[ubuntu-uk] What's In A Name?

Paul Tansom paul at aptanet.com
Mon Jun 13 14:01:19 UTC 2011


** Carlos Ferreira <carlosemferreira at gmail.com> [2011-06-13 14:42]:
<snip>
> So, perhaps it is interesting to discuss whether or not names and other
> idiosyncrasies of free software are important. After all, when I recently
> suggested that my students (first year undergraduates) use a certain Firefox
> plug-in to manage their references, I got asked in short succession what a
> plug-in was, what a Firefox was, and why did I need a browser to access the
> Internet at all...
** end quote [Carlos Ferreira]

That is a worrying state of affairs, even my 10 year old son is aware of
different browsers; well, I guess he may have a head start having me as a Dad,
and I may have made sure he understood after he came home from school on day
asking if we had the internet. He was looking for "the big blue E", so he got
the full explanation of the fact that he had already been using the internet
from home for some time using Firefox or Opera - I won't carry on with the
explanation, I'm assuming we all understand on this list ;) I had the same
sort of conversation when he was looking for Word, then Excel and Powerpoint,
explaining about OpenOffice (it was pre LibreOffice which we have now migrated
to), Protext (ancient history!), etc.

That said, back when I did my degree I had to adjust my way of thinking
somewhat after spending the first lesson in the computing section of the course
pressing the keyboard and seeing what happened! This is going back to 1986, but
even so I was amazed that some of the students hadn't touched a computer
before, and it turned out that those from schools further north didn't have BBC
Micros or any other form of computer in their schools or colleges (or it they
did they'd never seen them). Still, my 'head start' also meant that instead of
having to book a computer in one of the labs to do coursework on I could work
at home on my trusty Amstrad CPC6128 with Protext on ROM and Turbo Pascal
transferred from 5 1/4" to 3" disks - happy days :)

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