*nix on "classic" systems

M H Stein dm561 at torfree.net
Thu Apr 12 16:23:54 CDT 2007

Since we're still pontificating:

There's another aspect of the pros & cons of GUIs that I find particularly
frustrating: trying to write instruction manuals or doing phone support when 
you have no idea or control over what the user's desktop looks like, which 
menu bars, buttons, shortcuts etc. are enabled or disabled, where they are, etc.

Give me a "Press Control and Home; now Control, shift and end; now 
Control and C" over a "Do you have a menu bar on the top of the window 
you're in? The one that has the word EDIT in it? yes? Good; click on the 
word edit and then click on the word select. Did the window change 
colour? Good; now click on that word edit again, and this time click on 
the word copy..." any day...

Particularly relevant right now since I just got off the phone after spending
about 5 minutes walking a user through a problem with a fairly complex 
150+ module menu-driven DOS program and then more than an hour taking 
them through a fairly simple routine Excel spreadsheet operation.


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