About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 35 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

Read more ...

Blog Search


(Supports AND)

Feed

Subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog.

See this post for info on full versus truncated feeds.

Quote

This process of digging up the details and learning how things work leads down many side streets and to many dead ends, but is fundamental (I think) to understanding something new. Many times in my books I have set out to write how something works, thinking I know how it works, only to write some test programs that lead me to things that I never knew. I try to convey some of these missteps in my books, as I think seeing the wrong solution to a problem (and understanding why it is wrong) is often as informative as seeing the correct solution.

W. Richard Stevens



Navigation





<April 2024>
SMTWTFS
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829301234
567891011

Categories

  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  
  RSS  

Contact Me

Email me

Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 11/30/2023

Totals
Posts - 2652
Comments - 2673
Hits - 2,654,452

Averages
Entries/day - 0.35
Comments/entry - 1.01
Hits/day - 349

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 10:28 PM Pacific


  05:48 PM

As much as I know that dialog boxes are, as has been pointed out, rarely more than an annoyance to users, it's always interesting to have the lesson brought home yet again by an actual, real user.

Over the weekend I was at a meeting of parents where many laptops were open and we were all looking at a spreadsheet. One parent opened the spreadsheet in Excel and was confronted by that big dialog boxes that warns you about macros.

It was classic. She just stopped and said "What am I supposed to do!? What does this mean!?" She did not read one single word of the dialog box text. Being me and all, I said "What does it say?" and more-or-less made her read the text, mostly on principle. Not that it probably helped much, because even when she'd read that "macros can be harmful" or whatever it says, she asked me "But it's ok to open this spreadsheet"? Yes, it was. Who knows what she would have done if she'd been on her own. I'm not sure she knows what a macro actually is.

I've heard (have not yet experienced) that Vista pops up a lot more "Is this ok?" security warnings than, say, XP. I sure hope it's not the experience we saw with this spreadsheet, coz in her case, she'd probably never get anything installed.

[categories]   ,

|