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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Writing manuals is a very special and privileged task in a computer company, for in the process of writing them you are forced to go over every detail of the hardware and software the company sells in an attempt to make it understandable and usable in our extremely broad customer base. In the process a conscientious writer will discover nearly every good and bad feature of the system, and can provide valuable feedback to the designers and implementers.

Jef Raskin



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 9/25/2014

Totals
Posts - 2310
Comments - 2501
Hits - 1,667,615

Averages
Entries/day - 0.56
Comments/entry - 1.08
Hits/day - 406

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 4:24 AM 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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