Will ANYTHING new ever work?

ComputerZen.com – Scott Hanselman’s Weblog – Will ANYTHING new ever work?

There is a subtle (as a brick in the face) difference between “It just works” and “I got it to work.”

When I think about it, I realize how much this applies to the things I do on a day-to-day basis. Certainly most things in my life “just work”; cars, telephones (but not cell phones), kitchen stuff, light switches, hot water heater, laundry, furnace, and on and on. (Can you imagine what life would be like if they didn’t?)

And then there are computers (and other bits of computerised technology, like VCRs), where sometimes things “just work”, and sometimes “I got it to work”, and sometimes “I threw it out the window in disgust”. I’m often surprised by items in all three categories; sometimes things I expect will require a hammer and a lot of elbow grease “just work”, and (frustratingly) sometimes the opposite.

Where I work, we try very hard to make software that works, and yet are continually surprised by the bizarre things people do with their configurations before they call and complain. Reliability in the face of unexpected problems with computers and networks is one thing; reliability in the face of determined administrators is another thing entirely.

Anyway, I’m not sure where I’m going with this, so I’ll stop. Go read Scott’s article; I think it is interesting.

posted at 9:49 am on Sunday, May 30, 2004 in Links, Programming, Science and Technology | Comments Off on Will ANYTHING new ever work?

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