Saturday, June 23, 2007


This will be my last entry for a few days (probably more like a week).  I'm the scoutmaster of troop 440 and we're attending summer camp next week so I will not have much time available to email and blogging.  However, KISS #5 happened last night while I was activating my kids Vista computer.

The whole idea is that any message, error or otherwise, needs to be understandable by the average user.  This is the main reason why Linux will not get any serious traction on the desktop.  The gear heads that use it can't stand to dumb down the interface of their baby and the current Linux desktop experience is just to complex.  If the user has to know what a swap partition is or that a file named ifconfig even exists, then it's too complex.  But I digress.

So last night Katie (my daughter) tells me that her computer is broken.  Thinking that's odd since I just built it, I asked her what it's doing.  She says it's telling her that she needs to activate it.  No problem.  I go upstairs and activate the computer (activation might be a KISS entry at some point but not this time).  While I'm there I see an icon for Age of Mythology on her desktop.  That's a terrific game that my son plays on the same computer.  Knowing that she never plays it and the icon was placed there because the game did an 'all users' install, I drag the icon to the trash.

Bam!  Kiss, right on the mouth.  :)  Let's skip past the fact that it stupidly asked me if I really wanted to throw it away and fast forward to the next dialog which was a UAC prompt asking for my password.  Huh?  I'm logged in as Katie, looking at Katie's desktop, and throwing away an icon that is sitting on Katie's desktop.  And I'm not allowed to do it.  How in the world can my 11-year old understand this kind of crap. It's hard enough to get her to understand why I had to move Sims into her profile directory to get it to run (it was attempting to write back to the program files folder).

This utterly ridiculous.  I realize that the game ran as admin and therefore the icons created by it are owned by admin however a user should have complete and total control over their own desktop.  If I want to throw away something sitting on my own desktop, Vista should have nothing to say about that.

And that, my friends, is KISS #5.  See you next week.

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