Discussion:
A new digital divide: Young people who can’t use keyboards
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Supermarine Spitfire
2018-07-24 08:18:14 UTC
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http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803290068.html
“How do I double click?” “What is a cell in a spreadsheet?”
Mashiko Ishii often hears that her fellow lecturers at Uchida Human
Resources Development Center become confused when they are asked such
basic questions during training for new employees of IT companies.
Pressing the button of a computer mouse twice and knowing the basic
unit for data input in spreadsheets are some of the fundamentals of
using a computer, but it is not uncommon for even would-be system
engineers to ask such questions.
The reason is clear. As smartphones have become extremely convenient,
a growing number of students have never laid their hands on a personal
computer.
Lecturers who work with Ishii often start training by teaching
students how to use a keyboard.
--
-Spitfire
Sylvia Else
2018-07-24 09:12:05 UTC
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Post by Supermarine Spitfire
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803290068.html
“How do I double click?” “What is a cell in a spreadsheet?”
Mashiko Ishii often hears that her fellow lecturers at Uchida Human
Resources Development Center become confused when they are asked such
basic questions during training for new employees of IT companies.
Pressing the button of a computer mouse twice and knowing the basic
unit for data input in spreadsheets are some of the fundamentals of
using a computer, but it is not uncommon for even would-be system
engineers to ask such questions.
The reason is clear. As smartphones have become extremely convenient,
a growing number of students have never laid their hands on a personal
computer.
Lecturers who work with Ishii often start training by teaching
students how to use a keyboard.
Have these students been submitting "written" work in handwriting, or
have they somehow managed to do it on their smartphones?

Sylvia.
Supermarine Spitfire
2018-07-24 09:21:08 UTC
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Post by Sylvia Else
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803290068.html
 > “How do I double click?” “What is a cell in a spreadsheet?”
 > Mashiko Ishii often hears that her fellow lecturers at Uchida Human
 > Resources Development Center become confused when they are asked such
 > basic questions during training for new employees of IT companies.
 > Pressing the button of a computer mouse twice and knowing the basic
 > unit for data input in spreadsheets are some of the fundamentals of
 > using a computer, but it is not uncommon for even would-be system
 > engineers to ask such questions.
 > The reason is clear. As smartphones have become extremely convenient,
 > a growing number of students have never laid their hands on a personal
 > computer.
 > Lecturers who work with Ishii often start training by teaching
 > students how to use a keyboard.
Have these students been submitting "written" work in handwriting, or
have they somehow managed to do it on their smartphones?
I'm guessing they've handwritten stuff up to this point, but now they're
faced with stuff requiring word processing.
--
-Spitfire
Marko Rauhamaa
2018-07-24 10:00:09 UTC
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Post by Supermarine Spitfire
Post by Sylvia Else
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803290068.html
 > Lecturers who work with Ishii often start training by teaching
 > students how to use a keyboard.
Have these students been submitting "written" work in handwriting, or
have they somehow managed to do it on their smartphones?
I'm guessing they've handwritten stuff up to this point, but now
they're faced with stuff requiring word processing.
I need to:

* send instant messages

* send emails

* post on Usenet

* write documentation in markup (or down)

* write software

* update web sites

* process photographs

But no, I never need to do word processing.

I do use the keyboard at this very moment. However, my children can't
believe I'm using only my right hand to type on my phone. So maybe I
should be considered phone-illiterate.


Marko
Bruce Horrocks
2018-07-24 23:32:24 UTC
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Post by Marko Rauhamaa
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
Post by Sylvia Else
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803290068.html
 > Lecturers who work with Ishii often start training by teaching
 > students how to use a keyboard.
Have these students been submitting "written" work in handwriting, or
have they somehow managed to do it on their smartphones?
Dictation? Plagiarism?
Post by Marko Rauhamaa
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
I'm guessing they've handwritten stuff up to this point, but now
they're faced with stuff requiring word processing.
* send instant messages
* send emails
* post on Usenet
* write documentation in markup (or down)
* write software
* update web sites
* process photographs
But no, I never need to do word processing.
I do use the keyboard at this very moment. However, my children can't
believe I'm using only my right hand to type on my phone. So maybe I
should be considered phone-illiterate.
Back in the mid-2000's I was working at a client which had a coffee shop
in the basement of their call centre building. Most call centres had
(have?) a policy of not allowing personal phones at the desk so they
made the most of their break times...

