- HP Printer Deskjet F4400 series
- Yahoo! Mail
Well, rest assured, I (miraculously) still have my all of my mental faculties ~~touchwood~~
Let me lay it down upon you...
I had returned after a long day's work, went on house hunt right away, picked up a few groceries on the way home for dinner, helped prep up the dinner and had just finished dinning. So far so good.
It was right then that we got an email asking us to send out a few documents urgently. It was a race against time, literally, come to think of it. I printed them, we filled them up and then came (what I could only recall, in retrospect, as the SCARY) part: Scanning them! No biggie, I said we have that all-in-one copier I just printed these on, don't we! Having unsuccessfully tried scanning a document last time, I was not too hopeful. But I was (hopelessly) optimistic. You know, it is not uncommon for software to have failed you the first time and it works the next time you try it out again. It is as if software has healing powers and miraculously fix themselves over time or something.
Every time I had to kill the darn program because it would finish a 100% and then never budge from there. But this time I didn't get any scanned copies as a byproduct. As it turns, there are multiple ways to scan a doc on OSX, so I fired up "Preview" this time. No luck with that either. But I noticed Dropbox stopped sync'ing, the icon turned red. It complained my disk was full. Scanning also stopped throwing a "Disk is full" error. "#@~! Yes right! That is all I needed at this time!" I was starting to loose my cool by now. I could swear I had plenty of disk space to go around. So I hit terminal and indeed the good'ol trusted "du" told me I was out of disk space.
I deleted a few large files and paused Dropbox syncing to free up some disk space. I restarted scanning and pooff! The darn scanning window complained I was out of disk space eff'ing yet again. There's no denying this time I had few MBs worth of free space to begin with because I had deleted the files with my own bare hands (metaphorically) and checked free space with my own eyes (indeed tired and strained by now), but unfailingly I had noticed I had made some space available before restarting the whole scanning ordeal. What is going on, by this time I was adorning my sentences a few verbal niceties!
I can understand sloppy UI design, hard-to-navigate menus, unintuitive user controls, etc. even an occasional crash (though I would ask why, but say I gave it so much lee way) and I have seen a healthy share of those... but a scanner hogging on my disk space by GBs within seconds... that is taking sucking to totally new heights altogether! Totally unacceptable.
Something that was once a scanner, in my eyes was now an array of dysfunctional mechanical parts clubbed with even crappier software.
Now I don't know if it is Apple's OSX who is at fault or HP, I would guess the driver comes from HP, but I could be wrong. I would give Apple some benefit of doubt, just because everything else on my MacBook (including bootcamp'ed Windows) works flawlessly and drivers typically come from device manufacturers, so I say it must be HP. Trying to scan and reproduce the experience on Windows would have definitely narrowed down the culprit, but I dare not scan from that piece of crappy copier again! As a printer it is not too bad, but as a scanner, God save you.
Well, that by itself wasn't enough to prompt this post... that last nail-in-the-coffin came in the form of online experience the next morning.
|Confusing Multitude of options|
|The annoying 404-Error|
At this moment, Oatmeal's comic on Printers is spot on: Printers Are From Hell. No, seriously, some really ARE made by Satan himself!
Moral 0: I have said this before and saying this again...
Writing good software is anything but a trivial task, it takes tremendous skill, practice, patience and time to write a functional and elegant piece of code. As usual, my role-model has always been the ubiquitous all-round best-in-the-class editor: vi[m]. Oh God, there is so much to learn from vi, at least from a user's perspective. More than a decade of using it on all possible platforms (Linux, Windows, MacOSX, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX) and it is yet to hang or crash on me! That is something. You can err on the side that vi might not be as complex as, say a scanning software, but the sheer functionality it gives without breaking fundamentals of usability and stability stand unrivaled.
I'm no Richard Stallman, nor can I call myself an avid RMS fan, but I do love open source software. And holy bajeesus apesh!t, today I swear I totally understand how frustration drove RMS to start the whole Open Source movement: inability to add code to improve printer functionality in the 1980s.
Wait, why can't I do both, sure I can :)
So, now that I have cribbed about it, I will make sure the work I produce shall meet at least certain quality standards.