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Thomas

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[Wednesday 10th December 2008 at 8:29 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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[Feeling |annoyedannoyed]

I apparently have two choices when it comes to computing:

a) stick with obsolete, buggy, insecure programs that actually work and actually have a sensible user interface

b) upgrade to current, less buggy, marginally more secure programs that don't work and have truely awful user interfaces

This is why I still use IE6 (the IE7 interface sucks under XP), why I still use a 15-year-old FTP client (nothing else actually does what I want), why I still use mplayer2.exe (clean, simple, effective) and why I still use an 8-year-old cellphone (it Just Works, damnit). Sometime in the past few years almost all of usability and practicality went out the window in favour of shinyness and buzzwords.

This rant brought to you by discovering that RealPlayer 11 only lets you resize using the bottom-right corner of the window.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: link077
Wednesday 10th December 2008 at 9:26 pm (UTC)
I don't know why you just don't switch to Firefox if you don't like IE7. It has an interface comparable to IE6 and is faster, more secure, and less buggy, and can actually handle modern web design standards.
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[User Picture]From: boggyb
Wednesday 10th December 2008 at 10:04 pm (UTC)
I try it every so often, but have never really liked it. It suffers from the usual "hey let's ignore this perfectly good windowing toolkit the OS provides and write our own one instead" problem of cross-platform stuff, it has severe problems with the trackpoint scrolling feature on my laptop, it runs everything in a single process which leaves you completely screwed if, say, that process gets stuck in kernel mode due to a buggy driver (the unix equivalent would be uninterruptible sleep), and it forced an update on me the other day.

Opera is much better, and the only reason holding me back from Opera is that it also runs everything a single process and so is vulnerable to the same buggy driver problem.
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[User Picture]From: pteppic
Wednesday 10th December 2008 at 10:17 pm (UTC)
Google Chrome.
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[User Picture]From: pleaseremove
Thursday 11th December 2008 at 12:12 am (UTC)
I can understand your views to a point.

There is nothing you do in WS FTP (which I assume is what you are talking about) that can't be done in something like Filezilla. It does just as well, interface is slightly different, but nothing wrong with it.

Firefox is I retain still the best option. It is getting better and bar your scroll issue on your laptop it works just fine. Yes, I know it is a little annoying it only lets you run one instance, but then again, it does recover tabs these days. AKA, open Firefox, open up a few tabs, browse in them, kill the process, open Firefox and restore session, then click back in a couple of tabs. If anything this is better than IE6 because in IE6, yes, you don't take everything out, but what does go is most certainly gone.

As for real player, meh to you, real player has no use these days, not now the BBC has the good grace to support something else. I bet they were just trying to be all Mac like. I never liked the Real player interface anyway.

Mplayer2, yes, nice and light and simple, although to be quiet honest, WMP is up in under a second these days so who cares.

As for your phone, I agree it does just work, but then again, so do most of them these days, yes they don't have a common interface, but most of them have got fairly decent ones. Plus, we cant really move on with phones like yours. It is all very well, but actually, things like picture messaging etc are handy from time to time... and your phone just isn't build for these multimedia times.

There is a lot of new and pretty out there (see, Vista) but there is also a lot of it that is starting to come with real usability backing it up (see Windows 7 and Office 2k7).
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[User Picture]From: boggyb
Thursday 11th December 2008 at 7:54 pm (UTC)
I did try Filezilla a while back, but ran into various annoyances with the interface in it (mainly to do with unix permissions and the transfer queue).

Firefox's tab recovery still won't help you with the example that I gave in a different comment (unkillable deadlocked process).

Realplayer has several uses: the realmedia format is about the only one that *actually* understands streaming media, it can play QuickTime stuff better than Apple's own player, and it understands mp3 streams. The interface to realplayer 10 was very nice as well, but then I made the mistake of upgrading to fix various gaping security holes. Hah.

If all you want to do is play a single file, then mplayer2's interface is far better than WMP. If you want to manage a music library then I'll grant you that WMP is pretty awesome, but unfortuantly it won't play half the music I've got.

The GSM network isn't going to go away any time soon, and to be honest most people still just use a phone for voice calls and texts. Old phones also have the advantage of being more reliable (I've managed to crash mine *twice* in over 5 years) and in some ways more secure. Then again, I am actually looking for a possible replacement phone. The trouble is I really like flip phones (as opposed to clamshell), and flip phones have disappeared.

You do make some good points, and I'm sure that the new interfaces in Windows and Office are good - Microsoft are usually pretty good at usability. The trouble comes when people either a) go for shinyness at the expense of usability (realplayer and their broken resizing), or b) attempt to shoehorn new shinyness into old interfaces (IE7).
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