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Assignment 15


Jennifer Tamez

Robert Surles

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

The opening paragraphs of the chapter were examples of excerpts from a home office diary. It was interesting how this began because it was a situation that could be related to, and it also grabbed the reader from the beginning (in our opinion.

It was also interesting to note that working independently at home or out of an office setting is assumed to be more convenient and easy, but the example of the xerox employer and the example of the ad agency, chiat, proved otherwise. Another interesting point was how it was evident that design and collaboration play such important roles in the success of progression of work, office environments, etc.

1.2. not interesting about the article?


2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

The main message of the article could be that design and collaboration play a part in the social system. It seems that working "home alone" or being able to work anywhere seems like the answer to where we should be going in the future with technology, but it is acutally not that at all. It is the design of the learning environment/office, the incidental learning in such a setting, and the collaboration with others who are knowledgable in different areas that actually makes the work setting better/easier than working alone.
Basically, majority of people tend to run into more problems that can be solved when they work alone as opposed to being in a social system setting.

3. what does the following quote mean to you: "design needs to attend not simply to the frailty of technological systems and the robustness of social systems, but to ways in which social systems often play a key part in making even frail technology robust"

It means that technology and social systems work well together, and can be used as an advantage when they play off eachother. Technological systems can be frail and hard to work with, but when you put that in a social system, the technological systems becomes easier to deal with b/c of the collaboration involved - which then allows the technology to become robust because incidental learning takes place.

3.1. why are social systems robust? 3.2. why are technological system frail?

Social systems are robust because everyone helps and learns from eachother.

Technological systems are frail because they are so sensitive depending on if you know what you're doing and how you go about doing something. There are technical difficulties, crashing problems, set up problems, etc.

3.3. or do you disagree with the authors about his?

No, we don't.

4. think of a couple of persons (maybe family members or friends) who are in a position to use computer by being "home alone"! Characterize the major problems that these persons have!

When questioning certain functions on software programs, they have a hard time finding how to do these specific tasks.

When a computer crashes and everything is lost (but can be retrieved), they don't know how to get back any information.

When setting up internet servers or connections to the internet, majority of people we know had to have someone else do this because they failed numerous times.

5. Describe briefly some new innovative technologies that you can think of which would address these problems!

Not sure what there really is.

6. in case of problems with computer systems ? how often to you look for help/advice

6.1. from humans?
Pretty much always.

6.2. from written documentation?
Not really at all.

6.3. from online resources?

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