Amar Sagoo

30 March 2006

Renaming frustration

I've been downloading a lot of research articles recently. In order to be able to identify them easily, I like to put the author and full article title in the file name. Many of these articles have titles that sound like "Bla bla bla: A new model for bla bla bla", i.e. something containing a colon. Of course, the Mac doesn't allow using colons inside file names. Although annoying, I think this is forgivable. What is not forgivable, however, is that if you mistakenly include a colon, everything you've typed is lost and the file name is reverted back to what it was before you started:

The same thing happens if you try to use a name that's already used by another file.

Notice also that the message doesn't tell you what is wrong with the name, so novice users have to rely on trial and error to find acceptable file names.

What's going on, Apple? This is basic stuff!

29 March 2006

Can you feel the pain?

What better way to launch a new product than with a promise of maximal pain?

Licensed offers a place to put [your software licenses], and because it does nothing else, it does it very well. Every effort was taken to make entering details as quick and painful as possible.

I guess I'm not paying £3400 on a course about what makes software hard to use for nothing; I hope you can feel the difference.

21 March 2006

Debunking Myths about Student Life

Before I started my current MSc course, I was looking forward to the many pleasures commonly associated with student life: lots of time (or, in my case, lots of programming), lots of parties (or, in my case, lots of programming), etc.

How wrong I was! I could simply blame it on the workload, but I have to admit I don't really work that hard. No, it's the flexibility that really kills you.

When you're in a stable job, you can use your evenings and weekends as you please, you get real holidays, and you don't have to feel guilty about using those for non-work stuff. In fact, people will tell you off if you do use them for work stuff.

When you're a student, things are very different. Even during evenings, weekends and holidays, a cloud of guilt looms over you all the time, this feeling that you really should be reading some research article or text book. Even if you don't put in as many hours as in working life, you actually feel busier and more stressed because of this.

Thus I haven't been able to work nearly as much on my software as I was hoping to. I know, I know, it sounds like I'm just making excuses. But anyway, to make up for some of my creative absence, I put in a few hours to get Namely 2.0.3b1 ready for release. If you have an Intel Mac, please try this out and let me know if it works. If you don't, try it anyway.