Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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This one is really nitpicky in a way. And hinting at a loss of culture in another:

Back in the days a fun way to demonstrate to people how Apple’s software is more civilised than Windows was to let them have a look at the screen colour settings. Instead of being confronted with harsh, ugly and precise facts about the number of colours on screen, the Mac user would just see 256, Thousands and Millions as options. I always considered this to be a brilliant simplification – a very civilised one. And, in fact, it remains that way until today in the American localisation:

Colours menu in the Display System Preference

But once you start looking at other localisations things aren’t as good. (I guess this would also be a good opportunity to bemoan the demise of the British English localisation of the Mac OS… but it’s not the point I’m trying to make now.) In the German localisation, for example, you’ll be confronted with more precise number of colours on your screen. This used to be all right in the old days but was broken in some update:

Farben menu in the Monitore System Preference

Perhaps you could argue that higher precision and more ugliness are culturally appropriate for a German audience, but I still consider this to be a bad thing.

On a different note: Isn’t this setting one that could just be dropped these days? I can’t remember there even being a need to change it for many years. (And a few parts of OS X just start looking ugly at less than Millions of colours) That’d be a neat way to use technological progress to simplify things.

December 26, 2005, 0:56

Tagged as Mac OS X.


Comment by Nate Silva: User icon

“Perhaps you could argue that higher precision and more ugliness are culturally appropriate for a German audience”

That is the funniest thing I’ve read all day! I agree with you: they should get rid of that setting entirely.

December 29, 2005, 21:54

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