Saturday, February 16, 2008

computers. bleh.

There is a widespread fallacy to the effect that computers are going to make our lives easier. If they only had a chance. Unfortunately, computer programs are often created by cretins who never understood what the English language is about and how information is supposed to flow in a logical order.
The problem here is that computers are logical, their creators aren't. I spent a couple hours this afternoon trying to do something in Appleworks, even using the help menu, which was not easy to use, unless you were already a spreadsheet and word processing wonk (the problem is, these are the kinds of people who create these programs.) Granted, Appleworks is not the most sophisticated program, but it's not bad and I expected better from the company that produces the most elegant computers and operating systems in existence. Except maybe for Leopard. I'll get to that later.

One expects that when one follows directions, one will get what one expects. Nuh-uh. I'm sure the programs would work right if only the people explaining them were as smart as the programs themselves. More than once, I've been told to go here and do this, only to find that there wasn't any this to do, or there wasn't any here to do it in. Programs get updated and changed, but oops, someone forgot to change the help.

(If we ever create computers which can write their own programs, we are doomed. They will take over the world. By the way, don't anthropomorphize your computer. They hate that.)

Help. What an oxymoron. Created by morons. And what is it with this lack of manuals? I know that people often ignore the ones they have (hence the expression RTFM-you know what the "F" stands for), but manuals do have useful information in them, and you only have to pick them up and look in the index. I guarantee you that you can do this more quickly than if you were on line and trying to find the same thing thru "help".

Even Steve Jobs has bought into the Micro$oft idea that we are heading to a paperless universe. What a crock of excretion. Everywhere I've worked in the last 15 years has used more paper than ever with computers. Why? Because you CAN'T TRUST the bloody things to produce what you see on the screen. Even in places which go direct-to-plate, the graphic art trolls are always proofing their stuff on paper and sending a final proof along with the electronic files.

I really think that Jobs goes along with this just to save on the cost of printing manuals. Which not only makes him brilliant but also extremely cheap. There's a reason he's always smiling on those Macworld keynote addresses. He knows the kool-aid drinkers are ready to pull out the plastic for everything he offers. Apple has a very high profit vs. expenditure ratio, you'd think they could afford to send a little information along with those OS disks. But they'd rather put in a little puff piece about how easy it is to get started (very true) and pointing out all the neat features of the new OS or program. But NOTHING ON HOW TO USE IT. Of course, everyone else does this too.

With Micro$oft products it's even worse because they don't do what they are supposed to do anyway. I've heard that Apple computers using Bootcamp or Parallels run Vista better than PCs. Wouldn't surprise me.

Leopard. Has a lot of neat stuff. Some day I may actually use all of it (I'll not dwell on the fact that I paid $129 for it and DIDN'T GET A MANUAL). In the meantime a lot of little things on my computer are acting screwy. Nothing major, now that I've resolved the missing permissions problem (only took three days). OSX Tiger was so nice and smooth, oh Tiger, burning bright, where art thou? I suppose Leopard will be smooth some day too. I was looking forward to the latest upgrade, but my computer informed me it would take 31 HOURS to download (on dialup-which is what i have up here in the backward hills). Uh, no thanks. It is huge and it is growing.

Praise the Lord, I'm not on a PC and having to use Windows. This is a picnic compared to that.

In the meantime, I have tuned out of the political situation. Hillary's acting tough, Obama's in danger of getting smug. The Democrats still have a chance to stumble over their own feet.
And what is with the Senate Democrats, voting to keep going with the Bushman's spying program? What a bunch of wimps. Knuckle down to the scare tactics. If enough of them had the ba-, I mean fortitude, to go public and denounce scare tactics for what they are, and point out that giving up our liberties is not a useful way to combat terrorism, then the Bushman would be stymied. Why aren't Billary and the Obamarama weighing in on this? If either one of them come around here, boy I have some questions for them.
Good for the Representatives (so far) not being intimidated by the bullfeathers.

I may switch to Ron Paul yet. Just for the absurdity factor.

In the last six years, how many of us have been killed by terrorists, and how many killed by deranged college students? Hmm? Hey FBI and NSA, I want to be able to go to the mall or to the local community college to buy some jeans or to study Egyptian hieroglyphics or existentialism without getting my ass blown away. Whatya doing about that, may I ask?

Frankly folks, for all the wiretapping and waterboarding we can do, we can't do any more to stop terrorists or crazy college people than we already are. As Bruce Schneier, security expert, says " Since 9/11, approximately three things have potentially improved airline security: reinforcing the cockpit doors, passengers realizing they have to fight back, and -- possibly -- sky marshals. Everything else -- all the security measures that affect privacy -- is just security theater and a waste of effort."

We might be able to do something about crazy college people if only congressmen had the ba-, I mean, fortitude to buck the NRA on all gun issues.

But theater is what we all really love. Make a big noise about what you are doing and people will believe it's true. And love you. And vote for you.

Geez, this is a crazy place. ALIENS, TAKE ME! I'm ready!
Good night. Get outta here and go to sleep.


Scruffy said...

Um, Obama in danger of getting smug? I think he crossed that line a while back. Maybe thats why his lips are purple. You make another good point (as usual) about congressmen growing some ba**s and confronting the NRA. Amen!

jayna said...

hey scruffy a lil afro anxiety there. just sayin' what a time! man! Mudgie you're talkin' way behind my understanding. altho I have friends in a profession who are converting to computers from paper work and find the programs years behind the times.

hey, good night and good luck!

the times they are a-changin' what this means I do not know.

all I know is that it's important to keep the plaque off your teeth so yr gums don't bleed.

dogboy443 said...

Bitch Bitch MOan Moan. Call me and we'll do tech support but not until you get something a little bit faster than freakin' dial-up.

BTW, don't ask for the Alien treatment just yet...
2 words...anal probe.

'Nuff said