Monday, October 17, 2011

On change....

I don’t like change.  Not one little bit.  I’m a status quo kind of guy.  I believe that if something isn’t broken there’s no need to fix it and if it is broken, you should just buy another one.  I become comfortable in my little world and I’m not anxious to do anything to change it.  Change is not always good, especially change that is made simply for the sake of change. 

I recently made the change to Office 2007.  Yes, believe it not, 4 years after its release I am now on Office 2007.  Part of the time gap is due to the IT policies of the company that I work for, but part of it is because I didn’t want to upgrade anyway.  So now that I have upgraded I have found, as I suspected I would, that a ton of things have changed.  The net result of these changes is that it takes me 30 minutes to do a spreadsheet that took 5 before.  Aw, progress! 

I knew where all the buttons and features were found with the previous version and now, until I get used to it, most of the additional time is used trying to find or remember where the feature moved to.  When I do get used to it, another upgrade will come out and the vicious cycle will being anew.  I have yet to find anything that Office 2007 does that the previous version didn’t do, not one. 

I have a well documented on-again, off-again relationship with Facebook.  There are many reasons for this love/hate relationship, not the least of which is the changes that are constantly shoved down my throat.  It seems that every time I log in I am being asked to switch to some new feature.  Being against change as I am, I ignore those pleas, but eventually they become mandatory anyway.  If they were changes that benefited me I might feel differently, but they are just changes for the sake of change.

Imagine if every time you got into your car the gear shift, steering wheel or radio was jazzed up and moved somewhere else.  Or if in addition to turning on the radio, the radio's power button also turned on your windshield wipers and it was up to you to pour over the owner's manual to try to figure out how to disable that feature.  How frustrating would that be?  Or imagine if every time you came home everything in the house was rearranged.  Your sock drawer is now your underwear drawer, your pots are now where your canned goods used to be, and your tools are now in the toolbox instead of being scattered around the house.  Would you be frustrated?

Computer program changes are mostly for those who like things to be pretty.  You know the kind, they had the fancy My Space pages with the pixie dust and glitter and music.  They liked to move things around, change colors, add little pretty widgits, etc., and for people like that there were entire websites devoted to explaining how they could change their page and add the cute talking kittens and such.  Or pictures like this:

People seem to like that crap and, I suppose, to each his own.  As for me Mr. Microsoft and Mrs. Facebook, add functionality if you must, improve features if you must, but total facelifts are, well, total BS.

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