h a l f b a k e r y
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This would be an annually updated book that lists alphabetically terms and anagrams that refer to computer hardware and software, most notable those terms listed in a computer's "features." In addition to a dictionary definition of each term, the book would contain a plainspeak explanation of how it's
presence or absence would effect computer performance, as well as a list of related words to which it could be compared. ie "this operating system is heavily criticized for its instability, but is compatible with a more diverse array of software and hardware. See also (various OS's), operating system, compatible."
Such literature would be a great boon to people who are shopping for a new computer, or new computer hardware and software, as well as those who simply want to know "What does THIS mean?"
Approximately half Baked
(Explains the stuff, but doesn't go into much detail on whether you actually need that PCI bus, or what the benefits of Windows XP might be over, say, a sharp blow to the head.) (Though I think the succinct answer to all your questions would be. "If you don't know, buy a Macintosh.") [DrCurry, Sep 23 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]
As near as I can tell, pretty much what you're looking for. [waugsqueke, Sep 23 2002]
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||This is a great idea. The Journal of Contention.
||gr: its presence
I thought this was going to be a fast database of look-before-you-leap consequences of actions. But I agree that would be pretty lame.
||I have to second DrCurry's link discussion there. For those who want computers to do things, get a Mac. Some people do willingly get Windows machines, but they are mainly wilful perverts, like me. Running a Windows machine is like wolverine wrestling, from day 1. You are beyond the help of jargon.
||Computer jargon doesn't help, merely hinders. It seems to me that the more jargon most folks know the less capable they are at vocal communication with others. I've noticed glazed looks on people's faces at times when involved in multi-person discussions about computers or even engineering (heh! I'm a Draftsman with IT quals :-) talk about half-breeds). It happens with all jargon.
||As for the book, nice thought but impractical.
First, you have to find someone who knows the jargon -and- can write the plain-speak (difficult but possible).
||Second, you have to compete with all the "buying your first computer" books and magazines *roll eyes*.
||Third, most mundane people don't really -want- to know, unless they're in the industry. What they want to know about a computer is, can it do the graphics/documents/research/spreadsheets, if it is easy/hard to use and whether it will crash sometimes/often/not-at-all? Oh, yes. Is it compatible with everybody else's machine? (Apple fell for a classic management/marketing set of problems hence the proliferation of the PC)