Macintosh: It’s a User Thing

Monday, January 17th, 2005

It’s been my experience that about half the techies and journalists commenting on the new Mac Mini “get it”, and about half don’t. This contrasts favorably with the track record for the iPod Mini, where almost nobody, including me, “got it” up front. A typical example of the commentators who don’t get it is Michael Kanellos at c|net. First read his latest column and spot the elementary math error. Someone needs a refresher course in high school geometry.

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Sharecroppers and Serfs

Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

I just took a quick peek at the new, so-called user-friendly installer for the next release of Debian. It’s pretty obvious these folks don’t have a clue about talking to real users. I doubt they’ve done any end-user testing. For instance, after I’ve selected “English” as my primary language, maybe it would make sense to move the English keyboard layouts to the top of the list? And do they really expect end users to understand or care about messages like “Loading module ‘plix’ for ‘Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4″? I asked for English in the install. Would it be too much to ask that the installer speak it? And I’m sorry, but “SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sda) – 4.3 GB VMware, VMware, Vi” is not a sensible name for a disk. How I am supposed to choose between “Primary” and “logical” partitions? I could continue, but I’ll stop here. Haven’t any of these people ever used a Mac? In many ways, Linux is an extremely modern operating system, which makes it all the more frustrating that its user interface is still stuck in 1982.

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