Open letter to Apple Support

Hi guys,

Do you have any idea how absolutely terrible the iTunes interface is? There are little buttons with no mouseovers that give you random pop-up menus which seem to have no connection to whatever the heck their picture is supposed to be. You can hide the sidebar menu of options by accident (or perhaps the default option is having it hidden, I don’t know) and not be able to get it back without looking up support. I can never find anything that I want to be able to do because the menus make no sense, and I ALWAYS end up feeling like crying or possibly throwing my computer across the room. Classic psychological negative reinforcement, guys. It makes me fear all things Apple.

You SERIOUSLY need to overhaul your usability. Looking pretty should come SECOND. If it looks all clean and shiny and Apple-y but all the useful bits are hidden, you’re doing it wrong.

Please sort it out. Then I might even start buying things off it. Who knows?


Boys to men

boys to men.

This blog post asks some tough questions. I worry about my boys, and whether they’ll find healthy ways to find risk and danger before they hit teenage-hood and drivers licences and kids they know at school who can get them drugs and alcohol.

I’m looking into sending Mr 9 to Scouts (Cubs, at his age), so that someone else can be teaching him responsibility and how to light fires and taking him tramping and hopefully that way he can get the urge to leap off things and break limbs out of his system under adult supervision, and particularly, not mine. (I have no problem with him breaking limbs, I just don’t want to watch and be the one feeling guilty. I think that possibly makes me a bad mum, except that as my friend says, “I’m not a bad mother, bad mothers hit their children with hammers”.)

I’m hoping Mr 7 will use up all his crazy energy in sports – soccer, running, gym – and eventually music. (know he has musical talent, and I assume that one day he’ll realise that playing in a band is just as much fun as playing with a ball.)

I remember when I was a little girl my (feminist) mum sighed because I would only wear things that were pink and shiny, and my dad rolled his eyes because I would always have to introduce some irritating little girl character into whatever pretend games my brothers were playing (which tended to involve exploring the galaxy or the South Pole or Alaska, I think). Now I wonder what was so wrong with those things. And my daughter now does something very similar… but if the boys join in with one of her games, very quickly some character starts misbehaving and violence ensues.

You see, I also wonder why every pretend game the boys play involves explosions, weapons or travelling at high speeds. (Preferably all three. At once.) My brothers were less obsessed with fighting (or “versing”) than my sons are, possibly because we grew up without a TV or any videos, while my children watch a DVD or play on the computer every day. (We did have a computer from when I was about 7 or 8, with such exciting games as Battleships, Othello and Chess, and Dad wrote us a drawing program which I mainly used to draw contour maps of imaginary islands.) I don’t think the boys are more competitive innately than my daughter and me, but they definitely play conflict more often.

I really really wish I could see the future. I find it impossible to imagine what my children’s world will look like, because of the rate that technology is changing. In the meantime, I kind of let them find their own way, mostly, in terms of their playing. “If you want to fight, go outside!” for example. And try and make sure they all get the same responsibilities at the same ages. Lets hope it works.


My Space

I have a new computer! It’s a laptop, but I have it set up in my office (heh heh, MY office, actually “the” book room which is mostly full of Dad’s books with a corner desk built in for me) with keyboard, mouse, box to put the laptop on so the monitor is at eye height, new mouse pad, planning notebook, coaster for a cup, pinboard, pencil tin (currently empty), and our degrees and a couple of small pieces of art on the wall to my left. I have red velvet curtains behind the screen, and behind the red velvet curtains is the ivy-covered bank outside.

Now I just need something to write.

And a document holder, external hard drive, laptop backpack, printer, shelves for printer and paper, sticky labels, and a rubbish bin.

The walls in here are 90s textured creamy-ochrey-yellow and there’s a skylight in the ceiling above and behind my head. It smells of old books, because of Dad’s aforementioned hoarding tendencies library. I am very comfortable. It is cool and quiet. Let’s hope this will be a productive space for the next five years or so, and not just a refuge from family chaos!

On a tiny screen

Now that DH has got his game programming mojo back, I may need to hurry up and buy my own laptop. Mr 9 on the desktop, DH on the laptop and here I am blogging on the iPod. Not really ideal. Conducive to a telegraphic style, to which I am prone anyway.

I spent an hour today with one of those potential supergiants HAHAHAHAAA AUTOCORRECT FTW!!! _supervisors_ I mentioned last time. He seemed nice, but very TJ to my FP. I couldn’t change the course of the flow of information by asking questions, for example: he had it all laid out in his mind and that was how it was going to go.

Hopefully the chap I’m seeing on Tuesday will be more congenial.

Wednesday’s haiku:
highway heat shimmer
AC cold air smoke sharp at
the back of the throat