Rage-quit Macbook purchase update

November 11th, 2016

It has been something like six months since Microsoft’s “Get Windows 10” shenanigans angered me enough to go buy a Macbook. I still love it, but the honeymoon period has worn off a bit.

My logic was always, “if Microsoft wants to be Apple this desperately, why not just get a Mac?” And sure enough, everything Micsoroft has done to annoy me has turned out to be a hamfisted attempt to copy some Apple feature.

I didn’t expect Apple to be some magical fairyland of empowerment. OSX also has the feeling of not being “my” computer. “Apple will now graciously let you continue to use their appliance as long as you install these six updates at your earliest convenience.” At least you get to put it off until a time that is actually convenient.  Where, in contrast, Windows 10 simply spends 15 minutes installing whenever it feels like. Great when you wanted to take 5 minutes to make that one final tweak to a project before the meeting or check your email.

Another difference is that Apple understands that user interfaces shouldn’t be surprising–you just want to get work done. Every time I open Win10’s start menu, the buttons work differently and I have to relearn it. I guess they’re justifying this because web pages constantly change? But web pages are a perfect demonstration of what happens when software designers don’t first study UI design principles. That looks like a menu, will it really be a menu, or a button? And if I hover my mouse over it, will it pop down magically, or do I need to click on it, and if I do click on it even if it magically pops down, will it collapse, stay down, or go to another page?

Amazon’s “Your Account” dropdown is a perfect example of the worst possible design for a menu dropdown, having the additional problem that it won’t magic-hover-drop-down until something has lazy-loaded in the background, so you think “ah this is a click-to-drop-down menu”, but no, clicking navigates. If you wait and hover again, it will drop down. It wastes your time *every* time you use it.

But back on track.

OSX is a great operating system, and the hardware is unmatched (if underpowered), but I can definitey feel Apple Corp hovering in the background when I use it. So, I don’t feel like I’ve got control of my OS with this move, but at least I have a better one.

Abandon your principles when you vote; it’s for the minorities

November 8th, 2016

Heard on twitter:

If you vote third party you are saying your abstract principles matter more than the lives of people in marginalized minorities.

— some selfrighteous person apparently without principles

First, yes. They do. My principles matter. That’s the point of principles.

Also, you’re saying that principles are a bad thing.

You’re saying that third parties don’t support marginalized minories, while the two major candidates do.

You’re saying you don’t vote on principle, or maybe that you don’t have any.

Or, maybe you’re just saying my principles are inferior to your high and mighty ones. Your abstract principles. When you vote for the lesser evil, you’re saying that your abstract principles are more important than the fate of the country.

But, no, you’re not saying that. Voting on principle is bad. You just said so.

OK then. I’ll vote for my unimportant abstract principles, and you vote for…whatever.

Hillary supporters, please stop

November 4th, 2016

Things I learned on FB today: Democrats don’t understand propaganda.

I’m no Hillary supporter, but I just can’t stand here and watch them hurt their own cause. It’s just painful to watch. They think they’re combating Trump by using similar tactics and constantly posting extreme images. But none of these things will help their case. Far-lefters, it pains me to see you hurting your cause.

So, here are two tips for today:

1) “Hillary is unlikely to be indicted.” For illegal things she amost certainly did. Democrats think this is a good thing, when in fact it just makes her look more like an untouchable insider and a symbol of the upper class. The false suggestions of impending indictment are a smart move, because even denying it hurts your cause. Let it disappear quietly.

2) “Trump rape trial blah blah.” 10 seconds of searching shows the trial is almost certainly total BS, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that it overshadows all of his actual misogyny, which disappears by comparison this accusation. But this accusation is clearly false, which makes Trump look like a martyr. Which he isn’t. This hurts your case. Let it disappear quietly and focus on his real flaws.

I can’t stand here and watch you hurt yourself any more. Seek help.