Wang 300 Calc

Tony Duell ard at
Thu Sep 13 15:49:45 CDT 2007

> On 11/09/2007, Tony Duell <ard at> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Quite why I'd want illeterates to be connecting cables to my comput=
> er i=3D
> > > s
> > > > totally beyond me...
> > >
> > > I never can tell with you, Tony, whether you faking it and taking the
> > > mick, being deliberately obtuse to make some kind of point, or
> > > genuinely think in a very strange way.
> >
> > I'm being deadly serious. If asomebody can't match up a 7 character wor=
> d
> > ('printer') no matter what their native language is, then I don't want
> > them anywhere near any of my computers.
> Why should certain people be put at a disadvantage in dealing with a
> foreign language, script or alphabet, when a simple icon is
> international?

You still don't get it, do you?

If there was a _standard_ icon used by every manufactuer to me 'parallel 
printer port' then yes, that would be clear and understandable. But there 

Maybe the symbol for 'printer' is pretty much recognisable, but there are 
plenty of other icons I've seen on connector panels that aren't. Without 
the manual (and how many of us here can honestly claim to have manuals 
for every bit of computer hardwre they own), you're prrtty much reduced 
to tracing out connections inside to work out what the darn connector is for.

Also, please not that 'printer' does not necessarily imply a TTL-level 
parallel port. Suppose I make a machine that uses an RS232-interfaced 
serial printer. I, li,ing to stick to standards, use a DB25 connector for 
this, and I wire it as a DCE (since printing terminals are clearly DTEs). 
Which implies the printer connector on my machine is a socket. I label it 
with a 'printer' icon. What's the betting soembody plugs a PC-type 
parallel printer lead in there and blows up their printer (Centronics 
compatible prionters don't like -12V on the D1 line :-)). Who's to blame?

And perhaps you could suggest icoss for : 

ADC input 
User Port
System Bus (and if you dare suggest a picture of a Routemaster, I will 
LART you.)
Autodialer interface

And yo away from computers for the moment, how would you, using icons, 
label the 'RF gain', 'IF gain' and 'AF gain' controls of a radio? (and 
yes, at least one of my receivers has all 3 has serparate front panel 
user controls)

> You may not like icons, but the rest of the world does, which is why

I think there are many people here who prefer words to icons.

> every desktop computer, every mobile phone, every PDA and millions of

There are no icons on any of the desktop computers that I use regularly 
(not even on the screen), apaart from the ones I mentioned in a previous 
message for the front of an IBM PC/AT.

My cellular phone doesn't have any icons either. Plenty of English words, 

I don't have a PDA. I have plenty of pocket calculators, all of them 

None of my camears have icons on them either. On the other hand, I have 
several cameras with a 'Z' on the shutter speed dial for time exposures. 
Z = Zeit, of courst. THis doesn't confuse me, for all I never learn German.

> It's about not pushing one person or region's language in favour of
> anyone else. It's about being culturally neutral. This is a good
> thing.

I disagree totally.  I can think of many more situations where removing 
culterial bias has caused problems than situations where it's avoided 


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