February 3rd, 2004


irritating things

* When your teacher decides to move the class and says he'll leave a sign on his office door with the new class number, but fails to do so. (The latter. Not the former.)

* Receptionists who make you wait while they continue a long personal phone call.

This day hasn't gotten off to a great start so far.
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed

(no subject)

So I go to the computer lab since there's stuff I need to do. Unfortunately, it is (as usual) pretty much full, and in desperation I end up sitting at one of their G4s.

The keyboard sucks. You know how all keyboards suck until you pop the little feet out and make it sit at a good angle? It's like that. So I look for little feet on it that I can pop out. I do, rather quickly, find something that seems to be in the right place . . . but I can't get it to work to hold the keyboard's back up a little better.

Finally I figure it out. It's *already* doing that. This is as "up" as the back of the keyboard gets. Without that thing there, the keyboard is practically tilted *away* from you.

Did Apple's entire usability department die or something? (Answer: yes. Just look at the Dock. I've accumulated more hatred of the Dock in about a hour of use than I have of any other operating system feature ever. Look! It's pretty! It moves! It has half a dozen nearly-indistinguishable icons! And it has no redeeming features whatsoever!)

Oh yeah - even the mousewheel scrolling is screwed up. See, if you click the mousewheel several times in series, it decides you want to move quickly, so it makes mousewheel clicks several times faster. The problem is, if you actually meant "three clicks down", you end up about a page and a half down and have to scroll up - which is now "eight clicks up", AKA "the top of the document unless you're reading Slashdot". Trying to make any fine adjustments is an exercise in futility, since you have to wait a few seconds between clicks.

The worst part is that you can't get it to go fast when you *want* it to.

Yes, I imagine this is configurable, but it certainly isn't on these locked-down computers.

the wonders of caching

While reading my friend's page, something throws a cog. Don't know what exactly, but I get approximately the first 1/3 of a page (it actually stops in the middle of an HTML tag, which is kind of entertaining.)

I hit "refresh".

Same page.

Some intermediate system between me and the other end has made the brilliant decision to cache the broken third-of-a-page, and I can't force it to uncache.

Who *buys* this software?

(Solution: add an extra GET parameter, thus making it a "new page" and dodging the cache.)

on competence and the ability to do one's job

I was just down in the bookstore, browsing to find out how much textbooks would hurt. (One of my textbooks costs, new, $151 at the bookstore - $113 used. At amazon.com it's $146. By a curious set of circumstances, however, it seems I'll only have to buy a grand total of two textbooks.) (All hail the Gutenburg Project, and their ample supply of Shakespeare.)

For hopefully obvious reasons, they don't want people bringing their backpacks into the bookstore. I mean, duh. So they have a backpack-checking station set up - you give them your backpack, they give you a laminated piece of plastic, you give them the plastic, they give you your backpack, etc. There was one person handling it, and in fairness to him, the load was *cough* a bit heavy.

Unfortunately - and I don't believe there's any way to say this kindly - so was he. To the point that he was clearly having trouble moving quickly, or hefting student backpacks (I'm sure everyone here knows just how light college student backpacks tend to be), and this was causing problems to the point that the line was 30 people long. Literally. He was handling about one backpack every twenty seconds - which sounds fast until you actually time 20 seconds, and realize that "handling" involves walking, at most, five feet in each direction.

But here's what I'm thinking - what could they do about it? I mean, this is America - I seriously doubt they could fire him. ("You're fired." "Why?" "You're too fat, and you can't do your job properly." "Well, now I'll sue you." "Okay. Here's $200k for emotional damages, and you can have your old job back.") I'd like to reiterate that I have no problems with his weight, except that he could not do his job adequately because of it.

I shouldn't have to reiterate that, though. If someone can't do their job, they shouldn't be in it - whatever reason it is that they can't do it. Maybe they're Japanese, they're handling inventory, and they're too short to reach the top shelves without a lot of work. Maybe they're in construction, they're female, and they're not strong enough to do the work. Maybe they're required to do technical things, they're black, and they don't have the background they need.

If you're about to get offended, please note that I never mentioned their height/strength/intelligence was based on their race or gender. However, there are correlations. (I'm not getting into the reasons for that last one, you could fill an entire book on it. I did, however, find this rather disturbing page.) If you're still offended, think: would you be as offended if I'd talked about a short white male, a weak black male, and an unskilled Asian?

Why is it that people seem so devoted to wrapping up competence and physical ability in the same package as gender or race? Why can't we just, you know, base hiring and firing decisions on pure ability and lack thereof?

If you can't do the job, you shouldn't be doing it - and your race, gender, or physical abilities shouldn't act as a shield.

(no subject)

Wonder if I'm about to lose approximately the same number of people who added me thanks to Bush Vs. Peanut Butter.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused