Stories about Software



There’s no doubt about it: I’m locked in a mortal standoff with verbosity, and I’m not winning. Every now and then I go meta with this and vow to make some smaller posts to keep the cadence at around 3 per week, and mostly I don’t. But I like to think that these travel sized posts are coming at least slightly more often.

I was poking around for some OCR software that would take scanned PDFs and spit out text, so I took to google. I wound up here. Ugh, next. Then I found this, which I downloaded. The code sample wasn’t helpful, but I poked around with Intellisense until I had something that should have worked. I got a weird exception, which turned out to be because I need to target x64 (jeez, my .NET is getting rusty), and then I got another exception because I needed a license, which required going to their site, filling out a… ugh, screw it, uninstall, next. Then I wound up here, got what I wanted in the small, and decided to call it a night.

Now, I’d been looking for an API that I could hit and preferably control (i.e. as a compiled library and not a service), but you know what? The first thing I’m going to research if I pick this up again is whether I could pay the good folks at that last site for an API somewhere, even as a web service. That’s how powerful it is to offer simplicity. They’re not even offering what I want, exactly, but they’re offering it in such dead simple fashion that I get a win in 30 seconds.

The RTFM mentality is simply dead. You can stamp your foot and scream that at me all you want.


My response will be to blink at you in amusement, shrug, and walk away to look for someone that wants my money and my business.

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Timothy Boyce

This is part of the reason I recently bought a Mac and now use OSX as my primary OS at home. Windows 8 is just a mess. I am just tired of dealing with unnecessary complexity, especially since that is what I do all day at work.

Erik Dietrich

I have a desktop with Windows 8, and the jump wasn’t too bad for me. But, that said, I also have a Mac laptop, and I see your point. And, really, it was Apple, I think, that was responsible for driving this change in attitude. When the original iPhone came out, it set a new standard for “things should scream at you how to use them.”

Jacob Appleton

The best part for me is the header photo on the Atalasoft website. Seriously, why?

Erik Dietrich

I didn’t even notice that until I went back to look just now. “Lol” is overused to the point of meaninglessness, but I am actually laughing out loud as I type this. That’s one of the most ridiculous stock photos I’ve ever seen. The guy looks like he’s being eaten by a shark, and I’m not sure what on Earth this is supposed to convey about document processing software.

dave falkner

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” – attributed to all sorts of authors

Erik Dietrich

I’ve always been able to empathize with that sentiment. I have a much harder time gearing up for a talk that’s like 10 minutes than a talk that can go on for however long.