This one is for all those who feel like they are banging their heads against a brick wall trying to make a new work computer do what you had finally managed to work around effectively in the old system. First off, I work for a company that seems to think technology will solve their problems. About three or four years ago they decided to do a major roll-out of laptops to us and even brought us in for training. Should be smooth sailing right? Wrong, bugs kept occurring using the old system programs that we used to do our work. The people who send us information still did a lousy job of back checking what they sent or did not send it at all. None of them used the same program when creating the information and lots of times, I did not have the program or version necessary to open or manipulate the file as I needed. Finally, they would update our systems and programs periodically without informing us. I would go looking for a button I used a hundred times and it wasn’t their.
Now, about a month ago, we were issued new Samsung Galaxy tablets. These were to solve a lot of our problems my boss said; the people who send our information out will be forced by the physical and programmed limits of the new system to learn one way of doing things. You can imagine my enthusiastic response. Of course, it wasn’t long before the problems I expected to see started cropping up. The best one; however, is that a lot of the help desk personnel were trained on dealing with issues on the old system and were literally thrown into the new system. Another fun issue is that you can’t hover a pointer over an icon to find out what it is and with all my programs changed to work on the tablet, I have to poke and hope I don’t mess myself up to badly. Several programs will say I am not authorized to use them when I touch them the first time, but let me in when I touch them again. Many of the human resource activities I have to do were done on websites designed for full featured computers that are not apparently compatible with the watered down systems of the tablet and are thus a nightmare to work with now. Another funny issue occurred with a new program we had to train for from an outside company. The training could not be viewed on our tablet so they put a halt on our returning the old computers so we could use them for the training. Basically, the tested system was not really tested; I would like to see the people who tested these things. In the end, we are still not getting all the information we need, the information is still be sent in ways that were supposed to disappear and when I point these out to my boss, he gives me pat, good-sounding answers that sometimes contradict the very things he promoted.
The whole point of this post is to tell all these over optimistic, technology loving wunderkinds that utopia cannot come from a computer. Technology will never fix our problems. Yes, they can help and be fun, but the factors that make utopia will not be found in a computer because it has to come from within us. Because we do not all have the same views of utopia or know how to achieve them, a computer will not know either since we are the ones to program and design them. Also, computers will continue to under achieve our expectations because they cannot fix stupid and humans are choke full of all kinds of stupid (stupid from greed, arrogance, pride, ignorance, inexperience, religion, politics, etc.). We are affected by all of these things and, thus, so will be the things we make. The old computer adage will always apply no matter how much we improve a system, garbage in equals garbage out, ’nuff said.