Oh Dr Watson

There’s an old story in computing circles about the support engineer who takes a call from a customer distressed their computer has ‘performed an illegal operation’. It’s no urban myth: I had this exact call when I worked at PC World. It’s easy to mock, but a little unfair – if you’re unfamiliar with computer terminology, that’s going to be a worrying message.

Windows is full of unintuitive notifications. Case in point:

Dr Watson Postmortem Debugger has encountered an error.

If you know about Windows background processes, this message is elementary. If you don’t, you might be forgiven for thinking someone’s taking the mickey.