From the Mainframe to the PC

Initially computers were room sized with large power and cooling requirements.  These behemoths were called mainframe computers.  You needed technicians to keep them running, everything had to be custom programmed and you had a staff of operators required to get the job done.

The technology became more reliable so that you rarely needed a technician, Programmers wrote general purpose programs that were cusomizable so that you did not have to program everything the computer is to do.  Computers were made easier to operate so you did not need special training just to the you information into the computer and receive the printed output.

Enter the PC age, and all of it’s frustrations.  A computer that you can own and operate in your home, office or most anywhere else you would like.  One thing that we do not always think about is that all of the same jobs need to be done on this computer.  You need to get your computer repaired when it does not work correctly (or you need to get someone to to this for you).  You need to be able to customize the programming to fit your needs (or get someone else to do this for you).  You need to learn how to operate you computer, get your printer to work, backup your work, connect to other computers.  Operating the computer is something that you can learn to do, computer harware and software manufactures can make it easeir, but it is something you need to be able to do for youself.

In my experience this leads to many of the frustrations PC users experience.  Nothing can be more frustrating when you can not print what you want, or send your e-mail or connect to a wireless or find your files when your hard disk crashes.

Personal Computers are getting easer to operate all the time, but there are still times when you things will not work and you need to know or figure out how you can get your computer to operate properly. 

Just because the computer has gotten smaller and easier to use does not mean they do not need some special skills to operate.  We can get frustrated and blame the computer, the software, the operating system but sometimes the problem is the operater of the computer.

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