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Since I've started taking classes at a local community college, I've discovered a new degree of boredom.  Right now I'm reporting live from “Microcomputer Applications” class, where we're learning how to make the ugliest Excel spreadsheets you've ever seen.  And I'm not kidding either:


My required “Unix” class is far worse, though.  We're learning all sorts of wonderful topics like how the “ls” command works, and how to use vi.  I did meet a part-time student who was equally disappointed with that class... He introduced me to the rather new Capital District BSD Users Group.  I don't use BSD much these days... the only computer I have that runs it is my router running m0n0wall.  But I do rather like it nonetheless.

Oh, here's something else you'll love...

Yes, we were actually taught that “Unix” is “Open” - even though the school runs a closed-source variant, AIX.  And that Windows is “closed,“ despite the huge amount of API documentation.  She told us that “Unix” has no “GUI Interface” (yeah, I know).  I laughed in sadness at the list of Windows traits... I asked what “Risk of losing files” meant, and she told me that Windows had no built-in file security.  I guess all that NTFS file permissions stuff (ACLs and what not) is just there for show.  And “single-user?”  Come on... If by “Microsoft XP” she really means Windows XP... that couldn't be farther from the truth.  If the right-hand column had said “DOS“ it would have been fairly accurate.  But it didn't.  And what's worse, most of those taking the class don't even care. 

Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2005 1:38 PM | Back to top

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