Monthly Archives: April 2022

We Need to Have a Talk about Software Troubleshooting

So today, my Internet connection went out. The router got stuck overnight, and I rebooted it, and no big deal. Windows, however, still shows this, even though I have a perfectly fine network connection:

Sure, Windows. Whatever you say.

If you Google it, you’ll find lots of people have the problem, across multiple versions of Windows, going back years. The solutions vary from “just reboot” to complicated registry hacks to “reinstall Windows.” 🤦‍♂️

I can’t even.

I hear anecdotal stories about “weird problems” like the one above all the time: My friend’s father can’t get the printer to work without reinstalling the drivers every time he uses it. Your cousin’s word processor crashes every time she clicks the “Paste” button and there’s an image on the clipboard. My colleague’s video glitches, but only in a video call with more than three people. And invariably, the solutions are always the same: Reinstall something. This one weird registry hack. Try my company’s cleaning software!

So I’d like to let all of the ordinary, average, nontechnical people in the room in on a little secret:

This is bullshit.

All of it is bullshit. Start to finish. Nearly every answer you hear about how to “fix” your bizarre issues is lies and garbage.

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