View Full Version : Modern software- the more you learn, the more attached you become.

December 28th, 2010, 09:55 AM
It sounds frightening, but I find it to be a good thing. Just like the most primitive tools available to mankind, our modern desktop and mobile environments have made going back seem downright crazy. It's good to learn to live without, but no matter how unhealthy it may seem, computing the right way saves tons of time.

For me, this started with Windows 98 and Netscape. Then I grew accustomed to the boring old software approach in Windows land, discovered Linux with Gnome, and a new world opened up to me. Then I discovered KDE and Android- HOLY CRAP!

When you become familiar with the advanced functionality in this software, it really hits home. Like how krunner can instantly convert units, search files by content (descriptions, text inside, not just tags), how window management has grown more and more natural, how you can tell your phone to do whatever you want, and it'll do the most relevant actions based on what you say.

Heck, just go to http://a-i.com and check their chatbots out. It's insane how much things are improving. And as computers become more natural to use, they're becoming more like traditional tools every day, not simply a means of communication and entertainment. They're becoming a real way to improve the real world around us, and improve the way we manage our data.

I thought I'd just reflect on how much open source has improved my life without me noticing. I don't think I could ever go back to using something else without great frustration (which might be a bad thing, hah!). I just enjoy KDE too much, voice recognition, multitouch interfaces. Gaw, technology is awesome.

Share your opinions and your joy with technology here, and maybe even your fears of how far it's taken us, and where we're headed next.

December 28th, 2010, 10:02 AM
It is not just software. Anything we become familiar with we make attachments to. The more we know about it, the more attached we become.

In general the older we get the harder it becomes to learn new things.

The "its hard to teach an old dog & new tricks" saying is certainly not without a great deal of merit.

December 28th, 2010, 10:12 AM
Indeed. It would benefit us to make one of those 'old habits' the ability to live without unnecessary preconceptions and remain teachable. After all, even in the open source community, which is mostly made up of people who started somewhere else and had to be open-minded to trying something new, we find people who are defensive over the software they use, not only because it's the 'superior choice'. Some people don't like to try new things, ESPECIALLY after trying new things. XD

So yes, I agree, it's a behavioral thing. I wonder if we will reach a point where we have become so used to our technology that we decide to turn our back on it for a while? I've seen the same feeling in myself, when I got rid of my cell phone for two years (then Android happened XD). Maybe we will become so computerized that we will have social initiatives to be less familiar with technology- oh, that would be the day.

Perhaps I should wait until more countries are introduced to this amount of technological sophistication to assume my generation's tech-friendliness.

December 28th, 2010, 10:23 AM
Something to take into consideration is that generally as people age their brains change & learning becomes harder to do. Remembering things becomes harder to do. Making multiple connections in an abstract way becomes harder to do. Our brains become slower & less efficient in many ways.

It has nothing to do with choice or preference. Far from it. These changes are actually what dictates to a large extent what our choices & preferences are in these areas.

Such limitation are a real pain I find, as they are a very important age based factor that limits our growth potential.

Sean Moran
December 28th, 2010, 10:34 AM
Software are just tools that one can use to get the job done. When you go to a restaurant, you don't go home and send SMS messages from the taxi about how much you enjoyed the knife & fork. They're just tools.

Don't be a tool! Attach yourself to the job that YOU are doing, whether it be input (lazing about reading/viewing/listening to) online data, or output (writing/publishing/singing) yetg more flippin' data that the Internet still doesn't seem to have quite enough of yet without more of our priceless wisdom.

Remember that YOU are the master and that the software (and hardware) are just the tools that we can use to the ultimate self-glorification of our esteemed minds.

December 28th, 2010, 10:54 AM
Definitely- it's not really about the software for me, it's more about its usefulness in getting tasks done more efficiently. Most open source these days is extremely powerful if you know how to use it- it all depends on the user to reach their potential while using it, though.

So yeah, just a tool, as you said. :3 I wonder how far software will bleed into our lives, in its usefulness. Like that old Microsoft commercial of where software is going- it's everywhere. But I'm fine with it just being in my phone and my microwave at this point. XD

December 28th, 2010, 11:34 AM
I am a little way with the rate hardware has improved and software is not speeding up with it. I try to do my part and be slightly conservative with both.

As for how it has changed my life, mainly in giving me a hobby. I just got Debian back up, and I have virtualization to set up, kernels to compile, packages to install etc.. When that is finished the fun part is over and the boring 'get stuff done' starts. ;D

December 28th, 2010, 04:58 PM
Ditto what handy said.

However, it's also amplified because society has collectively become dependent on technology. Even if you lived in a cabin in the woods and off the grid, the moment you go to the "local" store for something, you're being indirectly impacted by modern technology.

It is a very "sticky" kind of thing and hard to get away from.

That's not to say I think we should all be trying to escape from technology. It's a tool, and as a tool it is not inherently good or evil.