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Re: laptop/edu-users

Looks like we're shaping this section up.

Roger Dingledine wrote:
> Ok. I am convinced on the laptop issue. While it's still the case
> that I don't care about them, I will grant that we as a group should
> pay attention to them. :)
> I am picturing something like the following:
> Primary         Check all
> User type       that apply      Description
> o               |_|             General (Home) user
> o               |_|             SOHO
> o               |_|             Specialty User
> ...
> [_] Check here if you would like to use a laptop.
> And then the laptop question will put in another section for people
> who check it. (Note that I ask "would like to use", not "currently use".)

I like.  Language:

 "Check if you use or plan to use a laptop"

  ...covers all bases.

> I am not yet convinced that we should add in Omega's other suggestions
> from this category:
> >[ ] Road Warrior
> What is this?

Ditto -- what is this?  Telecommuter/traveling businessperson?  If so,
then heavily intermittant network access becomes an issue.
> >[ ] K-12 student
> >[ ] College student
> I think these are not separate issues. I think that from the
> demographics section we will figure out that that's what they are,
> and from their answers to the survey questions we'll figure out
> what they want. Simple enough, if it works. :)

Yes, good.
> > - 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.
> My main goal is to get as many people as possible to choose one of
> the "basic" user types -- general home user, or business user. In
> contrast to that, I want to make sure everybody has something to pick,
> so they're interested in filling out the survey.

Good goal.

> >I guess the distinction between Specialty and Developer/Technical is


> The main difference I had in mind was intent for using the computer:
> developer/technical is the standard CS hacker -- somebody who has a
> complex hardware and software setup and uses it to create more of it.
> On the other hand, the specialty user has an unusual hardware or
> software setup, but that's only because they need it to do whatever
> they're trying to do. Their computer is plain and simple just a tool
> to get their job done, not a "cool toy" for its own sake. Ok, that's
> nice rhetoric, but I guess it's not entirely accurate.
> Developer/Technical users tend to have a more general knowledge of
> their computer, a more generally useful setup, and the desire to
> expand both simply because it gives more power.

My rephrase of this, tell me if this agrees with your meaning:

"Specialty user" has specific "do or die" requirements which may be
extraordinary, but which don't change.  This almost approaches
"dedicated system" or "server" type stuff, though it's more interactive
and single-user focused, in general.  Overarching is that there is a
single end use in mind.

"Developer/Technical" user has both specific technical requirements and
a strong penchant to change things radically.  Actually, I'd almost but
not quite move a technical user into the specialty class above -- say a
researcher doing heavy MATLAB development.

The only confounding factor is that I suspect we'll find a good deal of
overlap in the actual user community among these two uses.  People who
get close to the metal in one area are often close in others as well.
> It would be nice to word things such that most people *don't* choose
> specialty user unless they really qualify. But yes, we should develop
> these categories separately and then try to merge as many as possible
> later if we think we can get away with it.

...and unfortunately, everyone sees themselves as unique (just like
everyone else)...  It might help to spell out what counts as specialty
and what doesn't.  I don't like doing this, but we risk overstating real
special needs if we don't.  Might be better to come up with a list of
"standard" stuff and tell people to sign this category if this is the
principle use/purchase rationalization for the machine.

> I still claim that k-12 is not a "user type" -- it's a "user age",
> The fact that they're younger will show up in
> the demographics section, and I'm sure it will color their survey
> But argue with me. :)

I won't argue, as I agree (and I hate violent agreement <g>).

> --Roger

Karsten M. Self (kmself@ix.netcom.com)

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