Monday, June 13, 2005

The Haves and Have Nots of Technology

I spent the past several hours setting up a PC for friend. No big deal I thought. I have been in the IT business since the early 90s. I can build a PC for him. How much time could it take. Just a basic PC. I now have about 6 hours into the build. I know its time well spent helping out a friend but it really feels like I lost a whole lot of time to lost when you think about what else I could have been doing. I have also noticed that things are really not getting any easier these days.

There was the OS, connect it to the local LAN and Internet, patching of the OS. Then there was securing the box with anti-spyware, anti-virus, and an firewall. Add in a wireless card and an office suite . The reboots are enough to make anyone a little angry. How many times do you really have to reboot to apply all of the patches for the OS, the office suite and then the AV software?

Have you looked that the options for networking these days. Its not an easy task and there are entire courses required for professional certification dedicated to it. I have taken some of these courses. The are really the basics of networking and the minimum knowledge level required to work with these features. Can you see the average Joe getting this type of education before they build a PC connected to the Internet? I really can't imagine a average fry cook, auto mechanic, police officer, or small business owner has the time to learn enough to get it right.

Then there is the joy of security. I installed the anti-spyware and firewall products only to see them pop up messages asking me if I wanted to allow a cryptic binary to make a change or begin talking to another IP address. There is no way a normal person can have any idea how to answer these questions intelligently.

I am beginning to think that the average user has the deck stacked against them when it comes to personal computing. Forget about the new user. Most are going to be relegated to buying an overpriced pre-built PC which is difficult to pick out from the countless vendors and usually means compromising on bad hardware components. Even when they spend too much money on a name brand PC they are likely to end up with a poor performance and some sort of infection. By the way what happens to the people who can not afford a new name brand PC and are not technically savvy enough to build one from older parts. Hope the have friend in the IT field.

Its 6 hours later and I probably have another hour to go. Mostly tuning the firewall so it does not bother my friend to much. Beside helping a friend I did get a chance to set up this blog and find something to write about.

(NOTE: Comments are welcome but keep them on topic. Additional insight or information on the topic is appreciated! Off topic posts or fake comments with links will be deleted)

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