Stupid Software Tricks April 10, 2012Posted by johnhemry in Uncategorized.
How many times have you seen a science fiction story in which the human characters discover a piece of alien technology and within a few minutes figure out how it works?
When was the last time you actually encountered a new piece of software, allegedly designed by humans for use by humans, and were able to figure out how it worked within a few minutes? Or a few hours? Or days?
One of the things SF rarely gets right is how ridiculously and unnecessarily complicated software often is in the real world (especially the software labeled “intuitive” which is your primary clue that it will require months to learn how to use basic functions). I recently encountered a prime example of this when I was trying to figure out how to turn on closed captions for my TV. After much effort and research, I finally discovered the answer – in order to turn on the closed captioning feature, you need to use a menu which you can only access if you press the “menu” button on the cable remote while the TV is on and the cable box is turned OFF.
If you ever need to define “Counter-Intuitive” you now have a perfect example. Access the menu while the box is turned off. Who thought of that? Who thought of it and thought it was a Good Idea? Is this stuff actually written by humans, or have aliens already secretly taken over and are writing software that matches their own mysterious ways of thinking?