Singing error messages and other systems analyst type adventures. And camels.

Rumor has it that once upon a time, there was a spec review that went south in a disastrous way. It became so dysfunctional that someone (maybe it was a developer) began singing error messages. Wouldn’t it be fun if you were filling out an online form and you hit the Submit button and your computer began singing error messages at you? I actually hate sound on my computer. I mean, I think it’s wonderful that it has sound. I just don’t like when it gets turned on automatically. Like the time I was chilling out [ducking] in the community college library before class and all of a sudden I heard *Froggy’s* voice, singing one of his little ditties: “Grok grok grok…” I jumped about a jile mile, thinking, “Where the heck is *that* coming from?” Well, duuuhh, my own computer. Somehow I had accidentally launched iTunes and guess who the top tune of the day was? It was *not* the Beatles or Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin or The Cranberries or Radiohead or the Beach Boys. I scrambled to turn off the dern sound and quit iTunes. Had anyone else heard that? Fortunately, the sound was set at a relatively low volume…

That rather legendary spec review was before my time (and we do NOT incorporate singing error messages into our product) although I have had some similarly ragged moments at a few of my own spec reviews (modus operandi: stay calm KW and make people start at the beginning, using specific and relevant language and take turns talking instead of blurting things out.). I was just thinking about it today because my current prodject (intentionally misspelled) requires that I revisit a corner of our product with some extremely gnarly twisty turny functionality and wrap my brain around the worst of those error conditions and associated messages in order to tweak them for use in some new functionality.

The life and times of a systems analyst is usually only interesting to the systems analyst herself and sometimes those who work with her and I am even boring myself at this point. I finished steps 2a and 2b of the moomincabin laundry prodject this afternoon (2a = folding, 2b = high-level sort). What about the life of a camel? This very elegant camel lives on San Juan Island. He is a spectacular part of the scenery on the way from the ferry dock at Friday Harbor to Roche Harbor. I can’t exactly remember the story (I could google but you could do that too) but he is a rescue camel. He is obviously happy and well taken care of now and maybe he even knows he is a celebrity of sorts because he seemed to turn his head into the sun to pose for me and my loverly little camera (aka cracked-screen iPhone 4S). It was almost like he was thinking, “I guess I’ll indulge her. I do this *all* the time. La dee da.”

2 Responses to “Singing error messages and other systems analyst type adventures. And camels.”

  1. Tonya Watkins Says:

    Wow. A camel on San Juan Island! Who knew? They’ve got to be related to llamas and alpacas, right? (Of course, I’ve always thought bears were related to dogs, so I’m probably wrong about that).

  2. Pooh Says:

    Back in the Dark Ages when I worked at the Corps, we used sound not to sing, but in a loop that changed the frequency from the lowest to highest in less than 60 seconds. To “test” this new feature, we put in specific user names, and if they logged in to this program, the siren code kicked off. We coded this one evening, after hours, and removed it as soon as we’d had the pleasure of seeing the intended victim’s reaction. (victims?, I can’t remember now.) It was sophomoric, but fun.