Today is March 30, 2009 also written as 3/30/09.
Every March 30th, I thoughtfully have a moment of silence, in which I pay homage to the anniversary of the crappiest piece of software ever released. (Well. Aside from Windows. Windows 3.1 to be exact.)
I like to call March 30th Crappy Software Day.
This year, however, is extra special because the original Crappy Software Date is 3/30/90. Do you see why today might be special? Let me type it out for you again (I’d hate for you to miss this one), today’s date is 3/30/09. Do you see how 3/30/90 is the same as 3/30/09? With one minor exception!? This will never, ever, happen again - in my lifetime! So Special!
Are you lost? Thought so! Hang on.
Long, long, ago, in a little town called Orem (we locals like to call it Whorem), a tiny little software company became giant. This software company was called WordPerfect. Maybe you’ve heard of it. If you’re a young’n you might need some assistance from the Museum of Natural Software that Disappeared. Go to the dot com site.
Anyway, WordPerfect was great stuff. There was, however, one release date in particular that should have stayed in Antartica. Or Lindon… wherever the heck they manufactured software back then.
How do I know this? Because I was a customer support rep. As in “Thank you for calling WordPerfect Network Support, this is Rabid, can I help you?” Always with a smile too. Then the customer would go on and on about how the corns on their left foot make it hard for them to do a mail merge.
Actually, I didn’t get these types of questions very often - being in the fancy Network Support Division (we were the only ones in support with color monitors and 40 megabyte hard drives). Most of my questions were printer sharing, file sharing… that kind of stuff.
In most cases, and after about 30 seconds on the phone, with customer telling me about this anomaly or that malfunction, you’d feel it. Through the phone wires. The customer was using that horribly buggy and grotesque 3/30/90 release. Then I’d say, “Sir [or madame], could you select Shift F1? [Remember the times before the File or About menus?] Could you tell me the date in the upper right hand corner?” Ten times out of nine, customer with corns would answer with “3/30/90.”
Then I’d ask them if they wanted their update on 3 ½ or 5 ¼ inch floppies.