Archives » November 21st, 2006

November 21, 2006

Shut Down How?

From Joel Spolsky: Choices = Headaches. It’s all about how the Vista Start Menu has nine ways to tell the computer to log off/shut down, and how we could probably just do with one.

The biggest thing that bugs me is that the big “Off” button there really puts the computer to sleep, it doesn’t do a full shut down. And I haven’t found a way to change that yet.

Update: more from Moishe Lettvin, who worked on the team that actually built this thing:

But here’s how the design process worked: approximately every 4 weeks, at our weekly meeting, our PM would say, “the shell team disagrees with how this looks/feels/works” and/or “the kernel team has decided to include/not include some functionality which lets us/prevents us from doing this particular thing”. And then in our weekly meeting we’d spent approximately 90 minutes discussing how our feature — er, menu — should look based on this “new” information. Then at our next weekly meeting we’d spend another 90 minutes arguing about the design, then at the next weekly meeting we’d do the same, and at the next weekly meeting we’d agree on something… just in time to get some other missing piece of information from the shell or kernel team, and start the whole process again.

The end result of all this is what finally shipped: the lowest common denominator, the simplest and least controversial option.

I have no idea how much of the rest of Vista ended up like this. I think (indeed hope) my team was a pathological case; unfortunately it’s a visible one.

The Amazing Race 10×10: Lookin’ Like A Blue-Haired Lady On A Sunday Drive

My recap of the latest Amazing Race episode is now up at

After that it’s time for the Pit Stop. Tyler and James are first, and they’ve got this really odd thing going on. Phil is right in the middle of one of his trademark pauses (Patent Pending), and he’s got the eyebrow up and everything, and Tyler squeezes James’ arm. I mean, he reaches right over and grabs a chunk of flesh and pinches it. And James doesn’t even flinch at this. It’s so normal for him, he doesn’t even notice. And then Phil, awesomely, realizes that things are already so weird on the other side of the mat that it doesn’t matter anymore what he does. So he scrunches up his face, nods his head, and says, “Yeah, you’re team number one.” Tyler and James yell and high five and hug, and then Tyler is holding onto James’ hand and he won’t let go. He just won’t let go.

Go read it all.

Episode links:
Miss Alli’s recap
TV Squad review
TV Guide review
Download the episode with BitTorrent