The Bleat by Lileks | 10-22-2003

I banged out the column on the Mac, saved to Word, transferred to laptop, edited, saved to flash memory card, and now I’ll transfer it to the PC laptop, open in PC Word, convert to the ancient ATEX program, and send it to the office, where they’ll edit it in ATEX, convert to PC, send to the design people, and lay it out on a Mac.

How many of those steps could we eliminate? Why, NONE, of course.

Of course.

Well, you could work on a machine that’s actually compatible with the network you work on, I suppose. How primitive. What an absurd suggestion. We shouldn’t have to do that.

Some days I find myself in awe of the things we’re able to do. Other days I notice the hoops we make ourselves jump through to do them. It happened gradually, one step at a time, and each step is perfectly reasonable taken on its own merits.

But is there any other machine we would tolerate the Blue Screen of Death from?

What if your windshield went opaque blue in mid-drive (general car fault), and the only fix was to turn the car off and start it again? No way to find out what happened: No way to prevent it. You know whatever caused it is still there, waiting for the proper alignment of circumstances, but the necessary conditions happen at such a fast pace, on such a small scale, that you cannot possibly see it coming.

Some days, I’d rather walk.

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