Why People Still Use Windows XP

After talking to a number of current XP users, we’ve reached one major conclusion: For many of them, PCs aren’t snazzy tech gadgets, but home appliances that still work just fine. Beyond that there’s suspicion toward Windows 8, migration hassles and costs, personal preference, and a heavy dose of skepticism about the fundamental insecurity of Windows XP.

Also of note is that Outlook Express doesn’t come with newer versions of Windows. People who use Outlook Express probably set it up with POP years ago, so the migration would be a pain.

What is the stock mail program on Windows these days? Does it even have one?

“Kid’s can’t use computers”

Not really knowing how to use a computer is deemed acceptable if you’re twenty-five or over. It’s something that some people are even perversely proud of, but the prevailing wisdom is that all under eighteens are technical wizards, and this is simply not true. They can use some software, particularly web-apps. They know how to use Facebook and Twitter. They can use YouTube and Pinterest. They even know how to use Word and PowerPoint and Excel. Ask them to reinstall an operating system and they’re lost. Ask them to upgrade their hard-drive or their RAM and they break out in a cold sweat. Ask them what https means and why it is important and they’ll look at you as if you’re speaking Klingon.

I don’t know about installing Linux to force someone into learning Perl, but general computer-literacy may be even worse today than it was 10 years ago.

Recovery Disk Assistant


A few months ago, with the help of SuperDuper!, I switched out hard drives in my Macbook Pro. SuperDuper! and a USB-to-SATA cable made the whole thing easy, but one thing it didn’t do is clone my drive’s recovery partition.

For me, I prefer having an external source for recovery and diagnostic purposes. When OS installs came on a DVD you were halfway covered. While having a recovery partition on your drive is nice, if that hard drive fails you have no quick and easy way to restore from your Time Machine backup (unless you have one of those fancy internet-recovery macs). So I highly recommend you use Recovery Disk Assistant soon, today, to create restore tools on a USB stick.

If you do this same setup, or even if you don’t but want to be prepared, make sure you use the before you swap out your hard drive. I had to borrow another Mac to create it, but now my entire hard drive is dedicated to the OS install and I have a USB stick in my laptop bag ready to go if the worst happens.

Put the computer away

From Managing Humans by Michael Lopp:

Ask Larry to put his computer away. I mean it. If you can’t vivaciously participate in a meeting you were invited to, you should not be there. “Rands Rands Rands … I take notes on my computer.” No, you don’t. You take notes and when I use some proper noun you don’t recognize, you surf Wikipedia. If notes must be taken, designate one person to do it; I want you asking me what the proper noun is … not consulting Wikipedia. A useful meeting is not a speech; it’s a debate. If I’m up there flapping my lips and you disagree or don’t understand, I don’t want you to nod, I want you to yell at me.

Emphasis mine.

Apple Products not in the Gates House

Gates was asked whether she owns one of Apple’s iPods. Her response was as short as it was telling: “No, I have a Zune.” Solomon continues.

“What if one of your children says, ‘Mom, I have to have an iPod?'” she asks.

“I have gotten that argument — ‘You may have a Zune,'” retorts Gates.

Sounds like every IT department that runs Microsoft software.


Alexis Madrigal after spending some time with a Google search team member:

90 percent of people in their studies don’t know how to use CTRL/Command + F to find a word in a document or web page! I probably use that trick 20 times per day and yet the vast majority of people don’t use it at all.

This weekend I was in my town’s library and overheard a man teaching an older woman how to use some software, maybe Dreamweaver. The conversation went like:

Man: So, there are three views here. There’s the design view, the code view, and the combination view. The design view is where you can insert elements to edit your HTML file through the GUI interface. The code view is where you go if you want to handwrite your HTML file. And this combo view is where you can see both at the same time.
Woman: That’s nice. Now, what’s this?
Man: That’s the scrollbar.

She probably isn’t ready for Dreamweaver.