On the current view of technology, as influenced by the public media.
CodeLongAndPros (1598)

On the current view of technology, as influenced by the public media

Hello, today, I'm going to talk about one of the most annoying things about computers: The blinking 12 problem.

For those of you that don't know, the blinking 12 problems stems from VCRs. Dubbed such because most people could/would be motivated to learn how to set the time on their VCRs.

How does this pertain to computing, you may ask?

Well, I have two anedctotes, one from me, and one from reddit.

There was a man in a starbucks, working on his laptop with Arch on it. He ran sudo pacman -Syu and some -S stuff. Another customer went to a barista and said "That man is hacking the WiFi.

I was, during some downtime, trying to install LaTeX from apt. Not going well, lots of apt search, | less and Google-fu. Someone sitting behind me leaned forward and asked, "Are you hacking the mainframe?

This brings us to another important point: What is hacking?

There are three main answers:

  • Having a terminal open
  • Breaking into a computer system
  • Tinkering and discovering how a computer works.

Which one is right? #3

Some people belive #1 because of the blinking 12 problem

Some people belive #2 because that's what the media says.

The proper term for unauthorized computer access is a cracker, because they crack into the systems in question.

TechRepublic has a nice article outlining the difference.

Now, to further illustrate my point, we'll need to enter the TARDIS and take a -somewhat brief- walk through time.

The year is 1970, Bell labs.

Ken Thompson, Brian Kerninghan, and Dennis Ritchie just finshed UNIX V1 for the PDP-7.

This ushers in an era of computing, the 'Renaissance' of computing.
Personal Computers were far and few. This was before QDOS, Applesoft BASIC, or even Win.

1981: 86-DOS

86-DOS has been shipping for one year, when Gates bought it for 75,000 dollars. That's right, MS's big break wasn't even their own. After licensing MS-DOS to over 70 companies, they had established dominance in the PC market.


The release of Windows 1.0. This one was a flop, but it set the stage for Windows 3.


A Finn grad student, Our lord and savior Mr. Linus Torvalds, created Linux 0.1, purely because he was too cheap to buy UNIX.

Windows XP enters the market, forever hiding the command line to most users, and undoing all that Thompson & Co worked for.
They dumb down their users into thinking that Windows is the only true operating system, and anybody else is a neckbeard.

Back to 2020:

How the media is brainwashing users:

In all but one movie I've seen, the "Hackers", type on a screen and it opens. In even more movies, people just type and it is presented as magic. Now, why did the producers choose a CLI for hacking? Because it is arcane.

To use an anology from In the Beginning
was the Command Line

All computer users used to be Morlocks, having to know what they are doing.

Now, all but 3% of users are Eoli, unable to distenguish between the Internet and Internet explorer. (Please don't take offence, but that's how it is, for some people)

How can we fix this?

Most people use Windows 10, simply because that is what they are used to. Some people use Macs, because, well, they are used to it.

Now, so when people see something they don't know much about, and in movies is usally bad, they think that that is what it MUST be, because how could it be any different.

Most people don't bother to learn more about what their computer is, calling the Tower the 'CPU'

In my humble opnion, the fix is with Linux and the young users.

Edit: Microsoft wants to keep people on it’s subpar operating system with the lsw, or Linux Subsystem for LinuxWindows. Hold up, you say, “It’s the WSL”.

Well yes, but actually no

It’s not. Even the name is telling. It has nothing to do with Windows, and everyone to do with Linux. Where do you see Windows come into play? Zilch, nope, nada. WINE is the Windows subsystem for Linux. Not M$’s stopgap ideas.


I am a human, between 3 and 56, that uses Linux, and just by doing that, I've learned so much about how computers work, and operating systems.

The young people have not really inprinted on an computer system yet, because they have not really learned what an operating system is.

For example: Installing a driver. If you use Arch or any Arch-based distro, I bet you 10 dollars they have your driver in the AUR.

Linux is a great, stable kernel, and all of the distros are awesome as well.

One people start using Linux en mass, instead of 'Are you hacking the mainframe', it would be, 'You want texlive-extra'.

And thus, farewell.

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Highwayman (1450)

@Zekka hm.. seems like a dangerous combo...

Show me the wheel and give me the wine.

"But officer I was just experiencing Linux"