Monday, June 21, 2010

Indistinguishable from magic

Spent an irritating half-hour or so today at work fiddling with a piece of software that was having some sort of personal problem.

Eventually I closed the application, reopened it and it worked fine again.

Imagine if we accepted that as a standard of design functionality for the other things we use on a daily basis. The car suddenly stops turning right; to repair it we have to stop the car, shut off the engine, get out, get back in, start the engine and drive away. We don't understand why it went wrong, why it stopped working wrong, and how we fixed it.

We'd junk the bastard in a heartbeat.

And yet, we - those of us not part of Macintosh World - accept this level of computer hardware and software malfunction as normal and expected.

Honestly, sometimes I think we're a tiny bit afraid of our digital masters, like the thunder-worshiping monkeys we were. We tinker cluelessly with powers we don't understand...

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