[OT] - Are computers in education better now than 20 years ago?

Alex Esplin alex.esplin at gmail.com
Mon Feb 12 12:10:15 MST 2007

On 2/12/07, Daniel C. <dcrookston at gmail.com> wrote:
> My sister asked me to teach her to make web pages, but I'm not sure I
> can make it simple enough that she'll be able to get into it without a
> lot of overhead.  I mean, if she's got to learn vi so she can edit
> files on my server, or if she's going to have to mess around with an
> ftp client, that might be enough of a pain to kill the desire to
> fiddle around with cool stuff to show off to her friends.

I had the same experience with my wife.  Only I was foolish enough to
try and teach her to use vi to begin with.  It worked much better when
I handed her my HTML reference and let her use notepad.

On the flipside, now that she uses a Mac, things aren't quite so
foreign because she knows what the terminal is.

So I think the main problem is that today's major operating system
choices (and this includes OSX and even some Linux distros) keep the
user too far away from the guts of the system and hide what the system
actually is behind transparency, wobbly windows, etc.  I find it a
triumph, howbeit a small, incremental one, that my wife know nows that
there is an interface (the terminal) that allows access to all of the
tools that comprise the OS.

Alex Esplin

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