What is This? 1986? Part 2

Friday, April 20th, 2007

So I hear about this new Twitter thing, think it sounds sort of cool, and decide to try it out. I cruise over to their web site and fill out the registration form, and here’s what I see:

Oops! Please fix the following problems: Name is too long (maximum is 20 characters)

Believe it or not, it won’t accept “Elliotte Rusty Harold” as a name. It gets stuck right before the d. Seems it believes no name can be longer than 20 letters, and “Elliotte Rusty Harold” is 21.

Hydrogen Car Almost Makes Nancy Pelosi President

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

According to the Detroit News:

Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation.

Mulally told journalists at the New York auto show that he intervened to prevent President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford’s hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week. Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Chief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle, so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.

“I just thought, ‘Oh my goodness!’ So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front,” Mulally said. “I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen This is all off the record, right?”

OK. So our illustrious leaders are a few homeworks short of a gentleman’s C, and I’m not too surprised that a major CEO would think they can’t be trusted to figure out which end of the car to plug an extension cord into. However here’s my question:

Just what the hell is Ford doing building a car that can blow up and kill people if some random idiot (or the President of the United States) sticks the plug into the wrong hole?

Amazon Turns Off Search

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

Some weirdness at Amazon this morning. The search boxes appear to have vanished from the top of the page and the sidebars. One is still hiding way down at the bottom of the page. This is a very bad change since site-specific search is one of the primary ways users navigate Amazon. I’m not sure if this is a temporary glitch or a rare example of bad Amazon design. Usually Amazon is one of the more usable and intelligently designed sites, so this comes as a bit of a shock.

Steve Wiseman Nails Vista

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Steve Wiseman nails Vista. It’s crap like this that separates the pros from the amateurs. The reason I do most of my work on the Mac is that Apple and the Mac community seem to have a much higher ratio of pros to amateurs than do Microsoft and the Windows community.

The Mac isn’t perfect by any means. I could say a few unkind words about its file copying too. However, problems crop up a lot less often there than they do on Windows.

The Linux community mostly doesn’t even try. These days they’re pretty much all amateurs when it comes to user interface design. The pros all left when Eazel closed shop, and the money spout got turned off. As a rule, talented kernel hackers and server optimizers do not make great designers. However, Microsoft still has the money spout flowing. Can’t they hire somebody who knows what they’re doing?

On the plus side, at least the Aero dialogs look pretty, not the crayon colored monstrosities XP offered. I suspect this time around Microsoft hired a real artist to design the look and feel. That’s important, but it’s still just skin deep. The user interaction design is much more important than the graphic design, and here Microsoft is still sucking wind.

User Interface Reviews: Cheap!

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Joel Spolsky has a really funny article about a cell phone Sprint sent him in the hopes he’d blog about it. Well he did, and the results weren’t pretty:

What is This? 1986?

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

So I get my new Mac Mini, connect it, and launch the bundled copy of Quicken 2006. It asks me to personalize it with my name. Simple enough I think, but no. Believe it or not, it won’t accept “Elliotte Rusty Harold” as a name. It gets stuck right before the d. Seems it believes no name can be longer than 20 letters, and “Elliotte Rusty Harold” is 21.