Can you (really) use a computer?

January 3, 2009

Let me ask you this: How well can you use a personal computer? How well could you have used a computer 10 years ago? 20 years ago? 30 years ago?

Opening the door on yet another year (2009, already?), I find myself pondering how much the ease of learning to use a technology depends on the user vs. the technology itself. For example, operating a computer 30 years ago was drastically different from today. Give a 30 year old computer to a handful of modern PC users, and many likely would be unable to compute at all. My hunch is that PC operation 30 years ago just would be far too technical a task for the modern mouse-clicker. Read the rest of this entry »