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"I love lag, especially when you have eight processors and no excuse!"

You'd think it would be simple to program something to do something simple. Despite what some people may tell you, you're often right. In a perfect world, we wouldn't have programmers who constantly assumed that any simple task is a gargantuan effort that requires the importation of several processor-heavy, 100-megabyte libraries just to set up. In a perfect world, machines capable of performing 2 billion complex calculations per second wouldn't be brought to their knees by spin-locks and memory leaks. And, in a perfect world, these programmers, and the manufacturers who made these devices, would all be bankrupt.

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Alas, this is not a perfect world.

The other side of this is, of course, Genius Programming.

For similar, usually gaming-specific issues, see also Artificial Stupidity and Game-Breaking Bug.

In general, a problem in a piece of software shouldn't be considered an example if it occurs in a pre-release (pre-alpha, alpha, or beta) build, or if there's no reason to believe that the software should be judged by professional standards (e.g. commercial software is fair game, but non-commercial software often isn't, unless it's intended to compete with commercial software).

There are also a few things that often aren't examples, even though they might look like they are — in particular, software that appears to use a lot of memory or storage space on your machine. Your operating system might use a gigabyte of memory on your machine, but that's not because it actually needs it — what's actually happening is that it's using extra memory in exchange for a speed boost. Even the most resource-hungry consumer OSes used today can run on dinosaurs (although finding such a rig may prove difficult).

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Some galling examples can be found on The Daily WTF (here), particularly the CodeSOD section.

See also Idiot Design for when the idiocy isn't limited to shoddy programming.


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Brands With Their Own Folders


    Adobe – Its Name Is Mud, Literally. 
Look on the bright side, Adobe software can be used to make satires of Adobe itself.
  • Adobe Flash. You may notice it on this very site, taking up 100% of your CPU and 80 megabytes of your RAM to display a static image that would take up 12K of your RAM if it were a JPG. Also seen on numerous video sites, as a Flash video player drags multicore, multigigahertz computers to their knees in order to jerkily fail playing h.264 video that would run silky smooth on Pentium IIs or G3s as unwrapped files. And also praise the Builder that YouTube videos can be streamed into external video players, such as VLC or SMPlayer with its very own YouTube browser. It's not perfect, but it is great for bypassing the browser-bloat on single-core CPU's, or simply to save on CPU for multi-tasking. This is far more efficient as it also strongly uses video acceleration hardware AND only needs 1/4 to 1/2 of the CPU on a Pentium IV 2.8 GHz system. Also, memory use is almost non-existent.
    • Even simple programs, like Conway's Game of Life, which can easily run at 70 frames per second on a 486SX when written in C, will struggle to run at 5 frames per minute when the same code is used in Flash on a computer more than a hundred times faster. And sometimes, the already-poor performance of Flash is compounded by the often badly coded applications written for it. To give an example, The BBC embeds audio and/or video files in pretty much every article on the BBC News website. Unfortunately, the initial version of the Flash app they used to do this was so badly designed that any system with a processor below a Core i7 was pretty much guaranteed to be utterly brought to its knees for several minutes at a time while the player loaded. It took months for the app's performance problem to be fixed.
    • A couple versions ago, the Windows Flash installer would sometimes report insufficient disk space even when there was no such problem. The reason? The installer would check drive C for space, regardless of the actual destination drive, and even if C wasn't assigned to a hard drive at all. Compounding all these problems is the fact that Adobe appeared to be deliberately crippling Flash in its capacity to perform its original purpose — vector-based animation — to try and get people to use it for what they want, which seems to be website layout.
    • Flash has issues on the security front as well. For example, in early 2015, over a two week period, Flash had three zero day exploits appear and attack unsuspecting users. As each one was patched, the next one appeared to make people's lives more miserable. There is a movement that Adobe is passively supporting called "Occupy Flash" that is pleading with users to uninstall the plug-in; with the rise of HTML5 content, this is quite feasible for certain people.
    • The problem has gotten so bad that Google has been using an in-house reimplementation called Pepper Flash for years in the desktop versions of Google Chrome. Since Google is begrudgingly maintaining Pepper Flash for now (though they'd rather we used HTML5 and WebGL), it's considered the definitive (!) version of Flash, especially on desktop Linux (which Adobe stopped supporting after Flash 11).
    • In July 14, 2015, Mozilla announced that all versions of Flash were now blocked by default in Firefox, citing Adobe's slow response to patching publicly available security exploits, to the delight of tech people the world over. However, Adobe soon issued patches, and Flash was unblocked — though the general feeling is that this incident added another nail to a coffin that's been a long time coming. YouTube has "given the finger" to Flash as well, and currently uses its own HTML5 player by default. The memory consumption is reasonable for today's budget-computers (Budget Pentium, and AMD APU systems for example) considering it's running the full-featured YouTube site. Also, unlike the Flash player, it supports videos that play at 60 frames per second, as well as playback speed options. A good omen, perhaps.
  • Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader aren't much better either. Somehow, Ctrl+C to copy doesn't always work, despite the fact that this is one of the most basic features of any program that can display text. Sometimes it works, sometimes it silently fails, sometimes it fails and pops up an error message saying "An internal error has occurred", and sometimes it works but still pops up that error. And if you hit Ctrl+C four times in a row in a futile attempt to copy the same text, you might get one of each result despite the fact that nothing else changed between attempts. It's like playing a slot machine.
    • The installer likes to add bloatware to the system in the form of "helper" programs that start with Windows, stay running as background tasks, and which the main program runs fine without, and the equally unneeded "Adobe AIR". Google searches for "Adobe Reader without air" are very common.
    • Linux versions were somewhat troublesome. Sometimes, when having several documents opened, you cannot change between them using the mouse — same for using the menus. You have to "unlock" it from the document, by either clicking on the document, or using the keyboard to activate the menus. Adobe eventually stopped developing Adobe Reader for Linux, but that's not really a bad thing when less bloated PDF viewers, like Evince and Okular, exist (especially since those two also support other formats).
    • Early editions of Adobe Reader X would take forever to display a single PDF, take up huge amounts of processing power, and even had parts of the menu and toolbars disappear at random.
  • Adobe Dreamweaver is known to crash when trying to load a file with a size that's an exact multiple of 8,192 bytes. This is actually a known issue and documented on Adobe's official support forums. The recommended solution? Open up the file in a text editor and add a few characters to change the file size.
  • Despite Adobe Photoshop having been the gold standard for professional digital artists for years, later releases and developments have their increasingly disillusioned artist userbase investigating the products of competitors and open source projects.
    • The company has begun insisting upon billing the program as — and going to great lengths optimizing it to be — an idiot-proofed meme-generator and photo-sharpener targeted toward the lucrative "casual users with way too much money to burn who think Photoshop is magic" market. As a result, the "exciting new features" added to Photoshop are frequently things like yet another way to remove red-eye, while basic glitches and quirks that artists have been wanting fixed for years remain ignored.
      • These problems include things like the ability to freely scroll the canvas in certain modes,note  failure to update key aspects of the program like the "liquefy" tool to modern 64-bit multicore operation, and implementation of fundamental industry-standard utilities like total keybinding control, tiled windows in full screen mode, and changing the selected tool when the user changes tablet styluses.note 
    • Those aforementioned "exciting new features" occasionally displacing, complicating, and/or generally eroding the performance of the Genius Programming aspects of the program that endeared it to artists in the first place. Meanwhile, Adobe seems baffled by the fact that many artists have expressed a complete disinterest in trading their already-paid-for program for a rented one that introduces more such issues on a regular basis.
  • Some versions of Adobe Illustrator, on their initial release, include a bug wherein the entire program could be suspended by Windows, effectively making the program instantly run out of memory. This forced Illustrator into wireframe mode and caused visual glitches aplenty, and the only way to fix it was to close Illustrator, re-open it, and hope it didn't happen again. If you hadn't saved in a while, a user might catch the program in a good mood and let them save if it got suspended, but it was a crapshoot. Thankfully, this tends to get patched out pretty fast, but updates to Illustrator have caused this same glitch in multiple different versions of the program.

    Apple Should Have Thought Different 
  • Apple products, especially iTunes, have a habit of downloading updates, installing them, then leaving behind tens or even hundreds of megabytes (per update!) worth of temporary files which it doesn't clean up. Even if you update your iPod firmware, it'll leave behind the temporary files on the computer you used to update it. To add insult to injury, it leaves these files in its own application data directory instead of trying to look for a system-designated temporary directory, meaning any other program trying to find and clean up unneeded temporary files won't notice. It's like living with the worst roommate ever. To get rid of these wastes of space, you have to dig through your file system to find Apple's directory, look for the temporary directory within that, and delete the junk yourself.
    • It also always restarts the computer on Windows-based systems after applying the updates, without warning, even if it doesn't need the restart. It's annoying when you're leaving the updater in the background running and then all of your programs start to close all of a sudden.
    • Oh, and let's not forget the increasingly common issue where, for no discernible reason, any TV show episodes you bought from the iTunes store will suddenly stop playing at all, rendering just an audio-free black screen, forcing a complete reinstall of iTunes and QuickTime just to get your TV shows watchable again.
  • For some reason, when Apple was releasing Safari for Windows for the first time, it had a tendency to crash when attempting to bookmark a page. A basic web browser action, and it killed the program.
  • It should be noted that in a hacker's convention contest, Pwn2Own, Mac OS X was routinely the quickest to fall to an outside attack. And by quickest, less than a minute. A common entry point for exploits? Safari. Whether or not Apple is improving browser security remains to be seen.
  • Apple Maps, which came pre-packaged in Obvious Beta form with iOS 6, had several glaring problems right out the bat. The satellite imaging technology was prone to inexcusable error, from odd patchworks of pictures taken under markedly different conditions (some of which wouldn't even be considered usable, as they were covered in clouds or very low-quality) to severely misshapen landscapes and buildings. The map function frequently misplaced entire cities (and, on at least one occasion, continents), was outright missing countless locations (and creating several new ones), and the search and GPS were just plain broken. It has become the topic of ridicule, with entire websites dedicated to mocking its shortcomings. Even the London Underground got in on it, with a sign reading "For the benefit of passengers using Apple iOS 6, local area maps are available from the booking office."
    • A few, hearing about the problems with the new Maps app, refused to upgrade to iOS 6 until Google came out with a third-party Google Maps app for the platform (replicating the old app's functionality, if not its interface).
    • People have also reported a purple flare when taking photos. Apple's advice? "You're just holding it wrong."
  • Tired of the problems with the Microsoft Task Manager? Apple's is even worse. It's accessed from the "Apple menu" that always appears on the left hand side of the top menu bar. But since in macOS the top menu bar is always controlled by the selected window, a program can crash in a way that prevents you opening that menu to force-close the crashed program. Oh, and also just like Windows, Finder and Dock have no special privileges, so broken software can prevent you doing the most basic file manipulation.
  • Apple Music, at launch, had an unwanted "feature" — it scans your local files, deletes any music that matches what it thinks you have for what it has, and if it doesn't have it, it will upload a copy to its servers into the AAC format, regardless of the original encoding. Which means not only is Apple deleting files off your drive, if you're an independent musician or composer, Apple steals your music. All because Apple thinks if you wanted to listen to your music from the cloud, there's no point in having a local copy, right? Never minding that you need a Wi-Fi connection for this to work. Oh, and if your subscription runs out, you can't access the cloud anymore, even for music that you yourself created.
  • On an absurd level of Epic Failure in programming, High Sierra allowed you to log in as an admin with no password! How they managed it is actually quite interesting: High Sierra upgraded the database format used to store logins. The system was written so that when a user tried to log in, it'd first look for their login in the new database; if it wasn't found there, it'd then try the old database. If found there and the password is right, the server would copy the data into the new database for next time. A good plan in theory, except there was a crucial problem that got overlooked. While it checked that the password was right before migrating the account, it didn't check for the account being disabled, which the "root" account is by default on macOS. So the old database returns an error that the account is disabled, but then - since it didn't return that the password was wrong - the migration process created an account with no password in the new database the first time a root login was attempted, which would then allow the user to successfully log in as root if they tried again, without a password. Fortunately, Apple did patch it in 24 hours of it first being widely announced.

    Google's Not Feeling So Lucky 
Even Google needs to search for a clue at times.
  • In an effort to restore the tainted image of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has touted that it's more power-efficient than competing browsers. They mostly weren't taken seriously... until Google admitted to not bothering to patch a bug that's caused the Windows version of Chrome to guzzle memory for years.note 
    • In 2016, Microsoft did a test to back up their claim. The test involved four identical Microsoft Surface Books playing the same video over and over on an endless loop until the Surface's battery died; the only difference was the web browser being used to display the video. Edge won overall with Opera and Firefox not too far behind, but Chrome was a distant last place; Edge's battery lasted a full three hours longer than Chrome's did.
  • Unlike most other browsers, Google Chrome runs each tab in a separate process. As any programmer could tell you, the immediate downside of this is extraordinarily high RAM usage, as Chrome is essentially running a duplicate version of itself for every tab you have open. The ostensible purpose of this is stability; if something goes wrong in one tab, it won't bring down the entire session. However, anyone who tries to run Chrome alongside any other program besides maybe Windows Explorer without a near-bottomless well of RAM and gets the "tab/Google Chrome has crashed" error messages on a daily basis is probably questioning whether this design decision was worth the trade-off, or even whether it achieves its intended purpose.
  • For some reason, if you attempt to save a picture from Twitter to your computer from Chrome, it will be assigned the nonexistent file type ".jpg-large". The kicker is that if you manually insert the .jpg, the picture will save just fine. It's even worse on Android Chrome, where you can't save pictures from Twitter at all.
    • This appears to be caused by the way Twitter handles pictures. When you click an image in your twitter feed, it appends ":large" to the URL (example). Some browsers have no idea how to handle this (Chrome will try to name the example "C92VACaV0AAZG7V.jpg-large", while older versions of Firefox note  will try to name it "C92VACaV0AAZG7V.jpg large.jpg%20large"). Other sites that use URL postfixes can have similar problems.
  • So what do you do when you've had enough and want answers from Google Customer Service? Call them? I hope you weren't planning to do that over Google Voice, because the application is incompatible with the Google Customer Service line.
  • Android: If you for some reason have to reset your device, you have to use your Google account to unlock it. This sounds fine, if it wasn't for the fact that it forces you to use your old password and doesn't accept a more recent one.
  • Android's power-management system makes it highly vulnerable to rogue applications. To explain it easily: by itself the system always tries to go into deep sleep, where everything is as powered-down as it can be to save battery life — unless an app tells the system "hey, please wake up, I'd like some CPU power to do stuff" using something called a wakelock. Well-made apps make sparing use of wakelocks — for instance, to check messages every few seconds by very briefly waking up the phone. But a badly made app can request wakelocks continuously, keeping your phone awake and drawing battery power uselessly. There is no easy way to prevent this in current versions of Android. An experienced user can install all sorts of monitoring applications and try to hunt down and delete (or freeze temporarily) the accursed rogue app, but it's often a difficult and frustrating task, made worse by the fact that applications that used to behave fine can break during an upgrade and become rogue. Importantly, the hunt-down-the-power-sucker rigmarole is not a basic-level operation, and a lot of average users don't even know it exists — leading many to complain about the battery life of handsets that really should be lasting a lot longer.
    • Often, the rogue app is an integral part of Android. The backup feature, for instance, likes to get stuck and stay awake trying to sort itself out — for eternity, if not disabled manually. Ancillary Android apps show up as a bundled-together "Android System" entry in the stock power manager (making it impossible to know what part of the system is messed up without, again, third-party monitors); a quick Google search for "Android System battery drain" will show rather effectively how often Android pole-axes its own power management.
  • YouTube has had its fair share of blunders over the years. You'd think the largest video sharing platform in the world would be more wary of things like this, but alas, no.
    • Content ID. The sole reason for its existence is to cut down on copyrighted material being uploaded on the site. The problem is that it only does the bare minimum; it only checks if the content is there. It doesn't take into account length, context, or how much of it is in the video compared to anything else, let alone if it even falls under Fair Use. There have been many cases of people who've had their own creations taken down because Content ID falsely flagged them for copyright (which, under the laws that YouTube is required to follow, is illegal). There have been multiple attempts to try and make the system not quite so strike-happy, including relaxing a few of the restrictions and the ability to challenge a claim, but these have a spotty track record, at best.
    • In late 2017, YouTube started demonetizing videos that was found not suitable for advertisers. Do you want to know some of the videos that got hit with this? Suicide prevention videos, any gaming videos with a gun in it, and even videos that haven't finished uploading yet. Meanwhile, an A-List celebrity talks about a mass shooting, and that didn't get demonetized for some reason. YouTube later came out and stated that this was all being done by a trigger-happy machine-learning bot. Time will tell if this actually improves.
    • The filter used for YouTube Kids has been flawed since day one. And that's all we'll say on this matter. Don't trust it.
    • Do you want to know why compilations are often so long? For whatever reason, you can only place one midroll ad on videos that are under ten minutes. Anything over ten minutes, you can place as many ads as you want. It doesn't help that YouTube's algorithm favors long videos, especially when they get good watch time from people who watch all the way through.
    • In early 2017, a bug caused several YouTube channels to continuously lose subscribers. One such channel got their sub count in the negatives because of this glitch. They later stated on their Twitter that this only affected the number being displayed, and not the actual sub count. Allegedly.
  • Google Assistant devices tend to pull up Wikipedia articles if you ask them for information about something. Burger King infamously tried to use this as a gimmick for a Whopper commercial. Then came the thousands of vandalizers who thought it would be funny to edit what the devices were reading, and replaced it with complete non-sequiturs and toilet humor. It got so out of hand to the point that Google blacklisted the audio clip entirely so no one else would try it. Wikipedia themselves have since put an edit lock on their article for the Whopper to prevent it from happening again.
  • For reasons unknown Gboard even with self-correction disabled will often glitch while writing on comment services as Disqus, causing it to begin to repeat what has already been written and/or garbling it, to the point it's better to write your comment on a text editor, copy the text, and paste it on the comment box. Earlier versions would also be memory hogs, staying on the background and to consuming up to hundreds of megabytes of RAM, which was a pain in the ass especially on lower-end smartphones/tablets with low resources.
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    Hewlett-Packard: Inventing New Headaches 
Why does ink have to be more expensive than fine wine to realize a profit margin?
  • HP's printers, scanners, and fax machines come with software to go with the hardware. All of that software except the printer's drivers are optional, but HP does everything short of flat-out lying to suggest that the other crap is required. If you do install the optional software, the stupid thing will pop up a "Error: Your HP printer is disconnected" every time you turn off the printer.
  • In The New '10s, HP and several other printer companies started using DRM in their printers, of all devices. These were meant to block refilled cartridges in an attempt to exploit printer ink's ridiculously high markup rates. However, they're notoriously inaccurate—which means they randomly reject new cartridges fresh out of the box, ostensibly for no reason.
    • This is because part of the system is a microprocessor on the ink tanks that will completely brick the cartridge after a certain date. That's right — ink cartridges now ship with an expiration date that the retailer sees on the shipment box, but since they're not "perishables" or food items, they're not required to display this information on their packaging.
  • The Hewlett-Packard support assistant that is equipped with many of their computers, such as the Pavilion, is very poor at automating automatic updates of included software such as Cyberlink's utilities and HP's own service software. Batch updating often results in several updates failing to install, requiring the user to manually download the failed updates themselves.
  • In an effort to better suit beginning users, Hewlett-Packard includes bundles of software on their pre-configured computers (including the infamous Norton Security software), that adds functionality like CD and DVD authoring tools, some Wild Tangent game trials, and other stuff. Unfortunately, if you're a power user who wants to only install your preferred software, this software just gets in the way, and can potentially interfere in the smooth operation of Windows. Worse, if you took Microsoft's free offer to upgrade to Windows 10, the upgrade may not go as expected, leaving a barely usable system with slow-downs and even fatal crashes. Fortunately, if your system is a disaster, you can use a software tool (such as "Produkey") to copy down your installation-key, download a Windows Media Creator to make a boot-able installation DVD and install a clean copy of Windows 10 without the extra bloat on the hard drive and processor.
  • Some of HP's printers come with a feature called HP Smart Install. Ostensibly, this is supposed to make the printer quick and easy to setup by utilizing an autorun program to install its drivers. However, most computers will simply detect the printer as a CD drive when plugged in, and even if the setup program is run manually it will fail halfway through. In fact, going into the printer's menu (if it has a physical control panel) and disabling Smart Install is the better option, as the computer will search for the drivers online and install them itself with the added bonus of not installing the extra, unnecessary software included with the Smart Install package.