I noticed one of the girls was able to touch-type SMS messages on a
candy-bar style Nokia phone, one-handed, while the phone was in her
jacket pocket, while talking to her friend in the queue. When it came
time to pay, she carried right on and paid with the other hand.

I expressed my amazement and asked how many texts she sent? She said she
wasn't sure but had got through a 5000 allowance over a single weekend!

(I don't think I ever sent that many in a single year!)
--
Bruce Horrocks
Surrey
England
(bruce at scorecrow dot com)
Sylvia Else
2018-07-25 01:40:15 UTC
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Post by Bruce Horrocks
Post by Marko Rauhamaa
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
Post by Sylvia Else
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803290068.html
Lecturers who work with Ishii often start training by teaching
students how to use a keyboard.
Have these students been submitting "written" work in handwriting, or
have they somehow managed to do it on their smartphones?
Dictation? Plagiarism?
Post by Marko Rauhamaa
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
I'm guessing they've handwritten stuff up to this point, but now
they're faced with stuff requiring word processing.
* send instant messages
* send emails
* post on Usenet
* write documentation in markup (or down)
* write software
* update web sites
* process photographs
But no, I never need to do word processing.
I do use the keyboard at this very moment. However, my children can't
believe I'm using only my right hand to type on my phone. So maybe I
should be considered phone-illiterate.
Back in the mid-2000's I was working at a client which had a coffee shop
in the basement of their call centre building. Most call centres had
(have?) a policy of not allowing personal phones at the desk so they
made the most of their break times...
I noticed one of the girls was able to touch-type SMS messages on a
candy-bar style Nokia phone, one-handed, while the phone was in her
jacket pocket, while talking to her friend in the queue. When it came
time to pay, she carried right on and paid with the other hand.
I expressed my amazement and asked how many texts she sent? She said she
wasn't sure but had got through a 5000 allowance over a single weekend!
(I don't think I ever sent that many in a single year!)
I can't believe that nature ever intended the human hand to be subject
to such abuse. I expect her to have problems before long.

Sylvia.
Richard Kettlewell
2018-07-25 10:35:39 UTC
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Post by Sylvia Else
Post by Bruce Horrocks
Back in the mid-2000's I was working at a client which had a coffee
shop in the basement of their call centre building. Most call
centres had (have?) a policy of not allowing personal phones at the
desk so they made the most of their break times...
I noticed one of the girls was able to touch-type SMS messages on a
candy-bar style Nokia phone, one-handed, while the phone was in her
jacket pocket, while talking to her friend in the queue. When it
came time to pay, she carried right on and paid with the other hand.
I expressed my amazement and asked how many texts she sent? She said
she wasn't sure but had got through a 5000 allowance over a single
weekend!
(I don't think I ever sent that many in a single year!)
I can't believe that nature ever intended the human hand to be subject
to such abuse. I expect her to have problems before long.
Nature doesn’t intend.

5000 messages in a weekend is 2-3 messages a minute, assuming she spent
~8h/day asleep. [1] found a mean of 58 characters/message in female
participants which translates to 20-30 wpm, which WP tells me would be
slow for a professional typist. So I don’t think this is an exceptional
typing rate.

