I'm not sure about your use of "boot device". A boot device is something used when turning on a computer, the browser is normally installed with the OS, which is what you probably mean, but it isn't what you've said.
- Because it's already defined at boot device...!
- It's the right balance of terminology for a new user, who is probably just getting used to computing. It's not wrong to say boot device usually has the browser - since it usually has the operating system and other basic applications. And since a boot device is a physical thing they can see, feel, and touch, and all operating systems have them, it's much easier to describe *that* as 'where the browser is' or 'where it should go'. There is nothing about an "operating system" that is quite standard - each OS uses its own strange terminology. But every computer has a boot device that I'm aware of.
I'm also not sure about your use of "network appliance". Different appliances do different things. Browsers are a very specific type. I don't think the term needs mentioning at all.
- No, it does, because a network applicance or webPC or kiosk computer really only exists to support a browser. To those users, who are often using public internet facilities e.g. in India where kiosk computing is common, the browser software and the network applicance are indistinguishable. And that's going to be a majority of Simple English readers very soon - there are 200 million school age kids in India...
I'm not going to change the entry yet, but i will in 24 hours of no-ones replied here. -- Tango
- If you can find a simpler way to explain boot device, do so. But in net jargon and Technical English that phrase universally means "the thing that must be there to make the computer go", and the verb "to boot" universally means "to start the computer up." There is no chance that any other lingo can be understood quite so readily by every Simple English User.
- There is no such thing as an "operating system" - really our entry should just say what Alan Kay said about it: "a collection of utilities not in the language - there shouldn't be one."
- I really don't understand you. What are you actually calling a "boot device"? You say it is a physical thing, what thing? Are you refering the the BIOS? The boot record of the hard drive?
- You are talking about things that no Simple English User could possibly know about - BIOS, boot record, etc. - those two concepts only exist in some operating systems so it is Industry Standard Architecture and Microsoft Windows-centric to talk about them. A device, though, is what such standards as SCSI and EIDE and USB, that are not tied to any one OS, refer to. A boot device is that device, usually a hard disk, that contains everything the computer needs to start - and likely to provide access to the net and web. Such concepts as BIOS or boot record, which I don't think exist on say the Mac OS, should not be mentioned in a generic description of browsers or boots.
- If there is no such thing as an OS, what is Windows? What is Linux? What is MS-DOS? (i'm refering to the kernels, rather than any applications and utilities that come with it). -- Tango
- That distinction between "kernel", "application", "utility", is also OS-specific, and should be avoided. I would have called Macintosh and MS-DOS and all versions of Windows up to and including Windows98 a "program loader", since they didn't abstract the processor and let applications crash the "kernel"... But the term operating system is probably correct now to describe Mac OS, Linux and Windows2000 and later versions. It wasn't always...
- New users physically handle boot devices, and swap them around - on Mac OS it's very common to keep a lot of external hard drives around, and it's increasingly common thanks to USB disks on Intel boxes as well. Eventually the boot device will look like a credit card and work almost anywhere in any kiosk or something... some mobile telephones already have that kind of thing on a chip - these are their boot devices, they identify the user to the network, make the phone work, and you can go on the net and web with them! But they have no BIOS, no boot loaders... see?