Computer skill, a thought

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
F33D
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Computer skill, a thought

Postby F33D » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:11 pm

According to char gen, those from worlds of TL 12+ get Comp. 0 as a starting skill. After rereading the skill description I'd say that as TL increases, these skills (as listed in the Computer skill description) will get less. I've been working in the computer field for ~30 years and the "skill level" required to use computers by the average person has gone WAY down. NOT, up. As computers have gotten embedded & OS's buried under user friendly GUI's, people have less knowledge of the underlying architecture.

The average person who uses a computer today has (and needs) a small fraction of the "computer skill" that a user had 30 years ago...
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby rust » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:09 pm

I also think that Traveller's Computer skill has a somewhat archaic
feel, and in my settings the basic tasks mentioned in the skill's de-
scription (accessing publicly available data, activating a computer
program on a ship's computer ...) do not require any skill beyond
basic literacy and familiarity with the computer's technology level,
then they are automatically successful. Computer skill is only nee-
ded for tasks like writing new software or hacking into a security
system.
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ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:09 pm

Most people using computers today are not computer programmers. They are end users. It's a totally different skill. They are using apps mostly. Not programming/working with AI or industrial systems.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby alex_greene » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:15 pm

Correct.

Most end users just see the web page. Computer skill would involve grabbing the source code and mining it for essential information, such as the scripts and styles being invoked, urls, directory addresses, the metatags and other metadata behind the page, the addresses of embedded media, graphics, sound files and so on.

Nobody does much in the way of coding, reading lines of high level language scrolling up the screen, any more. Fewer still read assembly or even hex code.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:57 pm

For end users in my games, they get the amazing Admin 0 skill. Since 90% of them are using MS Office 1105.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby F33D » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:07 am

Yes. people won't have more in depth computer skill as TL goes up. They'll have less.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby F33D » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:20 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:For end users in my games, they get the amazing Admin 0 skill. Since 90% of them are using MS Office 1105.

:lol: Love the version #
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby hdan » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:59 am

F33D wrote:Yes. people won't have more in depth computer skill as TL goes up. They'll have less.
I agree. Traveller's Computer skill was conceived of back in the days where everyone expected, for example, business users to write their own software in COBOL. The meaning of "computer literate" is very different these days.

Though for the purposes of an RPG, it's probably best to just let Computer skill cover everything, or add specializations like Engineering. For example, maybe Computer(Admin), Computer(Programming), Computer(User), Computer(Security).
/hdan
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby F33D » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:08 am

hdan wrote: I agree. Traveller's Computer skill was conceived of back in the days where everyone expected, for example, business users to write their own software in COBOL. The meaning of "computer literate" is very different these days.

Though for the purposes of an RPG, it's probably best to just let Computer skill cover everything, or add specializations like Engineering. For example, maybe Computer(Admin), Computer(Programming), Computer(User), Computer(Security).
Yes, I'll leave the skill pretty much the same. Just eliminate from the Hi Tech world default skill list.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby Captain Jonah » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:10 pm

F33D wrote:
ShawnDriscoll wrote:For end users in my games, they get the amazing Admin 0 skill. Since 90% of them are using MS Office 1105.

:lol: Love the version #
Not backwards compatible with 1100 and the patch to fix those annoying, erm, features will be along anyday :roll: :lol:

But yes I agree. Admin 0 should be the hi tech skill not computer. Very few people actualy do more than set up basic searches or use pre configured options. Finding information and performing simple online tasks is much more Admin than Computer.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby 2330ADUSA1 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:48 pm

Well at this point real computer Geeks are Linux users and they are broken down into the following job types:

- System / Network Admins
- Storage Admins
- Virtualization Admins
- Database Admins
- Programmers / Developers

These are the base jobs, and I know this because Infrastructure is my field as I am a:

Systems Architect, Database Admin, Project managaer


I feel that Computer skill should just be left vague and just wrap in all of the above job tasks and just go with the flow of the intent of the skill goal. Remember the intent here is to play a game and have fun, not create a life like existance. Your playing Traveller RPG, not Paper's and Pay Checks!!!
hdan wrote:
F33D wrote:Yes. people won't have more in depth computer skill as TL goes up. They'll have less.
I agree. Traveller's Computer skill was conceived of back in the days where everyone expected, for example, business users to write their own software in COBOL. The meaning of "computer literate" is very different these days.