    Microsoft Doesn't Take You Where You Want to Go Today 
With great market share comes great exposure to malicious coders. Keep those virus definitions updated, and Windows Updates downloading.
  • Microsoft in general tends to have a lot of problems with Not Invented Here and an inability to let go of problematic legacy code and designs (often because lots of third-party software relies on the problematic behavior) in their own unsung examples of Idiot Programming.
  • In fact, similar to The Daily WTF, Microsoft veteran Raymond Chen's blog The Old New Thing is a good place to look for explanations of things that at first seem to be Idiot Programming on Microsoft's part. As Chen puts it, "no matter what you do, somebody will call you an idiot".
    • As of October 2010, this is a list of programs that can be described as "we found this program doing stupid shit and have to work around it". One of the reasons Vista was so poorly received was because a lot of programs that did stuff they shouldn't have done wouldn't work properly. "Properly" being based on guidelines formed around 2001 and enforced in 2007.
  • Mac Word 6. So legendarily bad, the Windows version ran faster in an emulator. Bear in mind that this was back when PCs ran x86 code and Macs were on the 68k architecture. Exacerbated by the quality of its immediate predecessor, Mac Word 5.1, often regarded even today as Microsoft's finest work and possibly the best word processor ever written. The troubles of Word 6 were mainly due to an attempt to make it universally coded (i.e., both Mac and PC-friendly), but the result was a slow, memory-intensive clunker.
  • Versions of Word as recently as 2003 have had a document filesize limit of 32 megabytes, even though that could be reached by a document with 30 reasonably sized photos embedded in it.
  • Despite its beautiful and fairly responsive user interface, Windows Live Mail has several glaring flaws, such as pegging the CPU for a full minute to fetch mail from an IMAP server and popping an error message every time it's disconnected, even though it should be a Foregone Conclusion if you leave a dormant connection lying open for several minutes with no activity.
  • Every version of Microsoft Windows gets this when it first comes out (except, strangely, for Windows 7), but Windows Vista and Windows ME have had the highest amounts of backlash.
    • The common belief now is that most of Windows Vista's bad reception came from a sub-optimal initial release, which had a number of serious bugs relating to file transfers and networking (they mostly caused speed problems rather than data corruption ones, but it made using pre-SP1 versions of Vista a pain in the backside). Most of the serious problems were fixed with the first service release, but Vista's reputation, which had already been dented by its failure to live up to Microsoft's early promises, never really recovered. Even after applying service packs, Vista is still very noticeably dog-slow compared with Windows 7/8/10, especially on budget Pentium D systems and comparable AMD chipsets.
    • Windows ME, on the other hand, was arguably the worst operating system (apart from the infamously broken MS-DOS 4.00) ever released by Microsoft, to the extent that geeks have been wondering for years whether it was some kind of Springtime for Hitler plot to make the upcoming NT-based "Whistler" (what would subsequently become Windows XP) look better. Perhaps the biggest problem was that the memory management system was so catastrophically broken that up to a third of any given system's RAM was often rendered unusable due to memory leaks.
      • A particularly facepalm worthy bug: ME, for the first time, supported Zip files without an external program. This was back in an era when diskettes were still ubiquitous, so the use case of a Zip file spanned across multiple diskettes was not a particularly uncommon situation. Opening a spanned archive would result in a prompt for the first diskette... and it would keep asking you until you produced that diskette. If it was lost, reformatted or damaged, you were out of luck because there was no way to cancel out of that dialog box and no way to terminate it without terminating Explorer.
      • Another stunning Windows ME design decision that seems brilliant on paper but turned out to be terrible in execution: Originally in Windows 3.x and 9x, if a program was stalling, you could press CTRL+ALT+DEL to interrupt it, and pressing the buttons again would force a reboot. In Windows ME, CTRL+ALT+DEL became the key combination to open up the Task Manager instead, but pressing the buttons again would still force a reboot. However, since this is Windows ME we're talking about, there was absolutely no way to tell if the computer was majorly lagging or if it didn't read the input at all. And, of course, if the system is lagging, it still keeps track of which buttons you've pressed. So, naturally, when you push CTRL+ALT+DEL to open up the Task Manager just to shut down a program that isn't working right, the Task Manager doesn't appear. Wait thirty seconds. Still nothing, so you push CTRL+ALT+DEL again. After another ten seconds, it finally pops up. You go to close the program, and then... "Windows is shutting down."
      • ME's biggest problem was that it supported two driver types: the new, NT-style DLLs we're all comfortable with today, and the old VxDs that originated way back in the days of Windows 2.1. The idea was to phase out the old drivers while maintaining backward compatibility; alas, what actually happened is that the two driver types didn't play nice with each other. As a result, if you needed a combination of the two driver types for your computer (which almost everybody did) ME crashed often and with great enthusiasm. However, if you were one of the lucky few whose hardware only needed one driver type, WinME actually worked kind of decently — hence the occasional user who can't quite figure out why everybody hated ME when it worked so well for them.
    • Windows 2000, which came out the same year as ME, was marketed by Microsoft as the most secure version of Windows, ever. While this was technically true — though it really said more about how catastrophically unsecure the Windows 9x codebase was, with even the Windows NT codebase, which 2000 was derived from, having much room for improvement — this predictably blew up in their faces when high profile malware such as Code Red, Nimda and the ILOVEYOU worm emerged within 18 months of the OS's release. This was exacerbated by the OS being intended for business use and web servers, meaning that any production environment which either couldn't afford to upgrade to later versions or decided to stick with 2000 was essentially a sitting duck for malware authors, hackers and scammers. Four service packs, 10 years, and 4 major Windows versions later, 2000 was receiving security updates and hotfixes as late as 2010, after mainstream support had already ceased. Microsoft even wound up omitting a TCP/IP-related fix from a 2009 security update because much of the OS would have to be rewritten just to make it possible.
    • Windows XP was pretty decent in most aspects when it was released...except for the OS's security, which was broken beyond belief — to the point where it was arguably even less secure than 2000 had been — even if it wasn't obvious at the time of release. This owed to an attempt to make it backwards-compatible with the past four OSes. Famously, it was demonstrated that if you installed the RTM build of XP on a computer in mid-2007 and browsed the internet for just an hour, the OS would be hopelessly corrupted by viruses and malware, to the point of requiring a complete reformat and reinstall of the system.
      • This was exacerbated by the decision to assign the main user account administrative privileges, opening up many ways to potentially ruin the operating system. This helped the operating system to behave more like Windows 98 for compatibility; a very risky choice, leaving an uncontested back-door open to attacks, that required patch after patch to remedy.
    • Vista was particularly hilarious in the way it restructured so many things that Microsoft actually had to set up workshops to teach people how to use it; customers found these workshops very helpful. Snarkers were quick to pick up on the fact that Vista was perfectly intuitive, provided you had a trained expert holding your hand every step of the way.
    • A major annoyance for new Vista/7 users who migrate from XP: the Read Only bug. Any hard disk with a NTFS file system that was created in XP that gets imported into a Vista/7 system will by default have all files and folders stored in it as read only, even for a user with administrative privileges, and even if one uses the "take ownership" feature. The solution would be go to the Security properties of each and every file and folder (the fastest way would be to go to the file system's root directory and select all files, and apply the following steps to all child files and folders), add the current user account to the list, declare it the owner, and grant all privileges.
    • Windows Update may sometimes screw up the bootloader on the hard drive, necessitating a reinstall of sorts to fix this. Particularly annoying if the Windows install didn't install the recovery environment and thus, a way to fix the computer. Also, the occasional Windows update seems to not regard the drive letter of the Windows installation they're being installed on, instead just selecting the earliest drive letter with a windows installation on it, or some other arbitrary means. This is evidenced by trying the update, having it fail, turning off the computer and physically disconnecting the other drive, trying again, and the update works.
    • Users that updated to Windows 8.1 via the Microsoft Store noticed one crucial feature about Windows 8 that was really nice to have: Refresh. This way you can effectively "reinstall" Windows without having an install disk. The problem? It actually relied on a special file (presumably an ISO copy of the install disk) and the 8.1 update failed to include this, making it impossible to use the Refresh command. Whoops. Though some people have figured out a way around this.
    • Windows Vista introduced the ProgramDatanote  folder and encouraged application developers to store system data there, with adding content in many applications simply involving dragging and dropping new files in to read. Cue Windows 8.1 making the directory writable only by admins...
    • Windows Update on many machines (from Vista through 8.1) may sometimes install a driver update for Ethernet and Wi-Fi adapters. This would not be significantly problematic, save that the drivers installed are produced by Microsoft instead of Atheros or the actual hardware producer, and that after installation, the affiliated network connections do not properly resolve DHCP. DHCP, or the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, is what allows computers to obtain an IP address on their local network, determine how to route connections, and resolve connections through DNS, meaning that said computers are no longer able to resolve 'google.com' as, say, 66.185.84.55. Have fun replacing your drivers without a System Restore!
    • A notorious problem is that Task Manager, the interface primarily used to halt crashed programs, became a standard program itself from Windows Vista onward. This means that it can be impossible to start Task Manager if the crashed program is "spin locking" (constantly using the CPU without achieving anything) because Task Manager has no special claim on the CPU compared to the crashed program. Task Manager also tries to place itself on top of other windows, but again has no special claim on this, so can be forced to the back by full screen or aggressive programs — an exploit frequently used by malware. Ironic because in Windows 3.1, Task Manager took priority over absolutely everything, although this may have been because of the much simpler multitasking architecture and lack of DMA.
      • Likewise, Windows Explorer (the software that provides the desktop interface) is considered just another program, not part of the operating system. This means that even fundamental tasks like starting programs and moving and copying files can be disrupted by other programs.
    • The search indexer introduced with Windows 2000 has gradually become more of a performance hog in the Windows versions since, but it really reached its zenith in Windows 10, where the indexer harvests just about every bit of data (and metadata) imaginable from files, and will re-index the entire hard drive at the slightest provocation. For anyone with a halfway decent SSD this generally won't be too obnoxious, aside from the odd bout of short-lived, seemingly random slowdown, but for those still stuck on mechanical drives (especially the slowers ones in laptops) it can make using your computer an absolutely torturous experience, with a common performance tip being to disable the Windows Search service.
  • The Zune software. The interface is fine, but at first, it devoured RAM and took up way too much CPU power for what it does. But each subsequent release managed to improve performance, to the point where as of version 4 even machines that don't have much higher than the minimum spec can run it with all the visual effects turned on with little to no problem. iTunes, on the other hand, started at bloated garbage and got even more slow and bloated over time.
    • The Zune player itself, on the other side, had a leap-year glitch, which made them freeze up on New Year's Eve of a leap year because of the clock driver screwing up on how it handles leap years.
    • The Zune was also incompatible with PlaysForSure-protected media. Microsoft apparently can't even maintain compatibility with its own stuff.
  • Windows Live Hotmail. Until late 2010, despite being entirely capable of handling everything the application did, Opera and Chrome had to spoof as something else before Microsoft would allow access. They also had to supply their own scripts, because the ones served by the site itself were broken.
    • In 2011, they've fallen prey to yet another issue. They're attempting to fight spam… by preventing it from leaving the user's draft box. Perfectly legitimate mail is often blocked, which they acknowledge, giving no clue for how to change it so you can send your message beyond "re-edit it so it looks less spam-like." "Spam-like" has, among other definitions, content-free subject lines such as "RE: How's it going?".
  • Active Desktop was an optional Windows 95 update released in '97 in an effort to catch up with that "World Wide Web" thing that had taken Microsoft by surprise and capitalize on the new push technology hype (basically RSS feeds). The concept was ahead of its time: you could place webpages and things like weather and stock updates right on your desktop and bypass the browser altogether. It also gave your folders a spiffy overhaul, introduced the quick launch bar and made everything clickable look like hyperlinks. In fact, folder windows were browser windows and you could type both URLs and folder paths into the address bar. There was one problem (aside from the need to be constantly connected over pay-per-minute dialup to receive push updates): many user interface elements were essentially outsourced to your browser, and this was back when a crash in one browser window tended to take down all others with it. The browser was the paragon of instability known as Internet Explorer 4. You can see where this is going.
    • Things got more sensible and less crash-prone in Windows 98, but the desktop components remained unstable all the way until Microsoft realized no one used the feature for exactly this reason and replaced it with desktop gadgets in Windows Vista.
  • Microsoft Outlook uses one giant .pst blob for all emails, which tends to get corrupted once it reaches two gigabytes. This page acknowledges this, and implies that it's the user's fault for exceeding the size limitation, since users have nothing better to worry about in their lives. Note how the error doesn't come up until after it's a potential problem, and the fix simply truncates the .pst to 2GB, destroying the messages that don't make the cut.
    • Prior to Version 7, Exchange did the much the same thing: all mail for its users was stored in a single flat file on the Exchange server. This file was generally created in its entirety in advance and populated over time rather than constantly expanding. Problems: if the file became "fragmented" as users deleted messages, it would require a compression cycle, which required the server be taken offline for possibly hours. Additionally, if the file reached its limit, it would simply stop accepting new messages while acting to users like nothing was wrong. The file could be increased in size, but only to about 16GB (as of Exchange 5). The safest solution was to migrate to Exchange 7, which in and of itself is a nightmare that often required rebuilding the entire system to deal with the absolute requirement of Active Directory.
    • Outlook 2007 had a very bizarre problem where merely having the font Helvetica installed on the PC would cause Outlook to crash whenever opening a new e-mail. Yes, really.
    • Outlook 2013. Want to see your old messages in the inbox? Well, you can't! You have to click a damn link at the bottom of the screen "to see more". You just changed folders and want to return to the inbox? Guess what, you need to click on the damnable link again! There are no options to display all your messages in your inbox.
    • You've inserted a joint file and have opened it up to make sure it's good before sending. Outlook will warn you that you're about to alter the file and ask you if you want to continue or not. If you keep saying no, it will not stop harassing you.
  • Internet Explorer:
    • Internet Explorer 6...note  hoo boy! At the time of its release it was widely seen as being a decent enough browser, though a lot of people complained that it hadn't really changed that much since version 4. What became obvious as the years progressed — something made all the worse by Microsoft's decision to cease development on Internet Explorer and only upgrade it when what would eventually become Windows Vista was released; while they eventually backtracked on this policy and released it for older versions of Windows, the eventual Internet Explorer 7 wouldn't come until near the end of 2006, five years after IE6's introduction — was that it suffered from unbelievably poor security, to the point where new exploits were being found literally every day by the hacker community by early 2004. This, combined with Microsoft's stubborn refusal to do anything more than patch the most serious bugs, effectively restarted the Browser Wars which had largely been over since 1998, and saw Microsoft's >90% share of the browser market get demolished by Chrome, Firefox and the other browsers, leaving Internet Explorer (and its eventual successor, Edge) used by only a small minority of users.

