Why do computers still suck ?

I’m not talking about Acer, Sony or any other scam shop’s unreliable products. I mean computing in general. Why is it that in 2007, computers are still really flakey and crash-prone, they’re still quite a bit complicated for the average person, and they’re still a royal pain in the ass to program and debug ?

Programmers spend all their time writing boring repetitive crap and working around lame problems. Technicians replace a gazillion power supplies and hard drives that fail almost predictably. Users waste time re-learning stuff every couple of years, because something was “upgraded”.

It seems to me like we spend more time maintaining these systems than actually benefiting from their power and speed. The hardware industry keeps pushing out faster and more powerful products, year after year, and we’ve reached a point where even the cheapest computer holds more processing power than most people can use. A faster processor or bigger hard drive isn’t going to make a machine dramatically more useful anymore. What needs to be upgraded is our technological philosophy.

I don’t want to think about email, IRC, instant messaging; what I want to do is Communicate. I don’t want to worry about file formats, resolutions, compression algorithms or who made it, I want to see/hear/read Media. I don’t want to learn how to use this computer, I want it to learn the best way to Serve me. I want the computer to do its job without me holding its hand.

Try to imagine the computer as a cab driver, and you’re the passenger. This driver has a car that travels at the speed of light, can carry an unlimited number of people and luggage, and of course it can go anywhere in the known universe. The only problem is: the driver’s completely ignorant. He doesn’t know where your favorite restaurant is, he doesn’t know what street you’re on, he doesn’t even really know how to drive his car or what a road looks like. You have to tell him how to put his foot on the gas, and when to turn the wheel. Sure, he can take you anywhere really fast, but you spend more time barking out orders than actually moving. If you live in New York City, you don’t need imagination!

The computer is like the super fast taxi, and the software is equivalent to the useless driver. Isn’t it time we had software that does what we want, how we want it ?

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2 Responses to “Why do computers still suck ?”

  1. BitBurn says:

    Interesting point mon bingk. So now go design me an OS god damn it!

  2. Billco says:

    Sure, why don’t you go raise me 5 million in venture capital and I’ll do it :)