I hate software


Updated: January 17, 2013

No, I am not trying to be an attention whore. I am not trying to inflame you with a deliberately misleading or shocking title. I am just trying to express myself after having enjoyed the wonders of several software vendors blessing me with the latest piles of their shit pretty much at the same time.

You see, this has to do with something much bigger, far more fundamental, and we will discuss it here, so do not skip as you normally do, because this is not a meme site, and you actually have to read whole sentences written by someone with an intelligence so vast that your brain might actually implode in self defense. Yes, read.

What happened

I am normally very cautious about software updates. I am well aware how they can cause trouble, so I like to wait several weeks and sometimes, several months, before I commit new changes to my machines. I do this almost fanatically, with full system images and whatnot. This has worked for me for the past decade, with almost total system stability in every aspect and 100% uptime save for vacations.

Anyhow, I did some Windows updates, Nvidia driver updates, Firefox updates, and Flash updates in a period of several days. Then, shit came upon me like a vast proverbial torrent of brown drops.

I had my share of Blue Screens of Death, black screens, blue balls, and other associated woes, caused by sucky Nvidia drivers. Just so you know, the last time I had BSOD was back in 2008, in a particularly hot day, when the GPU in my two desktops overheated. That was the only time I ever had a system crash. Ever. Now, in a span of less than one month, I've suffered a dozen instances of system failure caused by graphics drivers.

Recovering from the Nvidia fiasco took a while. It also included severely debugging the browsing experience, because things turned out suckier still. With some versions of Nvidia drivers, Flash would stall, and no, it's not the Protected Mode. Disabling the 3D plugins in the browser fixed it. Now, disabling Nvidia services in the Services panel caused Firefox to load slowly, would you believe that.

Worst of all, if you disable hardware acceleration in Firefox, it's actually much much faster. The lag is so much reduced, in everything, including the loading of pages and tabs and all else. The future of the Web and all that bullshit, right. More suckfest.

HW acceleration

Then, while working with a website that needed an upload of a file from me, and happens to use Flash for that, go figure, the Flash plugin crashed. Consistently. Now, Mozilla tells you how to submit crash reports and such, only they do not give you any pointers how to find plugin crashes, just full browser crashes. So even if you want to report the latest Adobe failure, you can't really. How lovely.

Flash crash

Just so you know, this occurs with hardware acceleration disabled, as well as in Safe Mode, so it's definitely a plugin issue. But Mozilla is not helping me, because I cannot find the actual crash report, the crash stack, something anything, anywhere. Neither is Adobe helping with their generic advice on how to collect crash dumps. C'mon. How about some stuff for professionals? How about telling me how to pass the correct flag to the plugin so that it dumps its core to the disk? No? Suck me more.

If you want to try to debug the Flash Player, you will learn that the quite comfy applet that Adobe used to provide in the past, the Flash Player Settings tool for the desktop, is now gone, and you have to go back to managing things through the browser. Did they bother telling anyone? No, why should they, they know the best, right. I am waiting for the day this technology dies.

Now, imagine someone like me, more diligent and pedantic than an Austro-Hungarian cavalry officer, suddenly having all these things happen to him in the span on just one month, after years of blessed silence. What was my sin? I updated the bloody software, that's all. I let the code monkeys pollute my systems. Oh, let us not forget the Windows 8.1 upgrade thingie, right.

Why is this happening?

Well, the exponential growth of the Web is finally catching up with the companies, because they just can't manage their ultra-fast update cycles and quality in one breath. Not doable with the resources and skillset they have. They are overreaching and pumping out crappy software that is designed to shine and please the morons, but not people who do real work.

I don't need 3D browsing or extra special features in your plugins if I can't have the most basic experience. I don't need my browser to load in seven seconds instead of less than one, just because I disable a supposedly unrelated service or two. Guys, get your shit together.

Open invitation

I am willing to help. In fact, I already have, just by listing these several problems, the way to reproduce them, plus the crash traces when available. So now, I'm expecting software vendors, the bunch here and many others, to pick up the glove and sort their products, so that sane people can go back to having a clean, seamless, bug-free experience. If not, then exploring alternatives sounds like an inviting option. Be warned.

Conclusion

For someone who spends so much time working on computers, for fun and living, this kind of rough asparagus-flavored human protein treatment is a big no-no. Really makes me resent the developers, resent the companies and their policies, their illusion with the brave new world where everyone circle-jerks in huge global 3D-powered sharing groups inside their browsers. How about no. Let's measure success in not bothering me.

That's all I'm asking. Don't bother me. Leave me alone. Once or twice a year when I do deign to update my shi ... stuff, how about you keep it together, and give me high-quality products that do not crash or sputter or slug along. It's a total shame, really. And I'm not going to be your guinea pig this. Oh no. Want me to suffer your little experiments, pay me money. Or make sure your software works. Otherwise, I might get angry and write about it. You don't want me angry. This is like 2 on a scale of 0-10, so let's be friends, shall we. High-quality products, happy Dedoimedo.

Cheers.

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