11/26/2007

New Machine - First impressions

My first impression was that it was really heavy. I wanted a big machine so I can't complain but man is it heavy.

Plugged in the fancy magnetic power cord and it started up perfectly. A short setup and I am on the network and ready to go.

Second impression, when the setup started it played this welcome video full screen on the hi-def glossy monitor. I can honestly say that I almost fell over. Stunning.

So I am logged in and the "dock" shows some applications at the bottom of the screen and the finder appears. The finder window is small so I try to resize it but, third impression, the cursor doesn't change when you hover over the window frame. Strange that it doesn't offer that feedback.

While wondering how to find Safari I notice a little bouncy thing in the dock. I look close to see that it says, "Software Updates". Wow they are already trying to improve my machine for me. Nice Apple.

The update starts OK but with another UI problem. I thought Mac were supposed to be user friendly. The first option is "later" or "Install and Restart". Well after the surprise of having to restart has passed I select it "Install and Restart".

It asked for a couple of legal agreements from iTunes and Mac OS X and then to my astonishment it asked me again if I want to restart. Didn't I just answer that question?

Ok, here is another one. Being a developer I like the keyboard over the mouse but when I press the "Enter" key on a mac it seems to want me to rename the icon? That is just not logical. To start Safari I have to use the mouse and double click it.

Yes, yes, you are going to hear some winy old Windows guy complaining about having to do things a different way for a little while.

Here is another example. Safari opens and I am blasted by more ads (The PC Mac adverts are obviously propaganda). I am sucked in and click on a link to a new Alecia Keys song. I now have to setup iTunes which seems reasonable. One of the dialogs explains that "iTunes can download album art", which sounds nice but I read on, to do so I need "to create an account on iTunes", "Just go to iTunes and click on 'Get Album Artwork'." Does it sound odd to you that a dialog is explaining to me that I need to go to a web page and which link to press without including a hyperlink to the place? I have no idea where iTunes is or where this link is. This is just bad UI.

So quite apart from the fact that the marketing people have worked out a way to get me to create an iTunes account for something that is freely available on the net, I am blown away by the horrendous user interface again.

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Ok, I am a dummy. While user interfaces should be built for people like me I now feel stupid. The dialog explaining all this stuff that I need to do isn't actually expecting me to do it. I give up my search and press the Next button and guess what the options are? "Yes - take me to the iTunes store" or "No - don't". I think I should have known that these options were going to be available while I was studying the previous dialog. My bad.

Alecia Keys is still not playing but I have the iTunes store in front of me. If I remember the instructions from that dialog then I am supposed to select "Advanced" and "Get Album Art". Lucky I used a pencil and paper to note that down. Perhaps that should be Mac new ad.

PC - Hi Mac.
Mac - Hi PC.
PC - I hear that I need to use pencil and paper to use your crappy interface.
Mac - Wait, just press the Next button and everything will be explained.

but this little saga doesn't end here. You should see this, it is really funny.

So I press "Advanced" and select "Get Album Art" as instructed. Guess where it takes me? Yes, that's it, the iTunes store that I am already looking at. Wow, this stuff is crappy. It turns out that that dialog was completely unnecessary, all I needed was a button titled "Create iTunes Store account so that you get Album Art" and I would have been happy.

You will laugh at this. Turns out I already had an iTunes account. Go figure.

So finally I got to listen to Alicia Keys. The song sucked.

2 comments:

John Wilger said...

CMD-O will cause Finder to open the selected icon, BTW. But then again, why would you use Finder from the keyboard? That's what Terminal windows are for. :-)

Edward Sumerfield said...

Yes and that is such a cool way to look at Macs. There are so many ways o do things.

Thanks for the cmd-o tip though the more I use QuickSilver the less the finder seems relevant.