Your Top IT Hates

My column of a few weeks ago, Eight Things I Hate About IT, garnered quite a few responses.

Reader Antonio San Marco (New York City) responded about my hatred of undated Web content, saying he was with me 100 per cent.

But reader Kevin Pieper (Nashville) disagreed. “I’ve written articles and guides online for topics that will not change. Some of them go back to 2002, and the information is as current in 2008 as it was then — the topic is not going to change, period. Yet not one week goes by that some moron doesn’t e-mail me — without even reading the article — asking if it’s still accurate? I’ve started to remove the dates on everything but timely content. People are too stupid to handle dates.”

Pieper’s point is interesting and that’s a consequence of making anything written public and making it possible for people to respond. If they do respond, are you obliged to answer? That’s up to you. Speaking for myself, if you write me I feel obligated to reply if I have time (which is usually but not always the case) and as long as you are being at least moderately polite and appear to be rational.

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Regarding my hatred of WinRot, Pieper suggested that, “To even say ‘WinRot,’ is to live in the Mac/Linux land of lollipops and ice cream. Well, no OS is perfect. The more you add/install/customize/alter, the more chances of system breakdown occur.” He has a point, but I contend that Windows OSrot is far worse, far more common and harder to resolve than with any other OS.

In my corner on the WinRot issue was reader Tyler Regas (Los Angeles) who wrote: “If it helps, I agree that there is such a thing as WinRot. I have come directly up against it many times. It’s real and it’s dangerous. I got your back.”

Reader Darron suggested another hatred: “Lack of authority to enforce IT rules. The managers/directors/VPs who are beyond reach of IT rule enforcement are often some of the worst wasters (bandwidth, toner, manpower) in any company, and they’re typically the first ones to bring in viruses and trojans.” I’m betting that’s going to be something a lot of IT people will agree on.

Reader Chip Orr (Tuscon, Ariz.) offered this hate: “The progress meter that blatantly lies. I’ve recently installed ArcGIS for a few of my users and each time the installer gets down to ’30 seconds remaining,’ it stays there for 10 or 20 minutes.” And couple that with “the endless parade of installation steps. You watch the progress bar creep towards completion, and just when you think you’re done, it starts over at zero. How many more iterations are left? 1? 100? There’s no way to know!”

Orr then got on a roll: “I don’t expect an installer to tell me to the second when it will be done, but it would be nice if it would give reasonably accurate timeframes, like ‘you have time get a cup of coffee,’ or ‘you can backpack through Europe for a month.’ On the other hand, maybe I should count my blessings that these counters aren’t like the cable guy or the plumber: ‘Your software will be installed sometime between 8a.m. and 2p.m.'”

Finally, reader JWM (Savage, Minn.) had a list of 10 hatreds that all read, “The way Microsoft ____________” and he suggested that I could fill in the blanks.

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