Archive for September, 2010

A possible reason why so many Microsoft applications don’t follow Microsoft design guidelines

September 30, 2010 1 comment
I think that Microsoft has released great User Experience guidelines. I particularly enjoy this quote from the Dialog Boxes guidelines.

Don’t use OK buttons for errors or warnings. Problems are never OK. Use Close instead.


But there are tons of dialog box pop ups which show an error and have OK as the only button. I think the reason why is because the .Net Framework doesn’t provide easy ways to conform to the guidelines. As a matter of fact the framework only provides ways to explicity do the Do Not in the guidelines. Look at the MessageBoxButtons enum and the DialogResult enum. Neither has the concept of Close. So of course programers are not going to follow the guidelines and use what the framework has provided.

Cat Tales

September 27, 2010 1 comment

I’ve primarily known two cats in my life. The first is Didi, a long black hair cat which Katrina got when I was six years old. The second is Isis, a short hair cat that Amanda got when I was twenty seven years old. One thing that I have found entertaining is seeing Isis’s tail. I’m talking about when I see just her tail. The typical case is when I’m sitting at the table eating, and over the table I see the tip of a tail giving away Isis’s position. I find it a little entertaining. I don’t remember this happening with Didi. There could be multiple reasons for that though.

1) I was too short to see anything over the table when Didi ever walked around with her tail sticking up.

2) I don’t remember if Did ever walked around with her tail up. Since she had long hair her tail would have been heavier.

3) Didi never hung around the table like Isis does. Since we don’t discourage Isis from jumping up on the table, when we’re eating Isis will jump on the chairs and find ways to play with us while we eat.

Anyway, I find it funny that there’s this cat periscope giving away Isis’s position while I’m sitting down and enjoying a meal.

Categories: Pets

I think the Puyallup fair doesn’t want more visitors

September 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Yesterday Amanda and I decided to go to the Puyallup fair. We left Kirkland at 2:30 and made it to the parking lot at 5:20. Normally it takes about 50 minutes to drive between here and there, but there was a lot of traffic. Then when we made it there we had to wait in a slow moving queue to purchase tickets. We finally made it into the fair a little before six. The whole time we were slowly crawling along in traffic I was thinking about how the Puyallup fair would try to do more about the traffic situation. For one thing, they seriously need a light dedicated to the Golden Gate parking lot. Having really bad traffic means that less people will be coming to the fair, and it also means that people will have less time to spend money at the fair. Surely the fair organizers want more people to come and be able to spend more time at the fair.

When we made it inside the fair my thinking started to change. The fair grounds where packed; they were really packed. I think that the fair organizers don’t care about getting more people in because what would they do with more people. There were queue’s for everything. It took us forty minutes to get two hamburgers. We spend most of the evening standing in a queue. The only place were we weren’t standing in a queue was when we were looking at all of the award winning displays; which is kind of what you pay to into the fair for in the first place.

I still think that Puyallup should do a better job at getting people in and out of the fair. Especially with the nightmare we had getting out of their last night.

Categories: Travel

Webcams that weren’t even competitors a few years ago

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment
I remember about three years ago when Microsoft released its first webcam. While I thought it was cool that Microsoft was competing in another space I didn’t think that it would take off. Now if you do a search for webcams, most of what you get are Microsoft webcams or Logitech webcams. Sure, there’s some unheard of companies here and there, but all of the great reviews go to Microsoft. Way to go from nobody to leader in a few short years.

Why do company help pages seem to be the least helpful?

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

I like giving companies feedback. I’m often visiting a companies website Contact Us page. All of the them are some generic form requiring name and email address with a text box for the comment I’m giving them. This seems nice and reasonable, but they all seem to miss one simple point. I’m already logged into the companies site, so the website already has all of my contact information. If I’m dealing with a website where I don’t have an account, it makes perfect sense as to why I have to enter in the data. But for websites where I have accounts it does not. It’s one of the most annoying things in the world. I’ll log in, go to the contact page, and there’s the nice, well thought out form page asking for all of my contact info. Why can’t someone design a contact page that detects that I’m already logged in and just asks for my comment?

Warning, using Hotmail EAS will create duplicate contacts

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment
Last night I configured my phone to sync with Windows Live through the new Hotmail EAS service. My first attempt at configuring it was through the messaging app on the phone. Bad idea. That’s configured to always do hotmail email addresses through the older Windows Live App. So I uninstalled the Windows Live App and no luck. I then thought to see if there was an ActiveSync application on the phone and there was. I configured it through there. This cause a bunch of duplicate contacts to be created. Turns out I should have left the Windows Live App installed. That would have managed the incoming contacts better than Windows Mobile 6.1.
Lesson learned.
Categories: Uncategorized