Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Choosing settings

Just exactly when did it become the norm to only display the "other" setting that I can get by pushing a button and not the setting that is current. Far too often I have noticed that many web sites, subscriptions, and such offer you the choice to change your setting to something new without appropriately telling you what the current state is. Apparently it is implied that you are in the opposite state: on vs. off, subscribed vs. unsubscribed, however I find this to be a very irritating way to display information. Perhaps I simply want to look at my settings and review them, which is exceedingly difficult with this futuristic view. This permeates the web, video games (see below) and car functions (my radio in my car is frustrating to all get out) IP Phones (Cisco phones being especially irritating in this).

Programmers should be aware that when there are two settings On/Off, simply setting one of them to a color that is somewhat different than the other is not indicative of anything in particular. Perfect example of the is the F1 game on Wii, settings are on/off and indicated by Red vs. White - problem is it isn't clear which is selected. Perhaps a display that simply showed the current state and some method for choosing between the current state and the other state would be useful.

CNN take note of the above - by now many people know that the "yellow" score is the winning or leading team - however without pre-knowledge looking at two things - one yellow and one white - it would not be clear what was supposed to be indicated.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

First view of Windows 7

I just knew there would be inane change for change sake. Now instead of having a folder that contains your documents, music, pictures, etc. We now have "Libraries" you have a Document Library, a Music Library, etc. The folder icon looks different than it ever has in the past. This is completely ridiculous, while I fully support enhancement - changing the name of things simply to change the name of things and make stuff look different to justify a revenue stream is just flat out silly.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Editing a document should not consume a CPU

Aah my old friend MS-Word. Today I had a document opened and was editing for my daughter. I had change marks turned on so that I could send her the edits and she could review it. I needed to move down a few lines in the document so rather than sliding the mouse I decided to move with the cursor keys. It took forever to move a few lines - I remembered that a while ago I had measured that moving the cursor in MS-Word with change marks on could peg one of my dual core CPUs. Truly amazing that user interaction can peg a CPU. I think it may be impossible to truly express my feelings for the state of MS-Office.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More do it and move on from Google - this time comics

For the past few weeks I have noticed that the Google comics interface no longer allows you to look back at prior dates. This isn't to say the buttons aren't displayed - they simply don't work. Just keep moving forward Google - don't bother to keep stuff working.

Why does Microsoft make life so difficult

Over the past few days I have spent significant time working with Office 2007 specifically Excel. I realized that my client was unable to use my file and "saved it down" as a 2003 version. Of course there were incompatibilities - which is fine - and Excel told me about it - again fine. What it provided no means for - was for me to go to the specific elements and remediate the issues identified. It told me the sheets that were problematic and the types of errors but not the cells themselves. Nor did it offer a good method for validating how the material would look when my client received it. Perhaps, just perhaps they could be considerate.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Crazy ridiculous requirements for Windows 7

If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here's what it takes:

* 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
* 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
* 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
* DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

This stuff wouldn't even run on my refrigerator sized Sun 4/490 from back at Westinghouse. How incredibly ridiculous is that!