Monday, November 27, 2006

Did you ever wonder why you go to the "Start Menu" to put your Windows PC to sleep, etc.?

Here's a rant about the unusability of the Start Menu and how it could be fixed: Choices = Headaches.

Here's a salient description of how the aforementioned rant was made possible/inevitable: The Windows Shutdown crapfest. (With a brief follow-up)

Addendum: The Design of the Mac OS X Shutdown Feature


Anonymous said...

Uhm, just curious, is Apple paying you some sort of fee for your posts:o) At the same time, good points tho.

Mark said...

I am a computer programmer. I am a computer user. I sometimes learn things from observation.

I went to the University of Colorado, Boulder (so did Bike Bubba, btw). When I went to the library to type my papers (this was before PCs became truly personal (I even showed up on campus with a typewriter!)), I saw a huge room with equal numbers of PCs and Macs. You could use any PC that you wanted. You would have to take a number to use a Mac.

All the programs on the Mac had a similar set of menus. So, if you learned one program, you had learned how to use them all. (How many different keystrokes are there to quit a program in DOS/Windows? At least 4. On the Mac, one: 'cmd-Q') This is because of Apple's Human Interface Guidelines. It was a long time before MS had anything similar or the moxie to enforce it.

As a programmer, I realized that working to a standard should make my programs easier for the user.

No, I don't get any $s from Apple. I just think that life is too short to let people beat themselves against the rock that is their PC -- especially when I'll probably end up being the one to help a lot of 'em. :^/

Mercy Now said...

What do you program in? Pearl, Java, others?

Mark said...

For work I program in C++.

For fun and anything applicable, I program in Perl! It allows you to do hard things easily. No housekeeping issues...