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Modern computers have also gotten... not more reliable exactly (they have, but it's not the point), but more robust against the need for manual configuration. When's the last time you had to defragment a disk, or figure out why some device in Windows Device Manager had a question mark next to it or what driver cocktail to install, or enter complicated settings to access the Internet? (Or XF86Config, for that matter...)

In other words, just like modern cars, it's not as necessary to pay attention to the innards for continued operation.




I don't think robustness has much to do with the need for manual configuration. Configuration is needed not (only) because users need to do troubleshooting, but also because they want to adjust and tweak their cars/computers/gadgets to their needs. The current trend is less configuration, less control in the hands of the consumer, more lock-down.

I believe hiding implementation details is part of this trend to reduce complexity (which is good) but also to wrestle control away from the user (which is bad).


figure out why some device in Windows Device Manager had a question mark next to it or what driver cocktail to install

I did this just last week with a fresh Windows 7 installation because the drivers for the Ethernet adapter had to be manually installed...


When was the last time you thought about IRQ settings?


Is it some kind of a test? Why is knowing IRQ relevant?

I am joining many people here, who prefer having configurable tools. I do not want to configure 'IRQ' on any tool I use, but if it will misfunction, I will search for it and find out what IRQ means and how I adjust it to my needs. Worse, is being unable to change 'IRQ' when you need to, because people in charge decided it draws 95% customers away, and you are being in a 5% boat.




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