Don’t Get Me Started

by David S. Platt

  • What’s On YOUR Mind?

    February 1, 2021 by

    Instead of ranting about my own stuff, as I usually do in this space, I figured I’d see what you wanted to hear my jaundiced take on.  Use the comment feature, or the contact form, to ask me anything you’d like. I’ll post the best of the results here. What’s on YOUR mind, friend?

  • Sines and Cosines

    January 1, 2021 by

    My friends, thank you for joining me here. Geeks that we are, we all know, that as surely as the derivative of sine is cosine, the point of maximum darkness is the point at which it starts getting brighter. (If it keeps getting darker, then that wasn’t the point of maximum darkness, now was it?)… Read more

  • Here We Go

    December 1, 2020 by

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to announce the first of my Assisted Computing apps that you can actually use today. Think of your senior loved ones – always suffering from isolation and loneliness; now exacerbated by Covid. They either are, or wish they were, participating in several different  Zoom meetings. But it’s very hard… Read more

  • Plattski Saves Halloween

    October 1, 2020 by

    We’re rapidly approaching Halloween, the second most popular holiday in the US after Christmas. But in this time of Covid, how can kids reasonably trick-or-treat? (For those of you unfamiliar with that American custom, kids dress in costumes and go door-to-door in their neighborhoods, extorting candy by threatening vandalism.)  Never fear, Plattski’s got it all… Read more

  • Waterfalls

    September 1, 2020 by

    (No, not the bad software architecture; real wet ones) When my state of Massachusetts locked down for Covid in March, we unconsciously assumed that the epidemic would be over when the lockdown ended. Hopelessly naïve, I now realize, but we couldn’t get our brains around the reality then.  It is now obvious that we’re in… Read more

  • Zero Signal-to-Noise, or WT-Actual-F?

    August 1, 2020 by

    As I’ve written in my two most recent articles, my father continues in Assisted Living. Technology which we consider normal is extremely difficult for him. We’ve seen how actions that we consider simple are difficult for him, such as listening to music via Spotify and participating in video meetings via Zoom. Here’s another case for… Read more

  • Assisted Computing: Keeping On Keeping On

    July 1, 2020 by

    Last time you remember, I laid out my vision for Assisted Computing™. It’s been going fabulously. Here are the most recent developments. I installed the smart speaker in my father’s assisted living apartment, and gave him the iPad Mini with the AC remote control app. I wasn’t sure he’d actually use it. If he perceives… Read more

  • Assisted Computing: Enriching the Lives of Those Who Need It Most

    June 1, 2020 by

    As I watch my parents in their senior years, I observe their struggles with today’s technology. It could enrich their lives so much, but instead, its complications leave them angry and frustrated, as I’ve written here before. I’ve decided to do something about it.  I’m founding a new movement in software design. I call it… Read more

  • After the Deluge

    May 1, 2020 by

    Dear Friends I’m glad to see you alive and well. How do I know that? Because you wouldn’t be reading this column if you were dead, now would you? (Although if you’re reading it while sick, I hope it brings you some comfort, and wish you a speedy recovery.) Social distancing for the corona virus… Read more

  • We Are All Fools

    April 1, 2020 by

    My friends, these are the times that try our souls. Just last month I was writing with a light heart, and today yours and mine are heavy. I’m glad you’re here to share this with me. On this April Fool’s Day, my favorite column of the editorial year, I want to speak of what fools… Read more

  • Any Functioning Adult

    March 1, 2020 by

    I’m writing this on Leap Year Day, February 29, which means we’re in a presidential election year. This sticker expresses my feelings about it exactly: I don’t know about you, but I still have a monster case of politics fatigue left over from 2016. As National Review columnist Ian Tuttle wrote then, we had “two… Read more

  • Two Brain Droppings

    February 1, 2020 by

    Dropping #1: Whenever we work on a UX project, we always think of pleasing the end user. But it often happens that the users aren’t the ones paying for the project. And the users’ desires and the check writers’ desires often don’t coincide, and sometimes even conflict.  So: how do we please  the user, while… Read more

  • Watershed Down

    January 1, 2020 by

    Welcome to 2020, dear reader. As we pass the watershed  (dictionary: “a crucial dividing point, line, or factor; a turning point”) into a new decade, I realize that I’ve passed a personal watershed in my adoption of technology. Here’s mine, and does it ring any bells about yours?   I was browsing the new paper… Read more

  • What the Skype?

    December 1, 2019 by

    I had planned a different topic for this month, but a bad experience with Skype so infuriated me that I need to rant about it here. What happened? The usual. I started a scheduled call with an important client, and I could hear her, but she couldn’t hear me. “Hello. Hello, Dave, are you there?”… Read more

  • Punishment and Crime

    October 1, 2019 by

    Ladies and gentlemen, I have once again snagged a major scoop. Edward Snowden, still in Russian exile, has favored me with another leak. He’s annoyed that Obama pardoned Chelsea Manning but not him. “What do I have to do, get a sex change?” he fumed. He really enjoyed the firestorm when I published his leak… Read more

  • Welcome, friend!

    August 29, 2019 by

    You’ve reached the new home of “Don’t Get Me Started”, which graced the back page of MSDN Magazine for almost ten years. (Archives here.) Microsoft recently retired that publication, so I’ve moved my column here. I’ll be keeping a regular monthly schedule. You’ll find the same wise-but-irreverent take on the state of the software industry. As always, you… Read more

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