Many of us I'm sure have just spent Christmas time with families who can't work out basic stuff. I've returned with a little amusing skit about the elderly gentleman who clears his throat, commands everybody's attention, and demands of me "I hear you are good with... technology.' This old Military Man perhaps thinks he's giving me a chance prove some sort of twenty-first century masculine ability? Of course, I have no Idea whether he's about to ask me to update his anti-virus or calibrate his difference engine. If you need a favour done, tell me what it is, don't try and manipulate me.
I'm starting to suspect that the 'easy' of Windows means that pretty much anybody can eventually get there. But all the time folks like you and I (forgive my presumption) spent happily poking, prodding, reading, experimenting, and trying all the little pull down options and check boxes - perhaps when we were young and had oodles of spare time - feels a lot more like hard work and frustration to many people. If I worked with you and saw you printing out a circuit diagram, cuneiform, or some calculations of the Hubble Constant, I'd WTF too, but If I really wanted to know electronics, Mesopotamian engravings, or cosmology, I could find the right time, set myself down, and learn them. Windows is all in all a smaller project, but to many people a 'project' is is indeed.
What I'm saying is that computers are never 'easy' to use, and that maybe we've socially gone the wrong way by getting everybody to install this piece of software that's supposed to make it then call those who don't get there retards. Learning it doesn't just involve knowing what to click to get a certain job done, you have to learn to speak Windows language - to know instinctively how much the computer knows and how much it expects you to tell it, and how it communicates that in every message. If you don't get that, how can you get even basic things like
-a shortcut (which everybody knows is a small, hidden file containing the drive location of another file, so naturally if the other file is not there, it won't work, but will automatically find the other file if it's still somewhere on the drive (Which you know as a single letter colon -assigned by the system and not inherent in the drive- and corresponds to a non-removable storage device which came inside the computer which is run by Windows but which Windows is also stored on, mostly, apart from a little bit of it) and the name and icon are attached to the short cut so it's actually possible that the picture and name remain the same but Windows will automatically link that to another file which looks to be about the same size...
-the print queue (which everybody knows represents a waiting list where the computer will send files to the printer, which has a small memory of its own like the computer, and until an object reaches the front of the print queue and then gets sent, its in the computers memory and not the printers memory... So if something goes wrong at that stage, it might send it to the printer again or it might be lost after it leaves the computer print queue, depending on how far through the printer had got and what sort of message the printer sends back to the computer (They don't talk together all that well, that's what Drivers do, sort of) the printer has a bit of program in it which tells it how to print, but the print preview program and the options menu, where you select draft or full quality etc. are on the computer, and it applies them to the document before it sends it into the printer memory. Oh, and there's also a small section in each office file where it saves the printer information, so it will remember what your last setting were, but, of course, the printer in your office is different to the one at home, so that info will be stored in a different format and it won't understand it at the other printer.. no, not because that information is stored in the bit of memory inside the printer, it's in Windows ... Yeah, I know both home and work use Windows, but it just stores different info in different formats in the file for different printers.).. Yeah, it SHOULD happen so that if you set something to grey scale at work it will do it at home, but it doesn't.
There are so many little things to remember.
Every time I watch a computer newbie try to figure out Windows, something unexpected and confusing always pops up - a website is down (and IE suggests eight things which could be causing the issue, and other six through help), the printer needs unclogging, the virus scanner runs an operation which slows things down enough that you accidentally open two copies of something, a prompt appears underneath a window and you need to move the window to get to it...
Aaah, crap I hate it when you expect you're going to write about three sentences and come out with a three page rant. The people at your work are probably 'retards' who, like my family, have to mystify computers in order to excuse themselves from having to try. I'm just saying we have to meet halfway - Those who don't understand computers have to admit that if they really spent the time and effort they could learn how to use them (and that they'll need to do experimentation, rather than just listen and try to remember), and those who already know them have to admit that learning them takes considerable time, effort, and frustration..[/i]