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Fish II

From Dr Gerry.

A couple of comments regarding Unix command line stuff:

I think I would expect Mac users to be even more 'retarded' than Windows users, my rationale being that the MS environments began with DOS and to do anything you had to learn some commands and switches and to really do anything you had to learn the basics of batch files and scripts.

Now as I recall with the early Apples (the first computer I ever used was a Apple IIe with no hard disk and two 5 1/2" floppies) I used it to run these operant psychophysics experiments and wrote all the apps I needed myself and I think it was using BASIC which was built into the thing. I seem to remember that they couldn't be compiled - it was some type of interpreted language. (This was in the early 80's and its hard to remember.)

You had to do everything from the command line, but most Amerikans, I would guess, didn't use Apples until the Macs came along - and the whole thing with them was the old 'it just works' concept.

Anyway, I think that the typical Mac user is even more brain dead (in terms of thinking in binary logic, etc) than a Windows user (assuming such a level is measurable and wouldn't be obscured by floor effects).

The fact that Macs have mostly 'just worked' for all of these years has further insulated the user from the underlying processes. In some ways Apple was even worse than Microsoft in terms of hiding things (that they thought could 'hurt you') from the user.

The Microsoft GUI environments, however, have mostly never just worked - and so, again, users were more likely to have to learn some DOS/VMS commands to 'fix things' (even if it was through osmosis via watching the local guru type these things thousands of times).

Also, it is my guess that most Amerikan 'personal computer' users have never been exposed to Unix at all, and if and when they finally do from this point on, it will have a GUI over it that either mostly works (Apple) or almost mostly works (some of these newer, user friendly Linux distributions like Lindows or Lin4Win, etc).

So I am unable to feel shock and suprise at the thought that Mac users don't know what sudo is or how to use 'mv' or 'tail -80 messages | less' or even that there is a Unix shell underneath Aqua at all and why anyone should touch it.

Tell ya what: I would actually bet money/pride etc that if you brought up a Unix shell on a Mac and put a typical OS X switcher in front of it and then left the room saying you'd be back in ten minutes and then videotaped them, you'd see that if they typed anything at all out of curiosity (which is also dead in most Amerikans) it would be one of the following:

  type autoexec.bat

 - Gerry

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