Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Sickness

So, I'm getting sick. Sick of colors on my computer. Sick of round buttons. Sick of people with photoshop and too much time.

So, I never understood why artists would go to a junk yard and take some stuff and glue it together and call it art. And I never understood why people would praise it and adore it and rave about it. Still I never understood why people would display it and pay money for it. I mean, its junk. It looks good- sort of -but its still junk.

I feel that way about computers these days. I just feel like people put too much emphasis on how it looks. Its that mac wow moment: when you open your program and it wiggles from the bottom. "Ohh and ahhh." I just read a review of Leopard (Mac OS 10.5) and the guy basically said its like Mac's version of Vista, but instead of it having less crashes it has more crashes. Its really pretty, but the prettiness hinders rather than helps. Thank you for finally saying that, Mr. PC Mag guy.

I use AVG for my anti-virus. Many people use Avast!. People constantly site as a con of AVG that it doesn't have a very good looking UI. I have to agree. AVG uses big square buttons that are well labled. Avast! on the other hand looks like Winamp. I can't tell when any of the buttons do. How do I update? Is it doing it for me? How do I scan? Someone might say just take a little time to figure it out. I say, I don't want to interpret your hieroglyphics, just to check for viruses. Give me big ugly buttons please!

I was able to attend one of Microsoft's developers conferences when they launched Vista. The MS evangelist showed one example of how .NET3 could be used so well. He had this beautiful program that would flip pages like a book and show data. Rounded buttons and all sorts of gradient colors. It was good stuff, but I know me. If I can run something fast and ugly I would rather do that than have something pretty.

There is much to be said about a good user interface. Something that doesn't abuse the light that is about to reach your eyes, and helps you get your work done fast. Thats all I want. Thats why I turn off all the effects on XP or Vista or whatever I use. Either they don't work right or they just don't add anything. Example: in Windows 95 the Start button was clearly a button. It was of good size easy to click, and it was clear that you should use it. In XP it blends in a little more. Becoming part of the frame that your work goes in. In Vista its just a little circle. It doesn't even read Start anymore. Just a symbol. Looks good, but it isn't clearly a button.

Now, here is a great example how a good UI can make all the difference. Ribbons. In Office 2007 the ribbon interface is brilliant. I find things easier. The pictures that are added helps my brain understand what it does. The common things are bigger, the less common smaller. I do have one problem with it. To open a new file or save or print option you have to click that big round office symbol to get a menu. How am I supposed to know that? I guess I have to read a help file or something. They were able to put everything else in a tab, why return to the drop down menu there?

Whats the point of all this? When MS considered how people work and how to help them do a better job, they cam up with Ribbons. Brilliant, helpful, home run. When they thought about how to make the program look better they came up with fuzzy title bars and tiny buttons I expect my grandma will never figure out, slow my computer, and add nothing.

So developers: help your customer do what they want to do, and then make it pretty.

Oh.. and I think I'm coming down with something.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Things

So I find it hard to take a day off. Why is that? Well first off I really like my job. I mean I find it relaxing, infuriatingly, challenging, and rewarding. So on my days off what should I do? Last week I went shopping. I found out I have no taste in clothes and I'm getting older and the appeal of long sleeve collared shirts is getting stronger (though sweaters are still to be avoided). The day off before that I played the Simpson's Hit and Run for half a day and hung out with Heather for the other half. But I do that every day. I am finishing too many games. I've already beaten 3 in six months. Ok so one was a one shot one night marathon with one of the kids. The weird thing is, I enjoy my job more than taking a break. Although I am enjoying watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix. Now on the flipside I'm taking this morning off. Hahahaha. But I'll be at the youth center tonight.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Audacity

So, its been along time since my last update. There are a few reasons for that. One I got married, but thats not actually an update. I was married last time I wrote, so that doesn't count. I've become more busy. Not always productive, but always busy. Life is good. Its different that you always thought. You always think about the freedom, but sometimes I feel more constrained. There are always a lot of things pulling at you. Time slots fill up and time slots overlap. I feel bad sometimes for wanting me time. Youth Ministry is hard, but worthwhile. In short. I have been busy.

The second reason for few updates is because of that myspace, facebook stuff. Five or so years ago I had all these friends, from everywhere. People I had forgotten about, people I miss. I remember all those times that are so vivid, though they are normal. They were so intense because they were firsts. Remembering being on my own for the first time. Remembering growing up. The different influences on me, good and bad. Mistakes, victories, failures. Close friends. I remember my servant heart in it's youngest days. The stress, the peace, the chaos. They are good to remember, I wouldn't trade my life for them now. I've always been nostalgic. Ever since I was 7. I thought to myself I will never be as in my prime as I am now. That is still true. Its hard to express myself on all those places Facebook and Myspace and all that while keeping this up. And since no one cares about a lonely blog well, eh. Lets face it this isn't a social network. So it stretches your online time.

On the note of growing up and looking back. Its fun to look at all my friends from 5 years ago. Most of them are married. Some are dating that I would never have thought to hook up. Maybe this speaks to my ego, but its weird to see their lives continue without me being in them. I used to take up so much presence. I was entertaining, humorous, out going. Well at least how I remember me. I could totally be wrong. Its just like like I was gone and they grew up. Bam. Fast forward. Then I look back at who I was and who I have become. I've grown up too. Bam. Not overnight. It took so many influences. Good and bad to make me. Then my reaction to them, made all the difference.

Life 5 years ago was good, carefree. Now there are so many things to be done. I have to write this. This needs to be built. This person needs to be made happy. And if your wife is upset with you non of that matters. That usually happens when the load is the heaviest. I have a hard time formulating a plan, because of others. I've always been this way. I blame others for my lack of progress. Its not their fault. I have to take the burden. Bite on a bullet. Frankly I really don't care if the kids have a Christmas play. Why? Because it doesn't help anyone become a better Christian. Nay! It makes them amused. Its in my job description to do a Christmas play. What really needs to be done instead? Putting into teachers. Starting new classes. Reaching a 25 year age gap that has been ignored. Ignore a Christmas play? Heaven ashamed. Now I'm just ranting and totally of topic. Its not that the Christmas program is so bad. Its just that its so important.

I look back to 5 years ago. The me 5 years ago couldn't do what I'm doing today. I look back so fondly to those years, because of the people. My friends. They knew my secrets, and fears and joys, because we discovered them together. I left college, a warm Spirit filled place with all my friends, to come here: a vapid wasteland. I don't have any close friends here. Just Heather. I have to be explained all the inside jokes. See I'm on the outside. I know lots of people. I apparently know people I don't even remember meeting. There is no place for me at church. My closest friends are old enough to be my parents, or my kids. I even see the High Schoolers slipping away. One should be so much more, but his influence are dragging him down. He should be a light, but he's being dimmed in a fog of dust. I feel like no one cares. And anyone that cares either doesn't do anything about it or cares for meaningless things.

I don't mean to be so negative. I'm just bummed out. I need to get better at expressing my feelings. I may be having trouble with depression. I've always had an easy time getting close to people. There are just too many. Too much. Not enough. Inadequate.

So if I can leave you with summary: Life is good.