From Beginning Python by Peter C. Norton et al. (Wrox, 2005):
The trend in personal computers has been away from reliability and toward software being built on top of other, unreliable, software. The results that you live with might have you believing that computers are malicious and arbitrary beasts, existing to taunt you with unbearable amounts of extra work and various harassments while you're already trying to accomplish something. If you do feel this way, you already know that you're not alone. However, after you've learned how to program, you gain an understanding of how this situation has come to pass, and perhaps you'll find that you can do better than some of the programmers whose software you have used.
This make a refreshing change from the gee-whizzery that seems to infect most beginners books.