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Re: revised user types

I'd like to slightly amend Roger's really well thought out list. Before
I do, though, perhaps the whole issue of the laptop platform should be
     I'm not so sure that we want to put laptop user as a specific type
of user, mostly because they want to do pretty much everything everyone
else wants to, more or less. That said, perhaps the distinction should
be made between the WAY in which these users use their machines -
standup box (normal machine) vs. a laptop. Of course laptop support is
needed, but I can see where it might go beyond that; dial in as well as
network connections are very important. Another - IMO - important
functionality would be being able to connect 2 machines using a serial
or parallel cable to access each others' resources such as a program
CD-ROM (somebody please set me straight if this already exists) - and
the means to configure this, preferably via GUI. Win95 can do this, sort
of, with the Direct Cable Connection - it isn't dependable, however (big

Roger Dingledine wrote:
> Ok, I've removed server admin because I think he can merge with
> another one, and I've removed laptop user because I don't care
> about him. I've also pulled out Specialty User from SOHO/Other.
>  - General (Home) user
>    Gamer, Internet browser/email, wordprocessing, schoolwork,
>    personal accounting, other light tasks.  Possible (but unlikely?)
>    local network.
>  - SOHO -- Small/Home Office
>    Business applications (wordprocessing, spreadsheet, presentations,
>    database), fax, email, web, small local network likely, possibly
>    specialty software. Not likely to have dedicated individual
>    administrator.
>  - Specialty User
>    Graphic artists, musicians, and other artistic types here, as
>    well as some scientists, ham (packet) radio users, etc.
>    Characterized by custom hardware or software and very limited and
>    nonstandard range of activities.
>  - Development/Technical Workstation
>    Heavy duty technical use, programming, hacking, applications
>    development, etc.  Local network likely.  Very technical user.
>    Specialized software.
>  - Business User -- Mid/Large office
>    Like SOHO, but more so.  Significant networking -- file, print,
>    application serving.  Probable use (but not admin of) servers,
>    firewalls, etc. Personal business applications (wp/spreadsheet/
>    presentation/database).  Enterprise applications.  Ease of use,
>    GUI are issues.
>  - Business User Systems Admin -- Mid/Large office
>    Use categories as above, but this is aimed at the folks who
>    administer the stuff.  More emphasis on capability:cost ratio,
>    ease of admin.
> This is starting to look like a pretty good list!

What I'd like to add here - Educational users - would involve folks at
the college / university level.

I can give some idea of the usage patterns in a university level,
non-comp sci setting; There is of course the usual word processing and
spreadsheet work, pretty generic to any group. Presentation software
becomes important, for conferences etc. Some have made significant
inroads into database use (me included), which I think will be
increasing for a good deal of field-type ecological work. GIS is also of
use (GRASS is already available) here, as well as some modelling
languages. I can't be too specific, unfortunately, mostly because by
definition these folks are a pretty ecclectic bunch. I'm a bit extreme
in this group, using large files and large scale database analyses of
ecological data, but I suspect that more folks will be using large (10+
Mb) files as this approach becomes more common.

- Academic / Scientific User
     Use categories as Specialty / SOHO, maybe development. Used by
     folks with wide range in understanding / capabilities. Use is
     varied. Need to be able to store / backup / transfer large files,
     esp. to a laptop. May or may not have access to net admin; may
     have access to small lan or campus network.

     Hope that helps.

     More food for thought. Looks like this is coming along quite well.



Pete St. Onge - McGill U.  Limnology - Fun with Ropes & Buckets
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