Showing posts with label hostile-it. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hostile-it. Show all posts

01 March 2008

User-interface Reboot

This article by Mr Mirchandani gets it exactly right: UI again ...don't pretty up, destroy!

I have never forgotten the experience of early last year. Our car had been stolen, and we were jumping through the licensing department's hoops to get the old car de-registered, and our new car registered.  Well, 10-year-old, 2nd-hand car, since that's all we could afford with what the insurance company deigned to pay out -- another saga for another day.

First we could not de-register the old car, because it was flagged on the licensing system as "stolen", so no changes to its details are permitted.  WTF?  We could not unflag it, since that would require the police to mark the car as recovered, complete with verification of engine, chassis, VIN and registration numbers.  Eventually we left the matter in the hands of one supervisor who took pity on us as I crumpled in the face of this actively-hostile "information" system.  She solved the impasse by going outside the system: phone calls to a special contact in Pretoria -- "high friends in low places."

Then we had to register the new car.  The details had to get captured no less than 5 times!  Twice, manually by myself, the remainder by the clerk punching a terminal.  And two of those instance involved recapturing the vehicle details from a form still-hot from their system's laser printer.  The system already had the details, yet they still had to be manually recaptured.  This is insane!  Weren't computers supposed to save us work?

26 August 2006

Vista Sound

Zoli has an entertaining little anecdote over on his blog about how users cannot disable the startup sound in the current (beta) release of Microsoft's Vista OS.

Funny, back in the days when I still had a Windows machine (around 5 years ago), I never could be bothered to figure my way through their twisty-little-maze of configuration dialogues-for-the-brain-dead to switch off the startup noise.  I used to just jump in and delete the damn media file.

So I guess there is a way to turn it off after all...
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