people do not care whether their computers use EXT4 or Btrfs or even something old like ReiserFS. They do not care whether their computers use bash or dash, or if their graphics performance is 0.05% better due to improved drivers. They care that they can use the operating system effectively.

    On your list of improvements, the only one I can agree with is the increased peripheral compatibility in recent years. ndiswrapper was a pain in the ass.

    But anyway, we're going off topic.
     
  10. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    No, I didn't. I don't use things like GNOME or XFCE or Unity. I've tried them, and their default setups are not like windows. I was referring to their default setups, not the way I set them up. The way I set them up makes my argument completely irrelevant.

    Apple products are designed for simplicity and stability. Considering they haven't really changed a whole lot within the past 10 years (except iOS), I'd say they've done a pretty good job, and enough people are familiar with how macs works. Macs tend to offer less features than windows, whereas something like linux has a lot more. This is what makes linux daunting.
    Yes, I agree with this. But this isn't so much daunting to people but frustrating or confusing. I'm talking about people who are trying something new that is so different that its discouraging for them to use it.
    Another very valid point.
    ....huh? First you're saying that its "not at all daunting to switch to another OS and use completely different programs" and you said its easier to use something new than old and modified, but now you're saying KDE doesn't work like mac or windows so its difficult to use. Kinda hypocritical. I don't remember any features in KDE that didn't do what I thought it would do, otherwise it only takes 1 more click to figure it out. I found Macs to be much harder to learn for the first time than KDE, because Macs actually lack some cues entirely. For example, a new user wouldn't know that you have to drag a program into the trash to uninstall it, and if they're stuck with a 1-button mouse, there's nothing that tells the user how to empty the trash.

    Yes, that is true. I'm sure Unity will be a worthy competitor in time. Not sure if I'll ever be interested in it.

    As true as that is, that isn't really relevant to this argument which is why I never brought it up in my previous post. People as of today don't use linux unless they see a compelling reason to switch. Although I find it easy, it is not user friendly to most people. So, people switch to it specifically because of its benefits, like how it handles hardware. My previous post only disagreed with how you felt about Unity and linux trying to be similar to Windows.

    Right, so the very few people who are aware of what linux is and the very few people of that group who want to use it for their main desktop OS are the people who want it for its benefits. If they aren't, they're the kind of people who just want something free and not pirated, or get linux because of its viral immunity and eye-candy.

    Well a lot of what I mentioned isn't really noticeable to the average user or enthusiast, but there are benchmarks to prove a lot of what I said.
     
  11. Bakes

    Bakes New Member

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    May I ask what you do use? If you do simply use the terminal, then I'd have to say that you aren't in any way the target of my post.

    OS X has been fairly incremental, but it shows a whole lot more promise than it used to. Lion was a set of changes that looked boring on paper, but have made me far more productive.

    Thanks to MacPorts and similar, OS X can use most of the libraries and packages written for other Unix based systems. Again, it's proved most helpful to me.

    Macs don't have one button mice anymore, fyi. They're all bundled with either a trackpad, or a multitouch mouse, for better or worse. I'm pretty sure there's an 'empty the trash' button in the trash window, and if you click the finder menu, there's also an 'empty the trash' menu item. Your point about uninstalling is fine, but you might not expect a new user to Linux to know to open Synaptic or YAST or apt or whatever in order to uninstall programs either. The OSX method is arguably more intuitive.

    My point about KDE is that it's enough like both Windows and OS X that when I try to use it, I draw my intuition from both of them, and thus get caught out in the differences. My point is that KDE is close enough to both of them that it becomes a pain in the arse - the paradigms are subtly altered, as opposed to diverging enough that they are simply different.

    I was not simply being self-contradictory.

    Gnome does not have these issues. (My favourite is XFCE, if only for its file manager (right click - open terminal in this folder. Wonderful)

    Yes, I am aware that Linux is currently only used by those who see compelling reasons to switch - that in my view is the key reason why Linux distros should stop trying to put forward the whole 'You can use it to replace Windows' line. The closer it is to Windows it is in feature parity, the more people will complain about the parts that are lacking.

    I don't doubt it (although I would note that you are on shaky ground in terms of CPU efficiency, since the application software themselves are simply machine code instructions.)
     
  12. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    I use KDE 4 on my main computer, LXDE on my netbook, and I tend to use GNOME 2 for other people who want to try linux, except I heavily modify it so it isn't so foreign to them. I do enjoy using the terminal - knowing how to use it can really increase productivity.

    I agree, but the key word is "incremental", whereas going from Windows XP to Vista would be considered almost exponential. If you use OS X when it first came out and compare it to Lion, at a glance, it doesn't operate that differently (in a good way). There are a LOT of changes, huge improvements, new features, and so on but overall it "feels" the same.

