Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The spinning beach ball and private enterprise

If private enterprise is so efficient, why does it waste so much of my time?

As computers have gotten faster they seem to have longer response time.  I wrote somewhere Magree’s Law:
As computers become more powerful, the software expands to meet or even exceed the capacity of the fastest computers available to run it.
So many times I watch the spinning beach ball or the non-moving progress bar.  It seems Excel takes over a minute to open, even Apple’s Numbers takes time to open.  To start my iPad I have to watch the white apple for more than a minute.

Too often I try to load a page and all I get to see is the spinning gear in Firefox.  Too often nothing happens until I click the x in the URL bar and then click the circular arrow again.  Many, many times, the desired page comes up immediately.  What was the page waiting for before?

Too often, the software designers change the rules without warning.  In February or March I downloaded several IRS PDF forms.  I wanted some of the directions on my iPad so that I effectively had two screens as I updated my income tax spreadsheet.  In iTunes I clicked on “Add to Library” under the File menu, a finder window opened, I navigated to the folder I wanted,  selected the file I wanted, and clicked “Open”.  Poof! The file was in my book list.

Yesterday I tried that with the PDF of a magazine article.  Nothing happened after I clicked “Open”.  The file list was not in my library!!!  I was finally able to load the file via iBooks instead.

Was this the doing of the latest OS, Mavericks, or the latest iTunes, 11.1.5?  I don’t know.

The directions I was following are in the iPad…  Oops! I was using the iPad iOS 6 manual.  I checked the iPhone iOS 7 manual and it says to download the manual from iBooks.  I downloaded the iPad User Guide for iOS 7.1 and it states:

“Read PDFs
Sync a PDF. In iTunes on your computer, choose File > Add to Library and select the PDF. Then sync.”

That ain’t the way it works!

The manual writers aren’t keeping up with the programmers or the programmers aren’t telling the manual writers what they have changed.  Sounds like bureaucracy is not limited to government.

Enough wasting of your time with my gripes (and mine writing this).