All my pleading and threats can’t stop the roll out of OSX Loin at work. New machines must be deployed and they come locked to the system. I cry for the disaster that is about to descend upon us. Hundreds of students are about to start using tools that continuously overwrite their documents without warning.
I’ve been trying Loin since it was available, trying to find ways to avoid the latest ‘magical’ and ‘amazing’ idea from Apple. Third party tools can save you by allowing you to save your work but they’ll eventually follow the trend. Perhaps by then we’ll all learn to urgently duplicate every document the moment it becomes visible or suffer the consequences.
Let me illustrate the problem. Today I’ve been marking. The students have submitted PDF documents. I open one and it has a scan in it I need to rotate to read. OK cool, rotate and read it, so I shut the document and up comes a warning that goes like this:
JUST THOUGHT I’D WARN YOU THAT I’VE BEEN OVERWRITING THE ORIGINAL PDF WITHOUT TELLING YOU. IT’S ON A NETWORK SO IF YOU EVER WANTED TO REVERT IT YOU’D BE SHIT OUT OF LUCK. BUT BECAUSE I’M FEELING GENEROUS I’LL GIVE YOU ONCE CHANCE TO UNDO IT. YOURS, TIM COOK.
What the? I didn’t want to edit the damn original! That’s a time stamped submission of an assignment! NOOO! NO! -click-
Having escaped this idiocy, I double click another PDF. Up that comes as well as the last one I looked at … because double clicking one document means you want to open several at once right?
Or how about when I experimented with a lecture in Keynote. I want to try out a few ideas… nah this whole train of thought is bad I’ll just quit. Which of course did the opposite of what I wanted. Reverting huge documents full of video is really efficient, right?
Why would you do this? Sure I can retrain myself and everyone else, given time. But why? What is the clear advantage?
Apple treats their users as stupid. They think we can’t be trusted to save a document, or choose a scratch disc or organise our directory structure … and maybe that’s true for many consumers. But a workplace has its own culture to which a machine should be able to adapt. Not vice versa.
Already they’re talking about a new version called OSX Mounting Loin.
Notification Bubbles? I’m not using a bloody telephone.
The looming Windows 8 has its own dilemmas. The Metro interface assumes that the most important thing on screen is your social life and shopping. Maybe it is – but not while trying to finish a thesis. Some people see the dual environment of Metro/Explorer as a liability, but to me it makes sense to have multiple metaphors available for your needs – Metro for casual computing and Explorer for work. We’ll have to see if people can deal with the horror of having more choice.