I broke my new typewriter this week. By “my” and “new” I mean a 1960s model recently purchased from an antiques mall, for my son’s education and enjoyment. I’m hoping he’ll learn a little of the mechanical history that brought us keyboards and fixed-width fonts before he gets too used to the iPad future.
It broke when I tried to replace the ribbon. Sounds like an easy task – it’s an inked ribbon between two spools, how simple is that? – but five minutes spent trying to fit the new spools turned into over an hour disassembling the inner workings of a half-century-old machine. I was able to fit everything back together after a lot of cursing and dropping screws, but I must have missed something because the ribbon doesn’t advance at all anymore. (What can I say? I’m a software guy, not a hardware guy.)
Speaking of broken tools, Twitter went down for over an hour this week. (It was fun to watch posts with the ‘twitter’ tag on Tumblr during that time. They were creative and entertaining as often as they were frantic.) I enjoyed the outage more than the poor voiceless tweeps, because it gave me a chance to test what the new Measured Voice would do if you had a message scheduled to go out during that time.
The easy thing would be to drop messages on the floor when Twitter or Facebook are down; notify you of the failed message and move on. That’s not why you use Measured Voice, though; the simple thing to do is to notice that Twitter is down, hold on to the message for a reasonable amount of time, and post it when Twitter comes back. It’s what you would want, so that’s what we do.
In that hour of testing, the new Measured Voice reported half a dozen different errors from every part of the connection from us to Twitter. Measured Voice now knows how to deal with each of those errors gracefully, and how to differentiate “Twitter is down” from all the other possible errors, from an overlong message to an outdated authentication.
Simple tools are more useful, so I’m glad to do the work it takes to make ours simpler (for you), even if it makes them more complex (for us). I’ll also be happy to take the typewriter to a repair shop; getting it back to a simple tool will be a complex job.
- measuredvoice posted this