Erik Larson

Mar 30, 2009

On the Distopia of Software Updates

Internet Explorer 8 or whatever is chapping my ass. Every time I log in to my mail it throws this big message box at me, asking if I’d like to update. Only I can’t just hit “yes”, get the update, and move on. It’s got this multi-stage process “next”, and then “enter this” etc.

But whatever about the inconvenience. My problem is: why am I getting “Jehova’s Witnessned”? I’ve been accosted by this same message box several times now, and my only option apparently is to keep saying “remind me later”. How about f*ck off?! Where’s the button for that? No, I don’t want you to come back another time. I want you to go away and never return.

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This rant brings me to my next. Is it just me, or are software companies running out of new widgets to offer? I switched from Yahoo! classic mail, to the new mail, and it’s worse. I’m checking mail. I don’t need a bunch of reminders that I have contacts, and would I like to invite them, and this business. I’m serioius. Yahoo! mail offers this “invite your contacts” option, but there’s no easily ascertainable way to make the feature go away. So people I haven’t corresponded with in three years are popping up front and center in my mail reader, and I’m just trying to quickly check my inbox, answer anything that can be answered quickly, and go to the gym. Or go get a sandwhich. Or whatever. It’s friggin’ email. Characters of text launched over a wire to whoever actually needs some info, or to whom I’d like to offer some.

Software changes tend, in the long run, to be helpful. People like me rant about bad features, and they go away, or are made to be helpful. So things work out fine.