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Jimmy Guterman

Jimmy Guterman

Which Hotmail Is Really Hotmail?

Some of the complexities in Windows Vista are hilarious. For example, I dare you to differentiate the difference between the "sleep" and "hibernate" shutdown options in a simple declarative sentence. And, as I just learned, there are three different flavors of Hotmail: full, classic, and MSN. Huh? Is this one of the zen koans Google is said to use in job interviews? You can see a screen shot here.

What's your favorite gratuitous complexity in your everyday operating system?

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Comments: 12

Jan Bannister   [06.05.07 05:50 AM]

Hibernate means you can pull the power cable out ,Sleep doesn't.

RichB   [06.05.07 05:56 AM]

GMail Standard with Chat
GMail Standard without Chat
GMail basic HTML
GMail Mobile

So that's four different versions of the GMail HTML user interface*. The way I see it, Hotmail is one better.

* the first three are listed at the bottom of the GMail interface. The mobile version automatically appears when you access GMail from a mobile phone browser.

RichB   [06.05.07 06:06 AM]

As for OS complexity, how about accessing remote SMB shares in Gnome? Easy to setup, but don't bother trying to double click on a file to launch it in your favorite application - chances are that application doesn't undestand the VFS system Gnome uses. Or how about the marvelous USB mounting in Ubuntu Feisty that means you have to reboot after you've ejected a USB storage device if you ever want to insert it again (alternatively, kill and restart hald). Or sticking with USB storage devices, how about MacOS where deleting a file from the USB device sends it to a hidden trash can on the device, making it really confusing finding out where your freespace has gone. Also in MacOS and file shares, putting a laptop to sleep and waking again causes your remote file shares to unmount themselves. Windows wins hands down with "Map Network Drive". Again in MacOS, if the network goes down (ie you're on the road) iChat doesn't bother trying to log you back in once the network returns.

I'm not trying to say that Windows is any good. Just that they're all pretty rubbish.

Andrew Goodman   [06.05.07 06:17 AM]

In XP, I like how quickly the calculator will drop out of the "frequently used" menu, so you often have to hunt it down in Accessories. Isn't the calculator pretty much always frequently used enough to have it handy? That's why I actually like having a calculator button on my keyboard...

Eli   [06.05.07 06:25 AM]

"Sleep" saves your work to RAM, which still consumes some power, while "Hibernate" saves your work to disk, which does not consume any power.

These two functions are actually a feature of the hardware, not the OS. Ubuntu features a similar selection.

RichB   [06.05.07 07:19 AM]


Sleep and hibernate are not part of the hardware. For example, OSX combines these two features into a single sleep feature which also hibernates in case your power dies (battery exhausted) during sleep.

Rocky Agrawal   [06.05.07 10:31 AM]

Try getting Vista to connect to a wireless network that doesn't broadcast the SSID. Took me a long time and then it didn't fully work.

I got the BSOD within the first four hours using Vista.

Rick   [06.05.07 10:45 AM]

OMG, they give users a choice instead of assuming they are all morons...

Sure, there is a lot to be said for simplicity, but leaving the choice up to the user is equally valid.

Maybe operating systems should have a simple and advanced mode, just like a lot of software.

Tim Anderson   [06.05.07 01:14 PM]

Sleep drains the battery, hibernate does not. I like having this choice.


Justin   [06.05.07 01:51 PM]

gratuitous complexity? I you don't like it, then don't put that feature/package in when you build your OS.

(sorry, couldn't help myself)

mike   [06.07.07 06:58 AM]

while we're on the subject, am I the only person in the world who finds the gratuitous simplicity of the iPod incredibly frustrating?

You're puzzled by sleep and hibernate, WTF is "Hold"? how do you turn the damn thing off? I had to download the manual to figure out how to turn the volume up. And had the thing for a year before I realized that if you give it exactly the right touch, you can actually rewind.

I find that UI to be one of the most poorly designed products I've ever encountered. Looking forward to how they screw up the telephone.

BJH   [09.20.07 07:48 PM]

I have had Hotmail for many years. It works. I don't want to be up to date, thank you. I still have my old Hotmail; however, I have had to struggle to keep it. My mail box is filled with emails from Microsoft. My web pages have Microsoft ads all over them. I have been reminded 1104 times that I am running classic Hotmail. Just sign on the dotted line... I know that Microsoft is always acting in my self interest and knows what is best for me. That's great. Why do I feel that I'm being clipped. Why is it so absolutely necessary that I move up to a higher standard of living. Why can't I just remain stupid and backward and let the world pass me by. Whatever. Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray for Bill my Hotmail to keep.

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