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OS Questions partial draft

Following is the draft of the main of the survey. Comments are in []s.
There are still a lot of things left to be considered, but this should
be the latest thoughts on it...
We're also going to need a set of questions for each usertype. Once we
have the questions (feel free to get as detailed as you like), then we'll
start figuring out which ones should be 'communal' questions and which
ones should remain in just that usertype. (I guess a couple of usertypes
can share a question that only pertains to them, as well...) If each of
you takes a couple of user-types as your own, we can get this answered

Rank the following in terms of importance (foo, bar, baz, quux, squee,
[Consider an 'unsure' for people who know they don't have enough information
to answer the question accurately. We might generate a third page of survey
with more detailed descriptions of the questions they were 'unsure' about,
if we feel like it. I'd like to minimize the 'unsure's through good wording.]
[define 'important' as 'would influence decision of using'. This way we get
things they need to do their work currently, and we also get things that they
don't currently do but would want to. Thoughts?]
* 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.
  [was: running servers (mail, httpd, samba, telnetd, ftpd, etc)]

* Using a direct connection (eg ethernet, cable modem) for connecting to the
  [was: internet connection (direct)]
* Using a modem for connecting to the Internet
  [was: internet connection (dialin)]
* When using a modem, having the connection established automatically when
  [was: internet connection (auto-dialin)]
* Adequate ISP support for technical questions
  [was: ISP support]
* Adequate usergroup support for technical questions
  [was: usergroup support]

* telephony (integrating computers and communications) [needs help]

* multimedia (integrating computers and audio/video) [needs help]

[games, graphics manipulation, sound - Should this be split further? Or is it
already covered in earlier "what do you want to use your computer for"

* being able to use (read/write/convert) industry standard word processing file
* being able to use (read/write/convert) industry standard graphics file
  [was: being able to use (read/write/both) industry standard word/graphics file
    being able to convert from one word/graphics file format to another]

* being able to read/redistribute the os/application source 
* being able to modify the os/application source
  [was: being able to read the os/application source 
    being able to modify/redistribute the os/application source]

* Cost of hardware for your computer, including initial purchase price and
  [was: cost, hardware]
* Cost of software for your computer, including cost of pre-installed software
  [was: cost, software]
* Cost of software upgrades for your computer
  [was: cost, upgrades]

* security C2
[I vote this should go. Other votes?]

* being able to transparently encrypt data going to and from your computer
  via the network.
* being able to transparently encrypt data stored on your computer
  [was: encryption]
["transparently" probably needs some help here]

* security (ability to prevent unauthorized people from using your
* secure banking and commercial transactions
* privacy (ability to keep other users from reading/deleting your 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 
* computer stability (computer runs without crashing or requiring restart)
* application stability (applications run without crashing or requiring
  [was: stability (computer and applications run without crashing or
   requiring restart)

* 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

* multiterminal support
* multiprocessor support

* speed of overall machine
* speed of graphics rendering
* speed of internet connection

* compatibility with existing systems [hardware]
* compatibility with prior versions [software]
[should reword]

* being able to switch easily between running applications
  [was: being able to switch between running applications easily]
* having many large applications open at once
  [was: supporting >64 megs ram]

Yeah, ok, so it's 6am and I'm going to quit. I'll take it up from here
in a week if somebody hasn't dealt. (Please please do. :)

> * 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