A few days ago, I finally got a cable that would allow me to connect my universal remote control to my computer so that I could tweak the settings that had been programmed into my control by the people who installed our home theatre system. Those people had actually done a very sophisticated job to make this particular remote work very well with a lot of devices hooked up to the screen.
So I connected the remote, launched the programming app, and clicked on the “download” button. Within a few seconds, my remote control was completely overwritten with default settings from a demo configuration file.
This happened on Christmas Eve so of course nobody was around to come by and fix it so I was left to try and figure out the programming application by myself (no manual and not a particularly intuitive user interface) to get things working again.
Anyhow, I started thinking about why I just automatically hit the “download” button, even though in past careers, I have written software for embedded systems where one cross-compiled code on a PC and then “downloaded” it to the embedded device.
However, on our PCs, we have all gotten used to the term “download” to mean “put something into the PC”. These days, when we “upload” something, we’re copying from our machine to some other computer, typically a server on the internet. The problem of course is that “download” and “upload” are relative. The behavior depends on from where you initiate the command.
So I propose that the words “download” and “upload” (whatever they mean) be replaced with “inload” and “outload”. The former means to load something into the device initiating the command and, well, I’ll leave it to you to figure out what “outload” should mean.