An

a day keeps the doctor away
Everything here is my opinion. I do not speak for your employer.
February 2004
March 2004

2004-02-02 »

Digital Cameras

I've finally half-joined the ranks of the "elite" who seem to all not only have cameras, but also now have digital cameras that cost twice as much. I say "half-joined" because I actually saved myself about 33% of the overall cost by skipping the "normal" camera phase entirely, buying only the overpriced digital kind.

dcoombs is doing a fine job of posting lots of culture-inducing photos in his NitLog, so I won't do that. I just bring it up because I finally figured out, after being pressured into buying one, what's so great about digital cameras: instant gratification. Perversely, it's the same reason people still buy books and CDs at stores instead of online: because you can get your book or CD now instead of waiting for it to arrive. Similarly, with a digital camera, you can have your photo now instead of waiting for it to be developed.

Moreover, you can learn a lot faster. In normal photography, you would have to try a lot of experiments at once, go get them developed, learn where you screwed up, try again, develop them again, and so on, usually with (at least!) a day's lapse in between. It's like Rapid Prototyping for wannabe photographers!

Cole Slaw and One-size-fits-all

The little-known-outside-Quebec-yet-popular chicken roasting chain St-Hubert (now with Business Class!) is the only restaurant I've ever been to that offers both creamy-based and vinegary-based cole slaw. The problem with cole slaw is that there are these two kinds, and for each kind, something approaching 50% of people like that kind and detest the other. (Actually, there's a third kind, KFC radioactive-green-based, but nobody at all seems to like that kind.)

Anyway, most restaurants serve only one kind of cole slaw or the other - people are so sure that their preferred kind of cole slaw is the best that they only serve that one kind, and they don't even label on the menu which kind that is. And yet, half the restaurants in the world still serve the other kind, so you'd think they'd notice. As it is, you have to ask the waiter before ordering coleslaw, "Is it the creamy kind?" and order or not order based on that... or, like most people, simply don't order it at all.

At St-Hubert, unlimited cole slaw is included in every meal for free - and they offer both kinds, and people like it and eat it. The only way to have people eat cole slaw was to offer both options.

In this sentence, I was going to tie all that into software development and one-size-fits-all user interfaces and explain how sometimes taking away an option that's "the same for everyone anyway" might be a bad thing, but I think you can probably see where I was going, so I guess there's no need to insult your intelligence. If you have any.

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