When did "solutions" become "marketing"?

For work I use a (badly designed) program called Crystal Reports. Example of poor design- The last incarnation of their program used numerical values for booleans- 1 for true, 0 for false. However, when we upgraded to the latest version, your report will not work unless you convert all numerical values to “true” or “false”- meaning I have to go through all reports (50+ of em) and change the values. I went to their website last night where they offer a “Solutions Guide” in PDF format. Spent 20 mins downloading it, open it to find that ITS ALL MARKETING FLUFF!. “Crystal Reports changed my life and blah blah blah…”, “It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread” etc… No actual solutions. Back in my high school days, a solutions guide actually contained the answers (usually the odd numbered ones so you would’nt copy em instead of doing your homework but I’m now hijacking my own thread). Looking around on various websites of tech companies, I see that “solutions guides” are now nothing more than a fucking marketing brochure that tells you absolutely nothing other than some fucktard at a company that you might have heard of thinks that it works for him. If you want solutions, you go to support. If you want a bug fix, you go to “maintenance release”.


Don’t even get me started on Crystal Reports. It may be the biggest waste of computing space since Loverock signed on the web.

It came as an addon to a software package our company needed. Oh, it’s great they say. It’ll help you design reports that tell you everything.

Well, it sucks, and it is about as useful as sunglasses in a movie theater. Thankfully, the decision to buy it was made before I was hired, but it is seriously painful to work with, is less effective than Access reporting, and is basically a huge waste of money.

I truly weep for anyone who has to deal with it on a day to day basis. Mojo, I am with you in spirit on this one.

Well, shut my mouth. It’s also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

Unfortunately, I “volunteered” which amounted to not coming out and saying “no fucking way!” when asked if I could take it over. The new version is three steps backwards. It doesn’t remember passwords for server logins, If you get the update CD you have to have 6.0 as well as 7.0 on your computer simultaneously or it won’t install (uninstalling and reinstalling goes from a 2 step process to a 4+ step process), and IMO worst of all, it requires the installation CD to uninstall which is not compliant with Windows guidelines and is something I’ve never seen outside of programs designed by hillbillies. Very drunk hillbillies.

Its easily the most frustrating thing I deal with on a consistent basis. Their “solutions guide” was just the tip of the icing that broke the camel’s back.

Huu-ah! Let’s hear it for Seagate Software.

I have been cursed with support responsibilities for both crystal Info and Crystal Reports (have since escaped, bless the many-fingered hands of Allah). They are both demi-spawn of the unholy chthonic web that is Windows, and if there is justice in the universe – scratch that. If there were justice in the universe the people responsible would have been eviscerated long ago.

Most recent story – user comes looking for a solution to speed up her reports printing. Can we tune the DB? Can we optimize the file-systems? She has x thousand reports and they are taking forever to queue up through the spooler.

“What is she printing?” I ask innicently.

One page invoices on pre-printed forms. Maybe 150 words of text each.

“What program is she using?”

Crystal reports.

So I take a look at the NT print queue (not my job, but hey – we try to help). How large is each invoice file?

8 megabytes.


The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.