Microsoft DHCP and usability

Programming design lesson for today. Programmers should be forced to use the software that they design, in an actual real-world scenario, before it is released.

The only time I ever look at the lease list on a DHCP server is when I want to find one and add a reservation for it. So, you bring up a device, it acquires an address, and you wish to make that address permanent.

So, I go to the lease list, find the device, and look around for the “Add as a reservation” button, which doesn’t exist. Grr.

So I try to copy the MAC address, so that at least I can paste it in over in the “Add a reservation” dialog, which is in a separate part of the interface – and I can’t keep the one window up while I go over to the other one.

Nope, sorry, copy disabled in this interface.

So, I bring up a notepad and type in the address, then switch to the “add reservation” interface. Turns out I can’t copy from notepad and paste it into this interface. Paste is disabled here. Grr.

So I type it in. It tells me that the format is invalid. Turns out that the MAC address format in the one interface – with colons – is invalid here. I have to enter it without colons.

So, I ask you, in what design meeting were such stupid decisions made, and have the people responsible been fired?

Sure, I know, you’ll tell me that it’s fixed in a later version. Perhaps in Vista? But, seriously, if these people had used their own product for even 10 minutes in a real environment, these kinds of issues would surely have been discovered. Or are they the kind of people who memorize their MAC address?