What I Think About Flash


I could live with Flash if people just used it for video. I still don’t like it, cause most of the time I’m connected to the Internet via a phone line. That means it’s impossible to watch a Flash video even if I want to, because you can ONLY stream it. And via a phone line you ain’t streaming anything. Sure, I suppose there are tools out there for ripping the stream, but so far there hasn’t been any video online that I want to see that bad. You are NOT the Martin Scorsese of the Internet.

However, that’s not all that Flash does. For some reason out there, particularly larger companies with too much money to spend for web “designers”, Flash is used for things like download links. Several years ago I sold a customer a valve. It’s a complicated bugger and now that customer wants me to do some maintenance on it. So I went to the manufacturer’s website to download the manual for that.

I did a search using their site’s search page (always amazed when that actually works…) and found the files I wanted, in pdf form, as I expected. Then I click the little “download” link. Nothing. No shocker there, I don’t like javascript either.

Here’s a clue for you web “designers” out there. I don’t want to run your software for you. Your stuff is running on a huge machine, mine’s a little machine. Plus, there are just too many guys out there with nothing but time on their hands working to run things on my machine so they can get things like my bank account numbers, access to my email and other generally bad things. Those people like it when the average guy lets anyone run stuff on their computer, like ActiveX. For me, I don’t need cutesy animations, I like text. Pictures when I need them. And I’ll take my video on the TV. That goes for cookies too. If you are just dying to track me, use your own hard drives like Google.

Ok so the link is javascript. Great, fine, I turned it on for you. Now when I click the “download” link I am greeted with a black page with a little text on it in the corner “Get Flash player.” Well, I suppose I got my text anyway. Now I’m irritated. I look at the source of the page, which I noticed was a redirect from the page I actually wanted. Yeah I saw that page pop up just before the black page. The source of the page was about three lines.

Now I can feel that my blood pressure meds weren’t prepared for this afternoon. So I do some deep searching with Google, since I can see the filenames of the actual files I want, none of which are flash.exe. So I got what I needed, without calling the phone number listed on the site under “Having trouble with downloading?” I’m pretty sure a chat with Bob (pronounced Boob) somewhere in India or Pakistan wouldn’t be at all good for my personal health right now.

So what have we learned? I hate Flash. Ok maybe you learned it, I already knew that. What I learned is that the next time I sell a preaction valve to someone it will be made by Tyco. Their website just works. In fact I may just allow their cookies next time I visit.

E. W.

I know none of this matters. I don’t have any illusions that I’m the William Shakespeare of the Internet.