      The transition from IE6 to newer browsers wasn't helped by IE6's support for HTML standards somehow being even worse than its security, requiring massive re-coding of websites. In fact, some had to maintain separate IE6-compatible versions for several years after version 7 was released. On top of all of this, a ton of corporate intranet applications were designed with IE6 in mind and simply didn't work at all on any other browser, forcing many big companies to stick with the browser (and, by extension, Windows XP) even to this day, thus still posing a massive security risk. There are several more things we could talk about, but the bottom line is, IE6 is often regarded as being not just Microsoft's worst product, but arguably one of the worst tech products of all time.
    • Internet Explorer 7 and 8 both talked up a "new commitment to standards and performance", with each one certifiably supporting more features than its predecessor, but each paling in comparison to every other browser available when released. IE7 did fix some of the most severe bugs that IE6 had suffered from, but the underlying engine was near-identical with most of the new features being cosmetic, and for the most part the browser was just as insecure and bug-ridden as its predecessor. IE8 by comparison had a redesigned engine that fixed most of the security problems, but added a new problem in that it kinda sucked at rendering older websites. Microsoft tried to divert attention from this by hyping up its "Web Slices" and "Accelerators", both of which were features that only Internet Explorer supported, but all the other browsers could feel free to implement themselves! While this trick worked for Netscape during the first Browser War (until Microsoft ended it by fiat by bundling IE4 with Windows 98), it didn't take this time around, and both versions languished in obscurity, hemorrhaging market share all the while.
    • Internet Explorer 9, however, looks like Microsoft has learned their lesson in what they have to do, and that it's going to finally avert this, with development focusing exclusively on W3C-standardized features (as in HTML5, CSS3, and EcmaScript 5), many that every other browser already supports, and some that they don't- but only ones that are part of the World Wide Web Consortium-approved standards. Of the tests that Microsoft has submitted that IE9 passes but other browsers fail, most are passed by at least one other browser, with some tests they've submitted not even passing in Internet Explorer 9, but passing in Opera or Safari.
      • Many legacy features are finally being re-architected to match the reality of modern Web browsing, such as JavaScript being implemented as part of the browser instead of going through the generic Windows COM script interface that was introduced over a decade ago and used through IE8.
      • To top it off, the IE9 Platform Previews run completely platform-agnostic examples an order of magnitude faster than every other browser out there (by implementing hardware-accelerated video through Windows' new Direct2D API).
    • From a plugin standpoint, get a load of these load times. The AVG toolbar adds, on average, a full second to the load time every time you create a new tab. On top of lots of other boneheaded on-load hooks, one developer actually incorporated network calls to their addon's initialization routine, meaning that, until it received a response from a remote server, it would block your tab from opening.
    • Not that the later, stabler versions of Internet Explorer don't have their share of irritating issues. IE has the ability to reopen your last browsing session after a crash. Seems fair enough... until you realize that this will not only reopen the tabs and windows you had open but anywhere from five to over thirty additional windows open to your home page, for no apparent reason.
      • It usually keeps track of any browser window that crashes, and opens all of them the next time you're prompted. Normally, this isn't a problem, but if you open IE by clicking a link (or double-clicking an internet shortcut on your desktop/start menu) while it's your default browser, you won't be prompted to re-open your last session. If this one crashes, too, it's added to the record. You can see where this is going. Open 20 browser windows like that and crash them, and then when you finally open one by just double-clicking the IE icon, and choose to restore your last session, and it brings all 20 back. A good practice, taken much too far.
  • While Microsoft Office 2007 introduced some new features that were well-received, its introduction of the ribbon interface saw considerable controversy. The ribbon took up a good portion of the screen at the cost of useable editing space (exacerbating the problem in Word where you would have to either constantly scroll up or spend most of your time looking at the bottom of the screen if you typed a lot) and was not customisable without third-party tools. Many features were shuffled around and renamed, which made the ribbon even more confusing to use for Office veterans. On top of that, Office 2007 was a RAM hog, making it crippingly slow even on machines with 4GB of RAM, although this was fixed as of Service Pack 3 in 2011. Eventually, the problems that plagued the ribbon in Office 2007 were resolved: future Office versions allowed ribbon customisation out of the box, users got used to the interface, and the screen cluttering became less of an issue as larger screen resolutions became more commonplace.
  • Games for Windows Live was Microsoft's attempt to take on Steam, and given Microsoft's sheer resources, many thought they would have some success in this. To put it lightly, however... they didn't. Poor design choices all around meant that it never attracted many users, and was eventually discontinued in August 2013, to be replaced by an integrated app store in Windows 8 — and for all that OS's faults, the app store sensibly decided to target casual games, a market which Steam and the others haven't exploited as much — until Windows 10, that is. As for why the GFWL marketplace was discontinued:
    • To install a game, you had to have enough room to store three entire copies of that game on your hard drivenote . For some games, that's well over 30 gigabytes (and by the end of the store's life, could reach 100 gigabytes). Contrast with Steam, which requires enough room to store one entire copy. You know, the copy that you actually use.
    • Also, while Steam will automatically update your games for you so that you never have to worry about not having your game up to date, Games for Windows Live would only tell you it needed to update a game when you actually tried to play it. You know, the exact moment when you don't want to wait several minutes for your game to be ready.
      • Not to mention that it's a crapshoot over whether you can actually get that update — DLC can be denied to a player for no reason whatsoever. Red Faction: Guerrilla's multiplayer mode was rendered entirely unplayable until the developers, like many others, updated the game years after the fact to integrate it with (who else) Steam instead, because GFWL basically decided that faking an update and then slowing the game to a crawl rather than finding whatever it was looking for sounded like jolly good fun.
    • Another terrible aspect of GFWL is that a lot of games using it have their save games locked down in a way that makes you essentially lose them every time you reinstall a game or try to transfer your progress to another system. Again this compares unfavorably to Steam, which either just keeps out of the way of screwing with save-files in the first place, or, with Steam Cloud, outright embraces transferring them to different systems or installations.
    • Also, if you somehow registered for the wrong country, there was no way to go back and change it. At all, not even with customer service. The only solution was to create another account with a different name (and lose everything in the previous one, of course).
    • It's so bad that Microsoft blacklisted its own program in Windows 8.1. If you attempt to install GFWL, it will ask "This program has compatibility issues, do you want to run it?"
  • Unfortunately for gamers, once Microsoft attempted supporting hardcore gamers again on PC on Windows 10, said gamers discovered that the Microsoft Store is an absolute disaster. No offline play, issues downloading games, and now requiring patches to play a game at all, even in single player, and the way downloading patches works essentially means you need to have enough space on your hard drive to be able to download the entire game again just to patch it, among other issues. Some gamers are claiming that these issues make GFWL look competent by comparison, with many considering it the second incarnation of GFWL. No wonder PC games such as Quantum Break and Rise of the Tomb Raider have sold terribly on the Microsoft Store, in the realm of single-digit percentage of total sales with the rest being the Steam versions.
    • Then there's the UWP format, which is essentially an attempt to replace the standard Win32 executable. Except not only is it severely locked down and limited as far as PC gamers are concerned, the way the DRM works also clearly wasn't thought through well enough — Forza Horizon 3 at least has a DRM system involving encrypting and decrypting sections of the game data in real-time when said data is needed. Problem is, this is a massive performance hog, and doesn't mesh well with an open-world driving game that loads sections of its game world on the fly, resulting in massive performance drops.
  • Versions of Windows Media Player randomly crash with a cryptic message about "server execution" failing. Even when you're trying to play a simple .wav file on your computer with no DRM and network sharing disabled, and there's no conceivable reason it would even need to access a remote server in the first place.
    • Also, Windows Media Player started as a very simplistic, lean-and-clean little software that did its basic job (of playing multimedia files), and did it decently well. Then at some point each new version of it added more and more eye candy to it, increasing its resource consumption and decreasing its usability, up to a point where it became almost unusable. This is the reason why Media Player Classic was made, actually: to give people the good old WMP without the cruft. The Windows 7 version of WMP backed up a bit on the eye candy and cruft and is at least barely usable.
  • Absolutely any Windows installer that ignores the default install directory in the registry and tries to put the app in C:\Program Files regardless belongs on this page, but especially if:
    • The documentation advises against putting the app in Program Files (because, say, it tries to save its settings in its own directory, multiple users be damned).
    • The installer tries to put the app in Program Files even when you tell it to put it somewhere else.
    • The installer refuses to work at all if you don't have a C: drive.
    • The program is 32-bit, and puts itself in the Program Files folder instead of Program Files (x86) on a 64-bit computer.
    • Perhaps most infuriatingly, telling the program to install somewhere else will cause it to install some of itself in the specified location, and the rest in "Program Files" anyway. Bonus points if it only makes a token effort, putting a couple megabytes where you told it and hundreds in the default location.
  • When trying to make a Windows 8 boot disk, it may fail unexpectedly. Why? Because the screensaver or sleep mode kicked in after minutes of non-activity and messed up the whole process.
  • With the development of Windows 10, Microsoft released an update for older operating systems that does nothing except pester users to get the new OS. This would merely be annoying if it didn't cause the occasional error, slow down boot time, and use lag-inducing amounts of processing power. All for the purpose of informing users of Windows 7 and 8 about an OS that hadn't even been released yet.
    • Even after getting rid of the update that caused those annoying pop-ups, they keep coming back! Microsoft just kept getting more and more aggressive in their campaign for 1 billion machines with Windows 10 installed. Rather than annoying users relentlessly, they shortly turned to trickery to force users into installing it with misleading pop-ups, users consent or not. When angry users complained about Microsoft's unethical and devious tactics, they played it it off as unfortunate update errors or blamed it on the users. Mercilessly parodied here.
    • In its relentless drive to get users to upgrade, Microsoft offered Windows 10 for free to users of Windows 7 and 8 as an optional update through Windows Update. Many users have Windows Update set to "download optional updates and ask before installing". Cue 4 GB of data being delivered to users in countries with low data caps or on netbook type devices with minimal onboard storage. Regular Windows updates are several orders of magnitude smaller. It got so out of hand that a local news station doing the day's weather had an update prompt pop up on the weather map during the live broadcasting and a few hotels had their entire systems bricked.
    • Windows 10 installs updates by default, leaving home users with no way to defer or refuse defective updates except through ways that seems like hacking (which involves disabling Services and using Regedit to make the setting Read-only for good). Before launch, Microsoft claimed they would perform rigorous testing of each new updates through their Windows Insider program. Long story short, the first update that left users with an unusable computer occurred before launch, as the beta phase was winding down.
    • If you're on a previous version of Windows, notice it installing the "upgrade to Windows 10!" nag screens, go "hell no you don't" and delete the applet and registry keys (probably using GWX Control Panel) after it's downloaded and started the preinstall but before rebooting and letting it finish, the system will become broken beyond rescue and will need a full reinstall.
    • One of Windows 8's somewhat-new features was Fast Boot (similar to hybrid sleep mode from earlier versions), which speeds up how quickly your computer starts up and shuts down, at the cost of not being able to simply shut down for things that require a restart. It's also stuck around for Windows 10, now called Fast Startup. Cue an update that broke it so badly that a bluescreen was guaranteed within hours of a fast startup until the user disabled the feature — and then, in an amazing display of hubris, cue another update which forcibly turned Fast Startup back on for everyone who left it off after the last update, on top of this one breaking everything running on Chromium.
  • If you thought GUI programming in general was bad (see below), well, Microsoft has you covered. Windows has five separate GUI toolkits (Win32, MFC, Forms, WPF and Metro). Win32 is the one all others are implemented on top of, but its (never used nowadays) default settings produce UI that look like the ones in Windows 3.1. MFC is a C++ library on top of it, but was designed before C++ was fully standardized and comprises numerous ugly hacks such as DIY exception management and classes that simulate diamond inheritance. Windows Forms is the much cleaner .NET-based equivalent and WPF is supposed to be the revolutionary new interface for the Windows desktop, but Microsoft roughly alternates between apparently abandoning each one. And then comes Metro, better known as "who put a smartphone UI in my desktop?".
    • And the real killer with this is that because Forms and WPF are designed around C# and the .NET CLR, there is no up-to-date native code UI toolkit for Windows. This has resulted in a proliferation of third-party toolkits (all implemented atop Win32).... which in turn ties down MS to keeping those old toolkits around, because there's so much software using old third-party toolkits that require the old interfaces to be maintained bug-for-bug.
      • Microsoft appears to be trying to fix this with the introduction of the native code C++/CX and UWP in Windows 10. In fact, the aggressive pushing of the Windows 10 upgrade likely to be partly motivated to maximize the availability of this system to developers.
    • It's also kind of bad if you want to program in Ruby. Or Python. Or Factor. Or any language whose low-level libraries are written in C, which is practically all of them. Because of the awkwardness of the Windows native UI libraries, they tend to use cross-platform UNIX-based ones; which often have very badly maintained Windows ports, and again produce software that looks more than 10 years old without extensive retooling. (Java is the one exception.)
    • Did we mention that all the work to transform the programmer's use of MFC/Forms/WPF etc into Win32 is done by your computer and your CPU, every time any program you ever run under Windows does anything?
  • For a year or so, Windows 10 had multiple bugs and slow-downs until Microsoft incrementally updated these problems as a token of good will. These annoyances (along with many new mandatory features) did not help Windows 10's negative image in the eyes of the owners of previous versions of Windows.

    On startup if Windows 10 detects a problem with the hardware, it will scan through as usual. After making a slowass scan of the whole system, it invites the user to click on the repair button, except the mouse and the keyboard may not be responding. With no way to initiate repairs, the OS is utterly useless.

    The System Restore feature has also been problematic historically. If you ever need to roll back the system, there is no indication that the available restore points are usable until you attempt to use it. Maybe it is anti-virus software misbehaving, but it can be like flipping a coin to see if your restore point works. Chances are, you've tried rolling back the system only for the system to reboot and Windows to notify that your system has not been changed and the restore point failed. Also ridiculous is when the system reports a failure to restore, but rebooting the system will reveal that the restoration was fine. Additionally, using system restore after a major service pack update may actually ruin the system, requiring an installation DVD for a clean install (your files are moved into a directory unharmed).

    You may as well just ignore System Restore and just use Control Panel\System and Security\Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to save a drive image to a removable HDD/flash-stick and create an emergency boot DVD. Use this combo for when your computer goes insane; there is too much that can go wrong with System Restore.
  • As of version 7.18, Skype has a tendency to crash whenever the user tries to copy something out of a chat window, or even when they try to browse through folders! Windows Explorer being a completely separate process which shares no resources whatsoever with Skype, this last one is particularly inexcusable. It's never a good sign when the official solution for a problem is "switch to an older version."
  • Although solid state hard drives render file fragmentation a moot point, on conventional hard disks, the anti-fragmentation routines of NTFS are not very forward-thinking. When NTFS tries to place new files, it does place them in a location where they tend to be contiguous, but files that undergo alterations in size tend to fragment.
    • On top of this, Microsoft were so convinced that NTFS was immune to fragmentation that the Windows NT line prior to Windows 2000 didn't include a defragmenter. Never mind that a lot of NT users installed it on drives with FAT or HPFS file systems in order to maintain compatibility with Windows 3.x/9x and OS/2 systems.
  • Windows 10 has a tendency to install apps without the user's consent, and no way to disable this feature other than changing the damned registry.
  • Windows 10's start menu search got a little... overzealous... with its internet integration, to the point where web results are frequently prioritised over things readily found in major directories on your own hard drive, so good luck trying to remember where you left that file — Cortana sure as hell isn't lifting a finger to help. The Windows Explorer system search fortunately still works for finding mislaid files, but, it having to methodically search your entire computer, can and will take longer than you want to wait for it.
  • The revamped version of the Windows Calculator included with Windows 10 will randomly softlock completely out of the blue. It still looks fine, it doesn't say "Not Responding" when you click on it, even Task Manager still says it's running okay. It will simply stop responding to any and all inputs and have to be closed and restarted.
  • Windows Aero (now Metro) may look cool, but there's many programs (especially ones that make use of transparency layers) that flat out do not display correctly if Aero is turned on.
  • Ever wondered why Windows Explorer on Windows 7 and later is missing the folders pane's horizontal scrollbar, forcing users to resize said pane to visualize folders that are within many subfolders? That's because Vista removed it when it introduced an auto-scrolling feature that rendered it obsolete. The problem is that the programmers broke the feature when they updated Windows Explorer for Windows 7, and never bothered fixing it or bringing back the scrollbar. Thankfully, Classic Shell brought back the feature.
  • The October 2018 Feature Update for Windows 10 inspired technology news flashes for reports of the patch deleting people's local user files, forcing Microsoft to withdraw the update until they could stop it from doing this. How the bug happened  Mercy to those who didn't have spare copies of critical files in a backup area. One may wonder how this "feature" managed to get by quality assurance, especially with an Insider Program intended to warn Microsoft about such "features".

    Apparently, people in the Insider Program did warn Microsoft about the bug, but because the reports weren't given enough upvotes, Microsoft did not "see" the reports of the glitch, thus the update went live without anyone checking. On top of this, the October 2018 update had even more bug such as files inside zipped folders being lost if you cut and paste the files inside without extracting them first, incorrect CPU usage displayed in the task manager, and certain HP PCs blue screening/crashing due to keyboard drivers not being compatible with the update.

    Come November 2018, the reports of noticeable bugs in updates still persisted, such as issues with older Intel drivers calling incompatible features in Windows, and sound being disabled on some computers.

    Sony - Functionality is Make Believe 
  • As discovered in the months when the PS3 was hacked, some of the code in the system involving signing software was discovered to use a constant integer for all systems, which was barely obfuscated at all. Some simple algebra was all it took to get it.Click here for a full explanation 
  • The Sony rootkit designed to install whenever a user placed an audio CD in their computer. Ironically, this wouldn't get installed on many user's computers because it required administrative privileges to install, and a safe setup will deny these privileges to prevent just this kind of software from installing. On top of that, the rootkit installed on AutoPlay, which means (on Windows XP and earlier from before AutoPlay was changed to be prompt-only) you could defeat it by, on top of disabling AutoPlay altogether, holding the shift key when you insert the disc. If the rootkit did manage to get itself installed on a paying customer's computer, it would slow down the CPU and open up gigantic security holes that would invite (additional) malware.

    Not helping matters was Sony taking down posts from bands (including Switchfoot) made to help fans who wanted to bypass the rootkit, and when then-Sony BMG president was asked about the whole ordeal, he actually said "Most people don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?". Sony later released a program that would supposedly remove the rootkit, but only installed more crap. And to download it required submitting a valid e-mail address, which Sony was free to sell to spammers. It's perhaps the greatest example of an anti-piracy action that does nothing to discourage piracy, and, indeed, punishes people who purchased your product legally — all this in the name of Copy Protection. Because Digital Piracy Is Evil, and committing destruction of property on computers is apparently better than possibly letting customers copy a CD they've legally bought. Ironically, it later turned out the code used in the program that the XCP-infected CDs installed was directly plagiarized from several programs, including the LAME MP3 encoder, mpglib, FAAC, id3lib, mpg123, and VLC Media Player.
    • In a similar vein was BMG's MediaMax CD-3 installer, which was implemented and scrutinized around the same time as the Sony scandal (coincidentally, Sony would later acquire BMG). Sony's rootkit at least had the courtesy of asking whether or not you wanted to install it if it loaded; this one went a step further, as not only did it have nearly all the same features as Sony's rootkit, but it installed whether or not you declined the installation! Thus, not only did it operate as a rootkit, it was downright malware. Because that's what you want when legally purchasing and listening to a CD, isn't it? Some bands like My Morning Jacket even offered to burn DRM-less copies of their albums affected by the malware for fans.
  • Another idiotic Sony DRM idea: Key2Audio, a DRM system that worked by violating the Red Book Compact Disc standard and putting a dummy track claiming the disc was empty around the outer edge of the disc (which is read first by PC disc drives, while stereos read from the inner track first). The trick to breaking this one? Keep the outer track from being read. How to do that? Draw over the edge with a permanent marker.
  • A PlayStation 3 firmware bug in which some models believed that 2010 was a leap year resulted in lockouts on single player games due to the machine refusing to connect to the PlayStation Network, forcing owners to either manually change the date to one that existed or wait for Sony to release an over-the-air date change. What was the reason for this system having such a perilous dependency on the judgement of its system clock? DRM! The bug stemmed from the hardware using binary-coded decimal for the clock. Because apparently converting that time for display is so difficult for the eight core Cell processor.
  • Sony releases frequent updates for their PlayStation Portable, mostly in an attempt to fix "security holes" that would allow running "homebrew" applications in the name of preventing piracy. On one occasion a fix for an exploit that would allow such "unauthorized" code to run with the use of a specific game ended up opening an exploit that required no game at all.
    • Sony tried to do the same thing with the PlayStation 3, in addition to numerous other security features such as the Hypervisor and the Cell Processor's SPE Isolation. As the hacking group Fail0verflow (the same guys responsible for the major Wii breakthrough) discovered, the only bits of security that are actually implemented well are user mode/kernel mode, per-console keys, and the "on-die boot ROM" — everything else was either bypassed or broken through. This includes the public-key cryptography. Yes, the cryptography in the PS3 used to check the signature on software was cracked, and Sony's private keys (which are used to sign software for the PS3) were obtained.
  • In a possibly related hack, custom firmware enabled hackers to obtain free games and DLC from the PSN store. Why? Sony made the classic mistake of trusting the client software and assuming that a certain variable in the PS3's firmware could never be modified.
  • The first generation PlayStation 4 had an issue with the capacitive sensor in its disc eject button. Over time it tends to spuriously activate, leaving the console spitting out discs and then refusing to allow them back in, making it impossible to play any game that comes on a disc. The only official Sony solution? Replace the entire console under warranty, or buy a new one. Never mind that simply adding a software patch allowing the user to tell the software not to pay attention to the hardware button would be easy and fine (it's not a mechanical system and when you want to eject a disk it can be done through the system menus). Sony replaced it with a mechanical button on all later versions.
  • Among the many marketing and management screwups that doomed the Minidisc in classical Sony fashion, the few technical issues of the format tend to get lost in the noise — but there is one irritation that plagued Minidisc from the start. If your portable recorder was bumped while writing the TOC — that is, the partition table, as opposed to the actual data on the storage part of the disk — and managed to burn bad data into it, it would render the disk completely unusable. Players wouldn't recognize it anymore and it was impossible to re-record the bad TOC with a good one, despite the rewritable nature of the media. The kicker: the inability to rewrite a good TOC wasn't a hardware limitation, it's just that nobody thought of programming it into the recorders, whose mechanisms were otherwise perfectly capable of doing it. This is evident because there are a small number of early models — rare and expensive even then, let alone now — that do have a TOC-restoring feature — hidden in the debug menu, of course, because why would any normal user ever need that?
  • Whereas other similar networks such as Xbox Live or Steam allow you to change your screen name, such a simple thing is impossible on the PlayStation Network. This may baffle anyone with the most basic understanding of how databases work, since such a change ought to be easily effected with a single request. The prevailing theory for why that is is that whoever was in charge of designing the database made the unbelievably idiotic move of making the "Users" table's primary key the account name, which is the kind of thing you're taught to not do within the first weeks of a "Databases 101" class since it causes conflicts with every other table that references Users when trying to change it. The result? If, for whatever reason, you NEED to change your account name (for example, if your account was banned due to an inappropriate name), the only solution is to beg Sony's customer service to transfer your purchases to a new account, which also means losing all your save files and Trophy progress. Only in late 2018 did Sony announce the upcoming ability to change your PlayStation ID, and even then it isn't compatible with older games and applications which will still display your original account name.


Multiple Brands, Sorted By Category


     Automotive Annoyances 
It's times like these that may make you wonder if you're better off driving a trusty classic car.

