Perpetual Minimum Requirements



  • A project manager just came up to me confirming that the second edition of a software product they are working on has the correct system requirements stamped on it.

    They were (in a nutshell):

    Mac OS 9 or Windows 98 with 128 MB RAM or higher

    Having worked on this second edition myself (which involved lots of full-screen Flash animation), I could safely say that those specs were totally invalid - the software wouldn't run on those systems any better than it would on an Altair 8800.

    I asked him where he got those requirements - he said that they were what were present on the first edition.  The differences between the editions were minimal, and the first edition wouldn't run with those specs either.

    I found the project manager for the first edition, asked him where he got those specs.  He pointed me to a totally different product developed by a different team.  The project manager of that product pointed me to another product. And so on.

    I eventually found the source of the specs - it was stamped on a product developed back in the year 2000 or so, designed specifically for those operating systems.

    Each of the  project managers figured that since those were the specs on other products, they could just paste them onto the newer ones too.

    They had been copying those minimum requirements for 11 years.



  •  Find any application written in 1998-2000 and it probably says "requires Windows 98 or later".



  • @El_Heffe said:

    Find any application written in 1998-2000 and it probably says "requires Windows 98 or later".
    Your point is?

    Why did all these people think it was appropriate to reuse the same requirements for 11 years, on totally different products, and not even bother testing the software to find out if it even worked with those operating systems?

    Until I was hired, we had no formal QA process.  There was virtually zero testing being done, and the software is developed by overseas vendors.  It's a wonder we ever got any working software produced.

    As the QA lead, I'm the one who gets phone calls from upset customers who buy the product and find out it doesn't work with their computers - because they actually believed the claims made on our packaging.

    And since there is a not insignificant segment of our customer base  who have older computers like the ones described in our requirements, there are a lot of people out there who think that our software is going to work for them, and they really don't have any chance of successfully doing so.

    You'd think that after all the complaints we've gotten over the years, that someone before might have asked if our minimum requirements were even valid for all the new products being produced.

     



  • @KrakenLover said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    Find any application written in 1998-2000 and it probably says "requires Windows 98 or later".
    Your point is?
     

    Windows 98 was good enough then.  Why not now?

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @KrakenLover said:
    @El_Heffe said:
    Find any application written in 1998-2000 and it probably says "requires Windows 98 or later".
    Your point is?
    Windows 98 was good enough then.  Why not now?

    Because Windows 98 was only ever good enough for that one original product developed in 2000 which had these specific requirements.

    All of our newer software (developed post-2000) will not run on any Mac
    OS 9 Windows 98 computer, period - and most of it never worked with
    that OS in the first place (even the earlier editions).  At an absolute minimum, all of our software
    requires Mac OSX 10.4+ or Windows XP+ (again, the sole exception is the one ancient product).

    Likewise, our older products will only
    run on Windows 98 and Mac OS 8/9 (it was developed specifically for
    those operating systems) - the "later" is false there, because the
    software doesn't actually run on anything later than that.

    The point of these requirements is to accurately represent to customers what our software, you know, requires.  But these boilerplate system requirements are totally wrong for our products.

     



  •  And there's the facetious tag.... so..... yeah.....



  • @KrakenLover said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @KrakenLover said:
    @El_Heffe said:
    Find any application written in 1998-2000 and it probably says "requires Windows 98 or later".
    Your point is?
    Windows 98 was good enough then.  Why not now?

    [attempt to answer sarcastic rhetorical question]

     

    Whooooooosshhh!



  •  And there's Kraken noticing the facetious tag... so... yeah.



  •  Well, in my defense, I had to answer that same question today from the various project managers, and it wasn't rhetorical when they asked me.



  • @KrakenLover said:

     Well, in my defense, I had to answer that same question today from the various project managers, and it wasn't rhetorical when they asked me.
     

    Ask them if they're upset fye stopped selling VHS 8 years ago.



  • I find myself morbidly curious to see what this would turn into as a front page story.

    I imagine it would start off with KrakenLover's boss yelling at him. "We're getting user complaints from all over the country!"

