IT Makes My Head Hurt!

Head HurtDo you ever feel like screaming, “Why is this Internet technology (IT) so #@*% difficult?” I do – all the time.

I have a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and graduated at the top of my class – twice. Yeah, that made my Mom really proud! My point, though, is that I know I am pretty good at computer technologies.

But today’s IT just makes my head hurt.

In fact, to be completely candid, it can even make me bitchy and disagreeable with my wonderful better half.

Sunday morning was typical. I just wanted to get one post up before my better half woke up and we had to get started on all the non-IT stuff that gets scheduled for Sunday. To do that, I needed to upload a file to Amazon S3. I thought it should go in a new folder. My first bitch is, why the heck can’t they just call it a “folder” instead of a “bucket”?!!

So I click “create,” enter the name I want, and receive a totally incomprehensible error message. I try a couple of other names, then a half dozen more. Finally, I resort to the Amazon help menus. Why the bleep can’t they write the help messages so a somewhat sophisticated Ph.D. in computer engineering can understand them!??

Next, I carefully type the totally incomprehensible error message into the Google search bar, while fantasizing how wonderful it would be if I could just use the “old-school” copy-and-paste technology to send this error message!!

Lots of people have been complaining about this… so why do I have to dig through so many articles to get a useful answer?

Finally, I get the file uploaded to S3. OK, that killed a half hour of my life that I’ll never get back.

After typing out the post, I think it needs a new Category in WordPress. I try to edit an existing one that I don’t need anymore, purposely remembering to hit “Save.” No change. WTF? I try that three more times and look for error messages. None.

Fine. I’ll just create a new category with the name I want. Nope. Try editing again, but this time using a quick edit option on another screen. Finally I see an error message that, once again, makes no sense at all – something about the slug being in use. Why the heck do they call it a “slug“? Back to WordPress help – should change that term, too — no help at all.

Back to Google. Lots of people are complaining and asking why the heck it is still so hard to change or add a category with our beloved WordPress.

After reading a number of articles with completely different suggestions on how to work around this error, it seems that I have to edit the freaking database!

Okay, I am a big geek and have actually edited my WordPress database a few dozen times, but it’s still really difficult to edit a MySQL database by hand! I am no longer in a good mood.

Total time elapsed:

- To write the post – about 10 minutes

- Screwing around with two cryptic error messages from Amazon and WordPress – about an hour.

The Internet is certainly the most important innovation of our lifetimes. It’s changed our world more than the telephone, electricity, air travel or the automobile. But way too often, IT makes my head hurt.

Is it just me, or does that seem like an almost daily occurrence to you, too?


  1. says

    haha that’s funny, it has taken me 3 years to finally have my foundation and systems in place where things (knock on wood) seem to be operating fairly good. Technology is awesome when it works and yes there have been times when pulling my hair out would feel better.

  2. says

    Been there, done that gotten the t-shirt more times than I care to count, Basil.

    I call it the tech task rule of 5…for every task there are 5 sub tasks that will need to happen to complete your tech task.

    I’m a huge fan of “do it yourself” if only to learn the simple lesson that some tasks should be delegated to a specialist

    ….Oh man, do I need to take my own advice.

    For example, I can kill half a day tinkering with images to get them “right” when a professional graphic artist could nail it in an hour.

    Great article…I feel and share your pain.

  3. says

    Oh, Man – you got a T-Shirt ! All I got was a headache.

    I just ‘invested’ most of the weekend learning things I did not want to know about how fun it’s not to get WordPress to send emails when it’s on a Windows box.

    Jason, thanks for commenting and sharing the pain.

  4. says

    Not to worry guys you can always buy more sessions. Seriously though I would blame Thesis. It is a good framework and all but is not 100% compatible with WP. Thesis doesn’t meet the criteria for inclusion in the theme repository. This may have changed but I hear a lot of whining about Thesis.

  5. says

    Yes, I’ve been having this feeling lately. Ever since I started trying to run OpenVPN on Ubuntu. It’s already running on Windows, but won’t run on Ubuntu! Two days of this is enough :)

  6. says

    Oh yes! And I thought it was just us newbies who found trouble every time we set out to do something, even the basics. Never mind emailing from a blog.

    Like you Basil I have a wealth of experience in technology. but I would be completely stuck if I did not have my tech expert in the wings. I have come to think there is a wealth of difference between IT and Technology.

    Keep up the good work

    • says

      Michael – I agree. No matter how experienced we are as individuals, there are times when we need expert help. I have a dozen, or so, tech experts that get me out of trouble on a regular basis.

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