Subject: invocations
From: mpriestley -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 1994 16:25:39 EST

Susan writes:
>***But***, Mike --
>If you've ever been faced with a classroom full of
>**novice** computer users who actually **believe** that...

>1) it **is** a magic box

>2) nothing they do can control the outcome because the box
> has a mind of its own

>you'd avoid the word "invoke" like the plague. If you think
>not, you've got another thin*g* coming!! %^)

A good point - the application I'm working on right now is for use by
experienced users only, so I didn't even think of that. However, when you
think about it, they might not be too far off base in their estimate at that.

Two hard and fast rules I've acquired over the years:

1) Ritually sacrificing the occasional white mouse to a computer increases its
mean time between failures by a factor of 10.
2) If you let the smoke out of a computer, it'll never run again. All
electric appliances run on smoke.

I think all this mumbo jumbo about "programming" and "logic" and
"specifications" are just pathetic little mantras we mumble in the vain hopes
of appeasing the vengeful computer gods. In reality, no one has any idea
exactly what will happen the next time you turn on your computer. It could
blow up, it could put a curse on you, it could turn into a dragon and eat you.

However, those fortunate few of us gifted with the power of prophecy have
gone into the soothtelling business, and call ourselves "Technical
Communicators" or "Information Developers" (our very titles are made of words
of power). You and me are in the business of writing spell books.

Kinda makes you go hmmm...

:-0 :-\ :-)

Michael Priestley
mpriestley -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com
Information Developer
IBM Canada
Disclaimer: not only do my views not represent those of IBM, but if they knew
what I just wrote they'd probably have me quietly taken away by nice people
in white suits and locked up for the next decade or so.

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