A list of four things in the world of tech that I find annoying, submitted for your approval in no particular order.
I’ve ranted about this elsewhere, but it’s worth repeating; unboxing videos are awful. If there’s anything more pathetic to me than sitting around wishing you had some piece of technology, it’s doing so while also seeking out and watching other people open up boxes with the desired tech inside.
I understand doing research on products you’re thinking about buying, but I don’t see where the unboxing video fits in with all that. If you want to find out what’s actually inside the box, you can find that info on websites or in stores. If you want to see little bits of molded Styrofoam, you’ve probably got some in boxes you already own sitting around in your house or apartment somewhere.
If you want some new thing that badly, watching someone open up its box isn’t going to get you any closer to that goal. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be boxed up the same as everything else you’ve bought: lots of tape, lots of Styrofoam, lots of plastic. Whoopdy doo.
Purposefully misspelled website / service names
I know that this is probably something that can’t really be helped, considering the ever-decreasing amount of URL’s available, but there’s something that really annoys me about every new website being named in some “edgy” or “cute” misspelling of a simple word.
Flickr. Digg. Pownce. Blippr. Tumblr. Mixx. The lyst goes on.
Have we completely exhausted our reserve of real words for domain names? Has the well of creativity run dry? Seriously annoying.
And you can add to this all the various websites with the words “pop”, “crunch”, and “mash” in their domain names. Not necessarily misspelled words, but still awful. I don’t think I’ve ever found any site with any of those words in their URL useful in any way whatsoever.
Network searches with Finder
I work in a creative field, and have for years. Unfortunately, this means that most of the time, my employers equip me with a Mac and by extension OS X, which you probably know, is not my preferred operating system.
I don’t hate OS X, and actually wish one or two of its features would creep into Windows someday, but there are many quirks and problems with it that nobody ever talks about when they’re in the middle of trying to convince you it’s worth buying over-priced Apple hardware for. One of those things is the fact that, if you’re planning on using it over any type of network, you could be in for some frustration, especially where search is concerned.
The other day I tried searching for a file on our network at work, both of which use OS X. No results were returned, and the spinning “beach ball” appeared, signaling network wait time. So I let it run its course and got back to my work. 10 minutes later, the pinwheel was still showing, and Finder wasn’t responding. So I forced Finder to quit and then tried to re-open it, but no dice; OS X informed me that Finder can’t re-open. And since Finder handles the file saving functions for all the programs I was running, I couldn’t save any of my work for a restart. Gah.
And this isn’t an isolated incident. In all my years of using OS X, the most problems I’ve had with it have involved network problems. The only advice I can give, if you absolutely have to work on a Mac, is that if you’re planning on doing any major network activity, save your work first.
Organizing media files with Windows 7
I’ve been happy with Windows 7 since I picked it up last year on launch day. It does just about everything better than XP did, and it’s nice and snappy to boot. But one thing that absolutely annoys me to no end is the problems I’ve had trying to organize my music files.
Like many people out there, I’ve been collecting digital music files for years. A good portion of my music consists of files I ripped myself from CD’s I’ve bought, and most of the rest is digital music I’ve purchased from iTunes and Amazon. The problem is, as I’ve bounced between two iPods and about four computers, all with varying amounts of storage, my music has become a bit disorganized. With big hard drives being pretty cheap these days, I’ve managed to consolidate most of the recent additions to my collection onto one drive, and now I’ve begun trying to organize it.
Problem is, about 75% of the time I try to move around my music folders, Windows 7 is telling me that there is a file in use and prevents the operation from happening.
After an hour of pure frustration, disabling all music sharing, disabling the folder from being read by Windows 7’s music library, disabling Windows Media Player from scanning the folder, and disabling all folder thumbnailing the OS does, it’s gotten better. But I still get this error now and then, and it still hurts every time it happens. The file is in use by the OS that is trying to move it.
Isn’t it reasonable to suspend the OS from reading the file if a move is being requested? It kills me that with all the great things Windows 7 can do, it still stumbles over something so basic, and so stupid.
So now I have to choose between letting the OS thumbnail my folders, so I can see what’s in them without opening them, or making the whole thing look like some kind of file system ghost town, but with the ability to easily move my music around. Awesome.
The one good thing about this is that I’ve discovered the Local Group Policy Editor, which offers a lot of interesting customization options for Windows 7, under the hood.
Anyway, it feels good to get all that off my chest. Some of it may be unreasonable, and you might disagree with me, but there it is. Sound off in the comments if you have any extreme likes or dislikes in my list, or let me know about some of your own tech world annoyances! I’m sure I’ll be back with more in the future.
Image courtesy of unpluggd.com