Published Sun 01 March 2009 21:10 (+1300)

It's been years since I read slashdot, but occasionally you run into articles with some real gems, like this comment on an article about an OS that's half like one I want to build (and half really not, but that's another story):

For years my grandmother had a post-it note pasted to the bottom of her computer monitor. On it was the following message, in large letters: SAVE!

The reason for that was because she would often type in a document, then turn off the computer. When she turned it back on later, she would be surprised to find out that her document was gone. The concept of persistent vs non-persistent state did not come easily to her, and one has to ask, why should she have to learn about RAM and hard drives and filesystems just to type up a letter?

It's not quite correct to say “which is to say the way most other machines in the modern world work”, but it's definitely how they should work. This guy:

Because that's how it works. Any alternatives also have major downsides. Your grandmother is an isolated case. Most users now understand the concepts involved. Your grandmother could simply turn on auto-save.

Which completely misses the point – it shouldn't take years of experienced misfortune (or an engineering degree) to understand how to use something.