Technofail

I love technology. When it works, it’s amazing.

I hate technology. When it doesn’t work, it’s an absolute nightmare.

Two cases in point happened today. Firstly, the laptop I work on at a client’s has decided over the past few weeks that it’s going to die a slow, painful death, and it was pretty much in the old folks’ home to begin with. It takes fifteen minutes on start-up before I’m at a point where it will recognise that I want to open a program (with a couple of amusing false dawns where it pretends to let me highlight a start menu option and then the menu disappears. Oh ha ha, Mr Laptop. Very bloody funny). Then, once it deems me worthy of being allowed access to a program, it’ll freeze and then store up all the frustrated clicks I make on the mouse to try to rouse it into life, only to unleash them all in a stream later on. This usually means that the program window will minimise and maximise in quick succession with me unable to do anything to stop it. Any more clicks will just register at a different time, after all. Then, if I’m trying to print out a report, it’ll hang for a few more minutes, just for good measure. And if I ask it to open Internet Explorer so that I can log into online banking, the very suggestion of multitasking makes it keel over. HATRED.

WARNING: Accountancy talk incoming. Prepare your pillow and/or sleeping bag accordingly…

The second example was a particular bit of Sage accounting software (see?) that produces professionally formatted, limited company final accounts. It’s a bit fiddly to begin with – the first year’s accounts for a particular business are always a pain to get in there correctly (basically the program reads specific report data from another Sage program in the form of a CSV file and imports it, with a bit of user manipulation involved), but the second year’s worth is supposed to be easy as all the fiddly bits have already been set up. Unfortunately there’s nearly always something that goes wrong regardless, and on this occasion it was the ‘retained profit figure’, which is supposed to be transposed automatically from its place in last year’s accounts into the correct place in this year’s accounts. Sounds simple, right? It would be indeed, if it WASN’T A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BLOODY FIGURE FROM THE ONE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN, FOR NO APPARENT REASON. Gaaaaaah! Even with two of us in the office looking at it, we had no luck in trying to figure out why this happened, so it’s back to the drawing board tomorrow. Fun.

Breathe. Be calm. Relax. It’s only technology. It doesn’t do it on purpose. Despite this, there were times today – oh so many times – when I really, really wanted a super-large axe in my hands to show the tech who’s boss. That’d bloody teach it. Probably wouldn’t help to get accounts out, though.

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