“It should Just Work”

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“It should Just Work”

We hear that remark in various ways all the time.  From “I want a computer that just works” to “I want a network that just works” to “I want a mobile device that just works” and on and on.  It makes sense, all of these things are tools to get some other job done. It is the other job that is valuable.  The tool is only valuable because it enables that other job to be accomplished.  If the tool get’s in the way of the thing you are using it to do it is not helpful. 

Squaretree has turned that into an internal slogan.  We do not deliver servers, or server maintenance, or desktop support or router configuration or messaging expertise……we deliver systems that just work.  If we are not doing that directly then we are helping internal I.T. Staff to do that for their companies.  There are alot of benefits to thinking this way, not the least of which is engineers become focused on the solution no mater if it leads to the server, the routers and networking gear or the workstation and are equally proud to work on any of them since they are delivering the “just works” network.

So…the other day I said to my wife, “don’t bother me I’m trying to get done and my computer is fighting me all the way”.  And she said…..you guessed it…..”and you deliver what????”. 

So I had to start thinking about that.  One of the things that we all have to remember, like it or not, is the computer that “just works” is probably not the same computer with which you push the envelope of connectivity and usabilty constantly.  For instance the thing I was having trouble with was getting my second monitor to work.  Sounds easy.  But I have a high end laptop with a very specialized high resolution video card that delivers a very crisp high resolution display on my laptop.  It can easily attach to a high resolution second monitor.  But of course I don’t stop there I suspend the machine and connect it to another high resolution monitor that is different make, model and resolution than the first without letting it reboot or anything.   Oh and between times I’ve decided to use it without the second monitor at all, even though I had windows open on that second monitor.  And I expect it to keep up without a pause during all this perfectly while running Java graphic applications and Windows media player videos both embedded in web sites and stand alone……AND…..I have perhaps 5 web pages, 7 emails, outlook, calendar and 4 programs running all in different windows.  Oh and two web browser brands also.  You know it’s a wonder it keeps up over 99% of the time. 

We can deliver the network or the computer that just works. But much like other appliances you need to define exactly what it is you want it to Just Work on.  Then we can do it.  But if you want it to also be able to just work you also have to live with the fact that you can’t try to confuse it constantly.  If you want push the envelope you have to remember that it will likely take a bit more patience on occassion to make it Just Work.

Incidentally I got what I needed to do accomplished and only 5 minutes later than I was targeting which was hours and hours faster than if I had not had a computer at all.  So ultimately the tool really did “Just Work”

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