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SubjectRe: Aunt Tillie builds a kernel (was Re: ISA hardware discovery -- the elegant solution)
On Monday 14 January 2002 06:02 pm, Bruce Harada wrote:
> On Mon, 14 Jan 2002 17:34:23 -0500
> "Eric S. Raymond" <> wrote:
> > Therefore I try to stay focused on Aunt Tillie even though I know
> > that you are objectively correct and her class of user is likely
> > not to build kernels regularly for some years yet.
> Change that last line to read "her class of user will never build kernels
> ever, and would be aggressively disinterested in the possibility of doing
> so", and you might be closer to the truth.
> Aunt Tillie just DOESN'T CARE, OK? She can talk to her vendor if she gets
> worried about whether her kernel supports the Flangelistic2000 SuperDoodad.

I think what Eric's REALLY going for is converting some of the Minesweeper
Certified Solitaire Experts down at the corner store (and yes there are still
corner computer stores in mini-malls around the country) over to The Penguin.
(And providing them enough coffee to sober up, and making sure that their
minimal training is slightly more than teaching to the test. Give them some
stimulus-response answers that might actually address reality in some small

Anyway, if aunt tillie calls for her neighborhood computer mechanic, he's
probably not going to be a particularly high powered geek. He may have
aspirations of geekdom, but basically we're talking glorified tech support.

These guys might build a kernel when they install her new cutting edge USB
Salad Shooter that is only supported by a kernel newer than the distribution
vendor has yet shipped. And most of them WOULD be lost without auto-probe.

The above maps even more strongly into corporate space, to the point of being
a cliche even. But I still think Aunt Tillie is a couple stepping stones
beyond a realistic next jump, and a distraction away from whether or not
auto-probe is a cool hack and useful toy. Not being useful for aunt tillie
is not the same as not being useful at all.

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