Has anyone noticed how increasingly prevalent the message ‘not responding’ is when they try to do anything on a computer? I certainly have. Interestingly, the user interface notices that and gives us this little friendly message — but we are trapped there none the less. At least in the old days when the hourglass would slosh back and forth there was something to look at. But apparently no more. I guess that we are all supposed to be pitching our computers every few months and replacing them with ‘more’ to keep up with the current bloatware. We don’t.
Our typical computer has been in regular use for five or more years. We have one 64bit capable machine that runs Windows 7, the rest are XP or W2003. They are paid for and adequate for the job. Oh, it means replacing cooling fans (always fun in a laptop), hard drives and batteries. But we are spared the horror of seaching for a familiar and regularly used command that has been either dropped or moved someplace else because the latest crop of college interns thought it would be cool.
I know larger firms regularly replace all their computers — has to do with the high cost of the labour to make any changes, despite all the sysadmin programs they have invested in. I have bought a couple of these castoffs over the years, work just fine with a bit of cleanup. Usually need to add memory to make them useful. Everything we have is maxed out in that department.
So when the computer tells me ‘not responding’ I am sure that somewhere deep down some piece of bloatware is lumbering through its appointed task — and if I were not so cheap I would be running it on a 16 core multi-teraflop machine instead of what I do. But then, with the industries relentless insistence on bloatware rather than making things work reliably — I think the message really is ‘The computer industry is not responding to your needs.’ And I hate that — another rich tool that is being lost in crudware, just like the 100’s of channels on TV with absolutely nothing to watch. What a waste.