You might have seen or heard those diehard football fans screaming their hearts out during one of those crunch matches on TV. Some will berate the world’s top players and coaches, thousands of miles away.
Many of these armchair pundits have probably never stepped inside a football stadium or played in a competitive match.
Their perspective is quite different from that of those who understand the basics of the game, the technical approach and limitations in the field of play. This analogy could well be applied to the world of computers, where many of us have come to expect small miracles from the devices we use without investing much time or thought to better understand their workings and how to increase their output.
The computer has changed our world and revolutionised the way we live. Perhaps most of us are unable to enjoy the full benefits of this modern-day wonder because of our lack of understanding of its operations. A computer is instructed to carry out logical operations.
It can do with utmost precision and perfection that which it has been instructed to do.
And this is why we have super and ordinary users. The latter tap their keyboards wondering how life would have been without the technology. But super users interact with the software and ask questions like: Is this the best it can do? Less than five per cent of users are in the super league.
A quick way to demonstrate this fact is interrogating how many users know what the function keys or simply F-keys do? A number would tell you they are for playing music or adjusting the volume.
They might well be right, but in the super user’s mind they are the vital controls of the digital gadget.
The software or application you use on your platform is all but an automation of an analogue thought process.
The software comprises commands and scripts that are just but instructions to create certain moves. The keys are the means to achieve that. But to get the most out of our device – and faster – we need to learn even more about the controls.
But many of us use the computer manually, the reason why we keep replacing the mouse whereas the F-Keys are still brand new.
Function keys are a shortcut to navigating your device.
The keys are used as storage of a combination of certain commands, which one uses frequently to circumvent certain repetitive moves that can be monotonous.
Did you know that over 50 per cent of commands you make on computer could be taken care of by a function key or short-cut commands?
Your computer can be set up in a way that it starts itself in the morning, exactly at the time you want it to forward mail to whatever place.
Super users interact with software differently.
They will put in place commands that are combinations of several steps or moves to one key so that they are not engaged in activities that don’t enhance their creativity and innovations. To the ordinary users, over 60 per cent of their time is taken up by the mouse and a step by step scrolls of the dialogue boxes.
This is how computers have killed acquired knowledge for those operating at an ordinary level.
Talk of a case of a good gadget being misused. If digitisation is automation of the manual thought processes, why then shouldn’t we maximise its use without killing our brains?
It is by improving its functionality that we get ingenious innovations such as M-Pesa, which are essentially basic software programmes that have turned a purely analogue process into a digital one that now allow millions to transact businesses.
Let a machine be an enhancer and not a dictator of our functions lest we become prisoners of this otherwise indispensable utility.
Mr Edward Mwasi, is the acting CEO of Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board. email@example.com; Twitter @edwardmwasi
Article as printed and published by the Nation Media Group on July 04, 2022.