Sunday, February 18, 2018

The worst website in the world?

When I started out in this computer game, I had to feed batches of punched cards into a mainframe. Fortunately there was a guide to the thing worked - it was an IBM manual. I used to hold out the manual as an example of how to write clearly, concisely and logically. Everything flowed naturally. The thoughts were beautifully expressed.

I used recipes as a counter example. "Take the peeled oranges" - huh? What peeled oranges? Oh yes, there were oranges in the list of ingredients, but you hadn't been asked to peel them, and at that point the recipe told you to watch the contents of the pot and keep stirring. Have you ever tried to peel an orange while stirring a pot full of frothing liquids which, you have been warned, is liable to boil over if you stop stirring for an instant?

There is a latter-day evil which has taken over from the recipe books. It is called a "website". Now there are websites which are things of great expertise. They work intuitively. You can find your way around them with never a glitch. You almost feel someone is holding your hand.

Then there are those for which I have an undying hatred. They lead you down the wrong path; they send you back to the start before you have really started; and they don't give you the information you need even when you get to where you thought you would be able to end.

I think the worst website in the world must be Ster Kinekor's. You would think that booking a cinema ticket would be the easiest thing in the world - they want you to buy something, and you want to buy it. But no! The first question you ask is "What's on?" and you get presented with a huge list. "Ahah! I'd like to see that!" you think, so you select it. You then try to choose your cinema. If you are fortunate, your chosen movie may be on at your chosen theatre - but it may not, and without further ado you are back at the "What's on?"

So you change your tactic. You choose a cinema first, and then ask "What's on?" You find a movie you want to see, and then try to find what time it is showing. Damn, it is only coming in two weeks. Back to the start.

Finally you find a movie you want to see, but the only time given is the time of its first showing. Surely there must be more than one time, you think. You flounder around and suddenly you are back at "What's on?" All the information you have given them is lost - you start again.

You want to know why the cinema nearest to you is closing? Look no further the the website.

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