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Chapter 49. Arrogant Programming > Discourteous Drivers

Discourteous Drivers

Consider one of the industry's leading manufacturers of printers. Their hardware is among the most dependable available, powered by robust embedded programming. Alas, their print drivers are another breed. These drivers come with a warning not to install them through Windows as you would any other printer, as if to say “We're special.” Special, indeed! One release of this company's setup facility replaced the Windows Print Manager with its own version without so much as a by-your-leave.

Later releases continued to insist on their own setup procedures, some of which did not even bear the standard name of Setup or Install. Once installed, the conceited code threw a quarter-screen self-portrait of the printer onto the screen every time a print job started, even though you already knew what was happening and even when you didn't want to know, such as when another computer on a peer-to-peer network started a print job on your shared printer. The flamboyantly uninformative display with its oversized bitmap interrupted your train of thought and blocked your view until you made it go away. Then you tried to pick up where you left off. So, where was I before I was so rudely interrupted? Oh, yes, writing about arrogant programming.


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