Thursday, October 25, 2007

My "Help"

System Up-time Alert: Your system has been running continuously for more than 48 hours. As soon as possible, please shut down, hibernate or suspend your system for at least 15 minutes. To maintain your workstation's performance and extend its life, you should shut your system down and restart it daily.

Explanation: At work, we are required to run a program called My Help. This application has numerous fabulous features:

  • At the first sign of a problem, the application pops up a window with a warning. Of course, on my machine, I cannot see the window, I just see the My Help entry appear on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. In order to actually see the entry, I have to right click on the My Help taskbar entry and then click "Move". I then have to touch the mouse to move the window, which causes my warning to magically appear. This took about 4-5 months to discover.
  • My Help warns me about any and all connectivity problems. Generally, I will be working in a terminal (pretty much all I do) and will discover the terminal to be unresponsive. I will then check other terminals to see what kind of connection issue I'm facing. If I have become completely disconnected from the work network, I lose the ability to do anything until I reconnect again, which usually takes about ten minutes. About five minutes after I stop cursing, a My Help window appears to dutifully tell me that I may have lost connectivity. Thanks, My Help!
  • Today's status message absolutely takes the cake. I must have received a My Help update recently that now includes this warning. Apparently, the Windows operating system will not function properly if running continuously for more than two days. TWO FREAKIN' DAYS??? This is a joke. An absolute joke. I think the stability of Windows is ridiculous, and even I don't usually encounter problems until I get up near 2 or 3 weeks of uptime. I recall how excited I was when I ran Linux on my desktop machine and my uptime would hit 100 days. Now I guess I have to adjust my standards to 100 hours, huh? My Help is essentially telling me that a daily reboot is a preventative measure. I can't believe somebody was paid to write this application.
  • And finally, this is a new perversion that I've noticed all over the world of software. Somebody requires that you run some sort of management program with another program. For instance, My Help is required when you run the e-client at work. Or you download iTunes and you get the iTunes Update application with it. My printer/scanner software has a driver update feature. Even the evil Norton Internet Security comes with LiveUpdate. Have you noticed that the management applications need to be updated more often than the applications themselves? Nine times out of ten, when I download updates for my work machine, there is a My Help update in there. Meanwhile, I think the iTunes Update application solely exists to update itself. Same goes for LiveUpdate. Without the management application, our software would be dead in about a year. But WITH the applications, our internet connection is abused for a lifetime.
Special Blog Bonus: All this complaining is depressing. Here's a comic to add a little levity to your day:

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