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Author Topic: Computing annoyances and what to do about it  (Read 2264 times)

justice

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Computing annoyances and what to do about it
« on: June 30, 2008, 07:43:12 AM »
I've been reading up on Ubuntu's roadmap, read about Windows 7 and looked at Apple's next OS X. They're all so focused on one another, to create a common platform. Some minor new ideas are being developed, but it looks like for the forseeable future computing will stay shockingly the same as it is today. But nearly everyday I am frustrated about something that doesn't work properly, works half the time, or stops working altogether. When are we going to see solutions that plague current systems?

So I was wondering about every day annoyances that could be fixed that would make the computing world a better place.

* On my windows xp system my USB mouse stops being recognised once every few weeks. You'd expect there shouldn't be any problems with supported hardware after 30 years of using a mouse?
* it's impossible to track documents and previous versions when you're collaborating with others using inbuilt tools provided by any OS. You'd think it was important to see a 'communication history' of what you are working on.
* Windows updates nags even on Vista, and it there's no official mechanic to keep software up to date.
* general interface clutter, there's so many distracting options, there's way to many options to make the most of any tool.
* With xbox 360 when you play a game with one click updates get applied and the game is restarted. Why does it take 9 clicks to install a software update (next next next untick untick finish launch etc)

I think you can spend 30 minutes a day fighting with the os.

jgpaiva

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Re: Computing annoyances and what to do about it
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2008, 08:32:20 AM »
But nearly everyday I am frustrated about something that doesn't work properly, works half the time, or stops working altogether. When are we going to see solutions that plague current systems?
I'd say... Maybe one day, but not soon. In 1992, Mark Weiser, the guy that first came up with Ubiquitous Computing presented his view of what would be a perfect world where computers would become a tool for work, rather than the work themselves. This was 16 years ago, and right now we're not that much closer to his vision. I think the problem is that computers, software, platforms, cellphones, fridges, toasters, etc are always evolving, new stuff comes up, and integrating everything into a common platform really isn't easy (nor desirable by most money-makers ;) ).

So I was wondering about every day annoyances that could be fixed that would make the computing world a better place.

* On my windows xp system my USB mouse stops being recognised once every few weeks. You'd expect there shouldn't be any problems with supported hardware after 30 years of using a mouse?
* it's impossible to track documents and previous versions when you're collaborating with others using inbuilt tools provided by any OS. You'd think it was important to see a 'communication history' of what you are working on.
* Windows updates nags even on Vista, and it there's no official mechanic to keep software up to date.
* general interface clutter, there's so many distracting options, there's way to many options to make the most of any tool.
* With xbox 360 when you play a game with one click updates get applied and the game is restarted. Why does it take 9 clicks to install a software update (next next next untick untick finish launch etc
I think that's the right attitude, be conscious about these problems, and trying to contribute to a better computing experience ourselves.
Regarding your questions..
* are you sure there isn't something wrong with your mouse or your usb ports? My previous mouse started doing that before dying, and a friend of mine's laptop also started doing that before the usb ports failed.
* google docs! :)
* They've sort of solved it in vista, you can say to the thing "nag me again in 4 hours", which i consider a big step forward over the "yes, please interrupt my work every 10minutes for the next 12 hours"
* i blame that on users which request idiotic features which MUST be implemented or the world will end (arguably, that could also be the developer's fault for accepting them, but they already do so much that it wouldn't be fair to blame them)
* No discussion there. Now that you talk about it.. I think i'll try to remove some steps on GridMove's install :)

ps: Ok, now i can get back to studying for my Mobile Computing exam this week :)

4wd

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Re: Computing annoyances and what to do about it
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2008, 07:54:02 PM »
* On my windows xp system my USB mouse stops being recognised once every few weeks. You'd expect there shouldn't be any problems with supported hardware after 30 years of using a mouse?

I usually find it's because of a mechanical fault not software.  e.g. I have USB cables that don't work in some USB ports but work fine in others purely because the contacts are slightly too short to make proper contact or the socket can't apply enough tension to the contacts.

Jimdoria

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Re: Computing annoyances and what to do about it
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 07:56:26 PM »
Pretty simple, really. New features sell, and can be charged for. Bug fixes cost as much as new features to implement, but you won't be able to sell them by themselves. Users think they should get them for free.

Also, change is hard in a market as mature as the PC market. Remember BeOS? It was a radical departure based on a manifesto of sorts: one processor per person is a dumb idea when CPUs are so cheap. Be OS was designed to run on proprietary multi-cpu BeBox hardware, and to handle the demands of a fully multi-cpu ecosystem. The hourglass would be a thing of the past.

Crash. Burn. A decade later we're just now getting multiple processors per user as the default on the desktop (and only since Intel figured out how to get them onto the same chip. Why was that so necessary?) Be Inc. gave up on the multi-cpu box first, then their OS puttered along for a while until it went down for the 3rd time.
- Jimdoria ~@>@

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