The Madness of Updating Computers

Computers are complex machines. Really complex. So complex that many people loathe or refuse to update computer systems.

The reality is updates often break computers.

While Microsoft Windows updates have a long standing disruptive reputation, the free/libre environment also contributes to this stigma. Distros are declared “end-of-life” (EOL), theoretically requiring users to update to what developers think is an improved or “latest and greatest” version. Developers and maintainers continually preach about updating software for security patches.

Developers sneak in feature changes with security patches. So called user experience “experts” continually reinvent the wheel trying to force users into their little obtuse perception of usability.

Most computer users, even experienced users, are exhausted by rapid release development models. As users, people are not allowed to breath with ceaseless changes.

A significant majority of people do not use most of the features of software. A significant amount of the updates are unnecessary. Most users are happy with the basics and feel no need to update.

Most users do not know how to revert to a previously known stable point. Work flows, habits, memory muscle, and comfort zones are disrupted. The result is anger.

People just want computers to work, like everything else they use. Computers are supposed to be tools. People want to be productive and happy, not become systems administrators.

Resistance to updating is not going to change any time soon.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

Next: Updating Slackware — 1

Previous: Loss of Console Soft Scrollback