AROUND 12.5 million Brits (or so Martha Lane Fox tells us) are digitally excluded, many because they find computers scary or confusing.
As we seem to live in a blame culture, I thought I’d have a look at who’s at fault for the “exclusion”.
If you are reading this part of The Journal then it’s probably you – it’s certainly me – and just about everybody else who is currently digitally literate, underpinned by immense support from the computer industry.
Just fly at 40,000ft for a moment (whoops! sorry, 12,192m) and look down on the landscape – it’s a Giga, Mega, RAM, ROM, CPU, Hz, ADO-XML, and similar acronym obsession.
It’s no wonder that a poor unsuspecting potential user might not be able to determine their ARS from their EBW.
In comparative purchases, scant regard is paid to the qL=h1-h4 or the Carnot cycle in the process of purchasing a fridge ... though the information was critical in making it work.
Let’s face it, if the beer is cool, I’m not sure I’m even that interested in whether the light actually goes off or not when I close the door.
Similarly, I have yet to find anyone who knows their car’s dwell angle and all but a very few its compression ratio. General prospects prevail with these products – it works or it’s broken, and it’s cheap to run etc ... But, oh no! Not the computer. We are all conned into babbling essentially meaningless substructure information.
Surely it should just work or have I just made a fatal error?! And should I call someone at support, who sadly won’t answer?
Next time you talk to a digitally- excluded person, be gentle.
They may ask you about adiabatic expansion of the fridge coolant ... think how excluded you’ll feel.
Andy Hudson is founder and COO of The Broadband Computer Co and a member of the Codeworks Connect Advisory Board