Steven's Notebook

Look Ma - No Hands!

Make it easy, Make it popular

This is a reconstruction of a post from my first blog,, with text pulled from The Wayback Machine

Posted by Steven, 3/14/00 at 6:44:28 AM.

The sunshine’s back, but where’d the warmth go?

You want a fast PC?

Do you know what GPL has in common with the U.S. Constitution? J.S.Kelly claims to. Btw, when did you last read the Constitution? (for me, the answer it “last week, with my older son in preparation for a scout advancement”)

From Troubleshooter’s Linux Log, some words of wisdom:

“UNIX almost died due to its egghead image. Only Microsoft’s incredible series of flubs and the timely appearance of Linux saved UNIX from certain death. …
“The root cause is elitism. Anti-empiricism. It’s a philosophy that if the reader needs to see examples or experiment in order to learn the product, they don’t deserve to work with your operating system. Banish them to the Redmond penal colony. If they can’t do page layout in a teletype interface, they’re just not intelligent enough for a real OS.

Ouch. The truth cuts sometimes, nes pas? How much more does it hurt to see others continue to use Windows? Does it hurt enough to be nice, to put a nicer face on Linux installs? Is it better to be macho about how you were able to tame Linux, or to work toward making easier installs, easier application configs and toward greater acceptance?

Dave has also had some words of wisdom
Microsoft is a collection of developers, many of whom do fine work…
Microsoft has hundreds of products and hundreds of millions of users. Compatibility with their users is a huge carrot…
Microsoft, like it or not, is a leader…
Windows is important because it’s what so many end-users use.

Are you making life easier for the users of your programs? Your websites?
Another way of thinking about it… are the systems you build the same ones you’d recommend to your mother? John Sumser addressed this in his series about a “set of features for MMC (My Mother’s Computer” (

  1. It’s unbreakable.
  2. It’s mine.
  3. It helps me do something I enjoy doing or have to do.
  4. I learn from it.
  5. It makes me feel better about myself.
  6. It makes me want to use it.
  7. It’s a delight to use.
  8. It always delivers more than it promises.
  9. It’s something you want to tell your friends about.
  10. Makes communicating with others easy.
  11. Work in progress can be shared and understood by others.
  12. I can carry it around (may be optional).
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