Monday, 13 April 2009

The Megalomania of Software Developers

I recently bought a new laptop. It runs Windows Vista.

Each version of Windows I've used is bossier than the one before. The programmers seem to think the computer belongs to them, so they can decide what I may put on it, and where each item shall be stored. I've therefore been struggling to establish control.

The problem is made worse by the virus checker. I had previously relied on freeware virus checkers, which are usually relatively unobtrusive, but this time I let the shop persuade me to buy the Kaspersky product. It whinges whenever  install software, and even protested the first time the browser tried to access the Internet.

The worst time was on Easter Sunday when I installed the software for my Epson SX200 printer, scanner, photocopier.

First I couldn't find the disk. When I looked for a driver on the Epson site, I could find no mention of the printer in question, though I did eventually find elsewhere copies of the instruction booklets and of a driver for the printer only.

I decided the disk must be buried in the piles of unfiled papers in my study, so I spent most of Easter Sunday sorting out papers, and eventually found the disk, and installed from that.

I noticed that one of the utilities on the disc offered optical character recognition, but, after installation, I couldn't find any Epson utility that did that, nor any indication how to do it in the Epson documentation.

Eventually I found that the program in question is called ABBYY FineReader, and is not included in the Epson group of programs. It seems to work reasonably, but before finding it I had spent a lot of time searching the web for freeware OCR programs. (TopOCR works quite well at turning a picture of text into a text file).

What a fuss !!!

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