I’m a computer programmer and I’ve been involved with tech for a long time. I’m as comfortable with a command line as I am with a graphical user interface. I haven’t bought a complete desktop machine in 20 years as I prefer to buy the components and assemble the computer myself. I took courses on machine learning in my spare time and wrote a program that trained on historical stock data just to see what you could do with it. Over the years I’ve learned to appreciate what makes tech good. Is it free from bugs? Does the interface make sense? Is it easy to use? Is it easy to discover how to do something new? And most importantly - does it make my life easier?
I think our current generation of big tech is going to disappear in the next decade and be replaced by new companies and new software that actually work for you rather than against you. I’ve noticed a list of bugs and errors that seem to keep increasing. Software that actively stops you while you’re working or gaming. Poor design and user interfaces that have become overly complicated and bloated. It wasn’t like this 10 years ago! For years, I loved what big tech was creating. Google’s search engine changed the world and made finding new information dead simple. Facebook was a fun way of connecting with friends and family. Microsoft’s Windows opened the world of computers for millions that would never deal with a command line.
I’ve been a Linux user for years now. That mainly started because it was required for my work because most servers run some variant of Linux. I still have to use Windows when gaming because many games won’t run on Linux. I’ve noticed a big change over the past few years in Windows and they aren’t positive. Recently, I was playing a video game when all of a sudden the game disappeared to show the desktop and a big alert forcing me to choose an update time. I could choose “Restart Now”, “Choose Time”, or “Ask Again in One Hour”. Thankfully, I was just gaming and not doing anything critically important but suppose I had been doing something important? Another issue is that I can click a program and there is zero feedback that its working for a few seconds. Giving the user some sort of feedback that the machine is processing the command should be a priority. The last thing that really irritates me is Windows doesn’t keep proper time. It often sets to Pacific Time even though I’m on Eastern Time. How did something so simple that operating systems have been doing for 50 years suddenly become an issue?
I used to love Facebook years ago before it became a political troll farm. It was the best way to keep up with old friends and family before everyone lost their minds and started thinking it was necessary to tell everyone else what political side they stood for. Rather than unfriend people shitposting 35 times a day I would unfollow. Problem solved, right? Nope! Shitposts still show up as notifications now although not as much. Why when I unfollow do I still get a notification? Even more frustrating than that is I won’t receive notifications for people that I actually want to get alerts on. It started small. A person would share a link in the post and that wouldn’t show up but a regular post or an image would still alert me. Then that stopped completely. The cherry on the top is I just looked into it and they’ve completely removed the option to get a notification now. I’m dead serious. Go look. It’s gone. What an absolute and utter piece of garbage website. I followed and added a person to my favorites. Will that send me a notification? Who knows? Facebook doesn’t seem to know either. The Notification settings don’t allow you to select / deselect users anymore. It’s just gone. I did multiple google searches and guess what – no one else seems to know either! What utter trash.
These are the instructions for notifications from Facebook’s own help site.
IT STILL DOESN’T WORK, YOU FUCKING CLOWNS!!!
Google used to be one of my favorite companies. They made really great software that was easy to use. I think one of the first signs something was wrong popped up a few years back when they released their software for machine learning. Back in those days there wasn’t much to choose from but when I started learning how to code AI I began using it and was instantly turned off by it. It was complicated and difficult to understand. I went with the much simpler PyTorch and most people I talk to also prefer that library. Building an app for Android is also a nightmare. It’s so bad that third party companies have created products like NativeScript that allow you to code in a different language other than Java (I hate Java) and will also build it out not only into Android but also iOS. Why didn’t Google do something like this? It’s a no brainer. And of course, now we know how they tailor their search results in ways that will hurt Republicans and help Democrats. We know they censor on YouTube. There’s a malaise at the company. I don’t remember the last time that I was excited about something Google was coming out with. I miss that feeling.
I’m still on Facebook but I barely touch it anymore other than to post food or travel photos. I still use Android but would gladly jump to a new OS as long as it was compatible with my mobile carrier. I use Windows to game because I have to. Honestly, I think these corporations have just reached such a mammoth size that they’re no longer the scrappy underdog anymore that’s hungry to innovate and create. They’re fat and lazy now which is why they make software that is uninspired, contains bugs, and overly complicated. Who wants to keep using that? I’m sure there’s someone sitting in their office thinking of something great and it might just be something that dethrones the current generation of big tech.
They should know that scores of people are awaiting their good ideas.