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LOL My computer experience as a hobby has turned into a career, I am a licenced mechanic and after fixing cars for 25 yrs, I changed careers and now have fixed PC's for IBM for the last 12 yrs, guess that makes me experienced, no old! LOL Dave in Toronto. No -- Since then, has your journey been straightforward, and if not, can you remember what some of your challenges were? Programming was not user-friendly, early programs were buggy, and there were few people to turn to for assistance.

A good example is Microsoft; changing the look and layout of successive versions of Office without an accompanying increase in user-friendliness.

18 Things Designed for a Different Purpose

Its like gridlock in a major city; if you wanna live there you've gotta put up with it. Same with computers; if i want to use them I have to suffer through the nonsense. Yes; accumulated knowledge of how they work helps immensely -- On a typical day, how long will you be interacting with computer devices?

Functionality, yes; pervasiveness, no! My main use of computers at work is for word processing, etc. It is the "standard" that everyone uses, but I find it very difficult, with everything I actually need hidden in a sub-menu. My wish? That developers would think "simple" for the users who don't want to be online or gaming or streaming videos.

I started programming on a main frame in I bought my first PC in So yes I do remember. It was not easy, but it was exciting, fun, fascinating, etc, and it was possible to completely understand what was happening once you learned some very esoteric things like DOS.

After you got past the initial obstacle, it was easy. Today, my impression is that the initial obstacle is small, but most people can never know what is happening behind the GUI facade. As an electrical engineer, I have much training and experience with computers and compared to other things, I think my evolution was straight forward. I become frustrated sometimes because I do not know what is happening with a system that is constantly being changed through downloaded updates.

I have to trust systems and unknown programmers. This is a philosophical challenge. I guess it's like religion; you need blind faith. Of course, things like word processing and spreadsheets make many tasks easier, and these programs are much easier to use. But before, I knew what was happening.

I am now retired but still use my computer 4 hours per day. Yes of course. If you can plug it in, or if it needs a battery, the latest version probably uses some type of "computer". We cannot live without them. With DOS, which totally runs within KB memory space, it's possible to imagine what the program is doing.

With Windows 98, which totally runs within less than MB memory space including virtual memory , it's still imaginable what each component is designed for, though not easy to understand the exact behavior. With Windows Vista and up, even among the services that start with the system, there are more than half that I will never understand what they do, although they're necessary Yes, - IBM "mainframe" only computer in the college, learned programming and worked as an operator part time -- Would you say this was an easy process to get to grips with?

Yes, but I was an engineering student with a lot of interest. Programming in Fortran IID. Yes, current Microsoft OS is much less transparent than the earlier versions - I can no longer drop out to DOS and expect to troubleshoot problems from the command line. The Internet helps when you Google the problem, but that doesn't always work either In the early days of PCs mostly in the '80s and early '90s I think those who worked at it a little really understood what the OS was going to do with your commands - today it's all buried in a graphical interface that is great when it works, but really hard to figure out why when it doesn't.

Only 3 hours or so, I'm now retired and spend more time reading the papers Internet search is a wonderful thing, giving us access to a wide spectrum of views on many topics at what seems like lightning speed. Preferably you can build a PE disc with your own favorite tools on it. However I admit it's still not an ideal environment for troubleshooting problems, since so many GUI tools need to be "installed" rather than run directly, making it hard to put on a PE.

However, I've seen some tool that can install a mini Windows onto a flash thumb drive! Figuring out code. Still used punch cards. Always something new to learn or some catastrophe to cope with especially my husband using the computer. Try not to get too stressed.

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If we can fix it fine; if not, at least I've backed it up. Probably because I'm retired, it's easier today. About an hour. Not sure, maybe because they lead to less personal interaction face to face. Yes, with a wonderful Commadore 64 about The Commodore was great. DOS machines were much easier to deal with than today's operating systems, browsers, and applications. Many applications such as Rhapsody are buggy and don't operate as advertised. Being patient and methodical.

