I'm gonna do these in reverse order, 'cause it's Backwards Day! Or so my kids tell me, lounging about at home because school is closed. Work? No, work isn't closed. Work never closes, damn their evil plots...
Perhaps you would like to expound on your thought process there so I can complete the picking of my nit with you.
Thought processes? Thought processes? I think I see your problem: you assumed that I was thinking. No offense: it's a common mistake, easily made. Actually, I was just babbling, as you so perceptively noticed. Still, I never was one to put unnecessary obstacles in the way of such a thoroughly modern sport as nit picking, so here goes...
Let me paint a mental picture here. An average AOL user is sitting at his dining room table in front of his brand-new e-Machine computer just unpacked from the trip home from Best Buy. (Or it could be an HP, just home from Wal-Mart. Same thing, really.)
All of the cables are color coded in soothing pastels. Why is that? Because pastel colors have been proven to calm users frustrated by the challenges of attaching at least three cables to their respective sockets, all of which have unique connectors which not only can't be plugged into the wrong sockets, they also can't be plugged in backwards, upside down, or sideways.
Eventually the system boots, its first and final act of usefulness before being set out in the garage with the microwave oven (carefully wrapped in aluminum foil to keep the microwaves from leaking out and making the cat lose all its fur. Ever see a naked cat? Unnatural, I say.) and the VCR with black electical tape over the clock blinking its eternal "12:00". Why is the computer banished to the haven of future garage sale bargains, you may ask? Because of that first, infuriating display, generated by the Lilo bootloader. "Boot?" Type 'Yes' and see what happens. Hmm. How about "Yes, damnit!". Nope, that doesn't work too well, either. Other responses are attempted, none of which can be reported verbatim in a family forum but many of which can be approximated using the time-proven all-American wholesome placeholders, "#@*!" and of course the ever-popular "%".
How about your average config file, where fields often must be separated by the correct number of spaces. Unless that particular file requires tabs, of course. We won't even get into the quotes thing. Good thing all those config files are stored in the same directory so they're easy to find, eh? Not to mention exhaustive use of easy to remember keystroke combinations, such as CTRL-A-W or the even easier to recall ".". I can just see the typical AOL user trying to exit VIM... No, wait: emacs. Yes, emacs: that would be fun. How else are you going to get them to diddle with all those configuration files? Pico? :)
Why yes, thank you for remembering. The whole thing was my opinion, actually. I can't recall having ever promised not to lie to you. Heck, I never even promised not to lie to my kids (endless source of entertainment, actually. Their fresh young faces returning home from that first day of school, the first hints of betrayal in their eyes. *sigh* Oh, the happy memories...) Where was I? Oh, right.
So, the eager new AOL user fiddles with the desktop widgets and thingies and has a problem. Who ya gonna call? "Hello, AOL support. How can I help you?" (You know this is fiction, right? Having gotten to a real live tech support person at AOL should have been a big hint.)
"Umm, yeah. How do I start the internet thing?"
"What operating system are you using, sir?"
"What? Oh, it's an e-machine. Or maybe HP."
"No, sir: I don't care how many yard gnomes your wife has planted in the front yard. I'm talking about Gnome, the desktop. What's that? No, sir: you can't buy Lord of the Rings clothes for it and you don't have to bring it in out of the rain. Sir, let me get my supervisor: it's time for my Tylenol break..."
Here's another opinion: choice is for people who give a sh!t. The average AOL user does not give a sh!t about anything but getting their e-mail, shopping on e-bay, and scarfing up as much e-porn as their little hard drives can handle (God, I love double entendre!) Sweeping generalizations, I know, and I'm not unconscious of the irony in using it having just this morning given someone (mild) heck for doing the same dratted thing but doggone it, I'm at work, the kids are home having fun without me, and I'm pissed! Giving people choice is fine so long as you remember that one of the choices should be "I don't want to make any choices. Just do it!". Linux has yet to recognize that philosophy.
LINUX IS A KERNEL.
*grin* I know. I love setting people off by shortcutting references like that. Actually, I figured I'd get at least one "It's GNU/Linux, dummy!" comment but I haven't seen that one yet. I get the giggles just thinking about it.
Ok, I knew that. Technically Gnu/Linux is the Linux kernal wrapped 'round about with thick swaddling layers of Gnu utilites, etc. It's too long to type, frankly: haven't you people ever heard of Repetitive Strain Injuries, carpal tunnel, that sort of thing? I'll bet that when you refer to the COBOL programming language you don't say, "Common Business Oriented Language", do you? Come on, admit it: you call it COBOL. Along with various additional epithets unprintable in a family forum (see above. 'way, way above.) We all take shortcuts, this in mine. Got me there in half the time, too. Know what's even more fun? I've heard that BSD is better than Linux... :)
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