Why People Should Learn To Use Computers - In Comparison To Cars


I have been sort of mulling over this post idea for a while, I sort of got the idea one day thinking about computers and about learning to drive cars. I have recently passed my UK driving test so the two sort of came magically together. What I want to discuss (with myself) and mostly project my rant onto you, is about why people should learn how to use computers. This will be gently mixed into why people learn to drive cars and the comparisons between them.

With the advent of cheaper and cheaper computer parts the price over the last couple of years has dropped significantly for personal computers to be affordable for the average home owner. There are the uber fast ones but that is what I define as a seperate market. These "average" computers have become popular and as a result nearly every house that can afford a computer has a computer. I don't know exact figures but there are lot of computers. As a result of this cheap computing there are a lot of people who use a computer that really don't know what they are doing. This is a big problem. I don't mind people using computer, that is great, one of the best things that has happened.

The problem with people not knowing the basics of how a computer works means a lot of problems for people who do know how a computer works. Some people do like other people who have computer problems and earn a lot of money off them. I consider my self quite computer literate. I know my way around a computers files and I know what most things do. Most computer problems I could fix if I had the time and the resources. As a result I get called a lot by friends and family who want my help. I am 99% sure that if every one went on a basic course about computer hundreds of simple computer problems could be solved because people have the knowledge.

Lets take my first example and analogue to a car. Every one in the United Kingdom has to take a driving test and meet a certain standard to be able to legally drive a car on the road. Every person upon passing there test has enough knowledge to operate a car as intended. Hopefully they will also know how to avoid situations which could be fatal. On regards to computers people seem to throw caution to the wind and go in like they can do nothing wrong. Usually something important that will usually take a long while to fix will be damaged in some way that it takes ages to fix. What people don't seem to understand is that computers should be treated in a way to learning to drive a car. You don't go head on into it, you learn what things do, gradually build up a knowledge base and hopefully not kill anyone in the process. This principle should be applied to computers but it isn't.

What I think should happen is that every one that is new to computer has to learn to use them before they should be allowed to use them unsupervised. I know operating systems are getting better at locking down files, but there is always some bumbling idiot that manages to break the system in some way. With every one have a basic knowledge of computers you wont get situations were people don't no what start menu is, or what to do when you right click (this happens a lot in my experience).

Finally to conclude, this has once again become another post about me ranting on about some ideology that I believe in. If you agree of disagree please leave a comment using the supplied form below, under post a comment. I love to hear feedback and what you think.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately your blog asks me to use the any key, and because I can't find that, I'll never know what your post said.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you. How this idea will be implemented I do not yet know, but it should be.

James Powell said...

At anonymous number one can you explain what you mean?

Chris said...

Goddamn, I think you're onto something! ^_^

Unfortunately, I doubt that most people will want to take a course in computing, and there's really no way to make anybody do so. Thankfully, the youth of today are practically being forced to use computers from an early age, so we should have a generation of people who have SOME understanding of the things.

Hopefully, things like the Asus eee PC will make people more open-minded to the whole concept of linux; It's tangential, but a good thing. Linux can be, I'll admit, much harder to wrap your head around than windows. Tinkering in a command line can be scary to some. But, those that persevere with such things will be granted a greater insight to computers, and the ability to search for what they don't know.

With the eee PC costing next to nothing (compared to modern computers) more people will hopefully end up buying one and learning something useful.

So yes. TANGENTS! =D

James Powell said...

Thanks Chris that was a great point

Sean said...

Instead of complaining about the problem, look for ways to fix the problem.

Reality check using a computer is in no way analogous to driving a car - so you will not see a computer license anytime in this life. Worst case scenario in using a computer is they delete their registry and have to reinstall the OS. Okay, the largest possible threat is they do something really bad and have their identity stolen. No threat to human life, just very inconvenient and possibly costly.

A more proactive solution would be at the very least when friends, family ask you to fix their computer. Walk them through fixing it themselves. You be the navigator let them drive.

An even better solution would be to get involved in your community in some way and hold monthly classes to pass on your knowledge. It does not have to be a big venue; I am pretty sure your local church, school, senior center would be thrilled to allow you to present and teach there.