[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221270858_A_large_scale_study_of_text-messaging_use
--
https://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/
The Real Bev
2018-07-25 15:46:16 UTC
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Post by Richard Kettlewell
Post by Sylvia Else
Post by Bruce Horrocks
Back in the mid-2000's I was working at a client which had a coffee
shop in the basement of their call centre building. Most call
centres had (have?) a policy of not allowing personal phones at the
desk so they made the most of their break times...
I noticed one of the girls was able to touch-type SMS messages on a
candy-bar style Nokia phone, one-handed, while the phone was in her
jacket pocket, while talking to her friend in the queue. When it
came time to pay, she carried right on and paid with the other hand.
I expressed my amazement and asked how many texts she sent? She said
she wasn't sure but had got through a 5000 allowance over a single
weekend!
(I don't think I ever sent that many in a single year!)
I can't believe that nature ever intended the human hand to be subject
to such abuse. I expect her to have problems before long.
Nature doesn’t intend.
5000 messages in a weekend is 2-3 messages a minute, assuming she spent
~8h/day asleep. [1] found a mean of 58 characters/message in female
participants which translates to 20-30 wpm, which WP tells me would be
slow for a professional typist. So I don’t think this is an exceptional
typing rate.
A person who can't type at all can type 15 wpm on a standard
typewriter/computer keyboard. I know this because I felt sorry for an
applicant and let her take the typing test over and over again, hoping
that the practice would hoist her up to the required 30. Didn't work.
I suggested that she learn to type faster by volunteering to type stuff
for her church. It was the best I could do.

My granddaughter used to send text messages on her candy-bar phone
without looking when she was in HS. They weren't supposed to use their
phones in class, but everybody did it.
Post by Richard Kettlewell
[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221270858_A_large_scale_study_of_text-messaging_use
--
Cheers, Bev
"...so she told me it was either her or the ham radio, over."
Huge
2018-07-25 08:35:20 UTC
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On 2018-07-24, Bruce Horrocks <***@scorecrow.com> wrote:

[44 lines snipped]
Post by Bruce Horrocks
I noticed one of the girls was able to touch-type SMS messages on a
candy-bar style Nokia phone, one-handed, while the phone was in her
jacket pocket, while talking to her friend in the queue. When it came
time to pay, she carried right on and paid with the other hand.
I expressed my amazement and asked how many texts she sent? She said she
wasn't sure but had got through a 5000 allowance over a single weekend!
(I don't think I ever sent that many in a single year!)
I've never sent that many, ever.
--
Today is Sweetmorn, the 60th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3184
~ Stercus accidit ~
Bob Eager
2018-07-25 12:46:07 UTC
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Post by Huge
[44 lines snipped]
Post by Bruce Horrocks
I noticed one of the girls was able to touch-type SMS messages on a
candy-bar style Nokia phone, one-handed, while the phone was in her
jacket pocket, while talking to her friend in the queue. When it came
time to pay, she carried right on and paid with the other hand.
I expressed my amazement and asked how many texts she sent? She said
she wasn't sure but had got through a 5000 allowance over a single
weekend!
(I don't think I ever sent that many in a single year!)
I've never sent that many, ever.
Neither have I. My son used to exceeed his *monthly* allowance of 5000
texts, and one month it cost a fortune.

Now we are all on 'unlimited texts' plans anyway.
--
Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...

Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org
Paul Sture
2018-07-25 07:11:11 UTC
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Post by Bruce Horrocks
Post by Marko Rauhamaa
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
Post by Sylvia Else
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803290068.html
 > Lecturers who work with Ishii often start training by teaching
 > students how to use a keyboard.
Have these students been submitting "written" work in handwriting, or
have they somehow managed to do it on their smartphones?
Dictation? Plagiarism?
Post by Marko Rauhamaa
Post by Supermarine Spitfire
I'm guessing they've handwritten stuff up to this point, but now
they're faced with stuff requiring word processing.
* send instant messages
* send emails
* post on Usenet
* write documentation in markup (or down)
* write software
* update web sites
* process photographs
But no, I never need to do word processing.
I do use the keyboard at this very moment. However, my children can't
believe I'm using only my right hand to type on my phone. So maybe I
should be considered phone-illiterate.
Back in the mid-2000's I was working at a client which had a coffee shop
in the basement of their call centre building. Most call centres had
(have?) a policy of not allowing personal phones at the desk so they
made the most of their break times...
I noticed one of the girls was able to touch-type SMS messages on a
candy-bar style Nokia phone, one-handed, while the phone was in her
jacket pocket, while talking to her friend in the queue. When it came
time to pay, she carried right on and paid with the other hand.
I expressed my amazement and asked how many texts she sent? She said she
wasn't sure but had got through a 5000 allowance over a single weekend!
(I don't think I ever sent that many in a single year!)
5000 sounds like a points allowance. The ISP I used from 2005 to 2013
gave me a monthly allowance of one(?) thousand points for SMS messages I
could send via a web interface[1]. Each message was counted as 40 points,
i.e. 25 messages per thousand points.

