Setting up a second monitor

Antony Gelberg antony at
Fri Apr 21 11:39:00 UTC 2006

Jean Hollis Weber wrote:
> Antony Gelberg wrote:
>> Jean Hollis Weber wrote:
>>> ... the vast majority of new users do not want to "understand" a 
>>> config file or anything else; they just want to know what to do to 
>>> get the job done. 
>> These users might want to ponder that there may well be a relationship 
>> between understanding and getting the job done.  Of course there is a 
>> balance to be drawn, but one has to understand something about 
>> anything to make use of it.
> Certainly there are times when one cannot make use of something (or not 
> very good use) without understanding a bit more than simply what to do. 
> However, that very often does not apply.
> My favourite example is the microwave oven. I don't need to know 
> anything whatsoever about how it works to make use of it. All I need to 
> know is which buttons to push, in which sequence. So in that sense I 
> need to know "something", but what I need to know has nothing to do with 
> what makes it work. Same for my mobile (cell) phone, and every other 
> household appliance I have. Heck, even my automobile is in that 
> category. I need to know how to drive, but I don't need to know how an 
> internal combustion engine works.

I understand that, but the analogy is somewhat fluid.  It's all about 
where one draws arbitrarylines.  For example, I could compare knowing 
how the ICE works to understanding the kernel internals, and learning 
and editing an application config file to using an in-car GPS unit.

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