Dear educational software designers

If I’m deploying your software to an entire network of school computers, there are a couple of things I do not want your program to ask every user to do when they first run it:

  1. Register on your website for no reason.
  2. Attempt to update the software (they don’t have administrative rights, so they couldn’t update it if they wanted to).

If your software insist on doing these things, and offers no way for me to disable them, then your software is not suitable for selling to a school and you should find another line of work.

Love and kisses,
AngryTechnician

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

4 responses to “Dear educational software designers”

  1. p858snake says :

    Or for point 2 at least some system for controlling it centrally on the network (or to grab the updates from a central location) *hint hint adobe cs3 (i wonder what it would be like if all 400 or so computers managed to update your stuff at the high school i attend)*

  2. AngryTechnician says :

    Hmm, how did you work out I might be referring to Adobe?

    A lot of my time spent deploying applications like these is figuring out ways to cripple the updater/registration without it throwing an error message. It’s led me to become something of an expert in Windows Installer transforms.

  3. Mat says :

    3. Stop asking if I want to join customer improvement programs to help make the world a nicer place

    4. Quit with the barrage of ridiculous questions that make absolutely no sense to your average user when they start IE8 for the first time under a new profile

    Average user: “do I want to turn off the super fishing rod browser bar plugin to make me less safe?” No thanks, I’ll answer this question next time. And every time I launch IE for the rest of my life.

    Admittedly MS give the chance to switch these off using group policy, so it doesn’t technically class as the same level of rant, but still, they bug me.

  4. Emanuel Crisp says :

    5. Change their screen resolution/colour depth to something more suited to the software developer’s obscure tastes. (ActivStudio, sadly, and (less surprisingly) the Edexcel Promissor testing software)

    6. Enter their name and initials despite them already being correctly pre-populated as the defaults. (Thank you MSWord. Not entirely straightforward to fix properly either)

    7. Read the “tip of the day”, which would be less offensive if it wasn’t a per-user, per-machine setting, meaning the combined man-hours of being annoyed by the bleeding message is proportional to (users * computers)