Sometimes is wierd to say how story's evolve on the internet. One would think, that between thousands and thousands of voices, blogs, websites and podcasts it is hard to seperate the songs from the static. But still. Sometimes a story is written in just the right key that it chimes out and resonates through the internet. Sebastians review on AIM pages is a perfect example. An article that begun on his own website has been picked up by AIM and its hardcopy's are now scattered over the tables of the design team at AOL to guide them in the redesign of AIM pages. Enjoy.
AIM Pages by Sebastian Prooth.
As you will find out when you listen to episode 4 of the Global Geek Podcast I tried to sign up to the new AIM Pages service.
I decided to go back today and try and get a profile going over on AIM Pages. I started to create the profile about 20 minutes ago and I have had multiple problems while creating the profile which I will share with you, so you don’t waste your time with this website until you have read the problems you might encounter while registering!
Number one, the site is NOT intuitive, not easy at all. I am glad I have blog creating experience or I would have been struggling to get this profile up and going. Once I selected a profile from the tech group, I applied one I liked, or so I thought, more on this later.
Then I proceeded to actually fill out the “modules” and build the profile. What a yawn. The about me section malfunctioned every time I opened it up to edit it, and once I had placed the text and said OK I want to keep it, I saw that it did not show up against the background, so I went back into the editor and selected white text, to show up on this brownish clay coloured background.
The photo uploading system is difficult as well, once you figure out that save does not mean upload/keep, and you have to hit upload, you will be greeted with a dialogue box that has an upload interface, good luck getting it to work the first time around! When I selected the images to caption them once I had uploaded them, it took clicking around them, on them, everything, to get the caption box.
I realized after trying to set up the Contact me section, not to bother. Why? Because what you select to show up as methods of contact don’t even show up when you hit apply!
And if all these problems were not enough, I decided to have done and apply the profile. When I did I was greeted with a totally separate theme than the one I had selected, my words did not show up against the background so I had to highlight the text on the page to read it, and most of all when I went to edit the page again, it died in the ass. Totally. I was not able to get back into the edit area where I had been before.
One final problem and the one that just made me leave the entire endeavor. I went to settings, and it brings up a dialogue with one option. Leaving AIM Pages? Click Yes to delete your profile!! Oh yeah, thats a setting alright! You can check out what I eventually got out of the profile here – As you can see, the text is the wrong colour (Invisible)!
Is AIM Pages a MySpace killer? Umm.. Let me think about this one. Absolutely not. There is no way on God’s green earth that this website is a Myspace killer, I could not even configure a profile, with 11 years of Internet using experience. I have been using Myspace to store a profile for over a year, and I have never had the problems like I have had in 20 minutes trying to build a profile on AIM Pages. Web 2.0? More like Web .20. If I were AOL or whoever is behind this, I would be ashamed that some meeting deemed it ready to be released for use… it just isn't – Comments Welcome
Keep it simple.
If visitor statistics have proven one thing in the last few days, then it is that keeping it simple works best. A small article about configuring a Ubuntu workstation for grandma turned into a site-rush overnight. The moral of the story ? Linux is being presented as an operating system that is way to hard. Somehow I think that the one thing that is holding back de destribution of Linux desktops to the mainstream is … The Linux community itsellf.
Blame the community ?
Now don't get me wrong. Whenever I was in need of Penguin related information, I knew where to turn. Tons of forums, newsgroups and websites where jam packed with information. And they where more then happy to provide it …. Only .. it was presented in a way that was only comprehensible for “the inner circle of linus-ians “ They where friendly and nice, and the howto's started out pretty friendly and easy , but three posts later in the thread the learning curve had gone allmost vertical and they where talking Grep this and Ls that and what have you. When this sudden increase of complexity startled me and I asked or a little more directions I was redirected to another thread that dealt with that problem on its own. Its like asking somebody to help you because your car door is stuck, and as an answer they give you a manual in automechanics.
My wires are crossed.
Wireless support in Linux is a pitfall in that account. When it works out of the box , its fine , when it does not : You're screwed ! And this is sometimes the fault of the evil hardware manufacturers that don”t want to release their drivers (poor Linux heroes even reverse engeneer them to get it to work). But other times there IS a way to get it going, but you have to edit this, copy that, compile this , download that … AAArg ! By the time I have figured that out my laptop will be outdated anyway.
And once more all together : AUTOMAAAATIX !!!
An example that it CAN work is the famous automatix script, instead of posting a gigantic textfile with a complete list of applications you can make, they decided to script it in a little Gui so people could click and pick what they needed. Is it Linux-geeky cool : NO ? Would bash-brawlers frown upon this de-geek-i-fi-cation of technology ? YES .. Does it work ? Hell yes !
Strip the technobabble from the how-to and bring it down to playschool level : Copy this, past it there, click that. No pipes , no grep, no compile, no wget .. just copy paste and click. And the result : A newbie proof way that has done MORE for the linux community since its early rise a year ago , then pages and pages of “man” files have done in years. I'm not saying we don't need these because we do and they are a wonderfull work of patience and passion, but to somebody who just gets started .. they just don't work.
It can be for dumb people too.
And the other thing is : Using Linux does not mean turning it into some major command line operating system that will be able to run the planet should the white house ever decide to pull the 64 k of ram out of the presidents head. It can also mean using it for a simple system. Or a safe-surft computer. So you see my bearded linux-zealots ! Keep'in it simple is keepin it popular !
MAC OS X – Learning the OS X Ropes. Posted by Sebastian Prooth
A small lesson from a beginner MAC user on how to optimise your MAC OS X system!
A few days ago I told you about buying the iBook G4 and some of the problems with the airport extreme wireless system. Yesterday, I found myself reconfiguring the iBook as I felt like it was running way too slow!
found the program activity monitor (click picture on the left), for those of us still using PC's that would be the TaskManager, it showed all the different attributes of programmes taking up system resources such as CPU, System Memory, Disk Activity, Disk Usage, and Network Traffic. I was checking the programmes that were running and I discovered to my horror that the Dashboard widgets actually take up absolutely huge amounts of system memory and resources even if your dashboard is not being displayed at the time! If your dashboard looks like, this, this article applies to you.
I did some hunting around on Google and I came across several people who were talking about ways to optimise the speed of OS X Tiger. The obvious such as turning off animations and turning off the minimise “genie” effect, freeing up Hard Drive space, and the not so obvious such as removing the dashboard from active running and taking all the widgets out. Once I removed the widgets I freed up over 150 meg of system memory and instead of 100 meg free ram at idle the iBook now has 339 Meg free.
I continued to explore the settings of OS X and as new MAC user I was pleased when I found I could change the system colours such as the highlight colour, which is now a brilliant orange, and the menus to a lovely chromy grey. There are also settings that you can alter the “warmness” of the display so that colours appear more true, or to more suit your personal preference of how you like to see the colours. Just because it is an accessibility function doesn't mean you have to be disabled <!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–> to use it.
One last thing I want to talk a little about its the Spotlight feature (picture click picture on the right), spotlight allows you to search for things on the MAC from options and settings in the OS to actual files hanging around on the disk. It was really helpful yesterday to find PC only files and remove them as they are superfluous. The spotlight worked perfectly for this!
As a result of actually reading and exploring my new iBook I now understand more fully how it does and doesn't work and can use it more effectively as a tool for business which is its sole purpose in life.