discussion around human centered design and human potential
Monday, February 21, 2005
always on, always rebooting
The experience of having my computer always on, tethered to an always available DSL connection, is marred by the constant barrage of software updates that always seem to demand my attention each morning as soon as I visit my keyboard. Unfortunately, I can't tell from the message just how urgent these updates are -- will I catch the plague if I don't load them, or in the case of MSN Messenger, will my software stop working. I dismiss some, only to see them reappear again later, still asking me to load, and reboot. I didn't have this problem in the days of dial-up connections, when I had to turn on my computer each morning anyway. So I cave in and update. More warnings that I must close all applications (drats, my wife was in the middle of something on her side of the computer...) Five minutes later I'm updated, when all I wanted was to quickly check today's weather.
I understand the technical reasons why a computer must be restarted to load a new software version. But my techno-hostile side says it shouldn't be necessary. Just make sure nothing loads without my approval.
I am a user centered design consultant based in Wellington, New Zealand. I have an MSc in human centred computing systems from the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK, and a Master's in international affairs from Columbia University, New York.
I can be reached at userinnovation1 [at] yahoo [dot] com