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Re: A Microsoft Christmas Carol

  Quoting from "It's a Wonderful Machine," by David Pogue, as quoted by
  Mark Hinds --
  > "Correction: All 9 percent of American households," says Claris
  > cheerfully.  "Without a graphic interface, computers are still too
  > complicated to be popular."
  Oh, come on. Back in the CP/M era, ordinary people simply thought a
  computer would be overkill for the work they were doing -- but once
  exposed to computers, they took to them with alacrity.
  It was wonderful to have an operating system that ran on a wide variety of
  hardware designs. It was wonderful to have dynamic on-screen instructions.
  It was wonderful to be able to choose a user interface suitable for your
  work and your tastes. For people who work with text, it was particularly
  wonderful to be able to keep your hands on the home row, your eyes on the
  screen, and your mind on your work, and to do *everything people do today*
  just following the on-screen instructions (until you found them no longer
  necessary and hid them, level by level, of course), using standards-based
  non-printing main-block command keystrokes common to every computer on
  Earth, keystrokes that are a natural extension of the typing skills that
  everyone who uses a computer either has or wishes they had.... 
  Oops -- correction: those keystrokes were common to every computer, every
  operating system, and every application program on Earth until Apple
  REMOVED the Ctrl key, M'soft DISABLED it, IBM REPOSITIONED it, and
  WordPerfect and Lotus IGNORED it, making keyboard use a NIGHTMARE and
  FORCING people to use vendor-specific keys and pointing devices.
  Sorry to shout. I get emotional about this. The operating method I'm
  talking about is *completely compatible* with the concept of a GUI -- but
  once Apple showed the way, lock-in became the name of the game, and
  everything based on public standards had to go. Because of that, neither
  GUIs nor text-based systems are half of what they could be. You think
  using the Mac is a joy, Windows makes it easier to use a PC, either one
  makes you more efficient? You ain't seen nothin' yet. And the way things
  are going, you never will see anything halfway decent....
  Don't reject MS/PC DOS and everything remotely similar or related to it
  because of what you've seen from M'soft and an M'soft-controlled industry.
  M'soft was determined to kill MS-DOS from 1983 on, and they still refuse
  to make Windows a truly user-friendly system. What do you expect?
  Sure, computers needed to be made easier to use. It was *not* necessary to
  *make impossible* an operating method that was incredibly popular among
  non-technical, non-academic computer users and is *still* the choice of
  millions even though the great majority of computer users have never had
  the chance to try it. Both Apple and M'soft could have offered that method
  side-by-side with mouse-and-proprietary-key operation; the effort would
  have been trivial. Instead, they just ripped it out and made us think
  keyboarding is for masochists and Ph.D.'s. If you believe what they say,
  you have been bamboozled.
  Sure, it's great that six-year-olds can now use computers. Does that mean
  we should all pedal tricycles to get around? Come ON.
  Speaking of pedaling, for someone who knows what is possible on a computer
  and who must use a computer eight hours a day, to sit down at a Mac, a
  Windows machine, or any system with the keyboard layout IBM introduced in
  1986, is like riding a bicycle with one pedal missing, or riding along and
  having the handlebar stem snap in two.
  Sorry, though I wish Apple were still independent and prospering, I also
  wish they respected a standard or two, and I see no difference at all
  between Mac advocacy and Windows advocacy. In either case, you are
  advocating lock-in and forced inefficiency. You are claiming that one
  method of operation is suitable for all people and all kinds of work. You
  might as well go around chopping fingers off anyone who knows how to type.
  To my mind, you are advocating a form of slavery.
  Dan Strychalski