this question all the time. Not long ago, I got a letter from a
reader named David Hildebrand that nicely summed up the problem.
Hildebrand managed to teach his 82-year-old mother how to use a few
easy programs, but that wasn't enough: "While one or another program
may be simple enough to use," he wrote, "it is still very difficult
to manage folders, force-quit applications, adjust screen displays,
tweak volume, and do all the other fairly arcane things one must
learn about an OS in order to get the simpler applications to be
simple." The reader wondered whether that would ever change. "In
short, when will the computer become an appliance?"
I wrote this and Manjoo posted it as part of his piece at