Be an average user

Many of my friends are technological know-it-alls, and we all tend to ignore default settings and not do the things that software recommends. Part of this is just the fact that guys like to act like we know everything about everything, and part of the cause is because we've all been let down by technology too many times.

But today, after powering up my laptop, I got the Windows XP error message that says something crashed and asked me if I wanted to report the error to Microsoft. I actually tend to say yes, because I am, at heart, a hopeless optimist. I reported the error, which only took a few seconds, and it popped up the error tracking page on Microsoft's website. Typically it says some comforting words about the fact that they appreciate my help, and then they allow me to track any progress on whatever bug is troubling me.

But today, the page said that they had a fix for the error I'd just seen, and they actually sent me to a page on IBM's website where I could download a fix for the driver that had caused the problem. Of course, no end user should ever have to know what a driver is, let alone how to install it, and there's a million other problems with the experience, but the end result was the problem was fixed.

I think about this stuff a lot because I know so many people (and especially loud-mouthed bloggers) would be so leery about reporting software that phones home to Microsoft, and would like to mock the fact that gosh, Microshaft Winblows crashes a lot! Haw haw haw! But, for normal people, this is a pretty good resolution to a problem that came up, and all the alleged power users will never see it.

I suppose none of this will come as a surprise to those who are aware that I'm the guy who loves Clippy.

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