The decline in offered information.

Once upon a time…

It was easy to get information about the software you were researching or looking at.

Companies were very good at making sure everybody knew what OS supported what — minimums, maximums, it was good, helpful and everything swam along at a good plod toward the singularity.

Now…

It is a gently disappearing thing.

The offered data on what iteration works on what becoming harder and harder to find. Sometimes when you search for something like VirtualBox you find only people complaining that this or that update has stopped working on their os.

There’s no mention of whether or not the company said where the tracks end.

Rather than drag through pages looking for information not readily available. It can be faster to download multiple new and old releases of a program and try them each one like an old cinema safecracker.

I have yet to figure out the psychology of this.

It could be indicative that the old guard are retiring or dead. That we’re now faced with a generation writing release notes that do not understand or remember why this level of detail is important.

Bizarrely, while it is fading from the release notes of a lot of apps you stumble across. It has not left gaming yet. Though this could just be Gabe & co on Steam. It could also be the murderous edge gamers will push machines to run new things or the steps they will dance for a bit of nostalgia.

I stumble across new apps and I have no idea if they’ll run on the boxes I am surrounded by. I have to install them and get “NO” “STOP IT”.

I have kickstarted large sound applications that state they do not run on this or that system only after the kickstart…

I find I would not have kicked them had they indicated they’d change a small detail before release. Such as support for my system.

Yet they strangely, still work.

The developers shrug, offer things like “I hear it works on…”

Troubleshooting for errors can work much the same. With emails sometimes resulting in “I don’t know…I’ll have to ask one of the Devs…”

Of course none of this happened and you never heard it from me.

It’s as if that glade period of abundance and knowledge that was right before this bit, literally, right before. Was some snow globe fantasy distortion in the hallucination of someone who should not have eaten that peach.

You’re lucky if you kept the paperwork.

Luckier still if they host the old releases.

If the original company or coder has decided not to offer the old builds, then you’re forced to go digging about the changing forms of the labyrinth.

This is not safe anymore. Free of eye contact and physical repercussions, the worst of us fidget around and inject malice into old tools. Now, screwdrivers and hammers can come poisoned; facehuggers and poison hidden amongst the folds.

The acute foresight of Brunner has been realised over and over. It is a small comfort that he got to see it realised some thirteen years after it was published. And how great the first came, Morris the Great Worm, such Tolkien grandeur seems near a gift almost planned.

As #infosec rises to become the current be all and end all of Tech, perhaps it is to Brunner’s dystopian works we should be looking.

The labyrinth is resetting though. Walls are changing and moving around.

Information is in the decline once again, drifting away for the lack of well-swept well-kept and above all, safe libraries.

It’s all gone a little Brazil.

Or is going…

went

and this is just a few of us clutching at the paper that used to be Tuttle. Possibly screaming incomprehensibly to people on tablets who don’t understand why we need those ports.

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  • Part of a series. Probably.
  • No claims are made at understanding anything written about.