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Re: Usage of tools

by BrowserUk (Pope)
on Jul 02, 2002 at 07:52 UTC ( #178788=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Usage of tools

I'd be tempted to ask them how the Watchmakers dealt with:

  • Left-handed watchmakers?

    Screwdrivers may be universally handed, but even such simple tools as hammers and mallets aquire a handedness with use. Each user holds the tool in a different way, strickes in a different way. Using another man's (well-used) hammer is pergatory if you are used to your own. So it is for a programmer's tools. They may start the same, but they aquire distinctive faces with use.

  • Physically different watchmakers? Tall, short, big bellies etc.

    My roommate at one of my previous jobs always had his keyboard far enough back on his desk that he could have an a4 sheet or a book in front. He was tall and long armed and simply reached over to type (at great speed I will add). For me this was physically impossible unless I stood, and I am not that short.

Having worked at several places where the 'powers-that-be' spend immense amounts of time constraining "the users" ability to change anything (desktop's, fonts, color schemes etc.)

Even to the extent of forcing those with newer monitors capable of running in 1200x1024 or higher to using clunky 800x600 modes "because if we let you use the higher modes, everyone will want a new machine/screen".

Or removing the waste bin (and the ability to retreive accidently discarded files) from the local machine drives "because it doesn't work on network drives, and the inconsistancy would confuse the users".

All in all, I'd agree with you that these kind of 'one-size-fits-all' attempts at corporate bondage, serve no-one except the bean counters.

In the Win32 environment, one of the features that MS got right (IMO) is the roaming desktop facility. Sit down at any machine with the LAN (or even the WAN if its done correctly) and log on and lo- I get 'my desktop'. Colours, short-cuts etc.

I assume (but don't know) that something similar can be done using *nix .profiles etc.

My advice. Stand up for "viva la difference" if you have the status or the backing of your peers. And do it ASAP, because once these things take hold, undoing them is nigh impossible.

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Re: Re: Usage of tools
by yodabjorn (Monk) on Jul 03, 2002 at 05:20 UTC
    Clarification is needed here .. M$ stole the idea of a network environment from unix :-). In my experience, Unix does this much better. Most modern unices are ready to go on the network. Then you got X ... the client/server Gui Framework... nfs + nis+/LDAP etc == better roaming "profiles" than you can get by _default_ with windows. Considering aplications (console adn gui) can also be launced off of the network you can truely go from workstation to workstation and have all your tools available.

    Personally I haven't been a "users" admin. Most of my roles have been supporting production systems running web systemsn and not supporting 1000's of developers. I have settup test labs, adn smaller workgroup centralized environments with NFS as well as callcenter/NOC setups. In these setups users had controll of thier systems, but all the "standard" tools were available. So if someone needed to use some other application they could, but if someone else logged in they had access to all the "standard" things they wanted. ( vim emacs etc.. ) When IT needed to update somthing it was done on one or 2 servers ( backup server ) and that was that.. .

    On the flip side.. When I am not an admin and I got a workstation where i can't do what i need. I simply rebuild _MY_ desktop.. Typically with some free unix ...

    think that's about $0.02 worth of MHO :-P

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