    Digital Rights Mismanagement 
Hey developers, we paid for your software—you will show the proper respect.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has a really bad bit with its installer where, when it asks for your CD key, you can use Task Manager (AKA "Ctrl-Alt-Delete") to stop one of the processes that is part of the installer and skip it. Under the DMCA, Task Manager is now illegal, alongside markers and the Shift key.
  • Games using SecuROM V10 or below will also fail to launch (without explanation) if they detect a process named "procexp.exe" (Sysinternals Process Explorer, a program provided by Microsoft), ostensibly out of fear that hackers will use it to reverse-engineer their DRM process, even though Process Explorer is basically just a beefed up version of Task Manager, and Process Monitor is the one that reveals any action taken by any program whatsoever. There are two ways you can circumvent this:
    • Close ProcExp and reopen it immediately after starting the game.
    • Rename the ProcExp executable to anything else. Or be running a 64-bit version of Windows, where it's now called procexp64.exe.
  • StarForce, another Copy Protection program. It was so poorly-written that upon installation, it would open huge holes in security, crash the computer's OS (Windows Vista in particular would require a reinstall) and could break the disk drive's hardware. For example, it would disable SCSI and SATA drives based on the OS' presumption that they were both virtual CD/DVD drives. It doesn't help that the latter is a common connector for newer disc and hard drives. Of note: the company took it personally that people called their product faulty and threatened to sue the first two outlets who brought its problems to light.
  • In fact the problems of disc-based DRM like SecuROM, StarForce, and SafeDisc made it so that Windows 10 and updates for Windows 7 and 8 in the same time of the Windows 10 release outright not allowing to play games protected by those... except cracked ones (though "legally cracked" games are available in GOG if they're properly licensed).
  • Norton was once the ultimate antivirus software, and the standard the others aspired to. Then they decided to focus on anti-piracy. The result: The virus scanner hardly works, and even when it does, the virus discovered cannot be expunged, in most cases. For this, Norton now has the ultimate pirate defense: it's such an awful program, anyone knowledgeable enough to pirate software is going to get the paid, more feature-rich version of a program with a free version, or just go the legal route and get either the free versions of either of those or the newer Microsoft Security Essentials (replaced by Windows Defender in Windows 8 and later), which are all free, yet somehow still far better than Norton.
    • With Norton 360, attempting to create a backup will take you to a section where you have to login with your Norton Account. The problem is, if you don't happen to know the account's password (like if your parents gave you the CD as one of the 3 or so allowed copies of the program), the window's exit and right-click-close buttons are grayed out, and Task Manager can't kill the application. You have to sign in properly or it declares your copy pirated despite providing the CD Key earlier.
    • Many antivirus suites such as Norton, Kaspersky, and McAfee have a certain yearly subscription which users must pay, or else the antivirus will stop protecting their computer. So far, so uninteresting. However, with many of these suites, when the subscription expires, the antivirus will continue scanning every webpage the customer visits, and be unable to clear it for viewing. This results in extreme slowdowns and general lack of connectivity, which can only be fixed by either uninstalling the program in question — or paying more for another year's sub. This is a brilliant marketing tactic right up until you realize that many customers have McAfee, Norton, or Kaspersky on their freshly-purchased computers for the rough equivalent of one month, at which point their shiny new piece of hardware goes defunct and they become justifiably outraged by what functionally works as a scam.
    • BitDefender on the Mac, amusingly, will sometimes ask you to pay a monthly subscription for their hard disk encryption software... on the grounds that it will prevent your hard disk being encrypted by software asking for money.
  • Ubisoft's online DRM, which prevented players from playing their games when the servers went down.
    • It's starting to get worse with their UPlay software, which is simply another copy of Steam, like EA did with Origin. However, whereas Origin started Growing the Beard in 2013, UPlay is nowhere near polished enough for prime time, and it's their main DRM platform now.
    • At one point, their UPlay software had an remote code execution bug. One hacker built a proof-of-concept exploit that would launch Windows Calculator remotely simply by visiting his website.
    • Uninstalling a game that uses UPlay can cause massive memory leaks that will grind systems to a halt just with regular use — you have to use system restore to a point before you installed the game at all.
    • In 2013, UPlay was hacked and a version of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was downloaded, full and complete, a few months before its official PC release date. This forced Ubisoft to release the game around the same time as the console "exclusives".
    • On July 30, 2012, it was discovered by Google that UPlay is a rootkit. Whether or not this behavior has changed remains to be seen.
    • Because of the way Ubisoft's games use this DRM measure, if you were to buy their games on Steam, you still need to install UPlay and run it with the game to play it. While EA's Origin has had their own share of criticisms similar to UPlay, as also documented on this page, they at least have the decency to not continue selling their games that require Origin on Steam.
  • The PC version of Gears of War had a DRM certificate that expired on January 28, 2009, making the game unplayable after that date. Luckily, Epic released a patch to fix this shortly after.
  • EA's smartphone version of Tetris requires an Internet connection. For a single-player game. And if your connection drops in mid-game, it'll kick you back to the title screen. Despite the fact that there are no features in the game that should even require Internet connectivity. Fortunately, this isn't the case with the iOS and Android versions.
  • The copy protection for the original CD version of Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code had a truly insane activation procedure. You have to insert the CD, type in the CD key, and install the game. Then, remove the CD, try to run the game (which will give an error), and click a second button to connect to a website into which you must type a code the game gives you plus a second CD key from the game box. It will then allow you to download a file which you must place in the game's install directory — which requires going through elevation if you are using Windows Vista or later. Finally, you can then run the game... ack.
    • The "type CD key to install" part is especially hilarious, because you don't need to install — the game is stored as a folder on a DVD itself, unpacked. As many Japanese games actually are. You can just copy this folder to any destination you want.
    • The Steam version of the game lacked this ridiculous protection, but did also include a refreshingly honest item in its news file where the authors admitted they were investigating "Tremendous lag in Online gameplay".
  • Cross Beats, despite being a primarily single-player game (with some social elements), has always-on DRM that accesses the server for literally everything, including every menu transition. Perhaps not so coincidentally, less than 2 hours after launch, the whole game had to be temporarily taken down for "emergency maintenance". The official reason given was "user data load distribution processing", which was most likely PR-speak for "Oops, we accidentally DDoS'ed ourselves."
  • Even Steam is not immune to this. If you haven't run it in a while, you may discover that it's trapped in an infinite loop: it attempts to update itself, but aborts partway through because your internet connection faltered for a few milliseconds, and it quits without saving what it's already downloaded. You can't run Steam because it needs an update, and you can't update Steam because you can't run it. You'd think the solution would be to download the update outside of Steam, but Valve doesn't provide any way to do so.
    • The solution for this was to re-run Steam and go through the entire download process again. Of course, then your internet hiccups again, and you spend half of the day repeating this over and over until you get lucky and the update completes without your internet hiccuping even once, just so Steam is updated and you can get into the damn game you paid for.
  • The process of installing Battlefield 3 can be used as an argument as to why EA should stop forcing its Origin platform on their physical releases, as it didn't really provide a good first impression of the service. The first is that Origin treats installing from a DVD as "downloading" the game, which feels kind of odd when you can't pause and resume it. The second is you cannot quit Origin while downloading and installing an update, which is something Steam can do. If you want to run the game, you also need to logon to their Battlelog website. And lastly, if this is a clean install, you have to install a plugin for your browser so the website can launch the game (which sounds kind of fishy; they eventually added an option, albeit never advertised and hidden under about three different menu screens, to enable plugin-less support). But overall, you do not launch Battlefield 3 from Origin, you launch it from the Battlelog website - attempting to run Battlefield 3 the same way you'd run any other game simply brings up a new tab in your browser that brings you to Battlelog (unless the service is offline for any reason, at which point it runs the singleplayer like a normal game).
  • One quite infamous example is Rainbow Six Vegas 2. The game can't be played unless the game detects the CD is inserted in the PC's disk tray. However, when it came time to release the game digitally, they couldn't reverse the process. What are our genius developers to do? They literally torrented a crack of the game, and passed it off as an update patch. They also did nothing in trying to hide it.
  • SEGA System 16, 18, X, and Capcom System 2 all share a unit nicknamed the "suicide battery", a battery placed on the board that powers RAM that holds essential game data, usually decryption keys for their ROMs which are encrypted to prevent them from being pirated. If that battery ever dies out, your game will never work again. This is why you see a lot of arcade enthusiasts retrofitting their machines with an emulator instead, because that battery is just too much of a hassle to deal with.
  • Nintendo's means to try and stomp out piracy for Pokémon Sun and Moon are especially questionable. Since they couldn't differentiate whether a copy was legitimate or not and since a complete build of the game leaked over a week in advance, they decided to ban any account that used ingame online services before the official release. However, this meant that even legitimate copies that just happened to arrive early, be it through broken streetdates or early shipping, were treated the same. To add insult to injury, the hackers quickly found means to bypass the bans.
  • All Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets were temporarily rendered completely inoperable on 8th March 2018, thanks to an expired security certificate that caused the driver software to stop working. This was quickly patched, but you'd have thought Oculus would have remembered the aforementioned Gears of War fiasco, which had the same underlying cause... and at least that only affected a single game, not a piece of hardware worth around $400.
  • Sometimes, it's not a case of how heavy the protection is, but rather how light it is. For example, a lot of early PC games can't run unless the CD is in the disk tray. Most of the time, all it's doing is looking for the volume name, and nothing else. This means that cracking a game is as simple as mounting an empty ISO with the exact same volume name, and running the program.
  • The newer versions of the infamous Denuvo anti-tampering DRM is known for heavily affecting performance in certain games and ports, up to making them 30% slower in some cases - Just Cause 3 (where the DRM also causes massive memory leaks if you're not using 16 GB+ of RAM) and Batman: Arkham Knight being some of the more notorious examples. This is rather baffling considering older versions of Denuvo used in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Mad Max, Tales of Berseria, and DOOM (2016) (although Bethesda quietly removed Denuvo from Doom in a late 2016 patch) did not have anywhere near the performance hit on game code.
    • To make matters worse for some PC gamers, newer versions of Denuvo require certain x86 extensions that are only available on newer processors, even if the game is capable of running on older ones just fine.
  • Starting from Assassin's Creed Origins, Ubisoft thought it was a great idea to cram as many DRM as they can on the PC version. To wit, it requires Uplay and not only it was protected by Denuvo, but also the even more infamous VM Protect (essentially making the game run in an encrypted virtual machine), thus triggers abnormal CPU usage on older CPU users. And then Assassins Creed Origins was cracked anyway, rendering the attempt not only useless, but hurting legitimate customers more.

    Games That Play Dumb 
There are times when even a Core i7 processor will meet its match, and when even an amateur programmer will shake their head in disgust.

Note: Consider if the entry would fit more as an Obvious Beta or a Game-Breaking Bug.

