After spending a couple of hours wrestling with Microsoft's latest version of Outlook to try to get it to do something it used to do - switch between multiple email identities with two simple clicks - I felt the way I do when I go into our neighborhood big box grocery store and they've moved all the stuff around.
Lost and betrayed.
I guess it was ironic that I saw Bill and Melinda Gates on the news last night, talking about their efforts to combat Third World childhood diseases, as if they had whipped the software world into shape and left for bigger challenges, knowing that their customers were totally satisfied with all things Microsoft.
The next time I upgrade my operating system, I am going to take some classes to understand the nuances of what it can and can't do from the rip, instead of beating my brains out because some brilliant software designer decided that a task that used to be simple now needs to be complex because he's got the horsepower in the latest CPU to execute his code.
I am annoyed, but not surprised, because I've learned to expect this kind of stuff over the years from the software industry in general, and Microsoft in particular.
It's probably the same way Harry Reid and President Obama feel about Joe Lieberman's declaration that he will filibuster the healthcare bill after all - annoyed, but not surprised, because they've learned to expect this of stuff from old "Contrarian Joe".
Now that I think about it, Lieberman is a lot like the Microsoft XP operating system and all the software that are on my old desktop computer that I only use in emergencies - like when I've left my laptop upstairs. He probably started out like my old desktop, with features that were cutting edge years ago. With a memory that seemed prodigious, and and ability to run multiple programs with one arm tied behind his back.
But over the years, Lieberman has become corrupted, a lot like the registry on my old desktop has, so that he is prone to display a "runtime error" similar to the one my old computer does when it tries to keep up with the latest high definition video.
Lieberman is what happens in a seniority system, when the voters hold their noses while they vote because whether they like him or not, he can and does bring home the bacon. Its not much different than the way a sizable number of people hold their noses when they buy Microsoft software products - like it or not, they can and do help bring home the bacon despite their shortcomings.
Senator Lieberman has fared pretty well in the past because most of these "tempests in a teapot" that he has been involved in are over forgettable issues, during forgettable times, under presidents we barely pay attention to between baseball, football, basketball, NASCAR and hockey seasons.
I wouldn't bet against Lieberman winning re-election in two years when his term is up, but you never know. Why, Steve Job's Apple is even picking up a little more market share these days from Bill Gates and Microsoft.
So maybe there's an app for that.