Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Geekstravaganza

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  • Don Christie,

    Russell - I am reaching the point in the IT game where is a female thinks what I have said/done is sexist or a bit out of order then it probably is, even if that was not my intention.

    Look at the stats, 75% male orientated and yet women out perform men at school and universities. We really are becoming the stupid industry.

    I think this "You suck at maths" carton captures our problem.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1620 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    WTF? I thought we were past this sort of stereotyping these days. Bad Russell! Go sit on the naughty step and have a long think about what you've said. Time starts now...

    Sigh ... alright, not deals for your mum and dad, then. My point related to generation, not gender.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    <quote>WTF? I thought we were past this sort of stereotyping these days. Bad Russell! Go sit on the naughty step and have a long think about what you've said. Time starts now...</ quote>So Can Russell get off the naughty step now?Hes been there a while:)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6358 posts Report Reply

  • Duncan Blair,

    I'm gonna tell my mum you said that tonight. Been trying to convince her to get broadband for ages, but when I lent her a Vodem it made her think that broadband was actually slower than dialup. They're in Herne Bay...how's that situated for high speed Orcon goodness?

    Great! Herne Bay should be right smack bang inside our coverage area. You can get a pretty good idea by checking our coverage map, or just run her number through the phone number checker on our site.

    Cheers,
    Duncan Blair
    Group Product Manager
    Orcon

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    ... but when you're asked to fix a system that's been really rooted, it's for a man who should have asked for help earlier but didn't.

    That's so true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I think this "You suck at maths" carton captures our problem.

    And my spelling prowess demonstrates it...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1620 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Late to this discussion (I've been out working, y'know), so.... I see, and hear, and accept what Russell has just said, and I am certainly not trying to undermine that.

    But this is the thought that has been running through mind as I read the whole thread...

    The thing is, I'm old enough (just!) to be the 'your mum' person for several people posting here.

    And I disliked the stereotype as much as Joanne did, for much the same reasons.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Making assumptions about someone's technical ability based on their age or gender is a non-trivial issue - the IT industry has enough trouble with sexism without compounding it in the way it approaches the rest of the world. I still get angry when I think about buying a printer off a sales clerk who directed the answers to all my questions to my male companion.

    I had to talk my mum through Eft-Pos, years after it was introduced -- she was just used to cashing cheques. It doesn't mean she's stupid, just used to doing things other ways. I also provided phone support on the digital picture frame I got her for Christmas -- although she did work out that unplugging it seemed to fix its glitches.

    But this is a real issue for mainstream devices. The reason everyone loved MySky when it launched here was that the same gear had gone through multiple iterations in Britain and it was really user-friendly. The Topfield works, but it isn't quite fit for a mass-market device that you're expecting people to self-install.

    Ditto for the Orcon deals. Your Mum (alright, my Mum) probably doesn't want to spend $80 a month just for internet, she doesn't need the extra speed and she won't use 10GB a month. It doesn't mean she's incompetent or something, it's just not the deal for her.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Sigh ... alright, not deals for your mum and dad, then. My point related to generation, not gender.

    Ageist!

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    P.S. Mr. brown - don't tell people where the exchanges are! they don't have signs on them for a reason.... What if Te Qaeda were reading???

    It's interesting that the owners of the unsigned buildings around Eden Terrace and other places consider they are secure because there is no big sign on the outside saying "Vodafone" or "Air New Zealand".

    Personally, I think microwave dishes on the roof and a big standby generating set give the game away. Not to mention the number of couriers and the like who've been there.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    It doesn't mean she's incompetent or something,

    Goodness no it doesn't...

    although she did work out that unplugging it seemed to fix its glitches.

    There you go, she could embark on a career in IT support now.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Hansel Dunlop,

    It precisely in trivial language that sexism manifests, and it is precisely its trivality and commonplaceness and consequent direct route to our unconscious that make it important to combat it.

    Hey, I can't argue with Freud! I mean his theories of how the mind works haven't been rigorously discredited or anything.

