Friday, June 17, 2005


we are still slaves to the machine

If computers are getting more user-friendly, why do we spend what seems like ever increasing amounts of time pampering them? Unfortunately, networking is turning out to be a bottomless sinkhole of time and money.

The villain is security. I was recently in an American computer superstore, maybe the largest one I have been in. My geek side was happy to roam around. But the offerings were incredibly boring. Most of the aisles were taken up by boxes and boxes of software designed to offer virus protection, firewalls, privacy protection, crash recovery, and so on. Where was the software to make me more productive, or creative tools to make things? I had to hunt around to find a few dodgy, low cost products that looked like they would be frustrating to use.

I also recently bought a Mac (jury still out on it). I know there is supposed to be some cool software for Macs, but I was dismayed to find in the Apple Store more boxes of software offering disk maintenance tools and endless utilities. The impression given is that Macs are every bit as fiddly as PCs. The Apple Store mostly sold their own software, and then some third party software to keep it running.

Perhaps visiting shops is not the best indication of the state of affairs. Let's look at today's headlines. Adobe issues "patch" for Acrobat. Sun issues "patch" for Java. Analysts predict "migration pain" for Microsoft's Office 12. That's just today.

I'm not optimistic things will get better anytime. :-(

I think this sea of security stuff is because addressing fear is a good way of convincing people to spend money (or at least firms believe it is).
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