  • Jan Ryu Mon, an online Mahjong game by PlayNC, which has plenty of evidence suggesting it was programmed by drunken monkeys:
    • If a cookie gets blocked from the site (most notably the registration page), the server gives a "Fatal Error" page with a stack trace — no indication whatsoever that the problem is a blocked cookie.
    • The login only works in Internet Explorer — attempting to log in on any other browser will result in a "Please use Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher to log in" pop-up message as soon as you clicked on the username or password fields, and then repeat the pop-up every time you try to type a letter, click on one of the fields, or click the "Login" button. There is absolutely nothing on the site that doesn't work in Firefox, except...
    • Even though the game ran in a separate .exe file, it would give an error message on startup if the game executable was launched directly. The only way to launch it to download the ActiveX extension (for IE only) from the game's site, log in, then use a button on the site to launch the extension for the sole purpose of launching the game — the extension would pass along your login information to the game, and they apparently didn't think to make the game executable ask for a login.
      • Scary fact: this is becoming an extremely common way to handle log in "securely". Even Final Fantasy XIV still uses a variation with an embedded IE session in a "login client" window. Try loading quite a few MMOs with your Internet connection offline and watch the fun.
    • Then when you logged in, the game was ridiculously slow because of the eye-candy animations for every single turn. This was further exacerbated by the graphics engine, which was so inefficiently programmed that the game experienced more lag and frame-skip to show a Mahjong table with one hand moving one Mahjong tile than Touhou games do trying to animate 2000 bullets simultaneously. This is often caused by graphics engines which cache nothing or very little, instead opting to re-render most or all of the screen from scratch on every single frame.
    • To add insult to injury, their server had major routing issues during the beta (and still have some as of this writing), forcing many players to go through a proxy just to connect, which also meant a LOT of lag — a round would be easily half an hour, when many other online Mahjong games can finish a round in 10-15 minutes.
    • And then there's a plethora of random crazy Game Breaking Bugs.
    • Plus the game occasionally deals a hand of 13 Haku tiles, even though there's only 4 of each tile in a set.
  • Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. It's an obvious pre-alpha build of a game, with no collision detection, no AI, and some incredibly bad programming of physics (as in, go as fast as you want – Warp 9000, if you have the patience – but only in reverse). Despite being obviously an alpha, the creators tried to sell it as it was anyway.
    • In one of the strongest cases of "why bother?" in history, they added AI in a patch... which causes the truck to drive in a fixed course at a rate of 1 mph and stops short of the finish line. The reason why the opponent stops is because it has finished the race, but there is no loss condition in the game. That's right, the game simply doesn't allow you to lose.
    • Something in the game's code causes it to be a severe memory vampire — it uses half the available RAM when it's running. No one knows why. Lord knows nothing in the game itself supports its needing anywhere near that amount.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is an Obvious Beta — probably the most infamous example from a AAA-publisher — rightly criticized for all manner of things. But probably the biggest complaint is its Loads and Loads of Loading, particularly in the hub worlds. This is because the game loads the entire hub world whether it's needed or not... even for a single line of dialogue.
    • In several cases, talking to an NPC would cause the game to reload the entire hub world from the disc — even though you were already in the hub world. Once it's finished, the NPC would speak a single line of dialogue, and then it would load the entire hub world again. This is subverted on one of the missions in Shadow's story as you are given the instructions first, and then it loads once. You'd think they let all the missions to be like this by bypass the very ludicrous and frequent load times.
    • This issue is demonstrated well during one of the boss rounds — one bug will let you explore the whole hubworld, even though only a small portion of it is used in the fight. Of note, the textures for certain locations won't load if you do, but the coding will.
  • Action 52 for the NES is already a masterpiece of broken game design, but one of the key factors for some of the glitches that can happen in the game are caused by the mapper in the cart, not just in the coding. Action 52 uses Mapper 228, which is unique as it's similar to the ones found in most bootleg multi-carts. Every game made for the NES has different types of mappers, and some of them have their own coding that can pull off some effects - like in the Japanese version of Contra, there's snow blowing in the mountain level, which was removed in the international versions to cut the costs. If you were to use a mapper, you need to be aware that the console can only read information from it in a specific way, or else you'll run into problems. Even then, it's not guaranteed to work because for the most part, the NES isn't made to read unlicensed mappers, especially if you were to program something in a certain way that the NES couldn't handle. One notable example regarding this issue is that Alfredo and the Fettucini and Jigsaw always crash when you try to load them normally, although most games on the cart start just fine. Why is that?  Of course, Action 52 is already infamous as it is for boasting so many games in one cartridge, and not a single one of them got past Obvious Beta or is even considered acceptable for alpha standards.
    • The mapper issue is the same reason why the unreleased Cheetahmen II stops at Level 4, as it uses the same cart as Action 52. While this is fixed in unofficial patches and the still incredibly buggy re-release, if by some miracle you own the original, you need to fiddle with the cartridge upon inserting it into the system so it'll boot up on the inaccessible levels.
  • The Tetris: The Grand Master clone Heboris – specifically, the unofficial expansion – has more or less died out, because attempts to peek into the source code, much less make any further modifications, have proven futile due to the game being a messy hybrid of a gaming scripting language and C++ .
    • On a related note, there were a handful of genuine C++ ports of it. However, the MINI version (which allows for "plugins" to define additional game modes and/or rotation rules) is the most commonly used version, and the way it works pretty much inhibits any attempt at porting it entirely to C++.
  • Zero Gear isn't problematic in and of itself... but the nature of its Steam integration allows it to be used to play any Steam-locked game you want, without owning the game. This is most notably used by hackers to bypass VAC bans: just start a new account, download the Zero Gear demo, and copy the files over.
  • Pokémon may have reached the levels of technical genius in the Game Boy days, but they can still dip into the other side of the spectrum. Game Freak is infamous for being bad at coding and optimizing in general, especially when 3D assets are involved, and there's a ton of things that went wrong in their Pokémon games.
    • Tons of visual assets and coding/scripts from older generations remain in the programming of newer games, even ones that are now not used or never were and just take up space as a result, and battles in the 3DS games tend to lag spectacularly because the console cannot handle the future-proofed but ridiculously high-poly models - even some of their other games made for PCs or consoles much more powerful than the 3DS like Tembo the Badass Elephant and Giga Wrecker suffer frequent lack due to poor coding and optimisation. Despite how big the IP is and how they outright admit that they find the process of creating games to be extemely hard, they are adamant about retaining a small staff size even with the gaps between generations getting shorter as the series moved past the DS and ventured into fully-3D games, frequently hesitate to update the 3DS games even with the sheer amount of glitches and cross-program exploits that people are able to discover within days of a game's launch and only patch out a couple of issues at a time.
    • During the days of Pokémon Gold and Silver, they managed to fill up all of the space on the Game Boy's cartridge without having completed most of Johto. They had to get Iwata's data compression tool in order to complete the game. To Iwata's credit, his efforts to help Game Freak fall under Genius Programming and even allowed them to add most of Kanto to the games.
    • Almost every mainline Pokémon game produced has unnecessarily complex or downright obtuse coding algorithms and checksums that overwork the consoles and cause the games to lag like crazy, the most infamous of which being the save system in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Making any changes in the PC storage system, let alone simply opening it up increases the save time from 5 seconds to 15 seconds due to an overly secure encryption system that makes sure that every slot in the storage system isn't corrupted through a hefty checksum review. The sad thing is, it saves the game the same way Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald used to do, and those games consistently took about five seconds to save.
    • Pokémon Emerald has a flaw in its RNG system, it always starts at the value 0 due to a coding error. This causes each "frame" from the start of the game to be exactly the same. The end result; the player is left with a predictable sequence of personality values and therefore exactly what stats and nature they will get per time waiting in-game. For example, if the player encounters a Pokémon exactly 100 seconds from starting their cartridge, they will always receive this spread: Relaxed 22/12/10/10/29. Similarly if a Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire cartridge has a dead or removed battery the game will always start its RNG at 0x5a0.
    • Replacing a dead internal battery in a Gen III game will not reallow most time-based events to occur, since instead of assigning those events to occur after a certain amount of time has passed, they instead assign them to occur when the total time since the save started reaches a certain point, this counter being reset every time the battery is replaced. For example, a berry planted at an internal time of 2400 hours may take 12 hours to reach the next stage of its development, but the game measures the time passing by marking the time it is set to grow to 2412 hours. Hacking the games is the only way to rectify this error.
    • When Pokémon X and Y were first released, Game Freak forgot to encrypt the Wi-Fi communications. This allowed hackers to create a program to identify what moves their opponent is using each turn in a match, which some unscrupulous players took advantage of. Fortunately, Game Freak caught wind of this and released the 1.2 patch to block the exploit, as well as making it mandatory for future online communication.
    • The profanity filter introduced in Pokémon Black and White is notoriously arbitrary, blocking innocent nicknames because they contain profanity in other languages (e.g. "Violet" because "viol" means "rape" in French). This is particularly bad because some of the censored words become legal under certain circumstances (e.g. having any other character attached to either end of the word) while others don't have that distinction. In terms of it affecting the actual Pokémon, a Cofagrigus or Marshtomp for example cannot be traded in English versions of Black & White unless you nickname it, and you can't revert it back to its original name back unless you raise another one. X and Y made it worse by completely preventing words blocked by the filter to be used for the player's name or for the nicknames of Pokémon (There's even a Steelix available from one of their in-game trades named Thumper, and people will have issues trying to trade it online because they shouldn't be able to name one that), a problem that has yet to be rectified more than four years after their release with the debut of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
    • The companion app Pokémon Bank's anti-hacking measures are also notorious for letting through hacked Pokémon (which it's supposed to block) while rejecting legitimate ones (Pokemon from events, legendary/mythical or not, are some of the more common victims due to their movepools or special ribbons), and updates released to make it compatible with newly-released games generally don't work as intended since they don't update the existing games' databases to take into account newly-legalised species and movepool/ability combinations. When the Generation I games were released for the eShop and become compatible with Bank shortly after Sun and Moon were released in late 2016, the app would usually not correct the names of Pokemon to match the post-Gen V normal capitalisation standard or add diacritics when necessary, and having a glitch Pokemon in the box would cause the nicknames of all Pokemon afterwards to be shifted; and the games themselves would deem Pokemon transferred from the games and evolved into species introduced after the first generation as illegal and unable to be traded or used in battles online, along with Pokemon from older generations caught in Safari or Dream Balls or those with their Hidden Abilities that can only be found through Island Scan in Sun and Moon despite those ones being perfectly legal in all of the sixth generation games. A similar situation occurred when Gold and Silver were made compatible in late 2017, and as of February 2018, the evolved forms of Pokémon obtainable from the Odd Egg in Crystal cannot be transferred while they still know Dizzy Punch.
    • A number of Pokémon are programmed to be able to learn certain moves from Move Tutors or from breeding, but can't due to none of the Pokémon in their egg groups being able to pass down said moves, or in the case of Move Tutors only checking the first option in a normally varying set of options. As of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, these situations apply to Murkrow and Silvally - Vullaby and Mandibuzz cannot pass down Punishment to a Murkrow since they are female-only species, and Silvally can only learn Grass Pledge as the game does not check for the option to allow it to learn Fire Pledge or Water Pledge despite being capable of learning all three.
  • Sometimes, Dungeon Fighter Online gives you a broken page showing on the launcher, saying that the navigation to the page was canceled. Since the entire program is based on Internet Explorer, even if you use the Firefox plugin made by users at DFO Nexus, it won't access the page, giving most of the time a timeout error. The worst part, however, is that it could not only break the login page, and a bug regarding SSL certificates could show you the login to pages that are not from Neople, such as godaddy.com or datameer.com. Fortunately, this stuff seems to be fixable by resetting the router.
  • Indie game developer and utter egomaniac MDickie has released the source code for many of his games, including the infamous The You Testament. By looking at the code, you discover for instance that some "exit program" functions work by deliberately crashing the game. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  • The open-source Windows port of Syndicate Wars eats insane amounts of disc space for no logical reason.
  • Death Trap is already an infamous point-and-click horror game, but one of more notorious aspects about it is how the game works. In ActionScript 2note , there are two commands called "gotoAndPlay(frame number)"explanation  and "gotoAndStop(frame number)".explanation  These two bits of code are meant to be used for the last frame in buttons called "on(release)", and you could only use one of the two bits of code or else it won't work. These commands are meant to be used for really basic stuff, like buttons in menus; but they're not meant for more complex stuff like, say... movement buttons in point-and-click games; you can guess that the author used them because of how simple they were. Because of the fact these two commands work with the main timeline, it's impossible to make a traditional point-and-click game using this set up and expect it to work without making it really linear. And that's exactly what the author did—he made the game really linear.
  • Back in the days of DOS and Windows 9x, many games (such as the PC version of Slave Zero, as Lowtax discovered in one of the first articles he ever wrote for Something Awful) were hard-coded to assume that the CD-ROM drive was D:, rather than actually bothering to check with the OS to see that this was the case. If you had more than one hard drive, or had your disk partitioned — which a lot of people with >2GB hard drives had to do prior to Windows 98 arriving on the scene — you were generally out of luck unless you could either edit the game's configuration files or find a No-CD patch.
    • Ubisoft apparently decided to resurrect this little relic of the 90s with Assassin's Creed: Unity and Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, which will crash on boot-up if they're installed anywhere other than the C: drive. It is possible to get them to work while installed on another drive, but requires copying several files and creating symbolic links to the C: drive.
  • The developers of the Anno Domini series need to be slapped with some basic GUI guideline books. For example, the first game would only save after you hit the save button, but not just after naming the save game. It would also completely remove the game directory on uninstall, including save games and settings. Anno 1503 (the second game), never got its promised multiplayer mode. Anno 1404, released in 2009, still assumed that there would be only one user, and that this user would have admin rights.
  • The installer for Duke Nukem Forever seems to have been programmed by someone with an "everything but the kitchen sink" mentality. Not only does it install a bunch of applications and frameworks that the game doesn't actually use, but it installs the AMD Dual-Core Optimiser, regardless of whether your CPU is multi-core, or even made by AMD.
  • EVE Online had a stellar example of what not to do in programming with the initial rollout of the Trinity update. Eve had a file called boot.ini that contains various parameters... but it's also a critical system file stored in C:\. A typo in the patch caused it to overwrite the version in the root directory, not the EO folder, resulting in an unbootable system that had to be recovered with a rescue disk. This is why you never name your files after something that already exists in the OS. (Since that debacle, the file in question has been renamed start.ini.)
  • Valve took it Up to Eleven by making its Linux Steam client delete all files on the machine it's running on if its directory is changed.
    • To make matters worse, Steam's uninstaller also deletes everything in the folder it's on.
    • When adding a game library that already has games on it, Steam may delete the entire thing and start over. Even if you have all your games on it.
  • Myth II: Soulblighter had an uninstaller bug that was discovered after the game had gone gold. If you uninstalled the game, it deleted the directory in which the game was installed. It was possible to override the default install settings and install the game in the root directory of a given drive. Fortunately, only one person suffered a drive wipe as a result (the person who discovered the bug), and they actually replaced the discs after the copies of the game were boxed, but before the game was shipped. Still, it was a fairly glaring blunder.
  • Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor also has the same issue, except the bug was discovered after release and according to few who played (and affected by it), it can trigger at random. The update at the time that claims to fix the bug instead told buyers to copy the content of installation disk, and use the fixed installer provided by the patch.
  • Space Empires V, unlike all its predecessors, is notorious for being a resource hog, bringing even the mightiest of PCs to their knees, despite running only on DirectX 8:
    • The battle replay files generated by the game, instead of storing "Ship A shot at ship B and hit it for 15 damage to the armor.", instead store "Ship A fired bullet X. 50 milliseconds later, bullet X has moved a few pixels. After another 50 milliseconds, bullet X has moved a few more pixels. Repeat ad infinitum. Bullet X hit ship B for 15 damage to the armor." Thus, battle replays are frequently in the tens of megabytes — per turn!
    • Every time you load the ship list screen, the game loads into memory all the data about all the ships in the game, regardless of if it is actually going to be used in the list's current view mode, delaying the screen's loading by upwards of a second. Fortunately you can disable the loading of some of the larger bits of data, such as order queues, but then you can't see it in the list when you bring up the views that use it...
    • Processing a turn for a multiplayer game when the game is set to fullscreen mode is much slower than processing the same turn when the game is set to windowed mode, in which the game doesn't bother drawing anything, but just processes in the background. Surely rendering a progress bar can't be all that taxing? (In fact, everything is slower in fullscreen mode for some reason... isn't that kind of backwards?)
    • The game has a scripting language which you can use to write random event and espionage scripts... but the language is horribly broken in the way it handles order of operations. Calculating 5 + 3 * 4 will give you 32, not 17 — but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Somehow you can manage to take 1, then repeatedly subtract and add 1 from it alternatingly, and wind up with any negative number you want, simply by repeating the subtraction-addition cycle the right number of times!
  • The graphics engine for Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012) literally cannot run above 30FPS without massive framerate drops. The framerate drops have no correlation to the amount of action being rendered on-screen. There are framerate drops in the loading screen animation, where there are no polygons rendered whatsoever. This was discovered by people who noticed that locking the framerate to 30 in the PC version's configuration file eliminates the gratuitous slowdown that the PC version of the game is known for. But here's the thing though: The game's graphics engine is a modified version of the graphics engine that powered the last Criterion NFS game, Hot Pursuit (2010), which could run perfectly fine at an uncapped framerate. How could a company in charge of a big-budget racing game series modify an existing, completely proprietary graphics engine and accidentally break the engine's high-framerate capabilities?
    • In Need for Speed: Rivals, meanwhile, the (locked at 30 FPS) framerate is directly bound to the real speed of the game. Setting it to 60 FPS through third-party software makes the game run at double speed, resulting in screwy behavior of all sorts including broken physics.
  • Welcome to Ponyville was a relatively short My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic visual novel, and yet it was over a full gigabyte in size. This was apparently due to the fact that the programmers appeared to have no knowledge of audio compression: for example, a brief file for a closing door was over 32 MB (with several minutes of silence included in the file to boot). Some have estimated that if the audio files were properly compressed along with the sprites, the game could have been 60-90 MB.
  • The original PlanetSide, a 2003 MMOFPS with up to 111 players on each of the three empires fighting on each individual 20x20km continent, handled everything clientside (thus "Clientside" still being a Fan Nickname for the game), with the game only checking up with what the server knows every couple seconds. A significant amount of the gameplay was devoted to exploiting the hilariously bad netcode ("ADADA" strafing relied on the game not realizing when players shift their strafing direction, causing them to teleport from side to side on other player's screens). Because everything was clientside, the game was also one of the easiest MMO games to hack. Common hacks included warping all players on a continent to stand directly in front of you (on your screen) and kill them, causing players from across the continent to spontaneously fall over dead, or enabling a hack to disable weapon cone-of-fire, resulting in sniper shotguns and Gatling guns that could pick off players from a thousand meters out. Even without hacks, the game was pitifully easy to exploit. Players would stand somewhere safe, unplug their Ethernet cable, then run around the battlefield knifing enemy players to death. Once the player is happy with the amount of kills, the player would plug the cable back in and bask in huge amounts of XP as half the battlefield drops over dead — though this was eventually fixed by locking the game's controls after a few seconds with no server communication. For a long time, having a certain type of dual-core processor would cause the game to run in turbo mode, causing vehicle and players to move and fire several times faster than normal. Thankfully, Planetside 2 uses much more serverside authentication, which has fixed almost all the issues with the first game's idiotic netcode.
  • The Android port of the classic SNES RPG Chrono Trigger has a rating of 3 stars on Google Play. How, you may ask, does such a beloved game get such a low rating? The reasons are many. First off is the file size. Chrono Trigger was completely rewritten for smartphones to include touch-based commands and movement. The result is a 37 MB app (the original SNES game was just a few megabytes in size). Another gripe is the game's very broken DRM system — to play the game, the user is required to have an Internet connection so that the app can authenticate itself and download the various areas of the game. That's right — this 37 MB app contains no game content whatsoever, apart from the title screen. What's more, the game automatically quits (more like crashes) if Internet connection is lost. Without saving the game. Many a Chrono Trigger player has lost an hour or more of game time when his or her device switched from 3G or 4G to a home Wi-Fi network (phones momentarily cut off Internet when they change from 3G/4G to Wi-Fi). Even more egregious is the fact that the game is incompatible with many popular devices, even the Samsung Galaxy S3, a phone much more than capable enough to run this game. In short, this port of Chrono Trigger is perhaps the worst console-to-mobile port ever.
    • The nail in the coffin? The Nintendo DS port of the game had already existed for years, set a precedent on how to use touch controls (albeit with a second screen), and even with several hours of additional content left a lot of empty space on a DS game card. There is absolutely no excuse.
  • The initial rollout of The Witcher had atrociously bad back-end code. This is best seen when upgrading to the Enhanced Edition. Despite the latter adding no small amount of content, the same computers ended up loading as much as 80% faster than before. That's the difference a little optimization can make.
    • Playing Poker Dice in the first title is heavily prone to crashing PCs. Not just the game itself, but the ENTIRE operating system, to the point where it forces a reboot.
  • The Sims 2 had its corruption trigger being simply deleting a Sim or family, a feature that's more than easy to access. Even modders can't fix the problem. Worse still some of the premade families that ship with expansion packs are inherently corrupted (although it can be rectified by replacing the expansion packs' Sim Bin template with an empty template made by modder, preventing those inherently corrupted families from spawning on newly made or updated neighborhoods).
  • The Sims 3 is known for having a large number of expansion packs... and for having a horribly wasteful method of installing them. Every time you install an expansion pack, another copy of an identical set of help files (in all languages) is installed on the machine. Plus, if you uninstall Sims 3 itself, it removes the majority of the actual content of the expansions — but not these extra help files, for which you must run the expansion pack's own uninstaller.
    • The game's engine itself is reportedly so broken that it made Bethesda games at launch look perfect, in which without fanmade tweaks there's a lot of game breaking bugs, and an FPS limiter on high-end hardwares is necessary to prevent system overheating due to the lack of internal FPS limiter.
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist is plagued with issues, such as poor multiplayer support because people can't seem to connect to one another (and everything goes through Ubisoft's UPlay service) and where the game's saves are stored. You would think if you regularly back up your saves that they would live in the My Documents folder or the App Data folder. Nope, they live where UPlay is installed, usually in the Program Files folder. And to make matters even worse, the permissions for the saves folder is left open to anyone. Which wouldn't be a problem... if you don't consider everything in Program Files requires admin privileges to write files into...
  • The notoriously bad but long gone Super Mario World Game Mod Super Mario Superstar 1 has a weird example of this in the final battle. Not only does the final boss somehow completely fail to do absolutely anything (to the point no one can figure out what it was supposed to do) and make it Unwinnable by Mistake, but somehow, via some absolute miracle of shoddy programming... the boss' graphics seem to glitch if you enter its room through one door and not the other. As in, you go through one level ID and it appears correctly (with bad Microsoft Paint style graphics), you go from another level ID and the graphics are glitched tiles. No idea how the programmer pulled that kind of fail off.
  • Speaking of resolutions, the PC version of Deadly Premonition (hilariously named the "Director's Cut") is such a bad port that the game has only ONE possible resolution to be played at: 1280x720. While this is High Definition, most PC monitors are able to render bigger resolutions, as the lowest quality LCD Monitor has a native resolution bigger than that, and any CRT monitor has a different aspect ratio. And the game was released in 2013, so we weren't so dated on the monitor department. Thank goodness, being PC and all, modders where there to do what developers couldn't (albeit version 0.9.5 of said mod causes a lighting glitch the previous version didn't).
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts is apparently a sloppily developed game. It weighs in at a hefty 30GB and requires 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended). You'd think this game would be amazing on all fronts... until you find that the game might be a little bloaty, will happily eat your RAM (it even stutters on the loading movies after the level is done loading), and looks no better than previous installments on the highest settings. Compare this to the Tech Demo Game Trope Codifier Crysis from just six years prior, which runs just fine on the recommended requirements (a "wimpy" dual core processor and 2GB of RAM) and just needed a graphics card from its future (and even then, only 2 generations ahead) to run on absolute max settings at 60FPS. Later games have gotten even worse about this, the required system specs getting higher and higher for little noticeable graphical improvement - a system that meets the recommended requirements for Ghosts, and will still struggle to run that game at high settings, is barely at the minimum requirements for Black Ops III, and will constantly crash trying to run the game unless the settings are so low that it looks worse than the first game from 2003.
  • The online play in Meteos Wars did not seem to take lag into account whatsoever: As a Falling Blocks Puzzle Game, it only needs to keep track of the other player's incoming blocks and controller inputs. Instead, it seems to send data between players about the exact locations of every block as they're falling, resulting in much more lag than is necessary. If the connection becomes unstable, instead of taking guesses and correcting itself later, as is seen with all other falling-blocks puzzle games with online play, it just stops the action outright until the signal restabilizes, or terminates the match outright if it's taken more than a few seconds. All the while, as the online play shifts between slow and immobile, the timer counts down in real time, functioning totally independent of the game, resulting in nearly every online match ending in a time-out instead of elimination.
  • When it was announced that the PC version of Titanfall would require a massive 48GB of hard drive space, many assumed that it was a sign of developers finally starting to include visual assets that far exceed those of typical 360/PS3 ports. As it actually turned out, a whopping 35GB of the game's installation was taken up by uncompressed audio files, in every single one of the game's twenty languages. The developers' rationale for this was because they thought the audio decompression would take up too much CPU power on older and/or bargain-basement PCs... never mind the fact that any CPU which struggles with anything as simple as audio decoding probably wouldn't be powerful enough to run the game in the first place. Had they compressed the audio files and actually made separate installers for different languages, the game install would probably only be about 15GB.
  • Fargus Multimedia's Russian bootleg of Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo already has wrong voice clips for characters and non-existent lip sync; when originally released, the game's W32 file—which should execute the game—was blank, making it completely unplayable. This was only fixed in 2004, when fans stuck a W32 from the US version onto it.
  • The DOS versions of Mega Man 1 and 3 were programmed to base the speed they ran at on that of the computer's processor, with no upper limit. This isn't an inherently poor choice, as most DOS games did the same, not predicting the speed at which technology would improve. What sets it apart from those games is that while they run too fast to play on modern computers, Mega Man 1 and 3 ran too fast to play on computers on the market at the time of their release.
    • The PC port of Sonic 3 & Knuckles had the same issue. When it ran in windowed mode, the game's framerate was based on the speed of the processor running it, which even when the port was first released resulted in a ridiculously-fast, unplayable game. Fortunately for its case, playing the game in fullscreen instead bases the framerate on the refresh rate of the monitor, which even two decades after will still usually be around the same framerate it was meant to run at.
  • don't take it personally babe, it just ain't your story closes by forcing itself to crash.
    • The version of Planescape: Torment on the Dungeons and Dragons Anthology collection does the same thing, which is odd, given the otherwise fine carryover job.
  • Super Monkey Daibouken. Despite being for the Famicom, as opposed to the Famicom Disk System, it had to load regularly. And that's to say nothing of the game's battle system, which is too inconsistent to be remotely coherent.
  • Hoshi wo Miru Hito had a world map so badly programmed that the display just spat out tiles at random. The display never showed your total hit points, and the battle menu was so broken that you couldn't even access it without progressing in the story.
  • LEGO Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge is infamous for its Loads and Loads of Loading, on par with the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). The explanation behind this? The game prioritizes rendering the loading screen over actually reading any data. This means that for every frame that is rendered, a small amount (as in, a single byte!) of information is read, which causes the game to spend an eternity loading things for absolutely no good reason. The kicker? This can be fixed by changing a single instruction in the game's EXE file, which instead changes the logic to read all the data before rendering a single frame, and the loading is minimized to only half a second rather than minutes on end.
  • The netcode for the original Dark Souls is infamous for being terrible. It can take upwards of a half-hour to summon a friendly player, and sometimes the game will think that you're being invaded by an unfriendly player, blocking you from exiting an area for upwards of ten minutes until the problem resolves itself.
    • This isn't even getting into the notorious PC port, which isn't so much of a port as much as it is basically a straight-up emulation of the Xbox 360 version because FromSoftware had very little experience with porting games to PCs at the time. The resolution is absurdly limited and the controls are basically designed to have both hands on the keyboard at all times, which in a game like Dark Souls is incredibly finicky at best. It also had the much-maligned Games For Windows Live attached to it, which was eventually removed in favor of Steamworks instead.
    • Dark Souls II attempted to fix this problem by adding dedicated servers for matchmaking, which did alleviate the issues somewhat. Unfortunately, the dedicated servers are only used for matchmaking; once you actually connect everything is handled as a peer-to-peer connection, meaning astronomical lagspikes and severe Hitbox Dissonance if you happen to connect to another player across the world. The game's engine also had an odd quirk where the game's framerate actually affected the degredation speed of your weapons for some baffling reason.
    • And it seems like From Software didn't quite learn their lesson the first time; Bloodborne's netcode is almost as bad as the original Dark Souls and has all the same issues. It also had terrible environmental optimization before patches, leading to Loads and Loads of Loading.
    • Dark Souls III had an anti-cheat software so poorly programmed at launch that it would often mistake the coding in the game itself as cheats, ejecting customers who had done nothing at all from online play. Sometimes even simply switching from offline to online mode could trigger the anti-cheat. Fortunately, FromSoftware did eventually go through flagged accounts and removed many of the resulting bans.
  • Ah, Minecraft: a beautiful world that rewards creativity, a multiplayer experience like no other, endless exploration to wherever your heart desires, and the uncanny ability to bring modern quadcore computers to their knees. How is this possible? How does a game with graphics so simple they should run fine on a Pentium 2 require a modern gaming box to play at 1080p without stuttering — let alone if you dare to apply graphic-improving mods? Well, let's just say there's a reason almost nobody writes 3D games in Java and the console and mobile versions were remade from the ground up. Luckily, the Windows 10 edition (which is free if you've already bought the Java edition) is based on the console versions and thus, much less resource heavy at the cost of being able to Game Mod.
  • The netcode in Jojos Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle is terrible, resulting in mind-blowing amounts of lag no matter how good your connection is. This thankfully doesn't affect Campaign mode (where you fight other players' "avatars", and through which much of the content is unlocked) because that only uses the connection to look up what other players have set as their characters (the actual fight is you versus the AI).
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition was loaded with bugs from the very beginning. The most unparalleled among them, however, is the notorious Patch 4. It's bad enough that the whole thing was nearly seven gigabytes large, but there's a programming error in the Xbox One port which causes it to uninstall and reinstall the entire game (though it's worth noting that this is also due to a glitch in how the early versions of the Xbox One's operating system handled patches, with said glitch also being triggered by patches for Assassin's Creed: Unity).
  • Banzai Pecan: The Last Hope for the Young Century is not without its problems, however none were as egregious as the palette-swap feature for its main character. Without using them, the game usually takes roughly 4 seconds to load the game, but if you use any of the palette-swaps (save for her Awakened Mode), it extends the load times from 4 to nearly 16 seconds. What makes this even more ironic is that the game can load the most basic enemy type the game in many other colors without any issues.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The i386, Microsoft Windows, port of the game is commonly cited as an example of this trope before patches were released. Dog-slow performance on the most commonly available computers of the time, and a graphical settings menu where setting the quality to low actually made the game run slower. True, patches help alleviate theses problems, and the game engine boasts its share of game mods, but the game became a textbook example of shoddy PC ports. Also, the game required the infamous Games For Windows, a program that is discussed in Microsoft section of this page.
  • When Disgaea came out on PC, it came out in a rocky state. One modder decided to reverse engineer the game and see what was causing the problems, discovering that much of the game relied on bizarre, archaic, and ancient methods of handling basic internal things like input polling, controller support, texture coordinates and screen refreshing in OpenGL, resulting in poor performance, unresponsive controls, and spotty gamepad support.
  • The remake of Cannon Fodder recreates the game with a modern 3D engine — which takes an incredibly long time to load, even on modern fast computers, and doesn't keep loading in the background if you alt-tab out of the process. Click start, go brew a cup of coffee, lazily mix it with sugar and milk, drink it while you read the paper, then come back and if you're lucky the game will be just about ready to start. And for all that, the graphics are really nothing to write home about.
  • Sega, with their Mega Drive/Genesis titles on Steam, has finally opened up modding support of them through Steam Workshop, much to the rejoice of fans everywhere. However, it was soon discovered that for some reason, uploaded mods that utilised SRAM support wouldn't save their data... unless the mod was listed under Sonic 3 & Knuckles. And even then, it will not save all data properly if the mod's SRAM data is bigger than the aforementioned game's, as seen with Sonic 3 Complete.
  • Wildlife Camp is a PC game released in 2010 that doesn't have an option to turn fullscreen mode off. This would be bad enough on its own, but if you open up the game's options.ini file, you'll find that the game does have a fullscreen toggle — the line of code that enables the button for it to appear has just been commented out. Re-enabling the code causes the fullscreen toggle to appear in-game and work without problem, which begs the question why it was Dummied Out in the first place, especially since being able to put your game in windowed mode is one of the most basic features a game can have.
  • Sqij! for the ZX Spectrum has been described by Stuart Ashen as the worst game ever made, even worse than the usual contenders like Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. The game's code forces Caps Lock to be on, but the game only accepts lower-case inputs, meaning you can't do anything without manually exiting the game to switch Caps Lock off. Even if you do manage to get it working, you learn that the game is a constant stream of collateral damage. To give a couple of examples:
    • The game is riddled with severe graphical glitches such as afterimages and tearing bits off the sprites. The game does not properly track the locations of enemies, so you are deemed to have hit them if you go anywhere near them - but also to have shoot them if you fire anywhere near them.
    • The code to collect objects doesn't work at all; even if you fix that, but then collect more than one piece of the "Enertree" (the goal of the game), the game believes you have collected zero pieces and won't let you drop any off. Technically you could still beat the game by collecting and delivering one piece at a time, but only if you haven't anything else to do with your life.
    • If you enter a room with a locked door from the right, the game teleports you through the door, because it's programmed to always move you to the left when you enter such a room. Due to incorrectly reused variable names, two of the game's doors open and close constantly every time an enemy moves up or down. To add insult to injury, if you attempt to leave any room without being in the lower half of the passageway, the game crashes.
    • The game is notoriously slow. It was written in Laser Basic, which uses standard ZX Spectrum basic for most processing. There are also some peculiar decisions made as to what should be done every frame. This isn't a direct insult to how badly the game plays in Laser Basic, as there are good games written with the extension, but the real kicker is that the developer forgot to encrypt the game. This means that loading the game also loads the full binaries for Laser Basic. By quitting the game, you can then use this yourself and get a £14.99 software utility for free. Despite this massive hiccup, its publisher didn't take notice and released it twice — once on its own, once as part of a compilation. Due to this, distributing and owning a physical copy of Sqij! is technically illegal.
    • Unlike other examples, Sqij! was intentionally badly programmed: programmer Jason Kendall, who wrote the game when he was 15, was contractually obligated to make a game for publisher The Power House, but after a falling out with the higher-ups, lazily threw together a game so bad he figured The Power House would reject it on the spot. And they published it without looking. The game became notorious in the ZX Spectrum community, and comp.sys.sinclair's 'bad game contest' is hosted at sqij.co.uk (now defunct) in tribute to it. The programmer in question later admitted the game was bad and took the whole thing in stride.
  • The Final Fantasy series is known for its polished production values, but was often coded in bizarre, idiotic ways.
    • There were several issues in the original Final Fantasy:
      • The intelligence stat doesn't work, running from battles, instead of basing it on Luck and Level, is controlled Luck, and the status of the 3rd and 4th player character slots, whoever attacks 3rd, and the health of the 4th character slot, most equipment buffs don't even work, and most spell debuffs don't work. The only one that seems to be an Ascended Glitch due to it not being fixed in subsequent re-releases is that the critical hit rate is tied to the weapon's index in the database.
      • Each character has several stats. Three of them are useless. One of those stats is INT, which is traditionally linked to Magic Power. Instead, Magic Power depends entirely on the STR stat, because the game treats all damage as damage. Stupidly enough, it also treats all Healing as negative damage, which means you may end up having your HP-critical Knight block the CUR3 you cast on him!
      • There are also other stupid mistakes in the code, which result in spells that should halve the enemy's evasion actually doubling it, spells that should increase your accuracy actually doubling your evasion instead, and the status-healing spell, VOX, which cures Silence, except it can only be cast on the caster. And a character with Silence can't cast spells...
    • Final Fantasy II was almost as bad as the first game:
      • Instead of a traditional levelling and experience point system, the game had characters gain higher maximum health whenever they lost a significant amount of health in battle, and become more skilled with weapons and spells the more they used them. However, glitches in how said mechanics were implemented meant that it ended up being more efficient for players to get their characters to attack each other to gain extra health, while the code only tacked how many times the "attack" and "magic" commands were selected, not actually carried out, meaning players could rapidly achieve Disc-One Nuke status by repeatedly selecting and then cancelling attack and spell commands.
      • The ability to flee from battles was tied into the characters' "evade" stat, which had to be at least reasonably close to (or higher than) those of whatever enemies they were facing in order to sucessfully flee. When combined with the game designers trying to close off sections of the map by populating them with enemies vastly stronger than their party could possibly hope to battle, however, the end result was that if a player ever strayed into a section of the map they weren't supposed to, they had to sit and watch helplessly as their party was rapidly obliterated, with no hope of escape.
      • The game's most powerful spell, Ultima, ended up being essentially useless due to a glitch in how the spell's damage was calculated, meaning that you'd be lucky for a fully-powered Ultima to cause much more damage than a low-to-mid powered elemental attack.
      • While the programmers remembered to enforce Contractual Boss Immunity where the Death spell was concerned, they forgot to do the same with the Toad and Imp spells, which also act as insta-death spells in this game, meaning that it was possible to kill nearly every boss in the game in just a single turn, once you'd acquired said spells. And if you came across a boss immune to them, then you could just off them with the Blood Sword, which thanks to a damage-calculation glitch that actually worked in your favor this time, could kill the strongest bosses in just 2-3 turns, including the final boss.
    • Final Fantasy VI is a hot mess of Game-Breaking Bug content, Good Bad Bugs that chop down the difficulty, and otherwise ignored a few key faults in its code.
      • Thanks to a programming error, the Evasion stat did not work at all, and all attack evasion was instead regulated by the Magic Block/MBlock stat. This invalidated the Blind/Dark debuff, which worked by greatly increasing a target's Evasion.
      • Relm's Sketch command was so unbelievably buggy that it could have any number of random effects, from filling your inventory with items to completely corrupting your save file to turning a party member into a Guest-Star Party Member you were only supposed to use once.
      • Sending a character into the coliseum makes them computer-controlled in a one-on-one fight against a monster, and it's a one-way ticket to Artificial Stupidity. Characters would frequently cast spells like Antidote and Remedy despite not being under a bad status effect. Mog would try to Dance even though it would never work. Terra, if she was able, would morph into her Esper form, and then proceed to stand completely still until she died or the effect wore off. Sabin would use the Soul Spiral/Spiraler Blitz technique if he had it, which would instantly kill him and lose the match.
      • The "Vanish" spell would give a target the Clear status, which makes physical attacks always miss in exchange for making magical attacks always hit, which it's supposed to do. However, the line of code that says this was given precedence over Contractual Boss Immunity to instant death spells, meaning nearly anything in the game could be instantly killed by casting Vanish, then casting either Doom or X-Zone/Banish.
      • While rare, it's possible to make a party with no one in it, usually after Guest-Star Party Member Shadow leaves. If you do, all you can do is open the menu to see no one's there, and as soon as you close the menu, the game explosively glitches into oblivion.
      • Due to the way save points were coded, in any instance where the player has to control multiple parties, a player could save and use Tents anywhere they wanted as long as one party was standing on a Save Point.
      • The Final Boss's ultimate attack, Forsaken, was incorrectly programmed to divide its damage among all party members instead of dealing its full damage to each of them, resulting in a visually-impressive but pitifully weak attack.
    • Final Fantasy VII has multiple scenes that never play as they should, because they were erroneously linked to arbitrary flags. This includes how the ability to see Aeris's ghost after her death is switched off by talking to an unrelated innkeeper in a flashback, and how a scene with Cloud and Barret discussing politics is locked away forever by a flag that triggers when going to the back of the church with Aeris. There are also scenes that can only be accessed by having far more Love Points than exist in the game, locking them out.
    • Final Fantasy XII's Scrappy Mechanic, the treasure chests that generate loot based on whether or not you have a certain piece of armour equipped, is not intentional. It was the result of an RNG that happened to be dependent on which other chests had been opened by the player, and the position of the Diamond Armlet item. Strategy guide writers soon figured out how the RNG functioned, leading many to assume this was a deliberate game mechanic.
    • The 1.0 version of Final Fantasy XIV was filled to the brim with idiot programming. On launch, most people's computers could barely run the game at a stable frame rate, much less a smooth one. Because the game engine used was mostly optimized for single player games and not an MMO, performance chugged heavily. There were also other strange quirks like a flower pot which, for some odd reason, had as many polygons and shader codes as a player character model, because the design team prioritized graphical quality over absolutely everything else. The game would lag quite often since, at the time, the servers were only located in Japan and the developers also decided to have almost everything in the game being done server side. Going through a menu? Selecting a skill? Opening the map? All of it was programmed to run on the server's end. Ergo, if anything was affecting the server's performance, the player would feel it.
  • Little King's Story was made in a custom engine, without maintainability or future usage in mind, and myriad parts of the game relying on the 30 FPS framerate in bizarre ways. This came back to bite XSEED in the ass when they wanted to bring it to PC in 2016, resulting in a massive Porting Disaster. It was so bad that they had to bring in Durante, a master in reverse engineering and the guy responsible for putting out Dark Souls fix patch within 24 hours of the game's release, to try and fix it. While Durante managed to make the game more stable and optimized, he had to admit defeat when it came to making the game run at an arbitrary framerate, and commended the people responsible for the original porting for managing to make it run at all. Durante made a post about his time fixing the game here.
  • Not that Valve Software was known for paying much attention to Counter-Strike in the first place, but a few aspects of the game are just plain terribly coded:
    • Valve Anti-Cheat. Oh, where do we start? Cheating is so endemic to CS due to this system's failures, and players playing on third-party clients with stricter cheat detection make up a massive part of the playerbase. Notably, it only scans the game files to see if a program is modifying them with no regard to what's actually happening in game; as it's fairly easy to hide a cheat from VAC, that means a player running Super Speed across the map getting five instant headshots every single round can only be banned by manual reports, and a player that's hiding his cheats is nearly impossible to get banned.
    • For some reason, player models don't reflect the way the actual player is aiming on his screen; instead of aiming exactly as the player does, to enemies the model looks to snap to them incredibly quickly in an extremely fishy way, which contributes to a lot of "crying wolf" reports that make the CSGO banning system even more of a joke. Why Valve doesn't just simply fix this is beyond the community's knowledge.
    • The "mesh" layer that codes for bot movement in some maps is incredibly poorly generated, including bots taking longer to go around obstacles that no longer exist, standing out in the open because the area is coded as "cover", and, in one case, causing them to fail jumps and inflict significant damage on themselves.
  • Hunt Down The Freeman is a colossal failure on every level and the programming design is no exception.
    • When it was released, 60 GB of storage space was required to play a game that, compared to its contemporaries like DOOM (2016) and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, is not graphically impressive. A lot of that space is taken up by Dummied Out assets, uncompressed textures upscaled for 4K resolutions, SFM cutscenes, and the entire Source Engine SDK. Even the demo released in 2016 was included and it's not playable in-game. This was later rectified by the developers and the required space was cut down to 40 GB, which is still too much.
    • The loading times for when the game loads up another part of a level can take up to a minute or two. Compare to Half-Life 2, where the loading usually takes ten seconds tops, even on hardware made during its release date.
    • The saving system is broken and has the potential to corrupt your saves. At the time of release, the most consistent way is by quicksaving in a vehicle, which always produces broken saves.
    • The AI is a spectacular case of Artificial Stupidity for both allies and enemies. The pathfinding for the former is broken and often leads to them being stuck trying to enter the same door. Expect this AI-related message to appear every time a level is loaded.
      Node Graph Out of Date. Rebuilding...
    • The developers didn't take into account what would happen if a critical ally dies while in battle. The result is that ally going into a T-pose and the following message appearing on-screen.
      #HL2_GameOver_Ally
    • The parkour system is already finicky to begin with, but the highlight is that the action required to do parkour, holstering your weapon, is not mapped to any keys by default.
    • And all of this doesn't include the state of the game on its release date, which had critical bugs like missing textures for many models and cutscenes not triggering, requiring the console to be used just to progress.
  • When Nights of Azure was ported to PC, the developers didn't include the option to close the game, requiring users to force-quit it from outside the program. This is one of the most basic features any game should have, yet they didn't bother to code it in. Also, if you're a keyboard user, Azure and Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book has no options to rebind keys. If that's not bad enough, the game doesn't even bother to tell which key does what!
  • The licensed NES games produced by Australian developer Beam Software in the late 1980s were notorious for their botched renditions of well-known songs. This wasn't due to any lack of talent on the part of the composers, howevernote ; for some inexplicable reason the company's NES sound engine was only able to play music back at a tempo of 150bpm and nothing else. This wasn't such an issue with the original titles the company produced, as the composers could write their music with this limitation in mind, but most of their output was licensed games for LJN Toys, meaning that a lot of familiar tunes got butchered. It wasn't until near the end of the NES's lifespan that they fixed this problem.
  • Telltale Games is notorious for pushing out Obvious Betas of their games. It's to the point where you have to question whether or not they actually bug test these things.
    • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People has its share of problems. Skipping the dialogue too often in the PC version will cause the character textures to disappear. There's also an infamous bug in the Wii version of Homestar Ruiner where the game freezes on Coach Z's dialogue in Extended Mode if you've set your console to widescreen mode (which you most likely have). To make matters worse, you need see this scene to get 100% completion.
    • For whatever reason, Poker Night at the Inventory refuses to load if you have an Xbox 360 controller or something similar plugged in to a USB port.
    • Never play the iOS version of Poker Night 2. Ever. It's a Porting Disaster because the game was never designed for it. There's slowdowns, random crashes, and anti-aliasing beyond belief. That, and it's nearly impossible to play unless you're using an iPad.
    • The Wii versions of Sam & Max: Freelance Police tend to place the cursor on lower right corner of the screen, thus locking the controls.
  • It's very clear that the developers of Snake Pass had no idea what they were doing when attempting to make the game run on other platforms. All they did was pile on the anti-ailiasing until they got it to run at least halfway decently. Did we mention that the game also runs at 30 FPS?
  • Undertale, being made almost entirely by a single person, has a few issues:
    • All of the RNG-based Easter Eggs were initially Dummied Out by accident because the developer didn't realize that the string reading the value that triggered them was case-sensitive.
    • The game's dialogue system contains hidden "control strings" which dictate, among other things, whether to show the next line or close the current text box and continue when the "advance dialogue" key is pressed. As this Reddit post shows, sometimes, the "close text box" string is used at times where the "show next line" string should have been used instead, resulting in some lines of dialogue never showing up. This causes a few cases of unintentionally Orphaned Setups when the skipped lines are the punchline of a joke.
  • Undertale's sequel, Deltarune, has a much more severe error: the uninstaller of the initial release of the "SURVEY_PROGRAM" deletes the whole directory it was installed in instead of just the game. Toby Fox admitted this could have "catastrophic" consequences, and advised people on Twitter not to use the game's uninstall tool.
  • Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion is a halfway decent Super Smash Bros. clone. Emphasis on "halfway". There's a ton of lazy development quirks that almost make the game unplayable. Unresponsive controls, an unfinished battle system, and an unintuitive control scheme that even the veteran Smash player finds hard to get used to. There's also a quite infamous bug that freezes the game during one of the final levels. And instead of trying to fix the issue, the developers basically told everyone to just cheat by inputting the code that unlocks everything, which makes playing Story Mode pointless. Granted, there are ways to bypass this bug (many people did it just by sheer luck) but it's still a problem that makes the game a textbook example of Obvious Beta.
  • PAYDAY 2 Steam version is pretty good, stable, and consistently and frequently updated... except every time it updates, it doubled the game's total size into well over 60-70gb from its 30-40gb size for backup reason without any explanation beforehand... although when the update finished, the size goes back into its original size.
  • The Blue's Clues games by Humongous Entertainment are the only games that can't run on Windows 3.1 despite other SCUMM engine games working just fine on it. Why is this? The Full Motion Video for Steve has filenames that are too long note . If the files and pointers are shortened manually, the games run as expected.
  • Initial releases of The Horde were deliberately programed to delete all the save files from every other game on the system to make room for itself, without even prompting the player. This was changed when it was realized that people don't like this "feature."
  • The PC version of Guitar Hero III: Legend of Rock has an unforeseen quirk that limits the amount of custom fretcharts that be put in to the game. Basically put, the developers, for whatever reason, decided to put a cap on how many text objects can be on a menu at a time, or else the game crashes. This cap also goes towards the high scores. A more in-depth analysis on this bug can be found here.
  • A few third-party Wii games have GameCube controller support. However, some of them, which include Castlevania: Judgment and the aforementioned Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion, shut off all other controller methods if a GameCube controller is plugged in. So, if you wanted to use a Wiimote, but you accidentally left a GameCube controller plugged in, you'd be frantically pressing buttons wondering why the game isn't accepting any of your inputs. And in case you're wondering, the Wii is perfectly capable of handling both controllers at the same time.
  • A special case goes towards the Doodle system in Toontown Online. It seemed fine at first, but when private servers arose after the game's closure, Doodles couldn't be implemented because they put unnecessary strain on the servers. You see, the coding for Doodles was rather poorly written, and the only reason no one noticed is because Disney is a large company with tons of money, and as such, had access to servers where the strain didn't matter. It wasn't until much later when fans rewrote the coding entirely from scratch just to fix the issue.
  • Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition as of 2017 are now host to the "Creation Club", where players can purchase exclusive fanmade content from the new Bethesda store service. Already controversial for being, essentially, proof that Bethesda learned nothing from their ill-fated attempt to add a price tag to Skyrim mods on the Steam Workshop around April 2015, this one makes itself even worse by, much like the above, downloading all of the Creation Club files whether you intended to actually buy any of them or not, and only actually giving you that which you pay for. Say what you will about having to carry DLC you don't own for a single game on a console that's expected to get by with only eight gigabytes of space, eventually these games could reach the point where you can add space requirements in the terabyte range onto their already ridiculous system requirements. The only upshots are that mods are only added seasonally (usually every six months or so) and, possibly due to the controversy surrounding the Creation Club, number much lower than those hosted on Bethesda's own website or Nexus Mods (so they won't reach catastrophic space requirements for a long while), and their presence in the Creation Club means that Bethesda at least claims that they will all work with each other and with future updates to the game itself.
  • There's one point in X-Men (1993) where you have to literally restart your Genesis to continue. A fun idea in concept that wouldn't normally be considered this, but the issue is that it wasn't thought out too well. For one, a lot of later Genesis models like the Nomad lack a reset button entirely, and powering the system off and then on doesn't count as restarting the system. Even then, it's really finicky on whether or not it actually works; you have to press the reset button just long enough to where it sends the actual signal, or else the game just soft resets entirely.
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines was regarded as a poorly-designed game in general, but one of the biggest reasons was that the Xenomorph enemies suffered from some of the most broken, dysfunctional AI in any modern videogame. Years later, it was discovered that this was the result of a typo in the game's configuration files (someone mis-spelt "tether" as "teather"), and that when corrected, the Xenomorphs had perfectly serviceable AI with even the occasional moment of Artificial Brilliance. While correctly-functioning AI wouldn't have saved the game from its numerous other problems, it might at least have propelled it into So Okay, It's Average territory instead of just being bad (and prompted some software companies to ask you to spell "tether" in online interviews).
  • Like most Idle Games, Hero Simulator Idle Adventures lets you purchase an in-game auto-clicker to attack enemies, and lets you purchase further improvements like increasing its damage which stay with you when you start a New Game+. Unlike most Idle Games, these only last as long as you keep the browser tab open: closing and reopening or even reloading causes the game to remember you having purchased the auto-clicker, but not actually giving you the autoclicker. An update was issued that lets the autoclicker survive the page reloading, but not its upgrades (and even then it tend to stop working after a while). It also has a mechanic where you can watch ads for in-game bonuses, but these fail more often than not without giving you the bonus.

