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Badness In the Computer Industry

  Many users have been conditioned to believe some ridiculous things about computers. It never ceases to amaze me what sort of things users will tolerate in their computers, simply because they've been conditioned to believe that the behavior is somehow acceptable. (If you think I'm making this up, ask yourself why we hear phrases like ``To err is human, but to to really screw up, you need a computer''?) How many Windows users remember rebooting their machines three, four, or 10 times a day? How many still do it? Why? Would we think it acceptable if our cars stalled three, four, or 10 times a day? Would we happily ``reboot'' our cars by restarting them and continuing on our way until we finally make it to our destinations? So, why is it any different for computers?

The answer, of course, is simple: It isn't any different for computers. If your computer crashes, something is wrong. If an application ``hangs'' or dies unexpectedly, something is wrong. If this happens routinely, it needs to be fixed.

Users need to understand that it's okay to demand stuff that works. You are, after all, paying for it. Users shouldn't have to accept brokenness in their computing environments any more than they should in anything else.


next up previous
Next: But Aren't There Problems Up: Write Once, Run Anywhere: Matters Previous: ``Different Computers Use Different
Matt Curtin
4/9/1998