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Programming Under The Wizard’s Spell Essay, Research Paper
The computer is a tool that has become
indispensable to the modern family and company. In flourishing so successfully
the computer has passed from incredibly complex and unusable to anyone
how was not well versed in its intricacies, to consumer oriented and user-friendly.
In Ellen Ullman’s essay, Programming Under The Wizard’s Spell, she attempts
to convince to reader that the computer has been over simplified to the
point of no return. The simplification of the computer made it more user-friendly
and there for more appealing to customers, this only blinded people into
using the computer the way corporate America wanted them to, using without
First, this essay
is a hybrid, it is a mix of the expository and comparison and contrast
essay. In the first part she attempts to examine the differences between
various Microsoft operating systems and the Unix operating system. Then
the author tries to answer the question ”What is it ?” and ”What is
it not ?” in paragraphs 3, Ullman states : ”Unix always presumes that
you know what you’re doing.” and in referring to Microsoft she states
it as: “Consumer-oriented, idiot-proofed, covered by its pretty skin of
icons and dialog boxes [...]“. She has tactfully drawn the boundaries between
the two products which start to take one the appearance of the good and
the corporate induced bad. Ullman has now inferred her goal, she wishes
to convince the reader of her convictions of the new computerised corporate
America. Also, she uses simple wording, narration and a somewhat comic
anecdote of her experiences, effectively leading the reader into drawing
negative conclusions about the new consumer oriented computer. She does
not truly attempt to be objective but gives that illusion by shortly stating
in the first paragraph: ”a reasonable, professional choice in a world
where Microsoft platforms are everywhere”. This was a reasonably good
statement that inspires in the reader to believe that Ellen Ullman is waying
the good and the bad.
once finished, the reader can only conclude that there where so many more
bad things than good things about Microsoft that it most likely a bad product
hinged on reducing our computing freedom. This conclusion is of course
the only one possible to anyone how reads the essay. she made it this way
but without actually expressing this opinion herself, she is merle telling
a story littered with an unfavourable tone that seeped out of the text
by her choice of wording: “My computer. I’ve always hated this icon”.
Ullman infintilizes windows in order to ridicule it in order to further
convince the reader of the negativity of these sorts of programs. Ullman’s
purpose in writing her essay was to warn the reader of the dangers that
may insue from the over simplification of such a complex machine, the title
she chose conveys her convictions well. But as she explains her misfortunes
with Windows she makes usage of certain terms and expression that not just
any one can understand, she wrote this essay for an audience of others
such computer fans that she try?s to convince of the perils of forgetting
how a computer really works, not just how the operating system works.
Ellen Ullman’s ultimate goal was that Corporate America saw the complex
computer as a wild beast inaccessible to most, so they tinkered with to
finally made it the new user-friendly computer system, man’s new best friend.
But in doing so they destroyed it’s instincts. Her vision of the industry
is most obviously a personal one and through her essay she ultimately succeeds
in persuading the reader that her convictions are almost fact. This is
a good example of how one’s opinions can be successfully diffused to others.
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