Ernie the Attorney : searching for truth & justice (in an unjust world)
Updated: 8/1/2003; 12:10:01 PM.


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Monday, July 21, 2003

If you want to design a user-interface that is intuitive you need guidelines.  And then you have to encourage developers to follow them.  Oh, and if you Google "Windows User Interface Guidelines" here is where you wind up.  That seems about right.
4:33:32 PM    

One of the amazing things that came with OS X was a program/service called Sherlock.  I had read a tepid review of it in one of the "switcher" books that I read prior to my decision to buy the G4 Powerbook.  I can't really explain it so I'm not going to try (if I couldn't understand its power when I read a book by a longtime Mac user and professional writer then I'm not going to waste time trying to do what that writer couldn't do).  But, in a general sense, it's an information gathering tool (ala Google) except that it displays the information in a visually organized manner.

It's great for looking up movies, flight arrivals and business phone numbers (for the later you get the phone # and a map display of where the business is and driving directions to the location).

Anyway, if there are any Apple afficianados out there, here's my question.  I looked up a couple of phone numbers for local caterers here in the city and I know that the "Services" feature of OS X lets you quickly move information from one application to another.  Why doesn't Sherlock have a "service" that lets you put the contact information for a business that you look up into your Address Book? 

Now that would be cool.  (and for you Windows users who are muttering because I sound like a kool-aid drinking zealot just keep quiet or I'll start talking about the power of "Stickies")

3:29:32 PM    

There are things about the OS X operating system that are still bugging me, but I'm ready to say that for home computing Apple is superior.  This weekend in my home there were four Windows machines in operation (3 XP machines and one Win2k machine). 

My wife's XP laptop did not have any major system problems, but it didn't wake up from a sleep mode on at least two occasions.  She has minimal software installed and basically uses the machine only to surf the web and to do emails.

My oldest daughter used the XP desktop and uses it mostly to do AIM chats and to listen to music and to make CD's.   She had to reboot several times, mostly after the machine had been left to go into the screensaver mode.

My youngest daughter had the Win2k laptop and had minimal problems.  My son has an XP laptop that he uses to surf the web and he had no problems, but he is very computer literate and I'm not sure that he considers many of the issues that his computer creates to be problems because he is so adept at fixing them.

Of course, all of the Windows machines sprout pop-ups in various degrees.  I posted about the annoyance of pop-ups a few days ago and many people left comments about various Windows methods of fixing this (i.e. ranging from settings in Internet Explorer, to the Google 2.0 toolbar and even third party add-ons). 

Here's the thing about Apple's browser, which is called Safari.  The main drop down menu prominently allows you to select "Block Pop-Ups."  The assumption is that many people would like to do this (and occasionally might want to deselect this for various reasons) so they put it in a prominent place.  You don't have to get the Google toolbar, or even burrow down into the advanced settings of your browser.

Apple understands that people just want to use their computers to do work, and not to tweak systems.  The reason this is lost on PC users is that they are now conditioned to tweaking and regard it as a sign that they have power over their computer.  What folly!

Oh, and I'm sorry to say this, but OS X is visually superior to XP.  That's not an opinion.  Anyone who's spent enough time with both would agree.

12:31:34 PM    

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