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Author Topic: Reality Check.  (Read 6676 times)
Lyn
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« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2008, 11:06:20 am »


I'm open to comments and critisim so have at me. (errr, be gentle.)

So if there is anything I can do to help, let me know.

Excellent, one or two glitches in there with miss spoken things but a great start.  We need a central repository for tutorials and then we can get others producing - a nice index for it would help too.
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2008, 11:16:42 am »

Unfortunately, stereotypes often rule people's thinking and expectations. It takes a certain gutsiness to swim against the current, and independent thinking (and acting) is not something that is modeled as much as it should be in our society. One thing we can all do to change this is to examine our own attitudes and behavior in the light of whether they reinforce stereotypes.
--GrannyGeek

Agreed.

Men: stop watching football
Women: start using reason
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
caitlyn
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« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2008, 01:53:05 pm »

Granny Geek is absolutely correct that it isn't just Linux.  The Linux community isn't especially bad and some corners of it are actually better than most of IT in general.  She is also very correct about agism.  IT, the professional side, is also youth dominated.  When you're old enough to be the mother of the person interviewing you your chance of being hired approaches nil.  Most younger people just aren't comfortable hiring someone older.  It's often insecurity, a fear that their judgement or decisions may be questioned.

There is an old adage that is well accepted on computing fora dedicated to women or minorities.  If you're female or Latino or African-American you have to be twice as good as your white male peers just to get your foot in the door.  One of those colleagues, probably the least competent and least respected programmer where I was working at the time, told me to my face that women deserved to be paid less than men because we might just become pregnant and have to leave for a while.  When I pointed out that I was single and always had put my career first his two word answer was:  "Doesn't matter."  To him biology was destiny. 

I am not at all surprised by the attitudes your see at university, Tom.  A man who is secure in his skills and abilities is more likely to be accepting of a wider group of people.  Someone who is insecure, like the programmer I described, is afraid of the competition.  This is the sort of person who will complain about affirmative action and "reverse discrimination" too.  Clue:  I don't want white men discriminated against.  I want people chosen based on merit, solely for their skills, abilities, and experience.  Affirmative action was only necessary to combat ingrained prejudice.  If the playing field ever truly becomes equal it will become an anachronism.

It isn't always prejudice, either.  "Birds of a feather..." applies.  Hiring managers look at who will fit best into a team and work best with other team members.  That actually argues against diversity.  After all, in a team of white young men the people who are likely to have similar attitudes, values, etc... are more of the same.  People who are different are at a disadvantage.

Finally, Epic Fall Guy, please stop trolling.  It isn't funny.  You are better than that.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 01:56:30 pm by caitlyn » Logged

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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2008, 02:35:30 pm »

Finally, Epic Fall Guy, please stop trolling.  It isn't funny.  You are better than that.

I'm not trolling. What makes you doubt my sincerity? As a mildly autistic person, I find many gender-differentiated behaviors very unusual. I never understood why a lot of people (mostly men) like watching people throw, kick or swat a ball around. In the same way, I am baffled by how a lot of people (mostly women) seem not to get appeals to logos, the only correct way of arguing or persuasion. Explain please. If you want me to respect people, they are going to have to curtail their uneconomical behaviors first.
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
tomh38
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« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2008, 02:55:25 pm »

It isn't always prejudice, either.  "Birds of a feather..." applies.  Hiring managers look at who will fit best into a team and work best with other team members.  That actually argues against diversity.  After all, in a team of white young men the people who are likely to have similar attitudes, values, etc... are more of the same.  People who are different are at a disadvantage.

I can see that ... to a point.  You also lose certain things, as you know.  If you have a homogeneous group you lose what different people from different points of view have to offer (as I know you know).  In my office I'm actually a minority as a white male.  This is actually kind of interesting for me, because sometimes now I get to be the one who offers the non-mainstream view (most of my co-workers are women, my boss is a woman, we have a fair amount of ethnic diversity).

