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Comment Simple Formula for Strong Passwords (Score 1) 1007

I use a mental algorithm that will always it generates a "good" secure password. No two passwords are the same. Because I the input to the algorithm is site or situation specific, but personally obvious, I always get the same output. I have to keep track of more than 30 passwords and I have a terrible memory. I used to use the same four passwords over and over again until I read the Simple Formula for Strong Passwords (SFSP) Tutorial. It is a long read but most of it is examples. Basically it teaches you how to come up with a system that guarantees that you create memorable and secure passwords.

Comment Re:Summary of /. Reaction to Proposal (Score 1) 1124

What I was trying to say was twofold. First, don't let a bad teacher sour you on Office 2007. Second, that the old UI seems intuitive because you are used to it, rather than it being intuitive on its face.

I have a six year old niece who has been using a computer for two years or so. She does not find menus inherently intuitive. To her it is much easier to remember a picture (e.g. tool bar buttons) then to click on a certain word, and she really hates pop-up dialogs. What seems intuitive to some is not intuitive to others.

What I am trying to say, is that we have been indoctrinated to the point where we have certain expectations about how the UI should work. Those of us who are computer savvy are much more indoctrinated than those who don't enjoy sitting in front of a computer eight-hours a day. These expectations, generated by our previous observations, create the experience of intuitiveness. The level of indoctrination explains why casual Office users have a much easier time (re)learning Office 2007 than those who have used it professionally or for a long period of time.

To fall back to a car analogy, the old UI is like driving a car. We all watched our parents drive for years before we got behind the wheel. So when we started driving the interface seemed really intuitive. Using the ribbon is like starting to ride a motorcycle. The interface seems counterintuitive at first, but once you give up your "car" habits and expectations it works really well.

I have had this interface hate experience myself when I started using Linux. I had a hard time groking the UI decisions that GNOME made. I flipped back and fourth between Linux and Windows for a number of years, until I had built up enough experience with Linux that it did not seem counterintuitive anymore. I am now my department's "Linux expert."

Comment Re:Summary of /. Reaction to Proposal (Score 1) 1124

I teach a "basic Office 2007" course at a University. My experience with students tells me that you just had a poor teacher. None of the students

who enter my class have any experience with Office 2007 and many of them have trouble relearning Word. But by the end of the first of four chapters on Word, they seem to grok the interface quite easily.

Before the University upgraded to 2007, we gave the course in 2003. I can tell you my students were more often frustrated by the old user interface than when using the ribbon. I think we all have had to go "menu hunting" for some functionality we knew was there we just could not remember where.

Most people, in my experience, who have trouble using the ribbon it is because they have memory-mapped where all the useful functions are in the previous versions. They get frustrated by the way 2007 confounds their expectations about how things should work. Its a bit like learning a new programming language. It can be frustrating until you grok the mindset the language uses to solve problems.

Comment Re:I find my spelling has actually improved over t (Score 1) 494

Amen. When I was in elementary school, I don't think I ever passed a spelling test. Sometime around the eighth-grade I discovered the joys of books. Fast forward a couple of years, and I was the person other people asked to spell words. Spelling and grammar, in my opinion, are a matter of pattern recognition. The more you are exposed to certain words and patterns of speech the easier it is to replicate it when writing. For example, I can spell the word "nebulous" because a certain author was in love with this word, so I must have read it hundreds of times.

Comment Re:existentialism? (Score 1) 439

Good point. I suppose in a sense I am combining them together in some kind of hybrid. Wonder what it might called?

As someone with a degree in philosophy, I can tell you can just make up whatever word works for you. I had a professor that once tried to explain the phenomenology of a cup vs. a mug, by expounding on the cups ... cupy-ness. In truth, the point of view posed by the GP is often called "play" in existential readings. For my existentialism class we had to read an entire book that basically boiled down to the GP's point.

Comment Don't Forget The Return Policy (Score 2, Insightful) 664

One of the biggest reasons I buy used games at Gamestop is the return policy. You can play a used game for 7 days before deciding whether to keep it. Publishers, I think, underrate the importance of this policy. Essentially, it allows me to buy a game I am not sure I will like without any real consequences.

The fact of the matter is, there is sea of crap games out there. Even so called AAA games often suck. If I buy a game new and don't like it, I am stuck with it. If, on the other hand, I buy it used then I have a week to try it out. This makes me much more likely to try a game that just looks like it might be good.

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