22 March, 2006

Catastrophic failure

A bad workman always blames his tools, of course, but what if the tools are, genuinely, a heap of shit?

These past three weeks I've been attempting to do my job in spite of rather than because of the technologies at my disposal. Both the hardware and software I've been expected to use has been absolutely hopeless - impractical, unreliable, unpredictable, and terribly terribly slow.

When you're in the position of trying to make a good impression and show you can carry out your job to the best of your abilities, to be blessed with such a pathetic plethora of resources is endlessly frustrating not to say deeply humiliating.

My computer takes about ten minutes to finish booting up, and needs to be restarted at least a couple of times a day so it can have a rest. As for the software I'm supposed to use to do my job, its ineptitude would be laughable were it not for the fact that I'm working for ostensibly one of the most famous computer manufacturers and developers in the world, whose "handiwork" you may very well be using to read this right now.

I was in the middle of something today when an error message suddenly flashed up on the screen warning of a "catastrophic failure". Apart from usefully summing up my present feelings towards taking this job, the warning was neither use nor ornament because it didn't say how or why the error had occured or what I should do about it. So inevitably I just restarted my machine. Again.

It all serves as a reminder of the fallability of machine compared to the relative culpability of man, and how the former, no matter how crap, will never have to answer for its faults while the latter will always have to take the blame.


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