Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wake-up Call

My Android phone had to beg and plead
To be upgraded to Lollipop.
This upgrade really has nothing I need
But it did make my Clock app just stop.

Tech entrepreneurs become billionaires
Selling products at which we all curse.
They go on making money ‘cause nobody dares
Point out these things could scarcely be worse.

Everyone hates Tim Cook and Bill Gates
Yet we keep buying stuff from these thugs,
In spite of the need for constant updates
Just to fix the last update’s bugs.

We care more about toasters than about toast,
Buying products that flew or just flopped.
I’d issue a wake up call right in this post,
But unfortunately, Clock app has stopped.

Monday, April 20, 2015


A recent New York Times article warned that computers are rapidly taking over higher and higher level jobs as their software becomes capable of performing more tasks that used to require human intelligence and judgment. Computers are now comparable to humans at recognizing faces, emotions and attitudes, allowing them to screen passengers at airports, interview applicants for important jobs, or psychoanalyze pathological criminals.

In order to stay ahead of the curve, The Tech Curmudgeon has dismissed most of its writing staff, and will be running blog posts written by software, beginning with the following:

This is a blog post. The word blog is a contraction of web log, initially denoting a form of on-line journal. While many blogs exist to inform or facilitate information exchange, this blog has the purpose of entertaining. Therefore, each post will employ several forms of humor, including:

non sequitur
the abrupt diversion of a line of reasoning to pineapple.
the use of exaggeration to provoke uncontrollable paroxysms of gasp-inducing laughter.
when stuff, like, doesn’t go together.
double entendre
the erection of a member potent in multiple openings.
non sequitur again
also known as repetition.
These figures shall be employed in roughly equal proportions, occasionally interspersed with other comedic devices, such as referring to important political figures as doody heads. The purpose of this is to induce a momentary sense of surprise or disorientation to which humans are apt to react by rapid expulsions of air accompanied by vocalizations.

We hope you like it.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Geek vs. Chic

In the good old days, visual designers and software developers used to be different people. The designers had some training and experience in creating printed materials, or TV ads, or even screen layouts for computer software. The developers were the ones who knew how to write terse, indecipherable code to make it happen.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies didn’t realize there was such a thing as a designer, and they simply entrusted the job of creating their software’s look and feel to the engineers who wrote it. Of course, using a software interface designed by an engineer is a bit like attending an emotional therapy session led by Mr. Spock.

More recently, designers have become respected, even compensated members of technology product development teams. In some ways, the innovations of Apple and a few other companies have awakened the high-tech world to the startling idea of making products that people can use. Designers are even expected to be able to write code now, blurring the distinction between them and their engineer counterparts.

To counteract this, we offer this field guide to the different roles.

Trait Developer Designer
Style Geek Chic
Appearance Dresses like a slob Dresses like a slob … ironically
Approach Analyzes problems into distinct components, like models, views and controllers Synthesizes parts into whole user experience
Lunch pizza and Coke Artisanal flatbread pizza and craft brew
Afternoon Meeting Heated debate over using Swagger or JSchema to define the REST API Meticulously rendered flow diagrams on whiteboard
End of day Will code it in 2 days Paper prototypes next week, prototype testing next month, usability testing next quarter, ship in 2018

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


We regret to announce that The Tech Curmudgeon will be closing its doors. Followers will have an opportunity to purchase anything from our remaining inventory at sharply discounted prices.

We are deeply grateful for the past 8 1/2 years of loyal patronizing. We hope that in time, some other suitable venue will emerge in which we can resume dispensing snark. In the meantime, please keep an eye on The Tech Curmudgeon for announcements.

The Curmudgeonment