Programming and debugging is and always has been demanding. Very much. My PC is my phone, typewriter, photo manager, music manager, radio, research library, universal how-to manual, and much more. That's the key to finding your way around most well-behaved applications. Yes, I found it fascinating that you could make machines do things for you.

Since then, has your journey been straightforward, and if not, can you remember what some of your challenges were? Trying to keep up with all the changes from mainframes to personal PC's was a bit of a challenge. Do you have any challenges even now? There are always challenges trying to keep up with all the changes. In the old days we punched cards and now we have GUIs. It is constantly changing. Access to the internet makes life easier. You can get answers instantly. Looking back, do you think the challenges you faced are any easier to tackle now? Things seem to get more complicated now because things change just for the sake of change.

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Unless you are going to make it better, there is no reason to change stuff. There is so much stuff out there now it is hard to keep up. On a typical day, how long will you be interacting with computer devices? Yes, it makes life easier in many respects. Could you also tell me of the context in which you use computers e. Relatively easy, I learn easy. Keeping up with the exponential development of technology. Help files and forums. Yes, more forums are available. Up to 14 hours. Most of time, sometimes one just needs an escape. In in college.

Not in the beginning but got way easier as I had more experience with computers. Pretty much straightforward. Biggest challenge was my 1st computer when the HD needed to be replaced. Taught me A LOT though. Think in steps like a computer. No, not steps but layers. Yes definitely but realize time needs to be made for "off computer time" especially with a young daughter who is a tecchie like her old man. I don't think these questions you hope to ask this "community" will truly answer your primary question.

You could measure the level of their frustration and relate it to their exposures, challenges, methods of coping, etc Transfer your question to a "television set. The engineers who design TV sets work at being sure their "design" suits the needs of that customer.. BUT our computer vendors - since the 50s when the first electronic computers were sold or leased , our vendors have not concerned themselves with what's "easy to use," but instead with what works fast and efficiently when an expert user tries it out.

Unfortunately, we are not all "expert users. Now, I realize there's lots of different configurations of computers.. BUT select one or two, and get started studying "what part is considered hard," for each of those users.. You might find lots of interesting relationships.. I'd love to see your results..

Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the complexity or difficulty of computers is much the same. First was a main frame I wasn't allowed to touch but had to use a punch card to "program" for a class in Obviously, I didn't do very well. My next experience was in was Atari games, then Honeywell systems at work, an IBM , and purchased my first computer in in celebration of my sons birth with an Apple IIe. It was amazingly easy for me. Not any different than raising my children. For example: if you tell your kids to clean their room they will stare at you, laugh at you, or totally ignore you.

However, if you tell them to put their blocks in the blue bin, the stuffed toys in the yellow box, and everything else in the red bin and when finished you will read them a book. Voila, finished assuming they love to be read to Just like early computers you tell them to do xyz and it was completed as long as you entered the data correctly.

While the guys sitting next to me before the interview would get the jobs and I had to train them to our system, over and over. If they had more experience, education, etc. But to find out they had NEVER worked on PC or main frame computers, networks, unix, programming, with NO experience and NO education beyond high school and I'm sitting here with units of college and yrs experience just burned me and I knew it was happening all over.

Pretty much the same, I now have a degree but the school canceled the computer science programs web certificate and security minor after I was half-way through.

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I'm just older so I don't care as much anymore. Pay me for my time, I will teach you and write it down, anything you want to learn. LOTS of meditation, then go play with my computers, they are more rational than people. Yes, women are able to become Computer Engineers now.

CNET do-it-yourself Windows Vista projects : 24 cool things you didn't know you could do! /

In even with Calculus and Trig under my belt women weren't accepted in the mid-west into those programs. Yes, the loss of privacy worries me. Not for myself because I am almost fanatical about trying to protect myself. However, I see people "hang all their laundry" out there which sets them up for so many problems such as identity theft or worse.

Why are computers still so difficult to use? Why are there so many computer companies and none of them are totally standardized? Why can't all software be made to work with Microsoft and Apple OS? Why aren't we into voice recognition instead of still using keyboards and a mouse? The list goes on but I'm tired. I got this far, and it's far enough for me. I can't bear to read all posts, since so many are so similar that's for the questioner to sort for his "thesis," or whatever it is. My perspective is that I remember when I learned to drive back in , my Mom fretted a bit that we didn't have a straight-drive vehicle for me to learn in, AND that driver's ed at the school didn't use them, either.

