About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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We cannot allow engineers to build products for an idealized rational user when real humans are irrational: we must design for the way users actually behave.

Jakob Nielsen, "The Paradox of the Active User"



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 10/16/2014

Totals
Posts - 2312
Comments - 2502
Hits - 1,675,988

Averages
Entries/day - 0.56
Comments/entry - 1.08
Hits/day - 405

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 6:28 PM Pacific


  03:50 PM

Colleague David found a real, live example today of what has been termed the "Cupertino effect." This refers to "runaway spellcheckers" that suggest some pretty wacky alternatives for what the spellchecker thinks is a misspelled word.

This is from an article in today's online version of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Moon decided on the tactic after reading on misplace about a boy who claimed he regularly drove 100 mph on Interstate 5 and avoided detection by knowing how to spot patrol cars, relying partly on whether the plates were in-state, Hullinger said.
In case they get around to updating the version online, here's a graphic of it:


Can you tell what they actually meant to say? I didn't get it right away, but almost certainly they meant MySpace. David did the legwork and reports that for MySpace, "Word 2003 suggests my space and misplace". (He also notes: "Word 2007 suggests MySpace and my space. Moving with the times, is Office.")

Moral: check your spell checker's checks. Which of course you already do, right?

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