ARM Architecture

Backyard Rakes Revisited: The Corridor of Disgrace


A short time in the past, I wrote about what I name the “backyard rakes” syndrome in software program, the place there are little bugs or pitfalls mendacity round like sloppy backyard rakes that nobody has put away, and once you use these software program packages, as an alternative of zooming round getting issues executed, you’re both tripping over the backyard rakes or rigorously attempting to keep away from them. Both approach, you lose give attention to what you’re actually attempting to work on, and that causes a giant hit in productiveness.

Microsoft is on the high of my checklist, with a constant report during the last 20+ years in leaving backyard rakes round. There are complete books solely on the topic: O’Reilly has been publishing a sequence of “Annoyances” books (e.g. Outlook Annoyances, Home windows 7 Annoyances) for the reason that 1990’s, principally about Microsoft merchandise.

Anyway, I’m bored with it. It’s a waste of my time. So I’m beginning a Corridor of Disgrace. Yeah, it’s nothing to do with embedded methods. In case you discover it entertaining or helpful, that’s fantastic. In any other case this put up is only for me, to vent.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007: Polygon level enhancing is lame

21 March 2014 — already documented on the Web. In case you have a polygon that you simply need to edit, so as to add or transfer factors, the snap-to-grid function doesn’t work. And these are applied utilizing Bezier curves with handles that don’t appear to work correctly, so when you transfer the factors, the polygon’s line segments flip into curves unexpectedly. C’mon, Redmond. Micrografx Designer had this working appropriately again in 1990.


Microsoft Outlook 2010: The “undo” operate doesn’t work appropriately on deleted messages.

2 April 2014. I delete messages A and B. Then I do one thing else. Then I delete message C. Oops! I didn’t imply to. Now I hit Ctrl-Z to Undo deletion of message C. Message C stays in Deleted Gadgets, however messages A and B reappear.


Intuit TurboTax 2013: Quite a few issues

6 April 2014. I used to love TurboTax. I’ve been utilizing it for over 15 years, and at first it was nice. Now it’s bloated, gradual, and filled with pockets of Kafkaesque madness.

At this time’s issues are working with international tax paid as a part of some mutual fund investments.

TT2013 gained’t let me enter in a couple of entry for international tax paid. Really that’s not appropriate, it should let me enter a couple of. However after I go to sort within the particulars, it solely lets me enter it for one mutual fund, after which the opposite objects I entered in initially are misplaced.

TT2013 has incorrect numbers. By some means in Kind 1116 (International Tax Credit score), it added in a thriller worth of $253 it bought from someplace. I can’t inform the place it comes from. I can’t edit the quantity to appropriate it. After another work, this error mysteriously goes away.

TT2013 provides me cryptic error messages with no steering. So I hit “error verify” to see if I’ve bought every thing proper. Listed here are a few of the dialogs I get:

See, if I had an individual checking my tax kind, right here’s what would occur. They might name me over. “Jason, I feel I discovered an error you made in Kind 1116. Right here.” (Factors on the line in query.) “You must point out that that is the primary yr you filed for a international tax credit score, after which decide whether or not you need to use the Simplified methodology or not. I’d advocate the Simplified methodology. No matter your selection, you’ll have to make use of the identical methodology in future years.” As a substitute, I get a dialog field that prompts me to decide on certainly one of a number of choices. And I do not know what subject we’re speaking about (what’s Kind 6251? Eligible first yr?! WTF????), what the context is, or how I can get further info. So I’ve to manually seek for the shape in query and get an thought what’s happening. Then I’ve to re-perform the error verify once more and see what TurboTax is asking me to do. I’ve to maintain leaping backwards and forwards, as a result of TT2013 doesn’t allow you to multitask and have two views of what’s happening. It’s one factor at a time.

The second merchandise (Kind 1116 Line 3B) is much more weird. TT lists a mysterious $51 in a selected line on the shape, gained’t inform me the place it comes from or why it’s there, gained’t let me edit it, and it says that I’ve to enter in a proof for the IRS.

Intuit: Do not do that. You should present your clients some helpful context. As a substitute, I’ve to determine what’s happening myself and work across the software program’s lameness.

TT2013 state tax: begin from the very starting. Once more. and Once more.

Each time I am going to replace my state taxes, I click on on State Taxes, and it forces me to begin initially. The knowledge I typed in earlier than isn’t misplaced, however it claims to haven’t any reminiscence of the place I used to be, and I’ve to undergo the identical dumbed-down sequence of prompts. There’s no simple solution to resume and see at a look what I did for state taxes.


Hey Intuit: get your act collectively! For what I pay that is loopy. The standard of your software program retains happening and down and down. I’m now discovering it truly easier to determine what’s happening by operating by means of the federal and state tax kinds, than through the use of your “EasyStep” strategy of filling out questionnaire-style net kinds with none context. Subsequent yr I’m different software program.


Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel 2007: One window for you, sir!

20 June 2014. Oh, nice. I need to see two cases of PowerPoint facet by facet, and I can’t.

  • If you open two separate paperwork in Microsoft Phrase 2007, they present up as separate home windows, which you’ll be able to place wherever you need. If I’ve two displays, I can view one doc in Monitor A and one other in Monitor B.

  • If you open two separate paperwork in Microsoft Excel 2007 or PowerPoint 2007, they present up as youngster home windows of a singleton software window, as a result of some dumbass at Microsoft determined that MDI remains to be preferable. (Hey Microsoft! 1990 referred to as, it needs its MDI again!) If you wish to evaluate them on separate displays, you’re out of luck.


Cisco WebEx: Conferences should be even quarter-hour increments

20 June 2014. I can’t schedule a gathering begin besides in 15 minute chunks. I can’t have a begin time that’s sooner than now.

Why can’t I simply click on on a button an launch a gathering beginning now?


Microsoft Phrase 2007: PNG recordsdata trigger file bloat

20 June 2014. I’ve a 200KB PNG file. After I import it right into a Phrase doc, the file measurement will increase fairly a bit greater than this. The one solution to be environment friendly is to repeat the PNG bitmap straight and paste it into the doc as a bitmap picture. Why ought to it matter???


Microsoft Phrase 2007: Thanks but once more for these obfuscated menus!

22 July 2014. Frantically looking for issues in MS Phrase 2007 menus.

  • Insert part break. It’s not within the Insert toolbar. The Web page Break is in insert toolbar Part break is within the Web page Structure → Breaks space.
  • Insert footnote. It’s not within the Insert toolbar. It’s within the References space.

I surrender.


© 2014 Jason M. Sachs, all rights reserved.

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