Snappledagain's Blog

Vent now. Fix later.

One thousand words to “Save the Mice”

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We all spend a fair bit of time in front of our computers these days, and some of us spend most of our time before the cursed things. Lately, one particular phenomenon of computers that emerged twenty some years ago, a feature designed to save us from ourselves, has really, really been getting under my skin.

 
Any time I try to delete a file, or close a program, or turn off the internet radio, or close a browser window I am confronted by a question that quite frankly does nothing to save me from myself, but rather questions, constantly, whether or not I am a competent human being. And I am beginning to suffer numerous personality defects as a result. Lack of confidence. Lack of courage. Depression. Anger. Frustration. Further, I have begun to express these feelings against my innocent little mouse.

 
Are you sure?

 
Are you sure you want to close the program you just clicked on the ‘close program’ button for? Would you not sooner do a backup right now? Or better still, just work endlessly from now until the end of time without ever closing this program again? Are you sure you are not making a serious mistake here, because if you close this program right now and you did not really mean to do it, well then you will just have to re-open it!

 
You clicked the ‘close program’ button, but seriously should you not really be doing a backup right now. Even though your work is already saved and backed-up, should you not be doing another backup right now, rather than just closing the program. No question marks there. The punctuation just then was deliberate because the computer is not really asking what we would like to do, it is telling us what it thinks we should be doing.

 
In my mind I will say ‘Yes’ in response to the question, and click on the ‘Yes’ button to complete the action of closing the program. But lately I find myself saying ‘Yes Dammit!’ in my mind as I click on the ‘Yes’ button more and more often. In fact I sometimes think to myself ‘YES GODDAMMIT’ while clicking quite forcefully on the ‘Yes’ button, as though a more deliberate and forceful click of the mouse button with my index finger will once and for all warn the computer to stop hassling me with this stupid question.

 
Stop questioning my judgement as a human being. Stop judging my competency to use this device! Stop nagging me!

 
In fact I think the yes button should be changed to ‘Hell Yes’ or ‘Fuck Ya’ and the ‘No’ button should actually read as ‘No, if I wanted to do something else then I would have done something else!’

 
Obviously the button sizes are going to have to be revisited.

 
I must see this stupid question seventy-five times a day. And once every couple of months, perhaps even less often I click through a question like this so quickly and with so little thought as to put in motion some action that I did not intend. During those moments do you know what I do?

 
I click one more time and re-open the program.

 
There you have it. Human innovation solving unexpected problems right on the spot with good old improvisation and creative thinking. Do the computers (if they are really so damn smart) realise we, as a species, have been to the moon?

 
Some programs will provide an option buried in their user preferences that allows users to deselect something called ‘Warn user before closing?’ But not all.

 
Rare is the program that allows you to get rid of the constant warnings to do backups. The developers that create these applications must all think that we are going to hold them personally accountable and liable for our own act of closing a program when we did not really mean to. Or failing to save a document or spreadsheet before we closed the app. So (apparently) to head-off endless court proceedings they have built into all applications these nagging procedures that harass us to the point that one day we turn into mouse abusers.

 
An electrical device that attaches to some particularly sensitive part of a developers body needs to be built that would activate whenever a user clicks “Yes” or “Okay” or “Whatever” during the process of closing a program. All users, everywhere, using the application that developer created. Every time they are forced to click away from the stupidest question ever framed; “Are you sure?” About ten amps each time should remedy this hassle pretty quickly. You would soon be able to get a patch even for that old copy of Windows 95 you are still running.

 
Something needs to be done. After-all, what’s the worst that cou

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Written by snappledagain

09/09/2014 at 10:16

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