Stupid software, pt. 3

15 years and 6 months ago, on a Sunday
The 9th of December 2007, to be precise

This may well be the last installment for this series of posts, because as (I think) I have mentioned before I’ve quit my current sysadmin job. December 21 will be my last day with Graffiti BBDO, but this is going to be another post.

I must confess the story of this first screenshot is a little blurry, I took it several weeks ago but couldn’t find the time to write about it until now.

Windows Explorer alert on Windows Server 2003 R2

I do remember though that I was trying to copy some files by dragging and dropping between two explorer windows. First mistake: since the windows were created by pressing Win+E, which is a system-wide shortcut for Windows Explorer, why on earth should the alert’s title bar read “Internet Explorer”?!

The next point may not be valid for native English speakers, but it sure was for me at the time. I understand English pretty well, I think I speak it decently (although the sequence of tenses is still a challenge even after so many years), but I’m aware that thinking in ones native tongue and reading messages in another can be a problem at times. At a first glance and swiftly translated to Romanian, the message seems to be asking the user to choose whether he or she wants to move or to copy files, but this is a question that can not be answered with yes or no. This is anyway a clear example of programmer laziness, since this situation would have been very easily avoided by presenting two different messages based on the circumstances. If the user was trying to move files (by holding the shift key while dragging), then the message should have read “Are you sure you want to move files from this zone?”. You get the idea. I also believe that asking “Do you want to…” is condescending. Of course I want to move or copy files, that’s why I was dragging files between windows, dumb ass!

Next candidate for the Shitty Software Award (SSA) is… (drum roll)… Roxio!

Progress dialog from Roxio Easy Media Creator 9

This is what you get from Roxio’s Easy Media Creator 9 if you are trying to burn multiple copies of the same project. After successfully burning the first copy, the progress indicator freezes saying “Current task: Please wait (100%)”. The Cancel button is also dead in the watter, you can break your mouse by clicking on it and nothing will happen, the program is frozen for good. Completely stupid!

And what bothers me the most is that Roxio’s Toast, the mac burning software, is a great piece of software, a lot more user friendly and a lot less bug-ridden.

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