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Craig's List: The Five Stages of Software Updating

June 3, 2014

Credit where credit is due: One could say that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote the first Craig’s List, with her Five Stages of Grief. But few know about her rumored earlier work on software updating, which we are both proud and humbled to be able to share with you.

Anticipation. A new version of your favorite software is coming soon! (Well actually, it’s been “coming soon” for six months, but now it’s really coming ... really. Honest.) The sky becomes bluer, food tastes more tantalizing, even fluffy little kittens are cuter. After the update, nothing will crash, your inspiration will soar to new heights, and amazing new features will unlock your Inner Genius. Is this kewl, or what?

Installation. The fateful day has arrived. You locate your original serial number (FE&FD#IOUWE578W%^9FHDS*894) and password (password), then join 10,487 other people slamming the company’s Pentium II servers to download the 45GB update. Three days later, your download is complete! Time to update your authorizations, authorize the authorization updates, and download the dongle drivers du jour... almost there ... unfortunately, you collapse from exhaustion before you can do anything.

Frustration. Malicious, sadistic programmers from North Korea who hate musicians have rearranged the UI so nothing is where you expect it to be. New features have been designed solely to enrage existing users. Confused, indignant, and disoriented, you rush to the program’s community forums where you vent your hatred of the company, their cavalier dismissal of their loyal user base, and make ominous threats (as if anyone cared) about how you’re going to switch to Reaper.

Elation. Eureka! You stumble across a mind-boggling new feature you had somehow missed before called “documentation.” You discover the changes are even more welcome than CNN’s cancellation of Piers Morgan’s combination talk show/sleeping aid, your workflow has become playflow, the program is as stable as the rock (and roll) of Gibraltar, and fluffy little kittens not only seem cuter than ever but communicate their joy to you telepathically. You are so happy you upgraded!

Anticipation. A new version of your favorite software is coming soon ...

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