Desktop frustrations

We, the computer-agers, are very similar to the neanderthals of early human civilization– frustrated, fed-up and sorrowful. Not because we can’t light a fire, but because we cannot make computers work the way we want them to. And that’s more frustrating than no fire, mind you.

It is a slap in the face that a human invention cannot be made to work for humans.

Microsoft recently announced they have finally picked a name for their new operating system. It is back to simplicity for Microsoft ­­­– they are naming it Windows 7. In an article quite suitably titled “For Microsoft’s Windows, 7th time’s a charm,” Windows vice president product management Mike Nash announced that the reason behind it is simply that it is Windows’ seventh release.

It goes to show just how very unreliable even the latest technology is getting. Hardly two or three years go by without a company releasing a new OS because the previous one was criticized to no end. Therefore, these OS builders see a change in demand and work twice as hard to eliminate glitches that should not have existed in the first place. Why can’t these companies master an OS, just one, and keep it that way? It is sort of like a child’s game– tag for instance. You find a problem with your OS and report it. Microsoft (or Mac), runs away yelling, “No! That’s not an error sign on your screen! No! Your screen just did not freeze! You’re delusional!” Cue the mean critics. OS builders stop. They admit their mistake, release a new OS to keep your mouth shut, then slowly start running away again. Lo and behold, you find another huge disaster with this new and improved OS. The chase starts all over again. This is beyond pathetic. It is a useless effort that will not get you anywhere. Hence the blazing forums, discussions and endless articles debating whether users should switch from Windows’ (many) OSs to Mac’s OSX. People are building strong beliefs about which company’s side they are on. An article on UK’s online The Guardian titled “I hate Macs” evoked more than 800 comments, ranging from readers who were extremely angry to those who had a good laugh. One particular comment that stuck was by a fed-up neutral reader who yelled; “They’re just computers and OSs, not religions!”

Computers were not made to make man more religious or more thoughtful of his or her actions. Still, every time your computer crashes the night before a major assignment is due, you start kneeling and sobbing by it, praying and vowing that you will never ever run so many applications at the same time, or punch it in frustration or kick it in anger. Until someone figures out (in a hundred years or so) what a problem-free OS should look and act like, we will not move on from being the computer-age neanderthals that we are.