Arrogant Computers

What I hate about computers is that they are becoming more and more arrogant. They say things like “access denied” while not fully understanding your identity and aims. They do that, for instance, when you are sensibly deleting unwanted system files you have just reluctantly ‘restored’ from an old backup with limited options! Computers should remain accommodating till they know exactly what they are talking about.

What actually provoked this outburst today was a small thing, but it strikes me that it says a lot about the attitudes of computers (or their developers).

I borrowed an old mini camcorder from my sister and discovered the joys of editing home videos in iMovie. I was going to call one project “Where Are They?” But do you know what iMovie said? “You may not use / . * ? : or the return key in names. Please choose another name.”

I was so ruffled I went and did something else for a while. I’m sure there’s a logical reason why we can’t use these characters, but you’ll note that the operative word is ‘can,’ not ‘may’! I would have been less annoyed if the dialogue box had said “certain characters cannot be used.”

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2 responses

  1. The reason you can’t use those characters is because the computer uses them for other things. The “*”, for example, is a wildcard. If you search for “*.txt”, for example, it would return every file that ends in “txt”.

    But I know what you mean. Sometimes the laptop reminds me of a two-year-old that just keeps saying “No! No! No!” just out of spite and meanness.

  2. Yes, they could do to be sent to Charm School! The Macs aren’t all that bad, but it did rattle me with that “you may not”…!

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