Rory, boot, Microsoft installers

Rory Blyth lays the boot into Microsoft installer mentality here (bit long mind).

Great post about his frustrations with Microsoft Live Writer installation pain (on Vista ;-)). (Rory did the classique Excel as a database cartoon years ago).

A couple of obvious blunders:

1. the plural of Lego is Lego, not ‘Legos’ (or legii, or legae, or legon!) – what nonsense is that?

2. ‘brainstorming’ the UK Government Political Correctness advice is that this devastating insult should be replaced by ‘thought shower’ or ‘idea storm’. They haven’t actually found a group who find it insulting, but that minor point isn’t going to stop them.

(I’m thinking of setting up a group that find the following words offensive, and see if they can be stripped from common usage:

  • a
  • the
  • committee
  • tax

Would you join?)

(Perhaps it could be one of the beliefs of the Jedi Knight religion?)

Anyway back to the spreadsheet angle.

He talks about installation pain, and ease of deployment is one of the joys of Excel/VBA.

He talks about pointless change, thats one of my biggest complaints in Excel 2007.

He talks of the internal wranglings at MS, I can’t help feeling that was a factor in the whole effluent UI.

He talks about some of the great people at MS being held back by some of the not-so-great, I’ve seen that in a few places I’ve worked so I can believe it. (In my mind the relevant MS version goes something like – those smart folks in the Excel team got snookered by the UX donkeys).



9 Responses to “Rory, boot, Microsoft installers”

  1. Rob Bruce Says:

    1. Legos has always been the plural in the US.
    2. That’s an urban myth. Stop reading the Daily Mail ;-)
    Factoid: There’s no word in Welsh for ‘a’.

    Microsoft so nearly missed the internet bandwagon (remember when you had to buy the Win95 PlusPack to get IE?) that it’s now terrified of not getting into every tiny corner of every tiny new development in business and home computing. This is the reason for such disasters as non-standard UIs that can only be configured by hand-coding XML: The web-like ‘innovative’ UI and the XML ticked exactly the right boxes at the time. Everything else was secondary.

  2. Marcus Says:

    completely OT…

    “…setting up a group that find the following words offensive…”

    In another life I did desktop publishing (wedding stationery, brochures et al). I produced the monthly newsletter for a state dance college in which they also advertised their portable parquetry dance floor for rent

    When France conducted nuclear testing in the Pacific, the dance school decided to protest by removing French influence from the language in the newsletter, changing parquetry to parketry. Go figure!

    Considering English comprises a large number of “foreign” words, what would be left of the English language if we removed the influence of every foreign nation which offended us? (We’d probably be mute – we may not be such a bad thing).

  3. Harlan Grove Says:

    Removing all the foreign words from English? OK, toss out all the Latin and French words, and that leaves all the low German words that the Angles and Saxons brought with them when they invaded Britain 1700 or so years ago. Toss out those as well and there are what, maybe 100 words that can be traced back to ancient British(?). Heck, I don’t even know the name of the language that was spoken in southern Britain before then.

  4. Simon Says:

    me neither but I wonder if they pronounced bath as barrth, and grass as grarrse?

  5. Rob Bruce Says:

    Since both bath and grass are Saxon, the British probably pronounced them more like ymdrochfa and gwellt respectively, Welsh (and Cornish and Breton) being the direct descendent of ancient British.

    Harlan, the number of British words that have made it into English is disputed, but some authorities put the figure as low as ten. The most notable is ‘car’, though even this appears to have travelled indirectly via Latin. The other most recognisable words are ‘bard’ and ‘druid’.

  6. martin rushton Says:

    If thee hail from where I’m born and bred and where Simon spent some time too then the dialect/language is heavily influenced by Norse especially place names based on Wapentakes

  7. Simon Says:

    The highest concentration of viking genes in the UK is in Penrith I believe. They did well to get over the A66, its often shut for being too windy now.

    I never knew Skyrack was a Wapentake (or what one of those was), I just thought it was a pub opposite the Oak in Hedders.

  8. Martin Rushton Says:

    It was shut to high sided vehicles when I went over last Friday evening. It didn’t apply to HGV’s though as they were ignoring it. The police were having to operate a traffic control because a lorry had run into a wall just off the road on one of the single carriageway sections towards Scoth Corner.

    The vikings won’t have gone over the top though. More likely to have sailed round as they are also well represented on the Northern Ireland and Western Ireland coast. York is of course from the Norse name Yorvik which was their major British base.

    It would appear the “Original Oak” and the “Skyrack” are directly named because of the Skyrack Wapentake which was under the Bright Oak Tree at Headingley. Siar a saxon word for bright and Aches the saxon word for oak became siaraches which has corrupted to both shire oak and skyrack

  9. Rory - Neopoleon : MSDN Docs Totally Effing Suck Now - Windows Mobile API Reference - And... the irony of it all... Says:

    […] Simon Murphy – You began with some commentary and a link to my post about the Windows Live installation experience, and the discussion in your comments […]

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