The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 April 2003

Too many fossils in this coal

Lynn Sislo wants to know:

Why can't we sue software companies for being a pack of idiots?

Because we agreed not to when we clicked on that "I Accept" box in the installation routine, thereby legally binding us to their definition of "warranty", which translates roughly as "Tough tesseracts, Casper, you're on your own."

Of course, the very nature of software — complex at the migraine-inducing level, yet viewed by the end user as nothing more elaborate than a garden rake — almost certainly insures that we will view it negatively.

Posted at 11:53 AM to PEBKAC


Having once struggled to write a simple array routine in Pascal, before realizing that computer programming was not my forte, I'm amazed that anyone is able to write anything that works at all. I'm also not surprised that so many programmers seem to have let other parts of their brains atrophy (I'm thinking of Mr. Winer, whom you link to): this stuff uses a lot of synapses, or so it seems to me.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 4:15 PM on 14 April 2003

It does indeed. And I've always seen it as exactly the sort of thing that induces brain farts: you want it to look good, but first you have to keep it from crashing, and it's a tossup sometimes which of those jobs will be harder.

Our programmers at 42nd and Treadmill (well, the two on site; the third is offsite and more sedate) recharge themselves through Heavy Biking, which kills a different set of synapses, leaving their skills no worse off. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 5:07 PM on 14 April 2003

Take that comment about suing software companies with the same seriousness as "they ought to be dragged out into the parking lot and shot." Actually... beating would be more satisfying than either shooting or suing...but, never mind.

First of all, I have to stress that I am not the primary computer decision maker. My husband works on computers for a living and supposedly he knows more about it that I do. Anyway, as long as I get to rule the stereo I let him have his way with the computer and the TV. Got the picture? Okay...

What really infuriates me about software is that the "standards" are always the sh*ttiest available. We used to have Pop-up Stopper installed. It was a free download and as easy and trouble free as you could ask for. If you need to allow pop ups for something like this comment box you can easily disable Pop-up Stopper by holding down the shift key. Or if you need it turned off for more than a few seconds it only takes one mouse click. Well, two actually... right click to open the menu and then click to turn off. The point is it was fast Well, a few months ago my other half decided we needed to install Norton Internet Security and since it has its own pop-up blocker we might as well use that one. yay. Right click to open the menu, click to open Norton Internet Security, wait 20 seconds or more for it to actually open, click on Ad Blocking, wait another 20 seconds or so for it to go to the Ad Blocking screen, click to turn off ad blocking, wait again, close Norton. And then there are all the other problems. As I said in that post on my blog it interferes with all sorts of things that have absolutely nothing to do with ads.

Sorry to be so "long-winded." Can you tell this is one of my pet peeves? :-)

Posted by: Lynn S at 9:51 PM on 14 April 2003

Norton? Why, why? I have heard nothing but hell stories about the latest builds of Norton anything, and as a consequence it is allowed nowhere near my computer. I have the XP Pro firewall on (don't know if that's any good but I haven't had any trouble so far), I use McAfee antivirus -- so far the auto upgrades have been safe and painless -- and Popup blocker. I love Popup blocker so much I can barely stand to use the computer at work that doesn't have it.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 10:41 PM on 14 April 2003

I used Pop-Up Stopper for a while, but for the way I operate this is better.

It only blocks what it's told to block -- comes with a starter list compiled by its creators, and you add to it as you go. It's taken me a couple of months but I almost never see an unwanted pop-up anymore.

FWIW.

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 6:17 AM on 15 April 2003

Ironically, the utility I was touting above wouldn't let my browser display the web page I linked to. That's called "wildcard" protection...

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 6:21 AM on 15 April 2003