Dyslexic Software

WINDOWS DID IT AGAIN. This time the camera was handy and we got the pic documenting the problem. So . . . it’s time to blast the offenders.

Not that this is new. It’s been around since the dinosaurs (Win 95, that I remember, anyway) Each time a new version of Windows hits the streets, it’s the first thing I check. And – yes – it’s still there. A skeleton hiding in the cupboard. One of the most lunatic bits of programming / program design ever to blight this poor world. (And there have been some real boo boos.)

Let me get you into the picture. As anyone who has used Windows (any version) for more than an hour or two knows, mouse actions are divided between the Left and Right buttons. The Left button is used to select items. A double-click with the Left button usually causes an action event – and launches an application, or something like that.  (Microsoft definition)

The Right button brings up the selected item’s property page (Microsoft definition). Which gives you access to functions like Copy, Paste, Delete and RENAME.

HOWEVER – as many people also know (usually from painful experience), if you don’t do your Left button double-click at just the right speed . . . it’s interpreted by the operating system as “rename this object”. Which, as said previously, (and Microsoft agree), is a Right button action. AAAAAAARH!!! Dyslexic software!!!

Talk about this with anyone who has been a system admin, and you will be regaled with at least one story of the funny (and horrible) results of this TOTAL PIECE OF ILL-LOGIC.  You will hear stories about files that “disappeared”; folders ditto, even machines that disappeared off the network map. My favourite is the one about the entire accounting system that crashed. It started generating these really weird, sorta scary but vaguely funny error messages. It rapidly became unfunny.  Accounts department tearing their hair out. Frantic phone calls to the application vendor. People were being asked to check registry settings, scan for viruses, you name it. Someone half-seriously suggested we call in a priest to do an exorcism. The business owner (not a lover of technology at the best of times) was purple in the face, heading for heart-attack.

The actual cause was so simple. A member of staff had been looking for something, and, thanks to the “L/R Button Dyslexia Bug,”  a key folder (well, the accounting package thought so), had been renamed.  (She couldn’t remember what the folder’s original name was, so she called it something like “Unsorted”).  And, Mr Developer, please don’t pass the buck. Your job is to write software that protects the data.  The first thing they teach in programming school)

At another place, pretty much the same thing happened, except the lady re-named the object after herself. (Sensible, come to think of it.)  Note . . . I don’t call her the “person responsible” . . . because she is just one of the countless victims of the highly overpaid people who coded this piece of IMBECILITY.

 Of course, Microsoft is a mega-rich corporation that doesn’t need to listen to people. (And let’s not pretend otherwise – people have been writing about bugs like this ever since Windows 95 days). Which is why I pray for the day that somebody comes along, and gives us a solid, stable, dependable operating system . . . one which actually knows the difference between Left and Right button functions. Roll on the day!!!

Hell’s Teeth – sometimes I find myself longing for the bad ol’ days of the Black Screen. As it is, instead of getting software that simply works dependably, we get stuff with more and more complicated gimmicks. It’s like having a car that regularly breaks down. Every time you send it in to the manufacturer, it comes back with more “features” and a new dashboard – but the problem hasn’t been fixed. 

 All I can say is . . . Microsoft – you may be unspeakably wealthy – but shame on you. The world is confused enough, already.


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