Hacking my way through the 947-step process required to set up my new laptop, I come face-to-screen with a failure to communicate, caused, perversely, by a commitment to continual improvement.
I’m setting up my Recovery Environment on my new laptop. My data has been backed-up online for a while, so this is about backing-up my software.
“Wow,” I hear you thinking, “you must be pretty knowledgeable about computers.”
Actually, I’m just doing what my laptop told me to do when I poked some obscure icon. Although I hate taking directions from a machine, I figure it knows more than I do.
Between my laptop’s brains and my hands, we’re doing pretty well, although every task takes longer than it should. I struggle with the unfamiliar user interfaces, from the new Windows operating system to a slightly different keyboard configuration that sees the “backspace” key where the “delete” key used to be (and still is, as far as my muscle memory is concerned).
But then it happens: I have to use my brain, not the laptop’s, to make a choice. The laptop does its best to give me a clue: With an option highlighted, pulsing gently at the top of my screen, the right choice for the next step seems eminently clear. Even to, you know, me.
And even if I had missed the visual cues, its label would have given it away.
Somewhere in the depths of Microsoft, someone wanted to make this super simple. Simple enough for a non-programmer. Maybe even simple enough for, you know, me. Yeah!
I’m about to click on Best Option, when something just below it catches my eye.
Dagnab it. How can something be better than best? But if it is better, how can I not choose that? How can I not want that?
I know my new laptop will never respect me if I give up, so I take it from the top again, literally. What am I missing here?
Best Option: Use an external hard drive.
Better Option: Use multiple recordable discs.
Bewildered? Check. Bothered? You bet. Bewitched? Not so much. And that’s when the third option on the screen, down at the bottom, catches my eye.
Good Option: No, we sure won’t tell you how to execute it. You’re not even considering this, are you?
Oh, for goodness sake.
Somewhere in the depths of Microsoft, someone had a bright idea. “Let’s lay it out as ‘good, better, best.’ That will be clear enough even for, you know, Isabel.”
And someone else chimed in, “Yeah! And let’s put the ‘Best Option’ at the top of her screen! That will be even clearer!”
But faster than I can say “continual improvement,” or, maybe, “Leave things well enough alone, dagnab it,” the bright-ideas crew has made it so:
Guys? There’s a reason it goes in that, umm, you know, other order.
Good, better, best: Never let it rest,
‘Til the good is better and the better is best.
Well, maybe you could give it just a little rest. Please?