Computer illiteracy, like the original sort, comes in two basic varieties: Complete and functional.

Complete computer illiteracy is the condition of being totally unable to work a computer. A complete computer illiterate can't even turn a computer on. They also don't know what the various disk drives are for, how to work a mouse (or, in all likelihood, what the mouse even is), or how a keyboard works (one would think that older computer illiterates would at least recognize a typewriter...).

Functional computer illiteracy is the more annoying variety of computer illiteracy. These people can boot up Word and type stuff in, surf the Web after a fashion, and play simple computer games; unfortunately, though they can do these things, they barely know any of the terminology associated with computers and none of the technicalities. Several nodes about functional computer iliterates exist, including Is the Internet down?, The computer is NOT a check machine!, and the stupid thingy button isn't working.

There is a third kind of computer illiteracy.

Selective Computer Illiteracy is the mystifying phenomenon whereby a user is stymied by a computer because they--regardless of their literacy level on other media such as dead trees--are completely incapable of reading any kind of simple instructions the computer clearly prints on their screens.

This kind of person will reflexively dismiss the dialog boxes that pop up to explain their problem, and invariably ask a helpless bystander questions starting with "How come I can't...?"

Because everyone knows that computers can't tell you what's wrong. That'd just be silly.

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