[b-hebrew] Hebrew keyboard & font size

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Jan 19 17:16:33 EST 2006

On Thursday 19 January 2006 13:22, Peter Kirk wrote:
> On 19/01/2006 19:13, Dave Washburn wrote:
> > ...
> >
> >The one real caveat about Linux: it will force you to know something about
> > how your computer works.  But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
> This was the main point I was trying to make. If you run Linux you can't
> just rely on the experts to come and fix a problem for you, you have to
> fix it yourself, even if you can find online help from others. In some
> ways I wish everyone was a computer expert, but many people just don't
> have the time or ability for this, and at the moment Linux cannot be
> recommended for them - at least if they are working with cutting edge
> technology like display of Hebrew.

Actually, major advances have been made in getting Linux more user-friendly 
over the past several years.  One need not be a "computer expert," just have 
an idea what a file is, what a folder is, and some basic stuff like that: how 
to make changes to your display and what happens when you do, what steps to 
take to install a font and why, all stuff that the average end user can 
benefit from knowing.  Back in the DOS days, your basic computer user knew 
some of these things, but since the advent of Windows, Microsoft has been 
continuously "dumbing down" the end user, putting more and more layers 
between the user and the machine, which of course makes the user more and 
more dependent on the "experts."  Even though I made my living for a long 
time being one of these, I don't consider this a good thing.  It's the 
equivalent of owning a car, but having to go to a mechanic every time you 
need to check the oil.  The more a user knows about the basic operation of 
that machine, the more empowered s/he is to get the most out of it without 
some corporate clown dictating how.  I do consider that a good thing, and 
right now Linux is a reasonable and user-enabling vehicle toward that end.  
And unless one is either creating fonts or reinventing the wheel, I hardly 
think display of Hebrew is "cutting edge technology."  It's been around for a 
while; the major new factor is how it's done, i.e. Unicode vs. replacement 
fonts.  But if a user has even a very basic understanding of how such things 
are done, it's going to make the learning curve for the new method much 
easier to deal with.  

Dave Washburn
"Maybe I'll trade it for a new hat."

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