I don't think I ever got close to my limit of 25 messages. Note the ISP
was nothing to do with my phone account; I simply registered my number
with them so that they sent the correct caller number with SMS messages.

[1] extremely useful back in the days of entering text messages via the
physical keypad.
--
The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
-- Stephen King
Anssi Saari
2018-07-24 10:37:06 UTC
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Post by Sylvia Else
Have these students been submitting "written" work in handwriting, or
have they somehow managed to do it on their smartphones?
That's what the article says. "Given that they can write and submit
their school reports with smartphones, they are not outsiders to the
world of the Internet. However, much of this does not align with the
knowledge necessary to work in their future jobs."

Seems like a failure of education. I guess informing the school system
people that they aren't doing their jobs very well might be difficult in
a hierarchical society like Japan.
The Real Bev
2018-07-24 15:00:50 UTC
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Post by Anssi Saari
Post by Sylvia Else
Have these students been submitting "written" work in handwriting, or
have they somehow managed to do it on their smartphones?
That's what the article says. "Given that they can write and submit
their school reports with smartphones, they are not outsiders to the
world of the Internet. However, much of this does not align with the
knowledge necessary to work in their future jobs."
Seems like a failure of education. I guess informing the school system
people that they aren't doing their jobs very well might be difficult in
a hierarchical society like Japan.
In 1953 everyone at my jr. high (middle school!) was required to take
typing. I can't remember whether the class was a quarter, a semester or
a year, but I ended up typing 80 wpm. My friend the baton twirler
achieved 120. Amazingly enough, one of the most useful/valuable things
I've ever learned.
--
Cheers, Bev
It doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.
RS Wood
2018-07-25 00:50:36 UTC
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Post by Supermarine Spitfire
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803290068.html
“How do I double click?” “What is a cell in a spreadsheet?”
Mashiko Ishii often hears that her fellow lecturers at Uchida Human
Resources Development Center become confused when they are asked such
basic questions during training for new employees of IT companies.
So ... totally unequipped for the real contest. I have no sympathey for a
nation of jobseekers unskilled to do much more than post stupid on other
people's forums.
Dirk T. Verbeek
2018-07-25 09:23:45 UTC
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Post by Supermarine Spitfire
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803290068.html
“How do I double click?” “What is a cell in a spreadsheet?”
Mashiko Ishii often hears that her fellow lecturers at Uchida Human
Resources Development Center become confused when they are asked such
basic questions during training for new employees of IT companies.
Pressing the button of a computer mouse twice and knowing the basic
unit for data input in spreadsheets are some of the fundamentals of
using a computer, but it is not uncommon for even would-be system
engineers to ask such questions.
The reason is clear. As smartphones have become extremely convenient,
a growing number of students have never laid their hands on a personal
computer.
Lecturers who work with Ishii often start training by teaching
students how to use a keyboard.
We use regular desktop computers to run a Scada system.
I teach the new engineers how to use it.

Specifically in the USofA I meet some/several that do not know the
difference between RAM and HD storage, forget about partitions, files,
directories or file extensions/meta data.
The final test is handwritten, part multiple choice, part long hand answers.
Reading the answers is in most cases a real chore due to their horrible
handwriting.

