GerbilMechs 052 : A Statement for the Public

01Jul03 (Monthenor): Chapter 2 begins, and it looks like the Doctor is finally going to give us a straight answer. Not only does Chapter 2 bring us the meat of GerbilMechs, it also sees the opening of the brand-new GerbilMechs Store! If you've wanted a reason to wear anthropomorphic gerbil scientists on your back, or just a shirt that says "Ball Star", now's your chance. Thanks to our partnership with SPOOGE, we can bring you both our product lines at the same convenient URL. This URL.

Remember last week when I told you why you should never ship with Airborne Express? Well, Morgion got another package shipped Airborne yesterday. It showed up at a more reasonable hour (1400ish) and the guy buzzed the apartment this time. In fact, he leaned on the buzzer for a good ten seconds just to make sure. Wasn't that nice of him? I looked out the window and saw the AE van, so I thought, "Hey, must be a package for Morgion." And here is the exact sequence of events when I reached the intercom.

  • Monty presses the Talk button. Monty asks: "Who is it?"
  • Monty presses the Listen button. AE guy says: "It's Airborne Express. I have a package here for a [real name BALEETED]."
  • Monty presses Let Them In button. Monty hears the door open downstairs.
  • Monty waits. Monty paces.
  • Monty goes back to look out his window and sees the Airborne Express van pulling away!
  • Monty goes downstairs to find the package lying on the floor just inside the security door.

So we can see here that, even if AE has some rule about not going up to an apartment door, they are complete asses about it. Here endeth the lesson.

Oh, you know what this Friday is? Thassa right, it's T3 time! To celebrate (there will be an email coming out later with exact details), we're going to host a Terminator party Thursday night. People who have lived in a cave their entire lives can catch up with the series before the newest installment arrives. Also, Hornbacher's was generous with the sales this week, so there is LOTS of ice cream!

And if anyone can think up a non-toxic way to color alcoholic drinks silver, we'd much appreciate it.

"A foolish [in]consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…"
Morgion // 07.01.03

I know many of you don't read my "techy" rants, but at least click on some of the screen shots at the bottom of this post; they're worth it.

Paraphrasing (and modifying for greater relevance) a quotation by Ralph "Where's Waldo" Emerson, the stage is set for my continuing rant on Mac OS X 10.3, Panther. For in the world of user interfaces, consistency is the the one, flimsy defense you can erect to protect yourself from the drooling, zombified mob of confused users asking you for help. Apple has apparently forgotten this since they wrote the UI Bible, the Human Interface Guidelines. Interesting note: Apple has redesigned their developer site and removed all references to the original HI Guidelines; only the corrupted Aqua versions exist.

Someone who got their hands on a Developer's Preview of Panther kindly posted screen shots of the new, brushed-metal-only, Finder. It's not all bad, but it makes me groan. First, the horizontal Label options in a vertical menu. Horrendous. Apple, any good reason why this isn't in a submenu, like the Labels in OS 9? I'll save you the suspense while Apple makes a Case Note that you asked, but doesn't ever mention details: no, no good reason.

Did you notice the "Blue" text underneath the actual label option? Yeah, the space it takes up is normally reserved as menu option divider, which (in only this case, I'm sure) doubles as a superfluous indicator whose only apparent function is to mock colorblind people. "What color is this? *laugh* No, that's totally wrong! OK, just one more…"

Next, there are a billion different ways to indicate a file is selected, or labeled, or the target of a drag-and-drop; and most of them look the same. For example:

"Geez, Morgion, stop being so damn picky." Yeah, whine all you want now, but don't come cryin' to me when yo' mamma upgrades and doesn't know what the frell is going on. Peace out, homies.