    Miscellaneous Madness 
Needless to say, there are more bad coders out there than good ones.
  • You can't talk about idiot programming without mentioning one of the most infamous software glitches of all time. Most of the glitches on this page probably caused inconveniences, lost data, or locked someone out of using a product. But what about a software glitch that actually killed people? That would involve none other than the infamous Therac-25, a piece of radiology equipment so poorly programmed that it gave everyone who used it massive (and often quite fatal) overdoses of radiation. The Other Wiki's article on it describes it as "involved in at least six accidents between 1985 and 1987, in which patients were given massive overdoses of radiation. Because of concurrent programming errors, it sometimes gave its patients radiation doses that were hundreds of times greater than normal, resulting in death or serious injury. These accidents highlighted the dangers of software control of safety-critical systems, and they have become a standard case study in health informatics and software engineering. Additionally the overconfidence of the engineers and lack of proper due diligence to resolve reported software bugs, is highlighted as an extreme case where the engineer's overconfidence in their initial work and failure to believe the end users' claims caused drastic repercussions." This machine's shoddy programming was so infamous that it is now cited in introductory programming classes to this day as an example of how not to program.
  • Actual code that causes these observed effects is a weekly feature at thedailywtf.com.
    • Also from the programming side, libraries developed by the Department of Redundancy Department where you have to lapse into Pokémon Speak to write any meaningful code. For instance, take this line from Debian's version of awesome's rc.lua:
      { "Debian", debian.menu.Debian_menu.Debian }
      • To be clear, "menu" is the only member of "debian", and "Debian_menu" is the only member of "debian.menu".
    • Java should have filled the niche of web-based games that Flash mostly owns... except that early versions of Java were so slow and so unnatural looking that Flash actually looked good in comparison. By the time they fixed it, Flash had become the de-facto standard for this kind of thing, much to the chagrin of just about everyone except Adobe.
  • The Computer Stupidities section of Rinkworks.com has its own section for programming.
  • Adding another Sony example to the lot already present on this page: when they first started out with their portable music players, Sony didn't support the MP3 standard due to their historical unwillingness to support anything that could encourage piracy of any kind. Their players instead supported Atrac3, a proprietary Sony audio format. Being (somewhat surprisingly) smart enough to figure out that users would want to listen to their MP3 music, Sony sold the players with SonicStage, an upload program capable of converting MP3 files to Atrac. SonicStage promptly proceeded to annoy a whole lot of people: buggy and prone to crashing, some computers couldn't run it at all (for reasons unknown), prompting many to return the players and switch brands.
    • The effective demise of SonicStage and unpopularity of early Sony players ended up killing off the Atrac3 format, which — despite its very proprietary design — was liked by some regardless of the players it supported due to somewhat better quality compared to equivalent-bandwidth MP3.
    • Creative did the same with their first hard-disk players: before they started supporting the MTP format (widely supported by many music managers), the only way you could upload stuff to them was by using the godawful PlayCenter program, later superseded by the even worse MediaSource. Many users preferred to keep PlayCenter: buggy as it was, at least it did its job sometimes. Both programs also attempted to set themselves as default players and music managers, further irritating users.
    • Ditto Microsoft with the Zune, at least initially. Read the Microsoft section for more.
  • Many streaming video websites have a ridiculously small buffer size; quite often only 3 to 4 seconds of video, and possibly even less at HD resolutions. In optimum conditions, it's not so problematic, but if the site is particularly busy or if your Internet connection isn't too fast, it can make the videos all but unwatchable. A part of this problem is actually politics of internet service providers. The content providers (YouTube and Netflix for example) and service providers are in heated debates about who should fork over dough for the upkeep of the network. When this fails to make any progress, certain aspects of how videos get to your home suffer. It's not that content providers suck, it's that they have to hop through more loops to get to you. You can read more about it at this article.
    • An additional problem caused by the introduction of ad breaks on certain longer videos, both for the commercial networks and independent web producers, is an annoying tendency for the players to just stop working after an ad break and never go back to the video originally being watched. Fortunately most sites are kind enough to remember where you were in the video and just pick up after the last commercial break, but several — which, annoyingly, includes Blip.tv — will force you to restart from the beginning. Which means sitting through some (if not all) of the ads again.
  • Computers don't truly have random number generation. Instead, they take a number (often something like the system time) as a "seed" and use that to generate a stream of random-looking numbers (it's called a "pseudo-random number generator", or PRNG), and a given seed will always produce the same sequence each time it's used. This isn't Idiot Programming itself — the way computers work means that they can't actually generate proper random numbers without an outside source of randomness — but considering that this fact is mentioned in every basic computer science class worth its salt, any code that fails to take it into consideration is Idiot Programming.
    • For a specific example, at least one poker site was cracked this way. Someone wrote a program that, using the programmer's knowledge of the RNG and the player's own pocket cards, could tell the player everyone else's cards as well as the future cards that would come off the deck, completely breaking the game.
    • Another example was found in a keno machine which would always roll the same sequence of numbers after each reboot, since it used the same seed every time it booted up. This allowed one clever guy to win big three games in a row. Slot and keno machines nowadays prevent this by constantly advancing the seed even while it's not being played, by either incrementing the seed number or just rolling and throwing away the outcomesnote .
    • RANDU, the infamous random number generator included on IBM computers in the 60s. How bad is it? Aside from the fact that every number is odd (which is very very bad on its own yet easy to work around), any three adjacently generated numbers can be mathematically related into a plane (which looks like 15 planes when plotted due to modulo arithmetic).
      • And because the computer it was included with, System/360 mainframe, is widely regarded as their greatest work and was the computer of The '60s and The '70s, the generator became so widespread that the traces of it periodically surface even now, almost fifty years past.
    • Sega's 1988 arcade version of Tetris uses the exact same RNG seed every time it boots up, resulting in the infamous "power-on pattern". This goes against a major concept of Tetris (randomized pieces) and allows the player to simply use the pattern to plot out their piece placements to max out the score counter in as few pieces as possible, rather than playing against an RNG seed they don't know and dealing with whatever it throws out. Of course, you need to have machine-resetting privileges or be playing on an emulator to take advantage of this.
    • Generally speaking, using the RNG to advance the RNG makes it less random, not more, as multiple positions will end up having the same result. This mistake is common enough to have its own name — "RNG jitter". One of the programs guilty of it is NetHack, as constantly mentioned in this April Fools' Day TAS submission.
    • Spectrum computers will always generate the random number .0011291504 the first time a random number is called after booting up. This can be avoided by coding RANDOMIZE to reroll before calling a random number, but the low quality control of the Spectrum's output means many, many programs do not bother to avoid it. It is such a cliche to see .0011291504 appear in bad Speccy games that there are Deconstruction Games referencing it, such as RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE RANDOMIZE.
  • For graphing calculators, it often happens that there exist several different hardware for linking them to computers. It also happens that different linking software, from different authors, don't support the same hardware. But unlike Texas Instruments calculators, linking applications for Casio calculators all used different, incompatible file formats on the PC.
  • While Windows Vista (see below) did introduce a ton of problems, it also did something that revealed many a programmer's idiot programming choice: assuming that the user account always had administrative rights. In Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced UAC, which would only assign standard user rights to a program, even if the user was an administrator. This is sensible, as it limits the damage that the program can do if it goes rogue. Programs that needed administrator rights were detected based on the file name and an optional configuration file called a manifest. Of course, older software that needed administrator rights knew nothing of manifests, and would fail in unpredictable ways, usually spouting an error message that wouldn't make the actual problem obvious to the non-technical (or necessarily even to the technical) — although Windows did sometimes spout a dialogue box along the lines of "Whoops, this program looks like it needs admin rights, but it didn't ask for them and I didn't realize until just now, do you want me to make sure it runs as an admin in future?".
  • BitTorrent, since 2004, still has the issue of "stopping the Internet", usually due to overloading the DNS cache. It's convenient to have another device, another connection, or access to another computer to look up the solution to this problem, attempting steps like resetting the router from the router itself, accessing the router software interface and resetting the router from there, flushing the DNS cache, and adjusting settings in the OS, firewall, and BitTorrent client. Wherever the problem is, such as the process of manufacturing router hardware and programming router software, you'd think it would be fixed by now so the end user would not have to deal with it.
  • So the designers of the Soviet Phobos space probe left testing routines in the flight computer's ROM — fair enough, everyone does the same, because removing them means retesting and recertifying the whole computer, which generally would've be plainly impossible without said routines. But to design the probe's Operating System in such a way that a one-character typo in an incoming command would accidentally trigger a routine that turns off the attitude thrusters, making the spacecraft unable to point its solar panels at the Sun and recharge its batteries, effectively killing it, takes a special kind of failure.
  • Firefox:
    • Firefox 4's temporary file deletion algorithm was an unusual, since it was actually pretty effective at deleting older files and freeing up large amounts of disk space. It suffered a major problem, though, in that it chewed up huge amounts of CPU power and maxed out the hard drive in the process, which could slow your entire system to a crawl. Worse still, there was no way of aborting the cleanup routine, and if you killed the Firefox process, it would just invoke the file cleaner again as soon as you restarted the browser. It wasn't until Firefox 5 that the file cleaner got fixed, using much less CPU power and still being fairly disk-intensive, but not to the same extent as previously.
    • Firefox had an update that changed the system for syncing your passwords. This allowed recovery of accounts in case of losing your master decoder key, but had an outrageous problem: You could no longer sync passwords with a master password set on your Firefox user, requiring the user to disable it and then check-off passwords in the sync list. Thankfully, Mozilla updated this problem, and all is well again.
    • Syncing Firefox accounts makes it very convenient to keep your computers up to date with each other, but syncing for the first time causes the browser to eat CPU cycles — for a while — like narcotics. All this just to download data from a server and import it into the browser?
  • Tech sites have noted a rather disturbing trend in how certain handheld devices handle firmware updates. The sane way to do such an update over the internet is to check for the existence of updated firmware, download it, validate its checksums, erase the old firmware, and then load the updated version. Ideally there's also a backup firmware chip, or some other way of restoring the device if things go pear-shaped. Unfortunately, a lot of devices (especially cheaper ones) don't actually do that — instead, they check for a firmware update, and upon getting confirmation that that there is such an update, the device immediately wipes the old firmware, then downloads and installs the updated version. If anything goes significantly wrong during the download (e.g. loss of internet connection, loss of power, or a software error), then the device will almost certainly be bricked. On top of that, most of the time there's no way to restore such a device to working order outside of replacing the motherboard, and only a 50/50 or so chance the manufacturer will replace it under warranty.
    • Curiously, most so-called "smart TVs" will do this — Samsung and Sony seem to be particularly bad about it.
  • A flight of ultra-high-tech F-22 Raptors suffered multiple computer failures and were practically crippled because their programming couldn't cope with the time zone change of crossing the International Date Line. Somehow, it never occurred to the designers that a fighter aircraft just might cross the International Date Line and forgot to program its systems to adjust for it — which is a standard part of the programming of modern cellphones. This oversight resulted in a temporary grounding of all Raptors for a time.
  • Many, many pieces of PC gaming hardware feature extremely fancy graphical interfaces and special effects for their drivers. Although they might make the hardware look attractive for the few minutes people will spend setting them up, this also has the effect of consuming extra system resources and thus interferes with the actual games the user might want to play.
    • The Razer Starcraft II series of hardware were perhaps the worst example of this. The Razer Spectre mouse, made for Starcraft II, had such an intrusive driver that a patch had to be issued for StarCraft II itself to prevent the slowdown it caused. The Razer Marauder keyboard, also made for Starcraft II, not only used the same intrusive driver but when Razer sponsored their own team for Starcraft II, the keyboards they issued them with were... Razer Blackwidows.
  • At some point, the client software for AOL was so intrusive that a page on horrible software (now part of the Permanent Red Link Club) said that you shouldn't download it, and that the only way to get rid of it was to use a Live CD with support for NTFS partitions.
  • UEFI in modern computers has become commonplace and it offers many benefits over the old BIOS such as support for better interfaces, so configurations can be easily done and none of the old limitations from the 80s like being limited to 640KB of RAM. Hell, some computers don't even have so much as the old POST screen anymore. Thanks to the "compatibility support module" found in most UEFI firmware, it can still be used with older operating systems emulating a BIOS. But of course, UEFI mode causes issues once in a while due to shoddy coding, e.g., where filling the UEFI memory with too many variables (which could be triggered by simply running Linux) bricks your laptop.
    • One issue with UEFI being generally prettified in comparison to BIOS is that some manufacturers remove the old POST screen without replacing it with anything but a non-removable manufacturer logo. The average user is unlikely to mind, but it's a massive pain to any tech who used to rely on the POST messages to figure out the hardware, and potential early errors, without having to load the OS and from there a hardware-scanning application.
    • Software commands destroying hardware was a problem we'd managed to remove from the world of computing as a whole in the eighties — count on both the UEFI and Linux quirk to bring it back. Namely, the Linux command "rm -rf /" has now acquired a whole new level of danger: with BIOS all this did was wipe your system (and was occasionally ran for kicks and giggles by Linux admins before reinstalling a system, because it can be fun to see the system progressively lose its brains), but with UEFI the motherboard firmware is mounted as read-write in the filesystem, and many motherboards give write privileges to the firmware by default — so running that command will also brick your motherboard. Slow clap.
      • But no one keeps that mounted, right? That would be almost as stupid as keeping /boot mounted.
  • vBulletin 5 has this in spades. Thousands of bugs? Check. Bugs that let members do things like figure out what private sections exist, not search/view more pages/post if JavaScript is disabled? Check. Changing every aspect of the URL structure on upgrade in one fell swoop and completely mauling the site's search engine rankings? Check again. There's even a code review that breaks down the poorly programming line by line that's filled with examples of Idiot Programming and inconsistency.
    • vBulletin 4 wasn't that great either; the old developers fled the coop after they somehow thought selling out to Internet Brands was a good idea. All hell broke loose.
  • Zamfoo. This web hosting control panel software, as discussed at Webhosting Talk and Reddit is an absolute goldmine of examples of how NOT to program anything in existence. Some examples:
    • The 'easy upgrade' script has you enter your server root login information on the company's website, which is then transmitted as plain text through HTTP.
    • The code (which is supposedly encrypted) is devoid of any logic or decent coding sense in the slightest, doing things like enabling and then disabling "strict mode" to "fix" errors and and using only the most basic programming code possible.
    • The released updates were literally hacked in about five minutes flat, and didn't fix any of the issues properly.
    • Add "support" which amounts to threats and personal attacks, the use of nulled (stolen) software by the coder and the chance that the whole thing could well have unlicensed code from other software in it, and the whole thing is literally a disaster in every way possible.
  • Want to register on Finale PrintMusic's forums (or certain others, such as the Magic Set Editor ones)? We hope you don't plan on being away from your account for too long, because it will deactivate after a few months and you can't log back in. You can't simply create a new account, either, because the old information will still be in the system and it won't allow you to use the same information for another account. You can contact a forum administrator and have them reactivate the old one, but you need to view the admin's profile to gain their contact information... and you can only view user profiles if you're logged into an account. The Catch-22 should be obvious.
    • For Finale's programs themselves, in Finale Notepad 2003, there's no limit as to how high or low you can put a music note on the music sheet, but be warned: placing a note very high or very low on a music sheet can sometimes freeze the whole entire system, with the only solution being to force shut down your computer with the power button.
  • Oracle's VirtualBox (like many of Oracle's products) has gotten a lot of flack because of extremely poor programming. Version 4.3.14 is especially bad; despite the release notes saying it doesn't need to restart a computer running Windows after installing, it still does. After restarting, as with certain previous versions, guest operating systems won't be able to boot. Unlike previous versions, before saying something vague about why the virtual machine won't start, it gives the user another error message, which is written in hex or something. After attempting to repair the installation (which actually worked in previous versions) and restarting again, this time VirtualBox itself won't start, instead greeting the user with the same indecipherable error message.
    • VirtualBox also conflicts with Microsoft Hyper-V. This isn't idiot programming in itself, since the nature of virtualization means that you can only use one such program at once. What's idiot programming is how it deals with the conflict: namely, it blue screens the entire computer. Even more ironically, if you turn off Hyper-V and then run VirtualBox, it'll still blue screen.. and then Windows will reinstall Hyper-V, because since the system blue screened, Windows's recovery features will undo the change to the operating system that they believe caused the fault.
  • In general, any and all interfaces made for specific gadgets and intended to look non-threatening to the end user. This is less of a problem today than it used to be, thanks to universal interfaces such as USB, MTP and various other platform-agnostic protocols that let you just plug in a device and see its contents, upload to it, or just have it work with little-to-no attention required. Back when this stuff wasn't so well-baked, though, it was common to receive a nice software package with, say, your camera, and you needed that to get the pictures — which might well be in some proprietary format, or even encrypted — out of the device's memory and into your computer. The software was almost always Windows-only, natch, and typically written by someone who would have lost a programming competition against a trained monkey. So you'd get horrors like this, which might — if you were particularly lucky — actually let you ignore all the family-friendly features (filters! colors! cropping tools! Instagram before Instagram existed!) and just dump the damn data on the hard drive without crashing. But it wasn't unusual to have to relaunch the application several times before it would just do its job.
  • Speaking about MTP: it was born as a substitute for the mass storage protocol for devices whose data stream would benefit from some form of manipulation as it was being sent through — or to make DRM easier, according to who you listen to. It was slow in being adopted because mass storage is just so much simpler and easier, but then the Android project picked it up to solve its age-old problem with separate filesystems. note  With MTP all the data gets translated by the computer's processor; this makes it filesystem-independent and means a Windows computer can access the whole of an Android device's memory, but it has a heavy cost in terms of speed — a large backup operation can take hours when it'd take tens of minutes on the earlier mass storage protocol. Not to mention that the Windows Explorer is, for no clear reason, extremely impractical and ungainly in handling MTP folders.
  • Some questions to Facebook support ask why it's possible to drag and drop entries in the TV Shows and Movies categories, but not other categories like Apps and Games or Music. There is no official answer. In previous versions of the Likes pages, drag and drop was possible in all categories, but this has remained disabled for more than a year. Enabling this should take the web programmers no more than ten minutes.
  • Many websites are distressingly bad at password security, as Tom Scott explains. The worst offenders will simply email a password to you in cleartext on request, which implies that the website is not hashing and salting user passwords, allowing password thieves to crack the stupid passwords like "12345" to log in. Scott claims that handling passwords at all is Idiot Programming to begin with, and that programmers should use a third-party service like Facebook if possible, because security is so hard to get right.
  • Steam:
    • A misconfiguration in Steam's caching on Christmas Day 2015 let logged-in users briefly see other people's accounts. Caching pages for logged-in users is another big security no-no.
    • In February 2017, an exploit was discovered where the titles of user-made guides on one's profile page would be executed as JavaScript code, meaning anybody who visited a profile page could potentially be redirected to a fake phishing website, asked to download malware, or have marketplace transactions made with their account. Since Steam normally displays a warning page before linking users to external sites, users were more likely to fall for phishing and malware downloads. Protecting one's website from things like code injection is very important for security, so how a large company like Valve let something like this slip through is baffling.
  • GOG Dot Com's "Galaxy" client has certain issues with download size (namely, getting it wrong) and download speed (roughly comparable to having the code yelled at you over the phone and programming it yourself). For example, take the Diamond edition of Neverwinter Nights. This comes to about 2.5GB, a maximum of 3 if you count all the music and avatars and so on that come as freebies. Galaxy will report the game size as being 5GB. It will then take an obscenely long time to download that 5GB; on a connection where Origin can get a game of that size downloaded within an eight-hour period, Galaxy will take twelve. Read that again: 12 hours to download all five gigabytes of a three-gigabyte game. Thankfully, Galaxy is completely optional and you can just download games directly from your account on the site, saving time, frustration and bandwidth.
  • Many mobile apps don't allow the user to exit them under certain conditions, forcing mobile users to reboot or shut down their devices. The mobile version of the newsfeed aggregator Feedly, for example, doesn't allow you to exit the app until the Internet connection is back, and doesn't allow you to either reload the app in order to check if there is truly an Internet connection (and there are cases where even with Internet connection, it still outputs the dreaded "Are you connected to the Internet?" error).
  • Users of the vastly popular Logitech C920 webcam are likely to have installed the Logitech Webcam Software application with the drivers. Any user should check their temp AppData folder for a file named "LWSDebugOut.txt." It appears that roughly every second the software detects that the webcam is disconnected, it feels the need to make a new entry in the error log. This can cause the file to swell to over 500 MB in only two months.
  • VLC used to "rebuild its font cache" every time you'd try to play a video that has subtitles (God knows why it tried to do this, especially if the video you're trying to watch uses the same font for its subtitles as ones you watched in the past). It would just be a minor annoyance if it didn't take several minutes and have a tendency to cause the entire program to become unresponsive frequently. For a while, switching to a dummy font renderer or disabling it completely would fix this problem, but it was removed in an update around early 2016, meaning there is no way to avoid the frustration of having font rendering constantly crash your VLC every time you want to watch a video.
  • Email-Worm.Win32.Pikachu is a Pokémon themed e-mail worm that circulated around the year 2000. It would've been very destructive too, if it weren't for one major flaw. What the worm was intended to do was completely wipe the hardrive upon the next start up. What does it do instead? Every time you boot up your PC, it gives you a "yes or no" prompt flat out asking you if you want it wiped.
  • The new Yahoo! Instant Messenger was a disaster. While tech sites all agreed that the older version was definitely showing its age in 2016, whatever bile they aimed at it could not hope to compare with the instant loathing that people had for the new app — which, amongst other woes, didn't tell you if you've been messaged nor who is online! The comment sections on articles announcing the release of the new messenger were filled with vows from people to never use Instant Messenger again, as two features that no chat program could seemingly do without were done without. Oh, and gone were a host of emoticons people had grown to love.
  • LINE is a very popular messaging app and is pretty much the go-to app for group chats, but if you change your phone, which inevitably will lead you to logging in, LINE will not transfer any data from your previous phone and automatically deletes it. Of course, there is a way to prevent this (losing all data) from happening using its' own Backup and Import feature, but you can only do it one chat at a time and you'll need a computer to do it. Not so much annoying for tech-savvy users (altough time-consuming), but is really annoying for casual users, which takes up most of LINE's market.
  • Killer Networking chips have been a popular feature on high-end motherboards, supposed to increase networking performance and offer the user more control over available bandwidth. Unfortunately, early versions of their drivers and software suite were known mostly for catastrophic memory leaks that could easily eat up tens of gigabytes of RAM within minutes of startup, especially on Windows 10.
  • FL Studio (the Windows equivalent of GarageBand) for whatever reason does not keep the contents of the clipboard between sessions. So, if you wanted to copy-paste notes between projects, you can't. Or, god forbid, if the program were to crash, anything you had in the clipboard would be gone.
  • Amazon Alexa devices started spontaneously laughing without command for a day. What the problem boiled down to is that "Alexa, laugh" is too easy to misinterpret for something else. The command has since been blacklisted.
  • The way Wikipedia handles its mobile site is rather baffling. Most other sites detect whether you're on a PC or mobile browser, and load the appropriate layout accordingly. But Wikipedia instead has a separate page for its mobile layout, indicated by the "m." at the start of the URL. If you access an article from a mobile browser, it automatically redirects you to the mobile site... but if you access the mobile site from a PC, it doesn't redirect you to the full site. This can cause annoyance when someone on their phone tries to share a link to a Wikipedia article: either they have to manually remove the "m." from the URL, or any PC user viewing the article has to find the "Desktop" link at the bottom of the page to get to the non-mobile site. Quite odd that the fifth highest ranked website on the entire internet (according to Alexa rankings) has such a clunky way to handle mobile users, when much smaller sites do it in a more intuitive way.

