A pox on both your houses

posted in: Life and things | 9
A picture of the Preview file menu
What happened to Save As?

I haven’t had a rant for a while. Let me tell you, readers, the time has come. (Takes deep breath)

Rant/ What is it with Apple and Microsoft? Why do they find it necessary to change a perfectly functional user interface to something that is supposed to be ‘better’ but clearly is not?

I recently upgraded my Mac OS from Snow Leopard to the new Maverick. (About two days later, I decided that was a mistake, and went to see if I could roll back. But that’s not easy, so I’m stuck with it.) The Mac has a nifty program called Preview which allows you to see your pictures, files and things. You can do good stuff with pictures, like crop, resize and save in different formats. That’s important when you need to resize book covers for the precise requirements of various websites. Eg Omnilit wants 200X300, Payhip want 660 wide and there’s no point in loading a 4MB file to Smashwords.

Preview had in its file menu easily understood actions like ‘save’ and ‘save as’. You know, words that people understood, that have stood the test of time. You opened your file, made your changes, then you selected ‘save’ or ‘save as’ depending on what you wanted to do.

But some people just can’t stop fiddling.

Now, when you make a change it is saved automatically. Boy, that sure messed me around. I worked out that you have to ‘duplicate’ your file. (What was wrong with ‘copy’?). Make your changes. Then you have to ‘rename’ your file. What a crock of pompous, redundant shit. Did anybody think to test the new and improved user interface on a living, breathing person? If they’d tried it on me, you might get an idea of what I would have said. Oh, and when Preview says it’s going to save a file at a particular size, it’s just kidding. Or if it isn’t ,Finder (see below) adds up sizes differently.

It’s not just Preview. The ‘new and improved’ Finder window has removed all those very useful options like ‘recent’, ‘yesterday’, ‘images’ and so on. In their place is a new set of different coloured tabs I’ll never, ever use.

This sort of thing is exactly why I have never upgraded MS Office (which I run on my laptop) from 2003. It works just fine, I know where everything is and I don’t need to relearn the f***ing interface.

Having grappled with the horrible, thankfully short-lived Vista, I’m dreading the arrival of Windows 8 into my life. I’ve already been introduced to this abortion of an OS on the OH’s tablet, Win 8 RT. Unfortunately, I’ll have it inflicted on me when I buy the next laptop, when I suppose I’ll be forced to upgrade MS Office. Or maybe I’ll go learn how to use Open Office properly.

Microsoft, Apple, a pox on both your houses. I hate you. /rant

Feel free to add your horror stories. I’d love to know it isn’t just me.


9 Responses

  1. Kayelle Allen

    Not alone! I will keep my versions of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2003 until there’s no possible way to make them work anymore. I detest these kinds of changes. A pox and curse on them all. I am FOR change. But not for change just for the sake of change, and not in such a way that makes ME work harder.

    • Leiah

      EXACTLY! Don’t you get the feeling that the changes are 1) just to make more money, and 2) designed to pad a programmer’s resume? Oh, and to make more money. And, yes, to make more money. And money money money money…..

      I think the do the same thing with hardware AND software. Planned obsolescence. All the while, all our junk hardware winds up in China, poisoning the land and the people, tiny children taking the units apart and dying slowly from mercury poisoning, the land and water unusable. . .

  2. Sarah

    I hear you on all the small but painful changes found in Mavericks. I’m still struggling with the changes to Text Edit (I use this for notes & lists, nothing fancy) which have added nothing other than extra steps to every single action. It’s incredibly frustrating.

    You might want to try Libre Office. I used (wrestled with) Open Office for several years until I downloaded Libre Office a few months ago & am finding it much, much easier to use. It also feels, at least to me, closer to MS Office in how it works & feels.

    • Greta

      Glad to know it’s not just me. I’ll have a look at Libre Office, thanks. I have problems with Open Office, too.

  3. Leiah

    I FEEL YOU!!! I won’t do the Windows 8 routine, period. I am sure it is fine if you are one of those people who has to do the whole new toy thing, but without a touchscreen on your computer it simply is a NIGHTMARE.

    My solution? I went to my local computer repair guy (not the big box outlet stuff, this is a chubby little guy with glasses and no social skills) and I had him build me my last computer. I got exactly what I needed. Windows 7, the right size hard drive and processor without being too much or too little. The USB’s I wanted onboard for my mouse, keyboard and drawing tablet, and an external unit to plug in my thumb drives. I keep one drive for my editing jobs, one for my reviewing jobs, and one for my knitting and quilting stuff like magazine downloads, downloaded patterns, that sort of thing. Easy peasy!

    AND – – drumroll please – if something goes wrong, he built it, so he fixes it – and I know that when HE does it, it is done right instead of taking it into a big box and crossing my fingers that the spotty kid behind the counter knows which end of a tool to use.

    If it were me and I was stuck with a bad OS (btw? I hate Mac almost as much as I hate MS) I would find myself a chubby little guy with glasses in your area. Then I would download all my documents, photos, etc. to an external drive, then had over the offending unit and let him work his magic. At the same time he can check for any issues, and do any upgrades so that you may not even have to shell out for a new computer! How thrifty is that?

    I broke down for the new desktop he built for me when I started doing a lot of book editing – I wanted this huge screen so I could have multiple docs open at the same time for comparisons (I use Office 2010, it took a bit to learn but it has several new functions that really make my editing easier, though it DOES have it’s flaws as well.) But my laptop? This thing has been running for a coon’s age, missing keys and rubbed off letters on the keys and all. I have upgraded the memory card, and he occasional cleans it up for me, but other than that, I use it for mail, travel, and playing around on and it works fine with it’s ancient OS and my student edition of Word.

    Now, does that help you feel any better? (*hug*)

    • Greta

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, a little guy with glasses is always handy.

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