Thursday, October 14, 2010

Technology failure

Olga and I went to a dinner party last night and the topic of how we have become slaves to computers came up. When I was a child, the science books promised that technology and automation would make our lives easier so we would work less hours and have more time for leisure. What a joke that seems now. We all work longer hours and the impact of computing and modern communications technology is that people now expect answers instantly instead of when you can get around to it. When I mentioned another promise of the computer age, the paperless office, the entire table fell about laughing.

Kelly, K4UPG writes that he had just spent six hours running updates, fixing the problems the updates created and figuring out how to install the updates that wouldn't install automatically. His verdict: Computers Do Not Save Time.

The last couple of mornings Acronis Non-stop Backup has displayed a message that it was not running. Kelly's post made me wonder if this was caused by a recent Windows update. I decided to do a System Restore back to last Monday, before most of the updates occurred, and lo and behold Non-Stop Backup is running again. I don't have the inclination to spend six hours installing updates individually to find which one caused the problem, nor to ferret through forums searching for a solution, so automatic updates have been switched off for the time being. Having a working backup is more important than receiving fixes to problems I haven't experienced and probably never will.

The trouble with computers is you have to spend too much time being your own support technician, time you should be spending working, playing radio or whatever the computer is supposed to be helping you with. Once upon a time computers were simple, reliable and never needed updating. What was the name of the operating system they ran? Ah yes, MS-DOS.
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