As you may know, Norton and Symantec were originally rivals in the anti-virus software market. Then, Norton bought Symantec and the two anti-virus products merged into Norton Anti Virus. Yes, I know, I’m talking PC here. Bare with me on this one.
… invented for people who order size 12 pants for their size 18 butts.
Every age has it’s tools. Many, many years ago, in 1976 to be exact, squinty-eyed nerds with a social deficiency ruled the computer world. They talked to eachother in a secret code, wore geeky clothes and made sure that everybody thought that computers were magic. To make sure that nobody could ever use a computer to edit a file, they all swore to never ever use another editor than… <scary music> vi </scary music>.
Lately I’ve been recieving mails with the letter “J” in seemingly random places. At first I thought I had gotten old, the world around me changed and people were starting to replace the smileys with single letter J’s. I thought it meant “Joke” and carried on.
Recently I noticed other people being puzzled by the J’s aswell, so I thought I’d find out where the J’s come from. It actually turns out to be a technical problem when using Microsoft Outlook to send smileys.
Microsoft translates a “:-)” into a smiley character from the wingdings font. When the mail is sent, the character encoding of the mail screws everything up and by the time that I recieve the mail in Thunderbird it has become a “J”.
Until Microsoft solves this, try to refrain from using smileys, or turn off the “show emoticons as icons” feature.
Okay, I have to get this out of my system. It is something I’ve been complaining about for months, and it is really an example of the utter dumbness of some product designers. What am I talking about? Simply turning on my TV.
I have this very nice big heavy 100Hz 4:3 Phillips Matchline TV, which I bought 8 or so years ago. For that time, it was a feature-rich TV which could store all kinds of user settings through on-screen menus, and keep them stored even when the power went out. A few weeks ago I noticed a new TV at a friends house has the same “feature” as my old Matchline. You can’t turn it on!
What happens? Monday evening, you are done watching TV and use the remote to switch it to “Stand By” mode. Before you go to bed, you walk by the TV and hit the power button to completely turn it off. Now on Tuesday, after dinner, you decide to watch TV. You walk to the TV, hit the power button, and what happens? The TV goes from “off” to “Standby”. What complete and utter IDIOT designs a TV which goes to “standby” after turning it on with the power button? It wouldn’t surprise me that a junior programmer was showing off his l33t skills by remembering the state of the TV before it was turned off.
So, after 8 years of introducing the wierdest features to TV’s, the usability labs in this world have still not found the most obvious feature to a TV: Turning it on.
No, I’m not a guitar player, but I noticed this cool post on TUAW where the “Guitar Hero” game has been taken a notch up. TUAW reports that the guys at http://www.musicwizard.com have built “Guitar Wizzard”, a game with which you can learn to play popular songs on a real guitar. From what I can see in the video, this looks way less frustrating than doing the same excersizes over and over to learn to play the guitar.
Okay, you might not turn in to Mark Knopfler in a week, but isn’t it a much better feeling to hold a real guitar in your hand, in stead of that plasticky, toy-like mini quitar with the bright colored buttons? And the price is about right for a game including hardware aswell.