Post dated 2002-11-30 00:00:00

Saturday, November 30, 2002



Another bit of software silliness I ran into today. I needed to find out if it was practical to drive from home to Toledo, Ohio. The machine that had my mapping software on it has left the premises, so I had to choose a volunteer and install the software. Disk One, Disk Two. At the end, the software congratulates me (or itself?) and informs me that the software was installed successfully, presenting me with a button labeled ‘Finish.’

Now, wait a minute. The problem was ‘how long is it from home to Toledo?’ The machine restated the problem as ‘Can you successfully install this package?’ and left me at the finish line.

It could have offered to start the package, don’t you think? Isn’t that probably why I installed it? Isn’t that probably why many people isntall many software packages?

I click on the ‘Start’ button. This is a WinXPPro? box with full default Candyland theme. No package visible. If I am clever enough to float my mouse over the ‘All programs’ option, a little tooltip pops up to inform me ‘New programs installed.’ Isn’t it possible I knew that? Who swapped the disks the computer asked for? And is that that sufficiently passive for you?

It’s more like a game of hide-and-seek. “I know what you’re looking for, and I’ve hidden it somewhere in the cascading menus over here. Bet you can’t find me!”

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