    Yes, I've seen a lot of newer macs take advantage of multiple button mice. Luckily for apple customers, the system is still functional with a 1-button mouse. I haven't tried Lion yet, and I don't remember if previous versions had the more apparent way of emptying the trash, but when I tried a mac for the first time, it took me a little too long to figure out how to empty the trash without right-clicking on it (I had a 2-button mouse but I wanted to see what it was like without one).
    You are right about installing/uninstalling programs in linux, however, as I've said before, Macs are designed to be simple and easy to use, whereas someone who gets into linux requires to do some research ahead of time. The linux method of installing/uninstalling is more organized and logical, but its not very intuitive. The mac method is simple but has many little situational problems, such as not being able to remove orphaned programs/files and accidentally uninstalling something when you just wanted to remove a launcher. I'd say windows has had installing/uninstalling programs right from the very beginning, which to me is shocking considering how much they get wrong.

    I suppose I can understand where you're coming from, although personally I never had much trouble learning to use it. Do you still have frustration with it today? If so, what do you find difficult about it?

    Haha XFCE is probably the one I dislike the most - it strives to be lightweight but its just as heavy as GNOME 2 yet is missing half the features. Thunar is a nice program, but I like the file managers of the other DEs better. Dolphin (KDE's default FM) has an optional built-in terminal pane. In pcmanfm (LXDE's default FM), you can just press F4 and a new terminal window will pop up that is in the current directory of where you're browsing.

    I don't disagree with that, what I disagree with is the fact you think they're trying to be like Windows. As I've said before, there's boundaries where things need to be familiar to some degree, or else it becomes daunting when nearly everything you try is different. Besides, if something is effective, why change it? Windows' interface has pretty much stayed the same since Windows 95, so that's about 18 years, so clearly its effective. Windows 8 will the be first drastic UI change (one I'm not fond of, its way too slow and clumsy) and even then, it still offers the classic UI.
    Most open source software today is created to be what another product should have been, whether that means create something similar to Windows but have a few foreign quirks here and there, or to be exactly like another product but free.

    Yes that's entirely true, so that being said, there's a limit to how efficiently a program can run (the limit would be the program running at or below kernel-level). I'm no expert on such low-level tasks but I would think that what makes a program run more efficiently is the way the OS treats the program's instructions. Programs that run on linux do often run faster than they do in windows, but generally at an unnoticeable level. The noticeable part is how the program, and the OS itself, is more stable and the usage of multiple cores. There is something linux does that handles programs differently.
    For example, I had an old opteron based computer that I overclocked from 2.4 to 2.7GHz. Running stress tests for hours, Linux ran fine. It didn't run perfectly, but it recovered from failures. Windows XP, however, would BSoD before I could start the test. Vista would BSoD during the install. But if I brought the clock speeds down to 2.6, Windows ran just fine.
    As another note, linux has been x86-64 and ARM compatible for a very very long time. Today, it's almost stupid to not go for 64 bit. It is, IMO, the most complete 64-bit OS.
     
  13. Ciber

    Ciber New Member

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    This apathy is why a guy at my work has a PC that came with just 128meg RAM. It's only 5 years old but it basically doesn't work as a PC.
     
  14. Pooeypants

    Pooeypants New Member

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    What I find intriguing is that people aren't willing to pay 1000 quid for a top spec laptop but will pay the price for an entry level macbook. It's all about perspection; marketing makes all the difference. Doesn't matter about the specs or functions, people are generally dumb and just want shiny!
     
  15. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    You're in the US...Try crossing a border with Google Maps on the phone :D
    Don't get me wrong, it's great...as long as you don't switch to a country where your flatrate doesn't count. :sigh:

    (little tip...any other country, at least in our european contracts.)

    Have you ever used one for what it was intended for?
    Mine plays my video's just fine.
    The new ones even have HDMI-out (which admittedly was a big bummer with the first ones)
     
  16. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Wait, there's more than just the US and Canada? :D

    Jokes aside, I was showing it to one of the most technophobic and technologically illiterate people out there, the very idea of a hand held device which can display a map of the entire world and zoom in to specific places was a miracle in itself. His jaw almost literally dropped when I switched on the topo layer. All of the static mapping capabilities can be better covered by a dedicated GPS device without having to pay for a phone's data plan or dynamic data charges.
     
  17. misterd77

    misterd77 New Member

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    im a big fan of buying 2nd hand high end, which you can get for silly prices, course you lose the warranty, and the shiny, but, you can get a desktop replacement for silly money, my current machine, a 17 inch samsung r720, cost £1k new, and has a dual core 2.4ghz cpu, 4 gig ram, 750gb hdd and a 46500hd discrete gpu, i managed to get it for £250, it manages to play most games smoothly, and I couldnt be happier...gumtree your next laptop purchase, you may be surprised at whats available...i was...
     
  18. khossain565

    khossain565 New Member

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    , I was showing it to one of the most technophobic and technologically illiterate people out there, the very idea of a hand held device which can display a map of the entire world and zoom in to
     
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