Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oh, that's right, I printed something one second ago!

I am now 100% absolutely goddamn sure I just printed something.

You know... I'm not really sure how to begin, but I'll preface by saying that sometimes technology rubs me the wrong way. Not in a suicidal Radiohead-OK Computer kind of way, but maybe more in a Rage Against the Machine way.

For instance, those water-saving smart toilets that supposedly know when to flush are truly a fantastic accomplishment of human ingenuity. They sense when you're done doing your thing and then do you the courtesy of sucking down your poo without you needing to touch anything. That is except that they tend to flush 4-5 times even if you're in there for only 20 seconds just to adjust your shirt tuck. How "smart".

Computers are particularly frustrating. Microsoft Windows is especially good at pushing those tiny buttons in my brain that make me pound the table and mutter things like "Holy shit I swear to motherfucking Christ fuck I'm gonna fucking kill something this is fucking ridiculous oh my god i fucking hate this piece of shit you asshole bastard fuck fuck FUCK (with table pound and continued muttering)."

That friendly, bug-eyed Paperclip that pops up every time you do anything in Word is also a fun one. I almost feel bad for it, it just wants to help, but Microsoft just made him fucking annoying. It's like that pudgy kid in middle school who was reeeeally friendly but also reeeeally dorky, dorkier than you (me) even, and so you always blew him off just in case any of the cool kids might catch you being seen with him. That kid was the Paperclip. Shit, that kid probably created the Paperclip.

Worse than poorly programmed human-computer interface psychology experiments like the Paperclip are the little itty-bitty things that just make your life slightly more difficult. For instance, take the following scenario:

1) I'm working on a document, "List of Hot Men.doc", and want to print it.
2) I click the printer icon to print the document.
3) The printer right-fucking-next-to-me starts printing "List of Hot Men.doc".
4) After it's done printing, up pops a little balloon in the bottom-right of the Desktop telling me extremely useful information such as:

  • "This document has been sent to the printer"
  • "Document name: 'S:\trkn.xerxes.smi.\230GH-I70\Proje..."
  • "Printer name: \\PS09\M913-LJ43KT"
Okay. That's all completely necessary information. What is it I'm supposed to do now, thank the computer? It sure seems like it, because that helpful little balloon won't ever, ever, ever go away until you hit the tiny little "x" to close it. If DC was ever attacked with nerve gas on like a Wednesday morning, the Feds would need to put together a special task force just to go floor-to-floor throughout the city in order to close these balloons.

Microsoft: please, please, please stop doing these things. Please.


Victorya said...

Lovely Rant! Indeed, it was Microsoft's plan to make that damn paperclip as annoying as possible, hence, some trivia, it originally had a voice and it was none other than Gilbert Gottfried.

And I agree with the toilets too, you even shift on the seat and it flushes turning into a none to sanitary bidet.

Brice Lord said...

I think the only person whose voice would be worse than Gilbert Gottfried would be Bobcat Goldthwait, and he only talks like that as a joke.