the analog tax

spending time with my parents affords me an opportunity to see what they use their computer for, and some of it is not pretty: take this whole world of “mail merge”, no matter whether in microsoft office or it’s retarded cousin openoffice, is a world of pain. the user interface is unspeakably bad, quite in tune with a process that is about as fun as a visit to the dentist in the first place. bringing this bloated world onto the web with the recent craze of ajax word processors is fundamentally misguided: why deal with label printing when there is email? similarly, when you are faced with the task to protect 2.5B in revenues per quarter, why screw around with new toolbars when your products don’t help squat to solve the real problem: outdated assumptions about a paper-based world.

One thought on “the analog tax”

  1. valid point. another one is that paperwork is still very common, often for judicial reasons. for example, i can enter my expenses using a web form, and they can also be approved online. the finance dept however still needs a signed paper copy of it with all the receipts attached to it. quite often, paper is the only common denominator for exchanging information between unrelated entities (e.g. between a restaurant and our finance dept). further, digital signatures are not widely accepted and used yet (unfortunately).

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