Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I Still Want Unix

We have phones that are 50 times more powerful than the first computer I had in college.  I haven't lifted a CRT display in....well, I have no idea how long now.  Laptops are now considered dated and touchscreen interfaces are more and more common today than ever before.

I love being able to watch a movie on my iPad or look up something via Google on my phone, but when I want to hack or do something requiring a keyboard, I want a Unix system.  Still.  I think it's the speed and proficiency thing.  Once you become really accustomed to particular user interface, it becomes harder for you to want to use different user interfaces.  Yeah, I know about the Find operation in a text editor or a word processor, but I'd much rather use pipes and grep for that at the command line.  It's just faster for me.  Maybe it really isn't, but it feels that way to me.

An oldie but goodie:

This is the June 24, 1995 Dilbert comic strip.  I don't have the beard and there is hair on the top of my head, but maybe I should start wearing suspenders.  Standard AT&T issue suspenders.

I see complex UI proficiency in other areas too.  I am an amateur radio operator and there is rarely anything simple in that hobby.  The long time radio operators refer to the new operators who purchase handheld radios an appliance jockey.  A little harsh.  Just because they have chosen to purchase a Japan built handheld radio doesn't mean they respect you and the way you "radio" any less.  Ehh, they're just angry old guys.

Hardcore amateur radio operators love Morse code communications.  It's a skill that requires training and a lot of practice to become proficient at.  And then the user interface is still never trivial.  Yet, they love it.

For all of the user interface advancements out there today, I still want my dated and difficult to use system.  I spent all that time learning command line options after all.

1 comment:

Camille said...