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Re: list o' importants

In message <4823a51.35a13fa4@aol.com>, eamorical@aol.com writes:
> Another try at organizing the list

looks like a very good start. thanks.

> Rank the following in terms of importance (low, moderately low,
> moderately high, high):
> * local networking (connecting to other computers at my office, home,
>   or other location)
> * being able to auto-setup local ethernet connection
> * wide area networking (connecting two or more locations)
> * being able to connect to the machine remotely 
> * being able to run graphics remotely 
> * being able to run servers for email, web pages, file access, telnet, file
>   transfer, etc.
> * running servers (mail, httpd, samba, telnetd, ftpd, etc) 
> * internet connection (direct)
> * internet connection (dialin)
> * internet connection (auto-dialin)
> * ISP support
> * usergroup support
> * telephony

is this using your computer (and net connection) to make phone calls? perhaps
this should be clarified.

> * multimedia

games, graphics manipulation, sound, or all of these all at once? Should this
be split further? Or is it already covered in earlier "what do you want to use
your computer for" sections?

> * being able to use (read/write/both) industry standard word/graphics file
>   formats
> * being able to convert from one word/graphics file format to another

I think word processing format and graphics format should be separate.

> * being able to read the os/application source 
> * being able to modify/redistribute the os/application source
> * cost, hardware
> * cost, software
> * cost, upgrades
> * security C2

No end-user is going to know what a C2 certification is (i think). Either
we should ditch this question because it's already covered in other security
questions below, or we should provide a lot of description and explanation
here (i vote former).

Also, I believe C2 certification may well involve more than the OS itself,
but also the environment in which it's run -- 24 hour trained network support
people, etc. (But don't quote me on this.)

> * encryption

encryption of data on the hard drive, encryption of data on the network?

> * secure banking and commercial transactions
> * security [ability to prevent unauthorized people from using my
>   system(s)]
> * privacy (ability to keep other users from reading/deleting my files)
> * automatic virus protection (the system takes care of it for you)
> * manual virus protection (you run a program to scan or detect)
> * able to obtain up-to-date virus information
> * using a system which protects the user from making potentially dangerous 
>   changes to system configuration 
> * being able to make a backup of your system
> * being able to make backup copies of large data files
> * being able to undelete files 
> * stability (computer and applications run without crashing or
>   requiring restart)

yes, we should probably split this into computer stability and application

> * prompt bugfixes 
> * adding/removing software in an easy and familiar way
> * upgrades, ease of installation
> * upgrades, ease of finding/getting
> * having the installation stage for a program verify that all necessary
>   components are present and functional
> * PnP support in hardware 
> * I2O support

Is this that peripheral bus standard that Microsoft is pushing? I've
only barely heard of it. I guess this means we should probably expand
every acronym in here, for people who haven't heard of them...

> * multiterminal support
> * multiprocessor support

oo. good one.

> * speed of overall machine
> * speed of graphics rendering
> * speed of internet connection
> * compatibility with existing systems [hardware]
> * compatibility with prior versions [software]
> * being able to switch between running applications easily 
> * having many large applications open at once [easier than asking
>   "supporting >64 megs ram"]
> * able to run disk compression program 
> * automatic hard drive defragmenting (the system takes care of it for you)
> * manual hard drive defragmenting (you run a program to defrag)
> * being able to automate certain administrative tasks (backups, defrags,
>   virus scans, send/receive email via ISP after hours, update software
>   database)
> * being able to rapidly obtain a list of resources used by the system and
>   hardware (IRQ's, DMA's, I/O ports, device names, chip type, speed,
>   RAM present, amount used by system, by processes, free, current 
>   VRAM, max VRAM, average VRAM used)
> * getting a good measure of performance of the system (don't know if this is
>   possible since all marks are relative to some extent) 
> * getting a list of all installed software, fixes, patches, version numbers,
>   etc.
> * multiple-users (several people can use machine at different times)
> * multi-user (several people can use machine simultaneously)
> * applications (I need to run specific applications on my computer)
> * uses (I need to use my computer for specific tasks.  Specific
>   applications don't matter as long as they fill the need).
> * availability of a wide variety of apps (commercial, freeware?) 
> * support, applications [this needs more thought]
> * application stability 
> * intuitive user interface
> * consistent user interface (things behave the same way even comparing 
>   between two separate applications) 
> * consistent graphical and/or textual user interfaces, and the ability to
>   exploit both to the user's advantage
> * dumping error messages to a text file as well as to the screen
> * having a program which explains error messages

what about intuitive error messages from the OS and applications from the
beginning? Rather than an interpreter...

> * being able to access context-sensitive help information
> * having a graphical interface to applications and system
> * having a command-line interface to applications and system
> * multiple-languages (support for several languages)
> * multi-language (support for several languages simultaneously)
> * Unicode support

How widespread is unicode? Does microsoft support it?

> * printed docs from distribution
> * printed docs from the internet (and a directory of said docs)
> * printed docs available at book stores
> * having the os send each new user an email containing 'how to use MAN,
>   APROPOS; where to find docs, how to read docs etc.'

I will grant that this is a good topic to consider, but I don't think
this particular question is as important as the other ones in this list.

Perhaps a question of bootstrapping initial users by having an intuitive
introduction (tutorial) program?

> * support, vendor [what is a 'vendor' for an end-user, anyway?] 
> * corporate reputation (vague -- good or bad reputation is
>   important.)
>   Note that responses here scale differently from most of above.  Maybe
>   "importance of vendor satisfaction, ..." would fit better.
>   I still don't know what a 'vendor' is for our audience. I don't like
>   that word -- the computer might come from a different place than the
>   support, and the OS from a still different place.

We're going to need to deal with this one at some point. Karsten -- you
have the most experience here dealing with vendor issues. How do you think
the concept of a vendor maps over to the universe we're dealing with here?

>   Bob