Archive | February 14, 2003

It’s Neither Simple nor Easy.

The Microsoft buzzwords are “Simple” and “Easy.” I don’t know how they do it, but every member of the sales collective seems to come out with the same phrases at the same time. Maybe it’s just corporate communication, but it feels more like… hivemind *shiver*. “Simple” and “Easy” came out of every sales flack’s mouth last month, over and over.

I’m just trying to read the documentation on Indexing Services. I tried the site but it’s giving a “Server error 500-013: Too Many Users. Internet Information Server” – nice that they plug their product as they show their inability to scale to enterprise heights.

Fine, I’ll install the Platform SDK on my local machine. No go. An error comes up in Mozilla stating that I have to have IE 5 or later. I do – this is a Win2KPro box with IE 5.5 on it. Ah, but it’s not the *default* browser, perhaps? Since Microsoft is telling us that IE is an integral part of the operating system, couldn’t they have the brains to invoke it directly instead of invoking the default browser they can’t use? Simple? No. Easy? No. Sloppy? Yup.

Explorer, Tools, Folder Options, File Types. Change HTM and HTML files to point to IE. Run the installer. Works fine. Change it back. What a pain. Simple and Easy. Sheesh.

It’s about choice, freedom and responsibility.

When showing off Visual FoxPro working with Open Source tools last weekend, there were concerns voiced by the attendees:

  • Who provides the support?
  • How do I chose the right tool?
  • Who fixes the bugs?
  • Learning all that *stuff* looks hard.

It’s about choice, freedom and responsibility.

  • You provide the support to your customers; that’s what you’ve always done. You get your support through newsgroups, associates, and paying experts who know more than you. That’s where you get your support now, right? How many times have you gotten support – how many times have your even bothered to ask – from BigCompany’s 800 number?
  • How do you choose your tools now? Now you get to shop around a little; read reviews, experiment, pilot test. It’s what you’ve always done, isn’t it?
  • Anyone can fix the bugs if everyone has access to the source code. Chances are, someone will. Usually pretty quickly. Usually better than you can. And there’s a peer review process that tells you the fix is good and right and proper. Isn’t that better than what you have now?
  • Learning is hard, but if you don’t enjoy that, the computer field is probably not the place for you to be. I’m exhilarated when learning a new tool; yes, I curse and stay up too late and drink too much caffiene and sweat bullets when the deadline approaches, but the thrill of getting “Hello, World” to work in yet another language/application/platform is worth it to me. And don’t tell me that the latest thing you learned from BigCo was any easier!

Seventeen below zero Fahrenheit

You’re thinking, well, if you don’t like it, why do you live there? The usual story: a girl, a romance, a plan. Seemed like a good idea at the time. The girl is long gone, the romance soured, the plan failed. But, there’s a kid finishing college and a house that needs a lot of work to be marketable. After that? Chesapeake Bay sounds interesting: ocean, temperate climate, East Coast. We’ll see.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.