My gripes

Much of this blog will deal with my gripes, so let me get a few pets off my chest.

I would like to start with peer-to-peer networking.
While peer to peer networking has developed some excellent technologies it’s primary use has been for “downloading” music from other private computers and sharing your collection with other people. The pioneers in this field Kazaa earned their money by placing spy-ware on the individuals computer that allowed for targeted advertising. So was born the era of pop-ups. In itself I do not object to this … after all every business needs a quid pro quo, of some sort, for the services they provide. What really gets to me though, are the number of parents who are happily oblivious of what their children are doing. They then bring the computer to you and say “fix it, its running slowly!” When you run through the standard questions they will say “Oh yes! they download music, they use limewire its fantastic … everything is free!!!” If you tell them that their kids are doing no different from walking in to a shop and pocketing a CD without paying for it they are most affronted … “my kids are good, they are not dishonest, they would never steal … you must be wrong.” Or “I checked with Jimmy its quite legal everyone does it!” Did they ever stop or pause, and think about how all this music was free? I cant blame the kids they know no better but I do blame the parents for they should know better and they should be aware of what their kids are doing.

But, alas! it is they kids who teach them how to use their computers. So instead of a set of values being passed down to the kids from their parents, the kids are now giving their parents a new set of values!

Which brings me to my next gripe … the education system

Kids are taught in schools how to use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Power Point, Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Access. But how much time is devoted to teaching them to be street wise on a computer? How much time devoted to using the Internet wisely? How much time on doing the simple things that every technician does without thinking? Look at any kids computer or laptop when it is about a year old … has it ever been defragmented? Are the redundant programs ever uninstalled … no. Little wonder that the once fast machine now crawls like a snail. Yes it is still only the 1% of population that are the “geeks” who seem to be prepared to do enough reading to make themselves street wise on a computer. The rest are like my wife with her first car … she only added petrol never water or oil and when the engine seized she said “but no one told me”.

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