The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 18 January 2006]

The silliness of developers

Andrea’s preschool uses a piece of software called WinTime Deluxe for parents to clock their wee ones in and out of the virus farm.

The system is set up with just a stand-alone keypad, and the process works by the parent entering either a “1” for clock in, or a “2” for clock out, then the family’s five-digit ID, then numerically selecting which child the parent is punching in or out, then hitting enter. Step and repeat if you’re Catholic.

Today I was tired and entered a “1” instead of the appropriate “2” in order to go through the clock-out procedure. No problem, just hit the escape key and go back to the selection screen, right? Nopers. Escape does nothing. OK, no problem, i’ll just hit invalid IDs a few times until it kicks me back to the selection screen. Nopers. It’ll let me enter bogus IDs until the sun goes supernova.

So in shame—oh, the red-faced shame!—I found the director and asked her how in the name of all that’s Right and Holy you’re supposed to get out of this screen?

She explains that this has been quite a common problem and they have spent much time figuring it out. Turns out the escape key is the *. That’s right, the asterisk. Not the esc key.

Because, really, who doesn’t associate multiplication with sweet escape?

And to think that there might, just might, be an application out there called WinTime Standard. One shudders to think what might be going on in the bowels of that app.

Soundtrack: “Fragments (Splinter)” by Vnv Nation itunes

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