Her thinking was that she learned in a straight-drive, and that if you could drive one of THOSE, you could drive anything. Eventually, several years and cars later, I saw a car in a sales lot I wanted that WAS straight-drive, bought it, and sort of taught myself Never regretted it.

Although I had "some" computer exposure prior to then, I got hit big in the fall of '85 when our school newspaper bought its first computer, a Tandy I didn't know there was anything else. Later, I learned about all-in-one programs, such as Microsoft Works, which preceded Microsoft Office did all the same things as the light version does, just maybe less of them. And like some others, I built my latest computer.

At the time I was a free-lance writer, having just graduated from college.

FOR IPAD CNET Do-It-Yourself Windows Vista Projects: 24 Cool Things Y…

I'd split the screen in Works, have my notes on the bottom half do interviews on the phone with a headset and type them right into the file , then cut and paste notes into the story-in-progress on the top half as I went. Even Photoshop Elements can be a bit of "a bear" to master, much less the full-blown program I can't afford anyway. So IS my experience today better than it was 25 years ago? Yes, like everyone else, I like all the "bells and whistles. I don't mind having to run Security suites and firewalls and keeping Windows Update on Automatic and even then I check behind it.

This computer business is like the biggest "racket" I've ever seen. Every years, no matter WHAT you bought, it's obsolete Even your OS becomes obsolete and you have to upgrade OSes or you start falling behind. Yet the faster the processors get, and the more and faster RAM, bigger and faster hard drives and video cards we put in, the SLOWER things seem to run, much of the time, because faster than we can buy or build newer, better computers, software developers are building new software that hogs even MORE resources -- not to mention all the STUFF that runs in the background, most of which we have NO CLUE as to what it does.

Right now, including this program, I have four programs running besides a handful of TSRs along the bottom of my Desktop, such as InstantBurn, my Display control, and so forth. But if I do a check to see how many processes are running right now, it'll be around , and as I scroll through them I have NO CLUE what most of them are even associated with. Who does? They've turned these lovely machines we love to chat on, put our pictures on, watch videos and news on, send email on, into incomprehensible devices intowhich even the most advanced user can only hope to have GLIMPSES into the inner workings.

When I have problems -- like the other day, when I couldn't get online -- the Windows Error Code that came up? There was no clear definition or explanation of it. Jeff Hayes Spartanburg, SC. Question: Why are computers still so difficult to use? Hi, Lee, I know this is not the technical question you normally receive, but I was hoping you can have your community members help me out in a big way.

As a final year college student I need to carry out an independent project looking at an issue in the domain of my subject. I chose the question, "Why are computers still so difficult to use? It would be great if you could give me some pointers as to suitable themes you think would make a good project--even if you were to challenge the title! Thanks in advance for everyone's help. Here are the questions I would like to ask the community: Thanks in advance for everyone's help. Here are the questions I would like to ask the community: -- Can you remember when you started using computers?

Discussion is locked. Follow Follow this discussion and email me when there are updates Stop following this discussion. Reply to: Why are computers still so difficult to use? Please remember to be considerate of other members. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use. Title Body. Cancel Preview Submit Follow. Reporting: Why are computers still so difficult to use? This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community. Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post.

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Great Topic. Ah, nostalghia. Why are computers Still Difficult to Use. We found something similar.

About this product. Stock photo. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable. Inside, you'll find 24 self-contained projects, step-by-step instructions, a list of tools needed at the beginning of each project, and hundreds of clear photos and screenshots. See details. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Be the first to write a review About this product.

About this product Product Information Take Windows Vista to new horizons Now you can get the most out of Microsoft's revolutionary new operating system with the practical and entertaining projects packed inside this easy-to-follow guide. Produced in conjunction with CNET. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Customize Folders and Flip Action Chapter 5. Show More Show Less. Any Condition Any Condition.