I shouldn’t be writing a post now, as I am currently livid.
I am a nerd. I am a geek.This is not news to any of you.
I love technology. I love the way that technology has improved our lives in so many ways. I love how technology has made so many things so much simpler than they used to be. Go back to the 80’s or 90’s. It’s 11 PM. You want to watch a movie. You don’t have any at home you want to watch. Neither do your friends. The video store is closed. Now what? You’re out of luck, buddy! Better hope there’s something on TV!
Now? You can go onto a computer or VIDEO GAME CONSOLE and pick out almost any recently released movie and watch it within minutes, without ever having to leave your house. This is wonderful. This is amazing.
You can turn on your personal, portable, individual, all yours phone, connect to the internet, and download or stream music, movies, ::ahem:: pictures, anything. From your PHONE. This is beyond Star Trek’s tricorder, or the little electronic thingy that I seem to remember Al using in Quantum Leap. Unless, you know, Google decided to update Chrome. On your phone. Without asking. Again.
“15 Updates need your approval.” Well, I didn’t click to give you approval, but that’s cute. You’re updating them anyway. Thanks.
Let’s open up this shiny new Chrome and get the latest episode of “Welcome to Night Vale, so I can go for a nice little jog and not be bored out of my mind, or focused on how much I hate jogging.” Alright, then, click and hold, save link as… “Select Action:…” Whaaaa? “Documents, Sound Recorder…” The heck is this? YOU SHOULD BE SAVING MY MP3! But no. Oooooooh no. Not today, friends! NOT TODAY. Well, okay, I’ll try these options…. One opened sound recorder. Another just opened a list of documents on my machine. There must be a way to get Google to stop updating things on my phone without my permission, especially when it said it needed my permission, and then did it anyway. I remember having a similar issue with Google Talk, and I managed to stop that from updating, too.
So here’s the point with my frustrated rambling here: technology has gotten to the point where it has made some things so absurdly simple, that when it almost works, and just barely fails, it is infuriating. I can understand something flat out not working. I can understand something being difficult, or taking several complicated steps to complete. But when something as completely and utterly simple as downloading something from a web site became doesn’t work, it is maddening. When your router dies and it needs to be unplugged and plugged in, or your computer’s sound card only sends audio to the left channel. I have an alternative here, I can download the file I want to my computer and copy it over manually. It’s not that much harder, but the frustration lies in that technology has advanced to the point where it should not be necessary. We’re spoiled, so horribly, horribly spoiled now. This is true. But at this stage, has the base level of convenience risen so far that we can expect something as simple as this to work? Is that asking too much? If your toilet backs up, do you get angry? 700 years ago the concept of today’s toilets and their convenience (especially Japanese models) would blow your mind. “You… you can go to the bathroom inside, and water takes it away? You’re not royalty? The seat is heated and it has a shower? And it plays MUSIC?!” But something as inane as being unable to download a file… for all I know it’s my fault and I did something stupid, but I doubt it, as all I did on the phone today was play Puzzle and Dragons, and respond to text messages.
There are a number of culprits in the “We made it too easy, now we’ve made it slightly harder and you’re annoyed,” club, but the biggest offender in my eyes, by far, is Google. Google has done so many wonderful things, and has gotten some products nearly perfect right off of the bat, that whenever they make a change, I want to scream. I really do.
Gmail started off great, and got even better. Gtalk was introduced and it was wonderful! If I had a chat with a friend, it was logged in case I needed to remember something later, or to find the drink recipe they gave me or whatever. I could do a search and it would show up in my e-mail results, and it would load the text of the entire conversation at once. A little later, I got my first Android phone, and it even had a Google Talk application! It was great! I could set my status to invisible, and if I missed a message from Gchat on my computer, it would go to my phone, and if I was busy and didn’t want to answer, well, I was invisible and didn’t have to worry about it. I could reply seamlessly and it would work its way into the conversation I’d been having. I could get up and leave my computer and continue talking as I went to do other things. And then Hangouts came in and we lost it all. Want to be invisible on your phone? My apologies, Hangouts doesn’t know what those sorts of statuses are. Looks like you’re there for everyone to see forever and ever. Okay, sure, I just uninstalled Hangouts. Problem solved there. Now I can’t properly use Gchat on my phone without a third party application (which I haven’t bothered looking for, but I’m pretty sure exists, I bet there’s a phone version of Pidgin out there somewhere). Okay, well, how about searching past conversations in Gmail? I can still do that, sure, but it loads them piece by piece. If the last thing my friend said is what I want, when I search, it loads the beginning of the conversation, then I scroll to the bottom. It loads more. I scroll to the bottom. It loads more. I scroll to the bottom… finally it loads the end. Gmail is “free,” sure, but they get paid by mining your activity for ad revenue, so it’s not really “free” free. I paid for my phone, though. I chose Android over Apple, and one of the things I loved about Android was that it had a real file system, which made things like, oh, I don’t know, DOWNLOADING FILES, great. Welp. Can’t do that right now.
Another application that Google has mucked about with is Maps. Google maps started out good and then became AMAZING. It blew away the competition. You could search for directions for cars, walking, bikes, public transportation, it was amazing. You could even view traffic for the current time. You could even search for a route, and then view estimated traffic for that route at a time of your choosing! WOW! Not such anymore, though. You can kind of get traffic estimates, but not the way you could before. This isn’t really as good of an example, but the process became more frustrating to use, at least for me. I don’t think that fellow engineers, especially computer science engineers are their target market, really.
There are plenty of other examples out there, with Google, and countless additional companies, but it hurts the hardest when you see the ones you love fall.
Alright, let’s start talking about using your real name and Youtube comments! Ah ha, no. That’s enough rage for one night.
I just ranted on the computer for a half hour instead of jogging. Well, that’s one way to get my heart rate up, heh heh. Let’s see if Chrome fixed itself, and since I doubt it, I’m going to just copy the file from my PC, then.
Have a good night, y’all.
PS: Uninstalled updates for Chrome and reinstalled, now it freezes upon opening. I’ll have to find an answer for this later… … … on Google.
PPS: AND MY PHONE’S CLOCK IS AN HOUR OFF NOW.