    I don't take this issue as a whole trivially at all. In fact I find it fascinating which is I guess why the women's studies papers I did at uni were probably the only ones that still stick with me vividly. I just find this instance trivial and I don't recall this kind of discussion popping up whenTze Ming Mok would generalise about all Asian dads being daggy. And why should it? Because it's a benign turn of phrase meant to make you smile but in no way would actually affect the way we relate to people.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Come to that, I don't "want to spend $80 a month just for internet". Whatever speed I get from Telecom and a 3G cap is fine for my browsing.

    I tried using BitTorrent, but rapidly got bored with waiting 24hrs for a file that might or might not turn up on my desktop - for a movie that I wouldn't have time to watch.

    You could put "40-something IT consultant" as the generic term for the technology resistant?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Not Freud, Sapir and Whorf (and yes I know that's a contentious hypothesis).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2977 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This has made me think of one of the great Public Address readers, the late Dorothy Dean of Bluff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, and can someone write me a script to replace all instances of "your mum" with "a mainstream consumer"?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    but when you're asked to fix a system that's been really rooted, it's for a man who should have asked for help earlier but didn't.

    Heh, like the times I disabled my graphics card trying to upgrade the driver? The second time I did this (I know), I managed to take out the motherboard driver while I was at it. The whole system was completely unusable until I reinstalled Windows.

    Misplaced confidence is a better predictor of disaster than gender. Assuming ability is conferred with one's X or Y chromosomes is one way to acquire misplaced confidence.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Come to that, I don't "want to spend $80 a month just for internet". Whatever speed I get from Telecom and a 3G cap is fine for my browsing.

    You're no use at all to the unbundling ISPs. They pay a per-line rental rate, and the non-premium "ordinary" broadband services don't bring in enough to provide a viable margin.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Misplaced confidence is a better predictor of disaster than gender.

    Being a man means thinking you don't have to read the manual. Gets me every time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    __although she did work out that unplugging it seemed to fix its glitches.__

    There you go, she could embark on a career in IT support now.

    I'd have to send her the secret phrasebook first. You're not "turning it off then on" -- you're power-cycling the equipment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Once she's fluent, we can anoint her Official Geek. You must be so proud.

    :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Oh, and can someone write me a script to replace all instances of "your mum" with "a mainstream consumer"?

    Why not go for "Mum and Dad" or "your grandparents" or "the less demanding punter" or something?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2977 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    yeah... but i've read you remark that you can't remember life without the internet. russell's mum, like mine, can well remember life without television.

    yes, yes, yes. I have to say that I knew immediately that Russell was talking with generational mores in mind. Because my mother is hopeless. My dad discovered the Internet at 88, 6 months before he died, and he loved it. He browsed yachting and Formula One websites for hours on the laptop that my brothers' bought for him. As soon as he died, Mum wanted the computer out of the house. And it hasn't been allowed back in. I am routinely to be found haranguing her about at least learning how to email, so that she could stay in touch with family overseas. But no. She says she likes to write letters. So that's that. And anyway, she just asks me to email people, or download information, when she wants something. I won't stop trying, though.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    You're no use at all to the unbundling ISPs. They pay a per-line rental rate, and the non-premium "ordinary" broadband services don't bring in enough to provide a viable margin.

    Which is ineresting from my POV. I don't really need more bandwidth or more data (until I get ad-free decent IPTV). Funnily enough like Ben I really would like a fixed IP address.

    My suspscion is the cost of a fixed IP will not be that far from the cost of ermmmmm an ISP hosting plan ?

    Otherwise:

    With apologies to both sides of the sexist language debate for being very patronising - It is not for one person to correct the sexist language or behaviour of another; Rather it is their duty to help the offednding party to correct themselves. As the wee spat has shown we have a no win on this one. Had a lot of practise with midwives and antenatal teachers just recently.

    BTW. Could access orcon site, but couldn't get to the stage of actually buying a service...

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Why not go for "Mum and Dad" or "your grandparents" or "the less demanding punter" or something?

    It all means much the same thing, yes. Although I suspect I'll still use my own mum , mentally, as a benchmark for product usability. I just won't talk about it ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

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