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Posts Tagged ‘Linux/UNIX

Linux gets ready for its close-up

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Judging by this, and what I’ve seen of Uubuntu’s latest release, the answer is a resounding “yes”.  Having Mac experience doesn’t hurt either, considering the 2 platforms share a few things in common.  Personally, I prefer KDE over GNOME, but for most users, everything they need in a desktop OS is included.

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Written by @chrisfinazzo

March 10, 2009 at 6:59 pm

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Why the touchscreen on the G1 doesn’t work

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Macworld’s Dan Moren:

One of the things you probably don’t think about on the iPhone is probably the most basic design decision: you will operate ninety-nine percent of the phone with the touchscreen. Don’t worry about figuring out which hardware buttons you have to press to do what; almost all the controls you need are contained within the canvas of the touchscreen.

This is the G1’s big failing for me. Because it’s a generalized platform, it’s not designed from the ground up for just the touchscreen. You can do things on the touchscreen. Well, some things. But sometimes you need to jump back and hit that hardware Menu button. Or the home button. Or the back button. Or you could ignore the whole touchscreen thing and use the trackball instead. That’s a lot of choices, and sometimes when it comes to users, choice is bad. If the user has to think about which interface they need—or even want—to use, for a particular task, that takes up time. An infinitesimal amount in each instance, yes, but it adds up.

From a design perspective this is right on.  Also, the G1 shows what I think is one of the big obstacles to widespread Linux use: it does almost everything, but doesn’t do one thing really well.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

January 27, 2009 at 3:36 am

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There must be an easier way

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Two things have always frustrated me about the ‘Current iTunes Song’ status in iChat

1. The default state of this message is available – What is the point of putting up a message telling people what you are doing (or listening to) if at the same time you invite them to interrupt you with an IM?

2. The format of the message should be ‘Artist – Track’ but instead shows up as ‘Track – Artist’.  It should be reversed.  

Now I know there are command-line inputs which will correct this, but why can’t Apple just put this into iChat’s Preferences UI?  If one of the goals of OS X is usability, why not put a UI in front of as much functionality as possible?  Unless they know where to look, most people will eventually ask, “How do I turn this off?”  This is exactly the problem I see with not having any interface for these things: the changes are essentially permanent until someone figures out how to solve the problem.  If a normal user has to open a Terminal window to make these kinds of changes, more work is needed to make the software more accessible.  Windows also suffers from the same kinds of problems with the Command Prompt.  Whoever decided that the Recovery Console should be password protected obviously has never lost a password and had to rack their brain until they figured out how to access a hard drive that will not boot up.  Because most people will only ever access this through a command line, further transparency is needed.  While I understand those who will say that Terminal and the Command Prompt are powerful tools which get things done without messing around, some of the things they do (In terms of UI) really should be exposed in a way that typical users can take advantage of these features.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

January 14, 2009 at 3:43 pm

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