Browsing articles from "September, 2012"
Sep
17

Everything’s broken and nobody’s upset /via @shanselman

By Rob Warner  //  iOS, Linux, Software  //  1 Comment

Everything’s broken and nobody’s upset:

Here’s the worst part, I didn’t spend any time on the phone with anyone about these issues. I didn’t file bugs, send support tickets or email teams. Instead, I just Googled around and saw one of two  possible scenarios for each issue.

  1. No one has ever seen this issue. You’re alone and no one cares.
  2. Everyone has seen this issue. No one from the company believes everyone. You’re with a crowd and no one cares.

Sadly, both of these scenarios ended in one feeling. Software doesn’t work and no one cares.

(Via ComputerZen.com – Scott Hanselman)

Here’s two of my own in the last week, both involving the Linux machine that my daughter uses for Florida Virtual School:

  1. Audio output was garbled, so her online classroom lectures was difficult to understand. I looked in the Settings, in the Sound applet, and changed the output from Stereo to 5.1 Stereo, or something like that. I’m going from memory, so don’t hold me to the exact settings. The sound instantly became crystal clear.
  2. After building a graph online using the FLVS software (Flash-based), she clicked the link in Firefox to download her graph. Nothing happened. She clicked the link to print her graph. Nothing happened. I looked at both links and saw that they were Javascript links that popped up a window with either a link to download.aspx or pint.aspx, so I turned off the pop-up blocker in Firefox and tried clicking. Still nothing. So, I pulled the relative URL from the HTML source, tacked it to the rest of the URL, and opened it in a new tab. Bingo–I was able to download the file.

My daughter is a straight-A 6th grader who had no hope of resolving these problems. Here’s another interesting tale about her: she called me today and said, “Dad, how do you charge your nook? I found the nook charging cable and plugged it in, but nothing’s happening. Apparently, you have to plug the other end into something, too, but I don’t know what.” You’d think, based on that, that computing devices lie just beyond her ken, but she texted me a video of what she was doing to try to charge the nook. Smartphones, apparently, she can do fine.

As I’m typing this, a group of computing professionals surrounding me are cursing the Confluence security model because we’re trying to grant Edit access to certain individuals, for certain pages, and things seem to be set up correctly–but no one but the author of a page gets the Edit link for that page. These aren’t neophytes who don’t understand software or security; these are some of the brightest people I know. We’ve all got to design better software, or people will ditch traditional computers for good and stick with iPads and smartphones. At least the audio isn’t garbled, and most people know how to charge them.

About

I'm Rob Warner, and I'm a software developer. I live in Jacksonville, Florida, and work for Availity, LLC. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Availity.