Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why Computers Suck, Part 1

I work with a lot of remote machines and this usually involves some fairly unpolished VPN software. Today’s experience definitely takes the cake.

When you login to your computer, here’s what probably happens:

  1. Turn on computer
  2. Possibly enter username/password

Done.

Here’s how I login:

  1. Turn on my computer
  2. Enter username/password
  3. Launch Internet Explorer and go to specific address
  4. Skip an SSL warning by clicking “Continue to this website (not recommended)”


  5. Enter my numeric user ID, which I retrieve from an email since I can’t remember it and my PIN, and my RSA token code (changes every 60 seconds)

  6. Install some VMWare addon thingy
  7. Enter my login again, but this time with a different password that I also can’t remember, and choose a different domain


  8. Then I accept a meaningless security warning:


  9. And ignore a JS error:

    jserror1
  10. Or two:

    jserror2
  11. And another warning; this is getting ridiculous


  12. And another


  13. And finally I’m ready to actually do something:


  14. But the “connection to the View Server is not ready. Please wait.”


Wait for what? Apparently I took too long doing all of the above and need to start again. Yikes!

It’s completely not cool that this is what computers do to people. With the possible exception of entering my password, I am horrible unqualified to answer the majority of those questions.

As part of my job, I strive to make situations like this less common.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why I have two RSA tokens in that second picture above, it’s because I have a different one for each company. Handy, right? (No.)