2 years ago 💘 for day 69, 2020 with 398 words.

Day four: Broken tech, buggy software

We supposedly live in a brave new world of fantastic software and hardware solutions, brought on by a long range of fabulous initiatives. Terrific quality assurance, standardised devices, not to mention the devops movement in software engineering.

Developers work in tight feedback loops and release software in frequent small batches. Everything is automatically tested on every commit or build. This means bugs can be stopped before release or fixed quickly when they do get through.

Premium vendors make a good case in that they provide hardware and software engineered to work together, as to avoid any issues with incompatibility or misunderstanding between equipment manufacturers and software developers.

Then how is it that all my stuff is broken?

Top tier MacBooks that have the screen flicker constantly when connected to an external monitor (MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 with Vega 20). They also come with keyboards with keys that randomly stop working , and that cost a thousand dollars to replace.

iPhones (iPhone XR) that randomly call emergency services on your behalf, sometimes locking up the screen so you cannot cancel the call.

Microsoft OneNote for MacOS that forces you to set your language on every page, if your input language does not match your keyboard layout.

Just to mention a few of the most annoying issues.

And then there’s the software updates.

Windows updates that delete all your documents, upgrades that fail and rolls back, then tries again, in an endless loop. MacOS upgrades that suddenly deprecates half your software and two thirds of your games, all of which Apple somehow finds quite reasonable.

It does not matter who’s updates are forced upon you, though every major vendor appears to have a super aggressive upgrade scheme going, these days. Whether the updates comes from Microsoft, Apple or Oracle, it always feels like a total gamble to apply them.

On the other hand, the only thing worse than applying the latest Windows updates, is not applying the latest Windows updates.

Software quality is as bad as ever and in a globally connected world, information security concerns means you have no other option than to always install the latest bugs.

As an industry we must still be doing something terribly wrong.

I think maybe I want to save up for a cabin in the woods, one without electricity.

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By Roy 💘

Information technology engineer out of Norway.

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