Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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874 words

Just a few screenshots which I collected over time. Most of them probably with some bitching in mind. So here we go. Starting slowly with this:

Wrong star in Safari 3

What’s wrong with that? you may ask as an uncareful observer. Well, it’s the ★. That star looks like it’s coming from the Arial Unicode font since I installed the Safari 3 beta. Previously, the star from Zapf Dingbats was used. And that one is better looking. Now which of he various bug reporters will be the best for such a quirk?

While talking about the web, let me give an honorary mention to Twitter. They claim limit your input to 140 characters in one go. And they do so very poorly because all but the backspace key (i.e. also forward deleting or arrow keys) stop working once you reach that limit. Naturally I’ve been intrigued with the limit ever since I first learned about it and tried to game it. Pasting a long text is too easy to count here. So I am mainly keen on filling the field with exactly 140 characters or to sneak in more. When using space saving techniques such as using the … character instead of three separate dots I learned that Twitter aren’t even good at counting. (I thought that the limit is 140 bytes of UTF-8, perhaps but test with a string like 󠀹󠀸󠀷󠀶󠀵󠀴󠀳󠀲󠀱󠀰𝓛𝒶𝓁𝒶𝄞𝑠𝑠𝑝 [requires Code2001 to display correctly and should be 144 bytes of UTF-8] can be posted – but not be displayed later on – without problems) And when you exceed the limit you get a polite-yet-incorrect message afterwards (no failing, nice!) telling you about that:

Twitter - Whoa! long message message

Another software thingie that’s worth trying out is The Unarchiver. It handles all the ugly chores that the system’s decompression application used to do. Just with support for more formats and better. I particularly like how it decompresses the archives you pass it one after the other rather than unnecessarily thrashing while trying to process many at once. And it gives you a reasonably good progress window for that. I also like its option to just dump the archive in the Trash once it has been decompressed (like Stuffit Expander did back in the 1990s). Well done I think:

The Uncompressor's progress window with one decompression busy and another waiting to begin.

The EyeTV application always hits many nerves with me. On the one hand it’s really good with its one-click recording feature and general simplicity. On the other hand, some details are just quirky. In some recent update they decided they need custom progress bars to indicate the status of exports. Unfortunately these are so poorly designed that it’s impossible to tell what they indicate when you are close to the beginning or the end of an export. Here, the first process is ‘almost’ finished and the second one hasn’t even started yet:

eyeTV export progress bars

Another thing in eyeTV is that they somehow managed to get their relative dates wrong in their German version. Not only do they refer to shows running in the middle of the night as running ‘this evening’, somehow their – otherwise highly appreciated – attempt to refer to shows running after midnight as ‘today’ sometimes gets it wrong. In the image you can see two shows supposedly running ‘this evening’ – yet more than 24 hours lie between them:

eyeTV relative dates

The next one is about content as well as colour. I don’t think I can come up with any place in a Mac user interface where it is justified to harass the user by using red text. And the transient confirmation display of a bug reporter submission certainly isn’t such a place. In fact, I don’t think there is any place for such messages at all: If people have important messages to send to me, they usually manage:

Window saying 'please be sure your mail filters will not block any replies from us

Seen in the member management section of our earthlingsoft group on Flickr where I renamed the Administrators ‘Checker’ – Demote yourself, baby!

You are currently An Checker: Demote Yourself

And then there are of course the problems you get when you try to save space on your screen. The Asses will get you:

E-Mail from amazon.com Ass

Somehow the German localisation of Transmit (which otherwise is remarkably good) managed to fit an error a typo and wrong quotation marks into a single label of their preferences. Particularly the ‘Standart’ hurts. Not just because it is written correctly just a few pixels beneath but also because it is a very rare and different word in German (and one that you frequently see MS Office users getting wrong…):

Transmit Preferences window

I guess I shouldn’t complain as this could be seen as me saving 30 cents. But it’s still odd how at the iTMS they manage to sell an iTunes ‘Plus’ song for €1,29 but will be happy to let you ‘buy’ the whole 1-song album for just 99 Cents:

Art Brut Direct Hit single in iTunes' Store browser

While probably not being the easiest to adapt for truely international enterprises I quite like the shop at the Haldern Pop site. Not only do they sell loads of fun stuff but they also manage to display all the information, including shipping costs right away and using very little space. That’s great. I really hate when I have to hunt for that kind of info:

Haldern Pop Shop

Finally, Google. I don’t know why they displayed a Spam Breakfast Burrito recipe with my spam e-mails, but I certainly like the spirit!

Google Mail Spam Breakfast Burritos

June 14, 2007, 0:53

Tagged as arial.


Comment by Carl: User icon

What font(s) do you need to display your message? I have a lot of fonts but no “tag digit nine” etc.… I also don’t have a font with any of the good musical symbols (clef and the like).

June 16, 2007, 9:46

Comment by ssp: User icon

The tag symbols (and also the Musical Symbols) are in Plane 1. The Code 2001 font contains them.

June 16, 2007, 18:05

Comment by Carl: User icon

FontBook warned me that Code2001 lacks OpenType data and might cause crashes. Have you been safe using it?

June 17, 2007, 8:06

Comment by ssp: User icon

I haven’t noticed any problems with it yet.

June 17, 2007, 12:38

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Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.