Sunday, December 17, 2006

Newbies and Free Things

I'd like to start off an excerpt from a conversation on IRC:

<bracks> vlc is just for newbies that dont know how to install codecs
<Kemp-> ... I honestly can't answer someone who can come up with that line of reasoning
<Kemp-> operating systems are just for newbies that can't manually adjust the processor state by shorting pins out to ground or vcc

This was the guy who couldn't get videos to play properly due to a problem with installing codecs.

Is usability in general so bad that we've accepted this sort of thing? That if a program anticipates your needs and lets you just do what you want to without jumping through hoops then of course it must be for newbies and not good enough for Real Users?

In other news, I got some free goodies today from Crime Generators, sorry... Cash Generators. I bought a TV about a month ago (strangely not cheaper than buying a brand new one really, but they're pretty much next door so I didn't have to drag it across half of Cov) and it died the Thursday just gone. Not even an impressive death, it just turned off and refused to come back on (it wasn't the fuse). Anywho, I took it back and they tried it and confirmed it was dead, so they got me a replacement. During this the woman put the remote control in the bag which is kinda good because they couldn't find one before, so already I had gained something I didn't get originally, and they didn't ask why there was no remote there. Then they notice the TVs have been reduced since I bought them and it's now £10 less. I expected them to not do anything about that as it's a straight replacement and to my knowledge shops don't refund differences for that. However, the manager guy who happened to be nearby told me that he wouldn't mind if I grabbed a couple of DVDs to make up the difference. Win. :-) So because my TV died, I now have a remote for it and a couple of free DVDs. I'm quite happy with the transaction overall.

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