Well it’s been a while hasn’t it? To be honest time pressure coupled with my dislike of half finished jobs has made it hard to write but they are just poor excuses really.
Today I would like to share with you a technical disaster, mostly because very few of you will not have suffered a similar fate at some stage. I had cause to log into my CCTV viewing software last week and it repeatedly rejected my password. Numerous attempts, there is no maximum number of attempts luckily, failed to result in entry to the system.
Having repeatedly shouted at the screen I conceded the point and checked with my password repository, only to be proved correct “I am entering the right password you stupid machine”. I ended up uninstalling and reinstalling the software, at a number of different versions, in still unsuccessful attempts to gain entry. Luckily some common sense prevailed and I went on to complete some other tasks and then I discovered it….
The letter ‘C’ had ceased operation on my keyboard. No matter how hard I banged at it nothing appeared on the screen. As bad luck would have it there is no ‘C’ in the user name but one of those pesky asterisk in the password should have been one! I ordered a new keyboard immediately and then, because I am an Engineer, I proceeded to dismantle and repair the incumbent, well wouldn’t you?
Then we come to the joys of software. At some point during the various installations and reboots the software seemed to lose the ability to describe buttons. As an example the log on screen still had two fields, one for user name and one for password, but the ‘ok’ and ‘cancel’ buttons were grey without text, far from ideal. Again multiple versions didn’t resolve the situation and, since it was 2 am, I deferred the task for the next day.
A scan of forums and the suppliers own site did not shed any light on this new and frustrating issue. In fact there was a link to a statement about problems on the supplier’s website but the link was dead so clearly they had resolved those issues. Following an email I received a speedy reply informing me that as an ‘end user’ they could not communicate with me and I needed to speak to my installer. But I am the installer I replied ‘no you need to contact an authorised installer here is a list’ came the response.
Well it turns out that my nearest installer is on the big island so that, by anyone’s reckoning, is a day for a technician and a good £300 charge and that’s just to get to the stage where they say ‘its software mate we will have to speak to the supplier. I wasn’t going to have that so I reverted to type. I explained , in no uncertain terms, that I would box their equipment up and sling it in the skip and would proceed to tell everybody in the pub that their support was worthless and that they shouldn’t deal with them. At this stage they were still resisting so I decided to bring out the big guns and explained that I would further make it my mission to ensure that my employer (Bombardier) distanced themselves from this supplier.
Now anybody in industry knows that this is nothing but an empty threat* but I wasn’t dealing with anybody in industry was I? I was dealing with a poor beleaguered telesales girl in the UK, she wasn’t about to go all wolf of Wall street on me was she? My full blown rant elicited a .pdf file which not only explained my issue precisely but also explained that the cause was a Windows update. Really what is with these people that they make it so hard?
*even if I were still employed