I have a suggestion for an improvement that I think is long over due. And this is going to be a real rant, so hold on to your hats.
Short version: Something should be made to make system errors more understandable to the end user.
Rant: Right now there are two levels of errors.
The ones you get in windows that is pointless because they don't give enough information - like "Unable to print", and then you know that the Wizard is just going to ask you if the cable is plugged in and then give up.
And then there is the other kind, the kind that is horribly undecipherable. The information you get when Windows blue screens is practicly useless for the average joe. And for most computer professionals outside Microsoft aswell. When my computer reboots and
I find an entry in the event log that says "event ID 1003, category 202, source: unknown, System Error".
What am I supposed to do with that information? First stop is the Knowledgebase. And I'm grateful for that. But if that turns up a blank? Call Microsoft Technical Support and start handing over money? And to make it even more useless, it's even translated.
Probably by someone who didn't know what it ment either...
It's like being right back in the good old days when the Amiga coughed up a [guru meditation] with some strange number you could look up to find out what subsystem that crashed. Atleast that was cute. Now it's
20 years later. And I still have to go to www.softwaretipsandtricks.com or
www.eventid.net or some other strange website. And if I'm lucky, and that's a big
IF, they have a listing relevant to my case. Is it so hard to put something understandable in the event log? Or is it obscure by design to generate support call revenue? Talk to me. But don't tell me to analyze the crash dump. Normal end users don't do that. And I shouldn't have to do it either.
Get some guys over from the Longhorn translucent spinning 3D prettywindows team and put them to work writing real error messages, and get the basics right first.