Monday, October 30, 2006

IM Screen Names

Please, please, please just make your IM (MSN, Yahoo, AIM, Gtalk) name the same as your own name, okay?

I can't stand looking at my MSN list and seeing a myriad of quotes or 'funny' sayings. When I go to my IM window, I want to see which of my friends are online and find which one I want to talk to. It's such a pain in the ass to double click or hover over a name just to see who it is.

Many clients now feature a comments section, where you can put all your funny quotes and phrases. Please do that and keep your screen name to something that identifies who you are. It would really make me a lot less irritated.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pop-Ups - Not the Spyware Kind

Okay, there's some Windows XP behavior that's really starting to bother me.
If I open a program, like Firefox or Excel, and my machine is taking its sweet time to open it, I'll switch over to Outlook or something else to do something while it opens (I'm ADD like that.) Then I'll get into another task, and figuring even if that program opens, I'll still finish the task I'm on until it's complete.
So why does Windows interrupt me by switching the new Window into focus right over what I'm doing? Same thing with dialogue boxes. I plug my iPod in, then switch to some data entry, where my fingers are flying fast. In the middle of keying an order, a dialogue comes up just as I'm hitting the space bar, and boom, I've said okay to something. Would it kill it to keep that dialogue box out of focus and alert me that it's there by flashing its tile in the task bar?
Now I'm sitting here with a frozen iTunes not knowing what the hell I've done.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Gadget Cases

Remember furniture coverings? Those plastic things that people put over their furniture to protect them from stains and damage, but made them uncomfortable ugly to look at? Notice how they're not around anymore?

This is my theory about these protective cases. We put them around things that are valuable to us, and are new. I think those furniture coverings were popular in the 50's and 60's when a lot of people were new to the middle class and the idea of expensive new furniture was a bit of a novelty. So they protected them. Now that people are more used to them, they don't cover them up as much, because they're not as freaked out about a few scratches or stains.

I think it's the same with gadget cases. I used to hate looking at those stupid leather cell phone cases that seemed to be endemic among middle-aged men. Why make the phone thicker and harder to fit in your pocket? Why make the keys harder to press by putting a piece of plastic over them? I think people put these cases on their cell phones because they were new to them, and valuable. Now that cell phones are so ubiquitous, you almost never see the cases anymore. People are used to them.

Now what's getting wrapped up in ugly? iPods. Same thing. Fairly new product, pretty expensive, so people throw a case on them to protect them. Okay, protecting the screen is one thing - and there are guards which just protect that. But why take such a nicely designed product that fits so well in your pocket and cover it up with ugly leather or plastic and make it hard to fit in your pocket? Really, will surface scratches make the thing any less useful to you? And how can you enjoy that scratch-free product when it's all covered up?

I've honestly never seen someone on the subway with out a case for their nano. I think people see that it's so small, it needs to be protected. It doesn't. Because the nano doesn't do video, screen scratches aren't that big a deal - they all but disappear when the screen is illuminated. I borrow my wife's nano a lot, and I never use a case for it.

Anyway, stay tuned for my next rant - clip on belt cases.

And persistent bluetooth headset wearers. (Unless you're driving, keep it in your pocket until you get a call okay?)