Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

just work

February 27, 2010 Leave a comment

When strip away all pretensions, we’re all essentially just users when it comes to computers, regardless of whether it’s writing software or posting in blogs that we use the computer for. At the end of the day we’re all users and we all, at least one some level, want for it to just work.
And unfortunately this is where a lot of software fails us. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, other times it does things we least expect it to do and it’s very frustrating. For instance MS changed something in the networking configuration of their most recent operating systems, Vista, Win7, Win Server 2008. They’re very good at coming up with fancy names, but the point is that as a result of these changes, nowadays when you hook up a machine running one of these fancy new OS’s to an existing network consisting of Win2k and XP machines and you go into Network, expecting to see those other computers there, you see nothing, apart maybe from that lone WinVista laptop your boss bought just the other day and forgot to tell you about. Then you have to go into the Network and Sharing Centre, where you’re confronted by the question about whether your network is public or private and then you try to turn on network discovery but it won’t turn on, so you go online and search for info on why it’s not working because Win Help just tells you to turn on Network Discovery, and finally you come across some obscure forum frequented primarily by Indian IT professionals where you find that for network discovery to work several services have to be running, which are either started manually or disabled by default. And at this point you can’t help but wonder why does everything have to be made so complicated and counter-intuitive, while can’t MS configure their systems out of the box in such a way that when you connect the cable, they just see the other computers on the network without you having to waste half a day jumping through hoops that shouldn’t even be there.
And I mean OK, I can sort of understand this sort of thing when it’s a free Linux distro, after all you don’t have to pay for it plus tweaking it is part of the appeal; some of those distros are like boxes of software toys for the ultimate hobbyist, but Windows, people pay for it, so isn’t it supposed to “just work”
And before you go singing praises of Mac OS X, from what little I’ve seen of it, it doesn’t always “just work” either.
Well, it’s an imperfect world, perhaps I expect too much from it.