    Systems, Yes; Operating, No. 
A free or low-cost operating system is great, but bad programming (or none at all) can ruin the fun quickly.
  • Linpus Linux Lite, as shipped with the Acer Aspire One. Now in fairness to Linpus, its GUI could not possibly be more intuitive (plus a boot time of just 20 seconds and recognizing out of the box xD picture cards as well as others beyond SD ones, if the computer has a reader that supports them). But there is designing a distro for complete beginners, there is designing a distro with several directories hard-coded to be read-only and Add/Remove Programs accessible only by some fairly complex command-line tinkering. That the sum total of its official documentation is a ten-page manual that contains no information that can't be figured out by an experienced user within five minutes of booting doesn't help as well as that updating it was a hell, plus long (several minutes) boot times if you did not turn the computer off properly.
    • In Brazil, many low-end computers are sold with horrible Linux distros in order to claim tax breaks for using locally developed software. Stuff which cannot be updated without major breakage, full of security holes, old versions of packages, and so on, to the point that it seems many people only buy them so they can install a pirated copy of Windows to save money. Same in Hungary because of a law prescribing that no computer can be sold without an operating system (the other loophole is paying the computer store for parts and assembly, so on paper not buying a computer).
      • Same in Italy and lots of countries in South Asia, where identical laws have caused computers — modern ones, with multicore processors and several gigabytes of RAM — to be sold with FreeDOS, although the BIOS or UEFI is more than capable of booting any proper OS installation disc.
  • While Linux is sometimes described as the most stable OS, the opposite was true for the 1.1 kernel, which was notoriously unstable and bug-prone, and had poor back-compatibility. Users quickly reverted to version 1.0 and waited for 1.2. This is the reason behind the convention of using odd version numbers only for beta releases.
  • Some programs that come shipped with Linux distros often leave a lot to be desired. The file manager Nautilus (or its fork "Caja" for the MATE desktop) used for GNOME-based desktops has (or at least had) a nasty habit to freeze without warning when moving or copying files, not just large file transfers, and often being even able to lock up the entire system - just Google "Caja (or Nautilus) freezes copying files". The same program, for reasons only known to the gods of computing, will often disable even on local hard drives the commands to copy, move, rename, or delete files forcing to kill and restart it.

