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ntWhen QuickBooks accounting software works, it’s great. But it’s when it doesn’t that things become nightmarish. Few pieces of software are so fussy about their network connection. The slightest hiccup can cause QuickBooks to throw in the towel and when that happens bad things can follow — such as the loss of valuable data. The biggest problem with QuickBooks is that when it breaks, sometimes the only resolution is to reinstall it. But even in the reinstalling, things can go wrong. TechRepublic’s Jack Wallen takes a look at software you might want to avoid.
ntThe creators of some pieces technology need to be told that their products just don’t measure up on some fundamental level. Here’s some technology that I consider to be flawed.
ntImage credit: Intuit
ntFlash has always been a problem. It’s been a security issue, a performance issue and a platform issue — in general, it’s been a headache. The scale of the problem really hit home people began upgrading to Flash X. Suddenly, crucial elements of their jobs no longer worked. In most instances, I had to roll users back to Flash 9. But the issues with Flash go well beyond performance and features. For many, Flash is also an ideological nightmare. Be it performance, features, bloat, platform wars or monopolist grasp on web content, Flash has been and will continue to be a broken technology.
ntImage credit: Adobe
ntPulse Audio is another broken Linux technology. It’s still problematic even on latest distribution releases. On one machine I use I can either listen to music or play Flash on the web. Problem is, if I do one, I have to jump through hoops to get the other to work. The complaints regarding Pulse Audio are many and widespread. Search online for “pulse audio sucks” and see what you come up with.
ntImage credit: Pulse Audio
Internet Explorer 9
ntWeb browsers are a critical piece of business software and, because so many tools are web-based, we have to use browsers constantly. So when they are broken by poor design, work inevitably becomes a hassle. The problem with web browsers is that the developers are so busy trying to attract users with new features, they forget to fix the features that are broken. It’s been a problem since the 1990s, and it seems some things will never change.
ntRegardless of mobile platform, predictive typing tends to cause more mistakes than it prevents. There is even a site dedicated to funny predictive typing errors. Until this smartphone feature is fixed, I’ll keep it disabled. Tanks yule verily mulch.
ntImage credit: DamnYouAutocorrect
ntSome business-class antivirus tools actually work — Symantec Endpoint Protection is one. It seems no matter which antivirus software you have, something is going to get through. Most consumer-grade antivirus does more harm than good. One of the exceptions I’ve found to that rule is Microsoft Security Essentials. Apart from that, your best bet is to either use OS X or Linux or unplug the PC from the network.
Desktop multitouch form factor
ntMultitouch screen technology is relatively new and functions reasonably well on tablets, but moving it to the desktop doesn’t work. We are accustomed to standard monitors, which use a mouse and keyboard. Although this technology is not ideal for the human wrist, shoulders, and back, it’s far better than reaching out to a monitor to use multitouch. What we need is a desk with a built-in multitouch display on a horizontal surface. This position would be far more natural and ergonomic than any other and would really help make multitouch feasible and desirable. But for now, multitouch on the desktop is nothing more than a gimmick.
ntNone of the failings of these technologies will bring the world to a halt. But each one can put a brake on productivity or even stop work altogether. Are there other technologies that you think are in need of urgent repair?