The first computer I could use on my own was my father's computer. I was 7 years old, and my only guide was a book full of MS-DOS commands. I was a curious child who read books frequently, but that didn't have much to do with the reason why I learned all the unfamiliar commands or why I wasn't extremely afraid of possibly breaking my father's computer.
I overcame my confusion and fears in order to play Dig Dug.
That's how I learned that in order to overcome your fears, it helps to have a goal.
Soon after that, I learned Logo in school, but that wasn't enjoyable. The only reason to memorize commands or to be able to build specific shapes with Logo was to get a good grade. Fortunately, school didn't ruin my perception of computers, but the experience did ruin my perception of Logo.
That's how I learned that having a goal is not enough.
It also matters what the goal is. If the goal doesn't seem fun, interesting, or useful, then even if you reach the goal, the experience won't be meaningful to you. You'll feel you've wasted your time.
That's why when people talk to me about computers or any other tool, I pay attention to the way that they use it, why they use it, and how they feel about using it. When doing this, I've noticed that sometimes the goal is no longer visible. It has been blocked by frustration, fear, exhaustion, or hopelessness. Sometimes it's because people become distracted with their tools out of annoyance or amazement, and other times it's because they don't have a concrete goal or because they aren't pragmatic.
I don't like seeing this, so I'm re-launching Robotfu. For a while, I was working on other projects and this site used to be my online business card. Now I will be using Robotfu to share my work, and a part of that work will be my attempt to fix the problem I described before: To stop the emphasis on things that won't help you get anywhere and to start re-capturing the things that do. As a first step, I'm starting this blog, in which I'll be writing articles about the tools we use and, more importantly, about the goals that people are trying to achieve or have already achieved with these tools.
Robotfu is my tool, and this entry marks the beginning of what I want to do with it. You're welcome to accompany me on this adventure.