Although some people object to being called geeks, I use the word geek lovingly: I wish I were one. I hope those who think technical things are so simple that the rest of us must be morons will read this post. Perhaps then they’ll understand why mere mortals – and quasi-geeks like myself – have kept paying for operating systems and programs when better free versions are available.
I finally figured out what the geeks have that we don’t: awesome – maybe even photographic – memories. Those awesome memories make it easy for them to remember all those commands and directions that take pages to type up.
There is a good reason someone invented GUIs. Ordinary humans just don’t have it in us to remember all these numbers and letters that don’t mean anything to us. IF we knew programming and already understood what some of them meant MAYBE we could remember them. Then again, probably not.
Here is a simple example of the difference between using a GUI or the command line to reboot Linux:
- NON-GEEK – Click on the red power button (icon) and select restart
- GEEK: Go to a command line and type in $ sudo shutdown -h now
As a quasi-geek with decades of computer experience, I already know what a command is; however, as a new user of Ubuntu I don’t have a clue how to get to a command line yet. Even when I look that up, would I rather remember how to shut down using that command or just click on the two icons?
This all reminds me of back when I worked on IBM AS400s. The commands were long strings of nearly all consonants – many of them identical except for one letter. I always wanted to get hold of the designers of OS400 (the Unix code that runs AS400 systems) and ask them if I could buy a vowel.
Hmmm…maybe I should call those brilliant people with incredible memories computer geniuses instead of geeks? Maybe not. Geeks rule.