Techies By Necessity, Not By Choice

from the things-are-changing dept

As computers become even more common, it seems that just about everyone has to become just a bit of a techie to deal with the various problems that come up. People are realizing that tech support lines are, for the most part, useless, and with a little fiddling around, they can often solve their own problems – even if they’d rather be doing something else. Near the end of the article, they compares this to the early days of electric wiring, parlor clocks, and cars. In each case, people had to become technical experts to handle them, since they often broke down, or presented other problems. So, in my mind, that leads to the question of whether or not we’ll ever really get computer systems that don’t require so much care and maintenance.

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Comments on “Techies By Necessity, Not By Choice”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Just like...

those 1970s movies where the car engine never starts when the killer is after you? Don’t see too much of that anymore, thanks to electronic ignition. The “Club” was big for a while until wireless entry killed that industry. How about the barbaric old days when people actually used solid keyboards, had to sit at a chair, or hold a mouse?

thecaptain says:

Re: Just like...

good examples…

However, those systems are thousands of times LESS complex than your usual computer combine with an OS and on TOP of the OS, several software applications running…we’re talking millions of lines of code, millions of instructions running every minute to try and do what you want.

Big Software Corp. bashing aside, its extremely difficult for us developpers to design a foolproof system because we’re in competition with a universe designing better fools…and the universe is winning. Add to that the mediocre skills of some, differing standards of hardware components, the complexity of the job itself, the endless money-grubbing by some (in the form of planned obsolescence, extremely unreasonable sales deadlines, cheap customer service etc..) and you’ve got yourself a guarantee that SOMETHING will go wrong somewhere.

Things WILL get better, they will never be perfect, I don’t believe a foolproof/crashproof system of such complexity is possible, but they WILL get better as the industry matures.

grep says:

Re: Re: Just like...

I’m not convinced. Business drives the industry, and money drives business. Foolproof systems could, theoretically, be built. But why would any company invest in something so solid that no one would want to replace it in a year or two? The company would drive itself straight out of business!

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Re: Just like...

Well if you look at it that way…yeah sure.

But even open-source software, which is NOT driven by profit and IS worked on by many many skilled programmers for the sake of doing something good isn’t foolproof…you can’t say profit motivates these people and you can’t say that their skills are substandard for the most part.

Read a tutorial on programming (pick your favorite OS and language) and you’ll see that even the simplest of code can have flaws easily…then consider the fact that even the 5-6 lines of code YOU’ve just written that make the computer say “Hello World!” relies on hundreds of thousands if not MILLIONS of software instructions coded by someone else (ie: a software library or various DLLs for the windows people) and THEN consider that the OS you’re running on is also written with millions of lines of code infinitely more complex than what you’ve just typed in…then consider that these instructions rely on hardware specs (sometimes less than well-written) so they run on your PC.

I’m not saying its impossible…I firmly believe nothing is impossible…I’m just saying bugproof and foolproof is a VERY long way off.

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