This is the iShiny generation...
Stefan Ram
2018-07-25 11:58:16 UTC
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“How do I double click?” “What is a cell in a spreadsheet?”
I am giving programming courses. The course announcement
clearly says that a knowledge of Windows is required, but
I often hear similar questions. Participants are surprised
that windows can actually be moved around on the screen by
grabbing them at the title bar! Many participants are not
able to create a text file or change a file name extension.
So, effectively, I have too teach this too, even though it
actually is supposed to be a programming course with Windows
knowledge already taken for granted.

What can be said in defense of such participants is that the
wording "Windows knowledge" from the course description is
vague. They are not told in advance /what exactly/ they are
expected to know.

However, to someone who has the intention to learn
/programming/, isn't it clear that this should be predated
by sound knowledge about how to /operate/ a computer?
(I don't know. It is difficult for me to imagine what
someone who does not know programming expects it to be.)
Marko Rauhamaa
2018-07-25 12:25:33 UTC
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Many participants are not able to create a text file
What's a file?

What's a text file?
or change a file name extension.
What's a file name?

What's a file name extension?
So, effectively, I have too teach this too, even though it actually is
supposed to be a programming course with Windows knowledge already
taken for granted.
I've been programming since the 1980s and I wouldn't take it for granted
that anybody would know the answers to my questions above.

BTW, they are surprisingly hard to explain to someone who doesn't know
the answer. And in fact, many experienced software programmers don't
know the answers very well.
However, to someone who has the intention to learn /programming/,
isn't it clear that this should be predated by sound knowledge about
how to /operate/ a computer? (I don't know. It is difficult for me to
imagine what someone who does not know programming expects it to be.)
I have gone through the process with family members and found that you
should start working before you actually know what you are doing.
Just accept most things as boilerplate and necessary magic to get
started. Over time, hopefully, you start developing a sense of what it
is (approximately) that you are doing and slowly start explaining what
that boilerplate was about.

For example, don't bother explaining what a compiler is or even what a
text editor is. Just dictate the keyclicks until you have completed a
handful of programming exercises and gotten some sense of success
without overburdening the brain.


Marko
Supermarine Spitfire
2018-07-25 12:55:59 UTC
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Post by Stefan Ram
“How do I double click?” “What is a cell in a spreadsheet?”
I am giving programming courses. The course announcement
clearly says that a knowledge of Windows is required, but
I often hear similar questions. Participants are surprised
that windows can actually be moved around on the screen by
grabbing them at the title bar! Many participants are not
able to create a text file or change a file name extension.
So, effectively, I have too teach this too, even though it
actually is supposed to be a programming course with Windows
knowledge already taken for granted.
What can be said in defense of such participants is that the
wording "Windows knowledge" from the course description is
vague. They are not told in advance /what exactly/ they are
expected to know.
I think this is due to the fact that computers no longer come with any
guides on how to use them. People are expected to buy books or get a
more knowledgable person to help them. In reality, they end up learning
just enough to get by, unless someone else actively teaches them. I've
been down this path with my parents, ever since they got their first
computer in 1999.
Post by Stefan Ram
However, to someone who has the intention to learn
/programming/, isn't it clear that this should be predated
by sound knowledge about how to /operate/ a computer?
(I don't know. It is difficult for me to imagine what
someone who does not know programming expects it to be.)
You would think so, yes. That would be common sense. Also, common sense
appears to be increasingly uncommon these days.
--
-Spitfire
Michael Black
2018-07-25 21:18:18 UTC
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Post by Stefan Ram
“How do I double click?” “What is a cell in a spreadsheet?”
I am giving programming courses. The course announcement
clearly says that a knowledge of Windows is required, but
I often hear similar questions. Participants are surprised
that windows can actually be moved around on the screen by
grabbing them at the title bar! Many participants are not
able to create a text file or change a file name extension.
So, effectively, I have too teach this too, even though it
actually is supposed to be a programming course with Windows
knowledge already taken for granted.
What can be said in defense of such participants is that the
wording "Windows knowledge" from the course description is
vague. They are not told in advance /what exactly/ they are
expected to know.
I think this is due to the fact that computers no longer come with any guides
on how to use them. People are expected to buy books or get a more
knowledgable person to help them. In reality, they end up learning just
enough to get by, unless someone else actively teaches them. I've been down
this path with my parents, ever since they got their first computer in 1999.
There's certainly an illusion that since "everyone" has access to a
computer or a smartphone that this has advanced the level of "computer
literacy". But it's like someone I knew who thiry years ago would say how
much she dislikes "technology", except the moment she got home she checked
her answering machine and made some phone calls, and used her car quite a
bit. But both phones and cars are long existing technology, so it's not
seen as foreign. Computers and the like are still relatively new, so they
are seen as "technology" and thus something to avoid (for some people) and
something to be in awe of (for other people). But for many, computer use
is the equivalent of using a phone, certainly not something requiring a
lot of skill.

