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Backwards

Print drivers aren't the only offenders. With multiple gigabytes of programs and data on every laptop, my office once decided to move up to portable high-capacity tape backup. The tape drive was fine if noisy, but the driver programming was arrogant. The backup software started off by querying the tape drive through the parallel port SCSI adapter, but the program was written on the assumption that the tape drive was already connected, turned on, ready, and with a cartridge inserted. Anything else and the backup software went off into la-la land, taking the operating system with it.

Or consider one version of an application designed to couple with an external multifunction fax machine through a parallel port. The drivers would complain and give error messages if you started Windows without the fax being plugged in and turned on. If you wanted to switch to a printer, you had to delete the fax driver and exit and restart Windows before switching to the printer or else the driver would keep throwing unstoppable error messages up on the screen.


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