Thursday, February 03, 2005

A poll for my readers

Because I haven't posted anything technical in a while, and because I'm curious.

Question: What is your most reviled piece of technology, past or present, and why? (Hardware or software)

My answer: The web interface to basically all of the academic administrative stuff (registrar, advising, etc) at my school. It is the most horrible, unintuitive user interface ever. It takes 8 clicks to get anywhere useful (I am not exaggerating) and nothing is organized logically. I actually have several post-its on my computer that indicate the path to various things I access regularly. As a technologist, I cringe every time I have to use it.

OK, your turn!


~profgrrrrl~ said...

Agreed. I do a lot with technology myself, and it pains me to use things like my university's library system. Ohmigod, there is nothing worse. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

And I never can remember how to find online rosters again. I got spoiled at my grad institution which had some pretty nifty technology stuff. Everywhere else has paled in comparison.

Laura said...

Ditto. I hate the "administrative system" we have. It sucks. I'm the primary support person for our course management system which pulls all of its data from the administrative system. 75% of my support questions/problems are a result of this process not working correctly. I hate it! The cms is a close second.

Andy said...

Absolute all time worst is a CAD drafting program called FastCAD. It was written entirely in assembler the thing is screaming fast and has a genious API to it but the user interface blows so bad it d@mn near unusable for an average user. It's great for running batches of .dwg drawings with though. The human genome project used it to draft their stuff but even they said the learning curve for just being able to use it at all for anything was about a month. I guess they were experienced drafters too.

Also any big endian systems. After working for years on little endian systems I hate switching back and forth between the two.

Hardware: any microprocessor that doesn't support floating point types. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate doing fixed point math in software to compensate for chipsets that don't support floating points.

Scone said...

Lotus Notes. Bleah. And as a variation, our company's Web-based email, which never works unless the so-called "help" guy is watching. The VPN isn't much better and is abominably slow.

Hardware: possibly my old Packard-Bell (I think) PC whose chips were all soldered into the motherboard, which in turn was soldered into the case, which had no extra room in it anyway. Absolutely non-upgradeable.