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A problem sweeping the nation. With the need to ever use MS-DOS dwindling with every new Windoze release, an entire generation of kids are growing up never having used a command line. Hopelessly chain to their graphical user interfaces, they know not what it REALLY use a computer. Not that GUIs are bad, (I mean, personally, I don't think i could stand using pine for email), but there's just a kind of nerdy elagance to typing away at a commmand prompt.

I mean, even a few years back, you still needed to know a bit of DOS to launch Duke Nukem 3D. I mean, it?s bad enough that these people have never seen a *NIX command line...

Fortunatly, there are some improvements. The gaining popular of Linux and BSD, for one. No matter how spiffy GNOME and KDE get, you still need a command line for true *NIX usage.

The Macintosh operating system, which for sixteen odd years has existed sans command line, is now taking a step backward (forward?). Mac OS X, based on BSD, has a terminal within it.

The solution is simple: dump Windoze ;-)
With Linux going towards acceptance by the non-computer-literate folks who rely on the GUI interface, the command line interface will always be something to be feared. When the GUI fails, that scary black window of text signifies it's time to call someone.

I spend a lot of time helping people with their computer problems, and those of you who do the same may want to adopt a rule that I use. If someone needs you to fix their computer, they must watch you and learn how to do that task. That way, they never have to ask you to solve the same problem in most cases, and they learn that the command line is nothing to be feared. Some folks even end up doing a little reading up on it. There are exceptions, like helping a friend over the phone or your semi-luddite Mom, but getting people the knowledge will help you both in the long run.

As for the "dump windows" idea, it won't work. Even with Linux or BeOS, the vast majority of folks want the GUI to run the computer. They have no interest in why it works, they want it to just work. A quality user-interface is nothing but common sense. The easier it is to use, the more it will be used by the average human. I noted that some folks related the concept to an automobile. Does the average Joe or Jane want to get in their car and turn the key, or do they want to know the entire process of how the mechanical and electrical devices work together? There are a lot of people who enjoy digging in engines, just like there are people who like digging in the digital engine in their computer.

The folks who can't look under the GUI are the ones who help keep a lot of the tech people in business, by the by.

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