It probably wouldn't hurt me to face a little discrimination at some point.  I'm not a masochist; I simply think it would help me to understand what things are like for people who aren't like me.  This is sort of like when I broke my leg I got a little bit of insight into what people who are physically disabled have to live like all the time.  I didn't break my leg on purpose, but I managed to learn something from it.

Tom

P.S.:  Link to broken leg x-ray:  http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c16/tomh38/kscan_0001.jpg?t=1228429595
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2008, 11:27:09 pm »

As far as age is concerned, my own father was one of those COBOL cowboys back in the '70s, but he kept up with the times.

When my father was in his upper 70s, my son got a new computer so he returned the Tandy 1000SX that had made the rounds of the family to me. It had no hard drive, just 360K and 720K floppy drives. I asked my father if he wanted it and he said "yes"--mainly because he had a friend (also elderly) whose daughter had given him a word processor typewriter that she got at a garage sale. This friend was always sending my father letters bragging about his word processor, so I guess my father wanted to go one better with an actual computer. He had never used one before.

The computer ran DOS, of course, and my father used Quicken for DOS to manage his investments and PFS Write for writing letters--mostly business letters but some to his friends. Then in 1996 or so my husband and I took our first foray into serious hardware upgrading and replaced the motherboard, graphics card, and CPU in my computer. We had enough replaced parts to build a computer for my father if we bought a case and floppy drive. He paid for those and we put Windows 3.1 on it for him.

He liked Windows right away and switched to Quicken for Windows, some Works suite for word processing, and Print Artist. He also had us buy him an Epson inkjet. He actually started making graphics things with Print Artist just for fun. Mostly he worked with Quicken. He really loved the computer.

When my father was 80, we got him a modem, installed it, and were about to sign him up with the local ISP. Unfortunately, a couple of days after we got the modem in the computer, my father died suddenly. I've always been sorry he never got to experience the Web because he would have LOVED it. He probably would have been on the computer all day and night. In 1998 the Web wasn't what is today, but with his interests in politics, sports, and his investments, even then my father could have found more information than he would have had time to read.

Quote
My mom told me once that some times he would stay up late at night "messing with that damn computer."

My dad did that, too. I was his 24-hour tech support, so it wasn't unusual for me to get a call from him at 11 p.m. saying "I lost the letter I was writing." So I'd ask him "what do you see on the screen?" He'd tell me and I'd have him either close or minimize the window. After maybe four more layers of windows, there was his letter on the bottom of the stack. He also had a knack for getting his files in some odd place like the root directory, so every few weeks I'd go through his files and find the stuff that had "disappeared."

If he were alive today, I think he'd certainly explore Linux and maybe even use it as his main OS. He would be 91. It would never have occurred to him that he was "too old" to learn something new.
--GrannyGeek
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wcs
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« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2008, 03:07:58 am »

Quote
He'd tell me and I'd have him either close or minimize the window. After maybe four more layers of windows, there was his letter on the bottom of the stack

That's constantly happening with my parents now.
I find that's the most difficult thing to explain... how windows get on top of each other. They think that the bottom windows "disappear".

However, this is mostly because I do "support" via skype. I'll go back home in a few weeks, and then I can get them on a Taskbar 101, face-to-face.

Quote
If he were alive today, I think he'd certainly explore Linux and maybe even use it as his main OS. He would be 91. It would never have occurred to him that he was "too old" to learn something new.

Certainly not. My parents started using VL one year ago, and I'm surprised at how quickly they got used to it.
I guess it helped that they didn't have a lot of things to unlearn. Their only experiences with computers were a single program in Windows that my father used for accounting... my mother used a thin terminal 15 years ago or more and that was it.

In the beginning she couldn't even use the mouse. Now, they turn on the computer almost every day.
They browse the web, send emails and use skype. They started using it properly after about 2 or 3 weeks of trying it out.

I find VL a much better fit. It's not like they're going to install new hardware and run into issues. I set it all up for them, and this way, they don't have to worry about having a firewall running and updating an anti-virus subscription, which would only make things more complicated.
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