Though for the purposes of an RPG, it's probably best to just let Computer skill cover everything, or add specializations like Engineering. For example, maybe Computer(Admin), Computer(Programming), Computer(User), Computer(Security).
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby Nuclear Fridge Magnet » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:49 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:For end users in my games, they get the amazing Admin 0 skill. Since 90% of them are using MS Office 1105.
They'd have to change the Office Assistant to something 'Politically Correct', after Vargr users complain about the little cartoon dog... maybe a small, idiotic-looking human with cute eyes? :twisted:
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby F33D » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:49 pm

2330ADUSA1 wrote:Well at this point real computer Geeks are Linux users
:lol: boys with toys.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:50 pm

Yeah, the computer skill does sometime feel a bit like having a hand writing skill, but perhaps that is bit misleading? What we have today is just adjustments, "finding shopping on the web, simple +6, 1-6 seconds", so even someone with no computer skill jsut needs an 8 to find it first time, and they have 10 goes every minute!

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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby dragoner » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:48 pm

It seems every starship task would be a computer check, though pilot checks dex? huh

Then again, try teaching computer use to someone who has no understanding of computers like my 83 year old mother, then one can appreciate the computer 0 skill level.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby F33D » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:44 pm

dragoner wrote:It seems every starship task would be a computer check, though pilot checks dex? huh
I use Int for Ship Pilot.
dragoner wrote:Then again, try teaching computer use to someone who has no understanding of computers like my 83 year old mother, then one can appreciate the computer 0 skill level.
Been there done that countless times. I never once had to teach them anything computer technical in order for them to learn how to operate high level (Win/Mac) pgms. I used pre computer era office analogies only. (This is your file cabinet, this is you file folder, etc.)
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby Greylond » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:01 pm

There's a difference in having the Computer Skill and using a Computer with Intelligent Interface.

As for the Background Skill, nothing in the rules says that EVERY person on that planet has Computer-0, just that All Player Characters have it...

In other words, it's a standard skill from that planet for the people who have the drive and "that special something" that makes them adventurous...
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby alex_greene » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:17 pm

Greylond wrote:There's a difference in having the Computer Skill and using a Computer with Intelligent Interface.

As for the Background Skill, nothing in the rules says that EVERY person on that planet has Computer-0, just that All Player Characters have it...

In other words, it's a standard skill from that planet for the people who have the drive and "that special something" that makes them adventurous...
Computer-0 could include basic jailbreaking of personal comms and hand computers, knowledge of how to taken them apart in order to upgrade memory, storage, graphics, sound and so on, along with basic web page creation and installation on web sites, creation of minor apps, minor use of scripting languages and database query languages to generate tables, join tables and reports on the fly and so forth.

Higher grades of Computer skill would be used to code apps on the scale of those featured in the software list of the core rulebook.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby Greylond » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:31 pm

alex_greene wrote:
Greylond wrote:There's a difference in having the Computer Skill and using a Computer with Intelligent Interface.

As for the Background Skill, nothing in the rules says that EVERY person on that planet has Computer-0, just that All Player Characters have it...

In other words, it's a standard skill from that planet for the people who have the drive and "that special something" that makes them adventurous...
Computer-0 could include basic jailbreaking of personal comms and hand computers, knowledge of how to taken them apart in order to upgrade memory, storage, graphics, sound and so on, along with basic web page creation and installation on web sites, creation of minor apps, minor use of scripting languages and database query languages to generate tables, join tables and reports on the fly and so forth.
Which any good Adventurers leaving home from a High Tech World should have the listed skills, IMO. The regular citizens on planet? Nah, I figure that they've only got a few skills, though the one that they use for their primary income could be fairly high, which doesn't have to be Computers.
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Re: Computer skill, a thought

Postby alex_greene » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:57 pm

Greylond wrote:
alex_greene wrote:
Greylond wrote:There's a difference in having the Computer Skill and using a Computer with Intelligent Interface.

As for the Background Skill, nothing in the rules says that EVERY person on that planet has Computer-0, just that All Player Characters have it...

In other words, it's a standard skill from that planet for the people who have the drive and "that special something" that makes them adventurous...
Computer-0 could include basic jailbreaking of personal comms and hand computers, knowledge of how to taken them apart in order to upgrade memory, storage, graphics, sound and so on, along with basic web page creation and installation on web sites, creation of minor apps, minor use of scripting languages and database query languages to generate tables, join tables and reports on the fly and so forth.
Which any good Adventurers leaving home from a High Tech World should have the listed skills, IMO. The regular citizens on planet? Nah, I figure that they've only got a few skills, though the one that they use for their primary income could be fairly high, which doesn't have to be Computers.
Mostly Admin, Broker, Mechanic, Steward or Trade, for the most part, with professionals possessing skills such as Advocate, Diplomat, Engineer, Medic or the Sciences.
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