While you may have been a bit (not much) too strident, Paul, I agree with you
in principle. Computers are tools which do not create extra work, unless the
mindset is appropriate. To provide the productivity gains of which they are
fully capable, they must be taken seriously. If that includes taking seminars
on UNIX (or whatever), so be it. No one walks up to an AA or other complex
device without some training or experience, and the same is true of the
effective use of electronic data manipulators.
Having said that, however, I have to counter somewhat with the statement that
the lack of standards in the computing industry does not make the job of the
occasional user as easy as it should be, and there is some truth in the
statement that companies obfuscate deliberately, when they are allowed to get
away with it. However, pressure from we, the users, is slowly changing all
that, albeit at a rate which irrates even the most patient among us.
So, keep pressing for uniformity from your vendors. They, in turn, will
[A[A[A[A[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[C[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[D[Cyield to the standards forming bodies. One only has to look at
the turnaround DEC has taken recently with regard to the strategic importance
of UNIX vs. VMS to realize that changes are occurring.