So if you had a technical hobby fifty years ago, it meant something, now
taht's kind of lost because "everyone uses technology" but it doesn't mean
everyone has risen up in their ability.

Michael

Richard Kettlewell
2018-07-25 13:25:18 UTC
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Post by Stefan Ram
“How do I double click?” “What is a cell in a spreadsheet?”
I am giving programming courses. The course announcement
clearly says that a knowledge of Windows is required, but
I often hear similar questions. Participants are surprised
that windows can actually be moved around on the screen by
grabbing them at the title bar! Many participants are not
able to create a text file or change a file name extension.
So, effectively, I have too teach this too, even though it
actually is supposed to be a programming course with Windows
knowledge already taken for granted.
What can be said in defense of such participants is that the
wording "Windows knowledge" from the course description is
vague. They are not told in advance /what exactly/ they are
expected to know.
However, to someone who has the intention to learn
/programming/, isn't it clear that this should be predated
by sound knowledge about how to /operate/ a computer?
(I don't know. It is difficult for me to imagine what
someone who does not know programming expects it to be.)
Remember the Dunning-Kruger effect. People who know little or nothing
about some topic are generally unaware of how much they’re
missing. (Which isn’t actually very surprising, when stated like that.)
--
https://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/
Rich
2018-07-25 13:30:03 UTC
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Post by Stefan Ram
?How do I double click?? ?What is a cell in a spreadsheet??
I am giving programming courses. The course announcement
clearly says that a knowledge of Windows is required, but
I often hear similar questions. Participants are surprised
that windows can actually be moved around on the screen by
grabbing them at the title bar! Many participants are not
able to create a text file or change a file name extension.
I've seen similar items. I helped give support for a training class
some years back on a new app. for work.

We were teaching the managers in the classes.

The class was given in a small 'lecture style' room with about 16
computer terminals for use by the participants.

At the start of class, after an intro, the instructor would ask
everyone to log into the computer in front of them, and to double click
the "blah" icon (name changed).

Inevitably, it every single class, at least one manager would then ask:
"where is the 'blah' icon?".

However, these computers, being training computers, when one logged
into them, the desktop came up with only about four icons on screen.
Maybe five.

And the one they were being asked to click was the one that was bold
yellow (which really stood out against the blue desktop background) and
clearly had "blah" as the text label.


Also, during class, there would also be at least one manager, who would
"double-click" everything. It did not matter what it was, if he/she
was asked to click it with the mouse it got double-clicked. Sadly,
some of the features being demonstrated, and that they were being asked
to follow along upon, were toggle buttons that toggled between A and B
with a single click each. The app interpreted a double-click as A -> B
-> A and then we'd get the question of "it didn't work..." because from
their view, nothing changed because they started at A and ended up
again at A. We had to explain to them about the concept of "single
click".
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