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    • New note by bobjonkman 14 May 2022
      "A Supreme Court that doesn't give a damn what the public wants ... is exactly what a Supreme Court is for, actually." True enough. But elected representatives in government *are* supposed to do what people want, that's why they get elected. If they had fulfilled their obligations to actually represent the citizens' wants then the […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by clacke 14 May 2022
      RT @clacke People, not all people but most people, are angry about the wrong thing. I agree that Roe v Wade being canceled is a bad outcome. I agree that women should have the right to their bodies, but here's my possibly unpopular take: A Supreme Court that doesn't give a damn what the public […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 12 May 2022
      It's the middle of May, I'm sitting outside in 28C weather, just 100km west of Toronto, and the Leafs are *still* playing hockey?
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by guizzy 12 May 2022
      RT @guizzy @vriska I would wait before celebrating just yet. Never underestimate the Leafs ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
    • New note by bobjonkman 12 May 2022
      It seems the state-of-the-art for autonomous vehicles is worse than I thought. Still, with the number of bad drivers on the road now, replacing them with bad robocars is still likely to be an improvement.
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by geniusmusing 12 May 2022
      RT @geniusmusing @lnxw48a1 @bobjonkman They are still not ready or someone had interfered with their learning... :P Cars With Active Driving Assistance Tech Crash During AAA Test https://gizmodo.com/tesla-active-driving-assistance-autonomous-cars-aaa-1848916830 >Despite lofty performance promises from carmakers seeking an autonomous future, recent testing from AAA revealed “inconsistent performance” with more basic active driving assistance (ADA) that resulted in […]
    • Favorite 12 May 2022
      bobjonkman favorited something by geniusmusing: @lnxw48a1 @bobjonkman They are still not ready or someone had interfered with their learning... :P Cars With Active Driving Assistance Tech Crash During AAA Testhttps://gizmodo.com/tesla-active-driving-assistance-autonomous-cars-aaa-1848916830 >Despite lofty performance promises from carmakers seeking an autonomous future, recent testing from AAA revealed “inconsistent performance” with more basic active driving assistance (ADA) that […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 12 May 2022
      OTOH, when the self-driving cars have to make a trolley decision and decide to veer into a mailbox or a fire hydrant that's really me on a bicycle, then I'm blaming you.
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by lnxw48a1 12 May 2022
      RT @lnxw48a1 One thing I do with CAPTCHAs is to always include one wrong item in the "click all the boats/bicycles/traffic lights". After 3-4 rounds, it usually lets me in anyway, and whatever killer robot I'm training will waste bullets attacking mailboxes and fire hydrants and skipping people on bicycles and motorcycles.
    • Favorite 12 May 2022
      bobjonkman favorited something by lnxw48a1: One thing I do with CAPTCHAs is to always include one wrong item in the "click all the boats/bicycles/traffic lights". After 3-4 rounds, it usually lets me in anyway, and whatever killer robot I'm training will waste bullets attacking mailboxes and fire hydrants and skipping people on bicycles and motorcycles.

Windows 8 will be just fine

Posted by Bob Jonkman on October 25th, 2012

Windows 8 logo

Microsoft® Windows® 8 logo

In spite of the controversy, the Windows 8 Modern Interface will do just fine. Some people are saying that Microsoft is making a mistake by radically changing the Windows user interface, and that people will not be able to get used to it. I don’t think so.

When I teach Windows to people who have never used a computer, they learn everything from how to hold a mouse, pointing and clicking, dragging and dropping, opening and closing windows, to using applications after about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice. Lots of people are still hesitant, but after a three-hour class they have functional computer skills.

The same is true when I teach Microsoft Word for beginners. After about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice, they can create a letter or write a story, colour the text, change the font, and format paragraphs. They may not be proficient enough to join a secretarial pool, but they have functional word processing skills.

I’ve also taught Microsoft Word to people taking the Microsoft Office Specialist certification. Often these people are familiar with older versions of Microsoft Word (which used toolbars and menus) but now they’re learning the new interface, which uses the Ribbon. After about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice, they can find most of the functions to colour, size and format text. They may need many more hours of instruction and practice to pass the certification exam, but they’ve adapted to the new interface.

So, by analogy, I expect that people first introduced to computers on Windows 8 will take about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice to become competent with the Windows 8 Modern Interface, and people with experience on Windows XP and Windows 7 will take about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice to become competent on the Windows 8 Modern Interface. The difference? People used to previous versions will grumble and complain about it a lot more. I’ve done that myself; after spending well over two decades using toolbars and menus I still occasionally flounder to find the equivalents in the Ribbon. It is frustrating to unlearn old habits, or to learn new things. But Microsoft is not just making changes for the sake of making changes. The Windows 8 Modern Interface works perfectly well on desktop computers, and much better on touchscreen computers, tablets and phones. The old desktop interface that requires scrolling and clicking with a mouse just doesn’t work with a touchscreen. But for people who don’t want to make the switch the old desktop interface is still available.

While it may be funny to see people using Windows 8 for the first time without any instruction, it’s not a very real scenario. Someone who has never used a computer is unlikely to buy one without getting help, either from the retailer, a community course, or helpful friends and relatives. People who have used a computer before may struggle a bit, but if they already know the basics (scrolling, clicking, dragging) they will figure it out after a couple of hours of practice.

–Bob.

Update 27 Oct 2012: At the Windows 8 Launch Party it was made clear that the word “Metro” is no longer to be used; it is now called the “Windows 8 Modern Interface”. So I’ve updated this post.

 
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