    KrakenLover would have to track down the project manager responsible for the second edition, who'd probably turn out to be on vacation somewhere, leaving KrakenLover to ask around the group until he found someone who remembered that they'd copied the specs from the first edition.

    By the time he got to the end of the chain, the people who knew about the products would almost all have left the company, retired, or died. He'd have to consult the company's longest-serving employee, who would most likely be known as The Guru and have several bizarre personal traits.

    Also, the specs would probably be something like Windows 3.11 and 2MB of RAM. And there'd be a bunch of random misspellings, missing words, and/or cornify.js links, depending on who did the editing. Bonus points if someone has a different name in one paragraph to what they have for the rest of the story.



  • @Scarlet Manuka said:

    I find myself morbidly curious to see what this would turn into as a front page story.

    I imagine it would start off with KrakenLover's boss yelling at him. "We're getting user complaints from all over the country!"

    KrakenLover would have to track down the project manager responsible for the second edition, who'd probably turn out to be on vacation somewhere, leaving KrakenLover to ask around the group until he found someone who remembered that they'd copied the specs from the first edition.

    By the time he got to the end of the chain, the people who knew about the products would almost all have left the company, retired, or died. He'd have to consult the company's longest-serving employee, who would most likely be known as The Guru and have several bizarre personal traits.

    Also, the specs would probably be something like Windows 3.11 and 2MB of RAM. And there'd be a bunch of random misspellings, missing words, and/or cornify.js links, depending on who did the editing. Bonus points if someone has a different name in one paragraph to what they have for the rest of the story.

     

    FRIST!!!!1111

     



  • @KrakenLover said:

    Likewise, our older products will only
    run on Windows 98 and Mac OS 8/9 (it was developed specifically for
    those operating systems) - the "later" is false there, because the
    software doesn't actually run on anything later than that.
     

    Which is why all my home machines have been kept as XP.  An audio-editing program I've had for ages wouldn't run in Vista, which became something of a cause celebre in the user community, and everything I've heard about Windows 7 leads me to believe that it's similarly obnoxious.

    (Then there's that original Tomb Raider game that still has to be played without audio in everything since Windows Me.)



  • @da Doctah said:

    Which is why all my home machines have been kept as XP.  An audio-editing program I've had for ages wouldn't run in Vista, which became something of a cause celebre in the user community, and everything I've heard about Windows 7 leads me to believe that it's similarly obnoxious.

    Use XPmode - MS removed the requirements for HAV from it at some point (no idea when), so it should run no problem*.

    * that's not to say it might not be slow depending on if the machine is a dog, but there's no compatability issue.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    @Scarlet Manuka said:

    I find myself morbidly curious to see what this would turn into as a front page story.

    I imagine it would start off with KrakenLover's boss yelling at him. "We're getting user complaints from all over the country!"

    KrakenLover would have to track down the project manager responsible for the second edition, who'd probably turn out to be on vacation somewhere, leaving KrakenLover to ask around the group until he found someone who remembered that they'd copied the specs from the first edition.

    By the time he got to the end of the chain, the people who knew about the products would almost all have left the company, retired, or died. He'd have to consult the company's longest-serving employee, who would most likely be known as The Guru and have several bizarre personal traits.

    Also, the specs would probably be something like Windows 3.11 and 2MB of RAM. And there'd be a bunch of random misspellings, missing words, and/or cornify.js links, depending on who did the editing. Bonus points if someone has a different name in one paragraph to what they have for the rest of the story.

     

    FRIST!!!!1111

     

    TRWTF is editing.



  • @Scarlet Manuka said:

    I find myself morbidly curious to see what this would turn into as a front page story.

    [snip brilliant "reality->TDWTF" conversion]
     

    Someone needs to write a script to do this. Then we can sell it to Alex so he can fire the rest of his "staff".

    ... or perhaps he already has?

