It’s no secret that I love Apple and am generally unsatisfied with Microsoft. I can get into a novel of caveats as to why I’m not a straight-up Microsoft-basher, but that’s for another time. This post’s topic is one of the genes in Microsoft’s DNA — the gene that codes for the product design/documentation divide.
To continue with the corporate DNA metaphor, this gene, like all genes, is exclusive of any other genes which could occupy that area of the genome. You can’t have both the gene for blue eyes and the gene for green eyes.
The Apple gene for the design/documentation divide is starkly reductionist. If you can’t understand it by looking at it, you FAIL. Which is not to say that Apple doesn’t concede losses in this area consistently, rather, the default action, rather than to document, is to redesign.
Not so with Microsoft. I applaud their documentation team — they did a bang-up job clearly illustrating how to open up the Vista box and get the disc out. They are some kind of ancient documentation ninja clan, and I’m sure that if the situation required it, they would rappel out of choppers with high-res digicams, tablet PCs with integrated cellular internet connecting them to their docs CMS, and document the hell out of whatever they needed to.
They do an amazing job… much better than Apple does. They need to. Because Microsoft’s gene for the design/documentation divide codes for heavy documentation, which means that lack of intuitive design isn’t a FAIL.
You could scour Apple’s help site, and you would never in a million years find an article explaining how to open the box in which OS X is sold. By omission, it is an expression of confidence in the intuitiveness of their design. Of the box their software comes in.
Meanwhile, here’s Microsoft, with the vote of no confidence. Our box is so complex, you need instructions to open it. What does that say about their software? Decidedly NOT “Vista, even before you put the disc in your drive, is intuitive and needs no explanation.”
Via Nerdifer (who didn’t blog this, but sent it to me).
“The Apple IIGS, the most powerful Apple II, featuring a true 16-bit CPU, 4096 colors, Ensoniq synthesizer, a Mac-like GUI and a mouse.”
Ah, the most powerful Apple II. Like the tallest tree in a bonsai forest.
According to yahoo answers, this answer was marked “preferred” by the “Asker”. To be fair, asker had one choice to choose from. Still, in this case I think no answer would truly have been better. I’m classifying this “anti-helpful”.
Q: How can I play the Sims 2 in window mode on a Mac?
A: If you bought The Sims 2 for Windows and you have a mac, there is no way of playing it. Look on the game box, in the bottom left or bottom right hand corner their should be an icon where it says what kind of computer it is for. It Should say for Mac or for PC. Whatever one it says, you need that computer, so you can’t play The Sims 2 that is made for a Mac on a Windows Computer. Hope This helps…= )
Why can’t I have a little monthly calendar in the corner and my incoming appointment notifications visible at the same time?
While we’re at it, what’s up with you reaching some kind of point of no return with being able to sync over .mac? Even long after I’ve deleted all traces of /.*ical.*/ and /.*calendar.*/ and /.*dotmac.*/ from my Library, new appointments in my fresh auto-created calendars wouldn’t sync. You suck.
To regain the ability to sync, I had to export every calendar to an individual .ics files, and scour my Library of every file related to syncing either over .mac or using the isync framework (for devices), and the calendars, and the caches, and all dotmac related files, unregister every computer from .mac, and finally I had a Library that was pristine enough to get test events syncing across .mac. Then I could import all the individual old calendars to get my data back.
iCal, you disgust me. You are the single worst application Apple has ever released, and the best thing that I can say about version 3.0 (the Leopard version) is that you have yet to produce an endless tide of zombie appointment acceptance notifications, which, no matter how you clear your notification cache and reset your .mac sync data, reappear endlessly, eventually featuring duplicate notifications.
Perversely, version 3.0 deletes one ability I used to have — tabbing completely through the fields you may wish to edit while creating appointments. That, apparently, was too convenient. Now, should I wish to invite someone to an event, I have to click on an “Add Attendees…” link, which replaces said link with the field I wanted to type into in the first place.
iCal, you are worse than Cyberdog. Worse than Server Admin and Workgroup Admin. Next to you, the 10.2 Finder is a paragon of system efficiency married to seamless usability. Your consistent mediocrity, punctuated with sharp, stabbing moments of seemingly schadenfreudian behavior, earn you my Harsh Glare of Ultimate Derision.
Sorry, I just needed to scream for a second. So lame.