Monday, December 08, 2008

The thing about computers

Is that they can be unpredictable. One day some thing works. Next day it doesn't. How now.

I used to gauge some users' reaction to this kind of thing as mild irritation. After all, it wasn't their problem. Why isn't this or the other done. IT are yet to fix my computer, which is completely broken. So I can't work. Then the guy goes back to reading his newspaper. No need to get all worked up. It's not his problem. Of course it becomes his manager's problem and quite soon thereafter your problem. The thing is, you're probably as clueless as the guy with the problem. Who knows why that thing isn't working anymore. I always viewed it with a mixture of humour, the inevitable bemusement and mild rage. My desk-banging and self-muttering are legendary. Were. I find it interesting to see something that should work, not doing so. It's one of the reasons I was in the office after everyone had left, and on Saturdays. And some Sundays. While some of my colleagues were happy to seek out the first available workaround, my urge to know why just wouldn't let me rest. It's probably why a lot of people keep away from computing as a career. That stuff isn't easy. Guys are waiting for you to solve a problem yet you have no idea even what's causing it, let alone what the solution will be. I remember sometime in college being taught about software and it's complexity, and the way it's intangibility makes it that much more difficult to get right all the time. Cleanroom methodologies were meant to help. And it's not always bugs per se. Upgrades can be just as problematic and patience testing. Functionality that existed [and more importantly, that you used] in the previous version is gone. You get a comp with Vista and some of the stuff you had doesn't work anymore. What's a guy to do.

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