     



  • @rad131304 said:

    Use XPmode
    XP mode is only availble on the most expensive versions of Windows 7.  It is not availble for the versions that most people use (Home Premium, etc).  I used XP mode on a dual core computer with 8 GB RAM and found it intolerably slow.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    XP mode is only availble on the most expensive versions of Windows 7.
    If by "most expensive" you mean Pro, then yes (but Pro isn't the most expensive - Ultimate is).@El_Heffe said:
    I used XP mode on a dual core computer with 8 GB RAM and found it intolerably slow.
    We've got several clients that use XP mode to run legacy applications (some even DOS), and it works fine for them. You can also try VMWare Player instead of Windows Virtual PC, as that supports quite a few things that VirtualPC doesn't (it's also free, and fully supports XP Mode).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @ender said:

    (but Pro isn't the most expensive - Ultimate is)
    Technically, Enterprise is an SKU above Ultimate - and Enterprise's features are a superset of Ultimate's. Whether it's more expensive or not, I guess depends on how many licenses you buy.



  • @Weng said:

    Technically, Enterprise is an SKU above Ultimate
    Is it? AFAIK, it's missing some Ultimate functionality in Vista, while it's practically equivalent to Ultimate on 7 - just the licensing is different (only available through volume licensing, not retail/OEM).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @ender said:

    @Weng said:
    Technically, Enterprise is an SKU above Ultimate
    Is it? AFAIK, it's missing some Ultimate functionality in Vista, while it's practically equivalent to Ultimate on 7 - just the licensing is different (only available through volume licensing, not retail/OEM).
    Enterprise was slotted just below Ultimate in Vista. In 7, however, it is above. It includes every Ultimate feature plus KMS license management. The change was made to simplify Microsoft's internal processes - each SKU is now a clean superset of the previous, instead of branching off at the top like it did in Vista (Ultimate did not support KMS, but supported things that Enterprise did not)



  • @Weng said:

    In 7, however, it is above. It includes every Ultimate feature plus KMS license management.
     

    So... Windows 7 Penultimate, then.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @rad131304 said:

    Use XPmode
    XP mode is only availble on the most expensive versions of Windows 7.  It is not availble for the versions that most people use (Home Premium, etc).  I used XP mode on a dual core computer with 8 GB RAM and found it intolerably slow.

    I have no concept of cost on software, I keep myself in school perpetually (1 class a year, non-degree seeking) so I have W7 Enterprise and it only cost me $10 USD (yay education volume licensing of large american universities).

    I'm running it on a 5 year old single core Celeron x86 laptop without HAV and I've never had problems with XPMode - and I only gave the VM 256MB RAM (but, I guess I'm not expecting native performance in a VM so that might be why I haven't had any problems?).



  • Out of curiosity, is the audio editor in question the one that has been bought out by Adobe after version 2.1 and made to suck?

    Because I am using that 2.1, and would like to keep using it after upgrading from XP...?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dhromed said:

    @Weng said:

    In 7, however, it is above. It includes every Ultimate feature plus KMS license management.
     

    So... Windows 7 Penultimate, then.

    Windows 7 Ultimate Entry on the Public Feature Comparison Chart



  •  The audio editor in question is at release 5.58 and still appears to be in the hands of the original owner.

    It's called Goldwave.  Full-feature demo (so you can evaluate its usefulness properly) until some magical number of total operations is exceeded and then you pay once for a registration key, which was well worth it.



  • @da Doctah said:

    It's called Goldwave.
    Wow, that's still alive? I remember playing with GoldWave on Windows 3.1 (and IIRC, the shareware version had limited number of operations in a single session even back then - you got some credits at startup, and then different operations cost different number of credits; once you ran out, you couldn't do anything anymore).



  • Shareware version of Cool Edit 2000 (predecessor of Cool Edit Pro, which's v2.1 was what I was talking about - nowadays, Adobe Audition) offered you a list of "feature sets" at startup, you could choose any two. So denoising was one, delays another, so on. And one of them all was "Save and Export (30 days left)".

    So you generally clicked that and one of the other featuresets, did the operations, saved, restarted into different set, and so on. sighs.

    Well, I guess it did bore a few users into purchasing. ;)

    PS. I don't know who sneaked the Unicode "reverse text direction" character into tags, but the tag cloud looks really funny right now.


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