Professional, proprietary commercial systems can have problems too.

  • Back in the 1970s-1990s Digital Equipment Corporation produced the RSTS/E Operating System for its PDP-11 mini computers. KB0: is the name of the master console, used for the operator to take care of special tasks. KB1: through up to KB63: were regular user terminals. A bug in one of the releases of RSTS/E, sardonically referred to as "ultra-secure mode" caused the machine to crash if a user pressed a key on any terminal except KB0:.
  • OS/2 had a problem with the Synchronous Input Queue (SIQ) where a program that had stopped responding to window messages could bring the whole system to a halt. A single program that can freeze a system negates the point of having a multitasking operating system. This was one of the many reasons that OS/2 was nicknamed "half an OS" and lost out to Windows.

    Programming Languages - It's All Greek to Me 
It's times like this that make you wonder if you ought to stick to programming a VCR than deal with source-code debugging.
  • In a typical program in modern C++, 40-50% of the syntax will consist of calls on templates designed to shore up the language with modern features. Although C++ proponents argue that the fact that it's possible to hack in such features at all, albeit with difficulty, is evidence of the language's expressiveness and power. What most people who have to use C++ will agree on, however, is that libraries that provide modern features in C++ like the Boost C++ Library (and even the C++ standard library, as of C++11 and C++14), count as the other trope.
  • Earlier versions of Java would install updates not by patching the existing installation, but creating a completely new installation in a separate folder without removing the old one.
    • This could be justifiable in a sense — keeping the old versions serves as a crude form of backwards compatibility, ensuring that older code would be able to find the version of Java it was meant to use. If the install was small enough (not that Java is known for its brevity), it would be somewhat practical, though inelegant in the extreme and therefore a Bad Thing.
    • Even more scary is the constant discovery of security vulnerabilities that allow malicious software to escape from the touted "sandbox mode" and harm Windows. Some viruses will search for broken versions of Java installed on your computer, in parallel to new ones, then proceed to use that to attempt administrator impersonation.
    • While we're on Java... it was intended to be a platform-independent programming language, somewhere in-between a compiled and interpreted language. In practice, it worked okay on the processors used in Sun computers (mostly Motorola) and Intel-and-compatible processors (a market too large for Sun to ignore). On other architectures, it tended to be horrendously inefficient and dog-slow.
    • Lately (Java 1.7 and higher) there's been a distressing tendency for each new Java "update" to be less efficient in memory usage, slower, and more draconian about its security policies, which the user cannot disable (there are various security options, but even the most permissive settings merely tones it down slightly). Instead of Security-Through-Obscurity, Java seems to be aiming for Security-Through-No-One-Can-Stand-To-Use-It-Anymore.
    • A rather... interesting occurrence happens when certain programs written for 32-bit Java get run on a system with the 64-bit Java Runtime Environment installed. Namely, they don't work. This is because 32-bit Java has certain features which the 64-bit Java compiler compiles into streamlined settings, but if those features are specifically called rather than used "as intended" it can cause anything from lag to memory leaks to random crashes or even just not starting at all. The workaround is to install both the 32-bit and 64-bit JREs into different directories... but your system will only ever update one of them, so you now have to uninstall Java and reinstall it with every update you choose.
  • The phenomenon of "ceremony" where large amounts of boilerplate code must be written even for relatively simple functions. In Java, for example, a class holding two values that can be read or written requires at least 4 lines of which 2 are ceremony, or if good OOP practice is used, 10 lines of which 8 are ceremony. Some languages, such as Factor and Common Lisp, attempt to eliminate ceremony entirely, but are often complex to use and potentially hard to understand as a result.
  • Nullable types, the bane of many programmers. In older pointer- or object-based languages, any time a programmer declares that a function or procedure inputs a complex value, it can be passed a "null" value which represents an absence of any input and will bring the program to a crashing (literally) halt if anything is done with it. This means that the programmer must manually test every input or every subprogram to check if it is null. Some modern languages such as Swift and Oxygene are starting to rectify this, but it still exists firmly in Java, C++, and C# — the most commonly used languages (although some development systems are implementing design contracts allowing a program to guarantee that a value will not be null, and warning the programmer when an input value does not provide this guarantee).
    • Nullable-by-default is so bad that C.A.R. Hoare, who suggested allowing it in an early programming language so as to allow the creation of cyclic data structures, later called it a "Billion-Dollar Mistake."
    • C++ introduced references, which cannot hold a value of null (and have a few other restrictions) and are recommended for anything that doesn't need the low-level features of pointers.
  • Exceptions were originally a nifty way of allowing a function to report that something had gone wrong. Unfortunately, they have a major problem: if a function calls other functions that call other functions, it is possible that the top level caller has to handle so many potential exceptions that it cannot possibly deal with them all. This is a common cause of "an unknown error occurred" or "there was a problem" type error messages. Common Lisp attempted to work around this by offering restarts which allow the function to offer a method of fixing the problem as well as a notification that it happened, but these are complicated to use and often not that beneficial.
    • Worse, there are two common bad practices for "handling" exceptions. One is to "swallow" any exception that the section of the program doesn't know how to handle note . Another is to repackage the exception (generally in a common format used for the company in question) and to throw out the information in the original Exception. Both practices make it difficult for calling classes to properly handle errors due to lack of information.
  • The process of creating a GUI. On most operating systems, the programmer's method for creating a GUI is to build a big complicated data structure describing what's supposed to be in the window, then hand control over to the OS and wait for clicks to be reported. Very few languages have elegant ways of building structures of that type, leading to incredibly messy code. Some platforms tried to help by providing a way to create the data structures in question separately from the program… but eventually the program has to access them, and at least one such platform requires the programmer to write code to manually unpack the data structure again in order to get a reference.
  • Software bloat is major issue today where programs get loaded up with more and more features without regard to the difficulty of preventing security exploits with such a thick "book" of code.

    As an example, the Heartbleed exploit was an encryption flaw in a program called OpenSSL allowing an attacker to send requests to read data that should not be read, allowing the theft of confidential information from websites. Theo de Raadt, founder and leader of the OpenSSH and OpenBSD projects (the latter of which strongly prioritizes security in a default OS installation, as noted on the project's website), criticized the team for writing their own memory-management routines and bypassing the exploit counter-measures put in place by OpenBSD's C library. The OpenSSL project being severely underfunded with only two people to write, maintain, and test 500,000 lines of business-critical code was not helpful either. The LibreSSL project, which is a fork of OpenSSL, was founded by the OpenBSD project partly to trim down the code bloat, and to make the software suite easier to harden against exploits. Google also ended up making its own fork of OpenSSL, called BoringSSL, which works with the LibreSSL project.
  • Esoteric Programming Languages turn this into an art form, with a helping of Stylistic Suck. How about a programming language that uses nothing but whitespace characters? Or a language whose code is written in bitmaps that look like abstract art?
  • The Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment) isn't completely flawless, despite its popularity. For one thing, in order to use it, you obviously need to install a plugin to make it communicate with your Arduino-board. That's okay. Except there are only 6 or 7 plugins, two of which cover every single board Arduino has made, with the rest being other Arduino-compatible boards (such as Intel's). The problem is that when you have the potential to communicate with more boards than you actually need to, the software occasionally freezes, even if you have selected the right board, because it is checking constantly to make sure it's the right board. At least this problem got fixed, but prior to fixing it, the only solution would have been to unplug the board when not working.

    Threat Prevention Prevention Software 
It's never a good thing when your antivirus software is being just as annoying (if not more so) than an actual virus infection.
  • One common problem among non-tech savvy users is that antivirus programs are often designed to work alone, not cooperate with other antivirus programs. As a result, if you accidentally install two different antivirus programs (or Windows Defender and any other), three things can happen:
    • One: The first program recognizes the second and quarantines it.
    • Two: The two programs start fighting each other, attempting to quarantine each other, which takes up a lot of RAM and CPU power, because both programs want to protect your computer from each other.
    • Three: The two programs do the same as in Two, except they also screw up various system settings, and/or quarantine important files.
  • Thousands of computers using McAfee Antivirus were brought down on April 21, 2010 by an update that misidentified an essential Windows file as a virus, causing computers to constantly reboot. Barring exploits your average user wouldn't be familiar with in the slightest, users would have to go to an unaffected computer to get the fix and install it manually, as they couldn't go online on the infected PC.
    • McAfee's strength is that it blocks everything that might be a threat...which is also its main weakness. If you wish to use a program that it considers a threat (and as of this writing, it considers Dhux's Scar and Sonic Mania, among other things, to be such programs), you cannot get it to grant an exception. You're supposed to send McAfee's developers an email telling them it's a false alarm. If they don't respond, you need to disable McAfee every time you want to use the program. It may also delete files within the recovery drive for no apparent reason making Windows impossible to recover unless you have a Windows installation disk.
    • On many computers, McAfee will make the CD drive stop working. And for a while, McAfee would often be stealthily installed by default during installations of something completely unrelated (and still is—looking at you, Adobe Flash Player).
    • McAfee is also easily thwarted by memory-resident viruses, the DOS version of ViruScan fails to detect the AntiCMOS virusnote  back in the days of MS-DOS if the system was booted from an already infected disk in the first place, even if it has an up-to-date signature file. Comparatively, other antiviruses would have detected the virus in memory, froze the PC, and instructed the user to reboot and run said antivirus from a "rescue" floppy to proceed.
  • On April 15th, 2013, Malwarebytes had a catastrophic false positive error, which caused it to mark every DLL, media file, and EXE as a trojan downloader and quarantine it. This ate up many users' hard drives, and rendered hundreds of machines inoperable, causing a large number of files to be lost forever.
  • Comodo Antivirus had a brief problem where it recognizes run32.dll as a virus and told the user. However, since the file was stored in a System-folder, Comodo was unable to quarantine it, and simply resorted to notifying you every time you closed the Error-window (which, on the bright side, wasn't exactly a problem either, as the window could just be left to itself in the background). It was really more of a nuisance than a problem. The real problem occurred when it failed to scan the system or even provide basic security because it was displaying an error message, leaving the computer open to actual viruses.
  • Norton's notorious for this sort of thing:
    • Norton Internet Security blocks any and all images with certain dimensions, specifically those that are commonly used for advertisements. Problem is, at least one of the sizes is also commonly used by sites for non-ad purposes. In older versions, this could not be turned off without disabling all filtering completely.
    • Some older versions of Norton products, particularly Norton SystemWorks and Norton Internet Security, cannot be uninstalled without risking damage to the computer — PCs would wind up crashed, bricked or with corrupted files on the hard drive (including Windows Registry). Symantec had to create a special program for the sole purpose of safely and cleanly uninstalling Norton products, dubbed the Norton Removal Tool.
    • It is not unheard of for Norton Antivirus to declare itself a virus, and attempt to delete itself.
    • Norton 360 in particular...
      • ...will block and delete any less-than-common executable run by the user. This includes coding written by the user themselves.
      • ...deletes DLL files at random. The screen does not let you override this. The "Learn More" button directs to a Japanese version of the Norton product page.
      • ...disables (as of October 2012) ALL network access, including offline, even when the firewall is listed as disabled in the options. The only way to address this is by removing Norton, and this must be done with the Norton Removal Tool in order to reverse the damage done to networking components.
      • ...its firewall disables Firefox. For no reasons at all.
      • ...increases the time needed to boot Windows by more than 500%.
    • Norton has also fallen prey to a host of other problems, such as a rather frivolous firewall and bad updates that at best gave BSODs when simply inserting an USB key and at worst forced users to perform a system restore.
    • Norton Antivirus's uninstaller also often accidentally deletes DLL files that are used by other software and drivers. One particular uninstall instance caused a system to BSOD and lose the ability to play sound upon reboot because said DLL was also being used by the Creative SoundBlaster Live! Drivers. One had to reinstall said drivers to fix the issue and restore the ability to play sound to the computer.
  • Symantec Antivirus tends to interfere with right-click menus and, more glaringly, cause BSODs within 5 minutes of starting up your computer more often than it actually blocks threats to the operating system. One could say that Symantec is a threat to your operating system.
  • Sophos Antivirus, some time in late 2012, released a virus database update which blocked files with certain extensions, but only when they were auto-downloaded by programs without user prompts. This was supposedly in response to a series of malware programs that would do just that in an attempt to remotely wrest control of Windows computers from their owners. However, one of the files that met the above criteria was the antivirus' auto-updater. Any system with that update would grind to a halt during startup. The patch (which wasn't released for nearly a month) had to be downloaded from a disk or drive while the computer was in safe mode, and in office networks, it could only be done by somebody with top-tier administration privileges. This was because the software, once disabled, would automatically reactivate (which isn't a bad feature on its own, but here, it exacerbated existing problems).
  • Sadly, AVG is getting in on the same problems as Norton.
    • As discussed above, the AVG Toolbar slows down your browser by absurd amounts. Its core process vprot.exe also eats up a tremendous amount of CPU time (on laptops it will often hog a whole core) even when the browser is idle or occasionally not open at all.
    • Not bad enough? In January 2012, the toolbar was bugged to continuously add onto its log file. This would quickly reach upwards of 40 gigabytes in length of nothing but acknowledging calls to arcane functions. Any user who's been using AVG around that era is advised to check WINDOWS/Temp/toolbar_log.txt to see if the bloated file is still there, because the toolbar prevents most disk cleanup tools from deleting it.
    • Or how about the 2010 update that rendered systems unbootable (and thus inoperable) by mistaking a critical file in 64-bit versions of Windows 7 for malicious coding?
    • Like Norton, it's also starting to randomly identify almost any file it's never seen before as a Trojan Horse. This mostly includes executables you developed yourself, arbitrary setup.exe's in your Downloads folder, and occasionally key files of development tools such as the Irvine Assembly libraries.
    • In the early days of 64-bit consumer Windows, AVG would detect Windows XP Professional x64 Edition as Windows Server 2003 R2 (the former is based on the latter), and instead of installing, complains about the software not being licensed to run on Server OSes and pushes the user to buy AVG antiviruses for servers instead.
  • Avast!:
    • Avast! actually made a blunder back in 2012 which causes the antivirus to freeze Windows XP Professional x64 Edition machines, and only XP Professional x64 Edition machines. The 64-bit versions of Vista and 7 were unaffected. The biggest kick in the nuts is, to restore the machine to usable state, one has to reboot into safe mode, which renders the uninstaller unusable because safe mode also disables the Windows Installer services. One has to somehow get the Avast remover program from Avast's website and move it to said affected PC and run it in safe mode to be able to remove Avast and return the PC to a usable state.
    • Like AVG and Norton, Avast is now starting to block and quarantine programs that you've compiled yourself.
    • Avast! may get defensive when you try to install the Razer Synapse mouse software for your Razer mice. Simply plugging in a Death Adder will cause Windows 10 to start retrieving the needed drivers, possibly triggering a threat detection.
    • Avast! virus definitions 170221-1 22.2.2017 caused many files to be detected as VBS:Malware:Gen. If a user panics and delete all of those files and a critical system file(s) was removed too, then the system would likely be inoperable. Randomly deleting your files: Isn't that malware's job?
  • Panda Antivirus has joined the ranks of security software that flags itself as a threat, tries to intervene, and borks the system as a result.


Alternative Title(s): Genius Programming

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