A Software Fable.

Once upon a time, people had fax machines, printers, and scanners in their home offices. They were happy with the arrangement, but having these three pieces of equipment took up a lot of space on their desks and tables! This made the people unhappy.

The wizard of office furniture saw that they were unhappy, and decided to help them. He made a machine that combined a fax, a printer, and a scanner in one box that only took up a small amount of space on their printer tables. He christened it All-In-One. It cost a lot of money, but it was worth it to them. The people were happy, and many of them consigned their old equipment to the outer darkness.

The wizard decided to add an espresso maker to the top-of-the-line standalone printer. He updated All-In-One, too. The people saw this, and their desire for the fancy printer with espresso maker was great.

Those who had purchased All-In-One asked the wizard if they could replace the printer in their machines. I’m sorry, he said; you have to purchase All-In-One Cafe Edition because you can’t remove the printer from it without breaking it. But what happens if the printer in All-In-One breaks but the fax and scanner still work, they asked? Can you replace it then? No, replied the wizard — you have to buy a whole new All-In-One. The people were no longer very pleased.

The Moral of the Story: Think of All-In-One the next time you wonder why the software or hardware you’ve purchased doesn’t do every possible thing you’d like it to.

Copyright © 2020 Vasily Ingogly. All Rights Reserved.

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