1172: "Workflow"

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1172: "Workflow"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:08 am UTC

Image

Title Text: There are probably children out there holding down spacebar to stay warm in the winter! YOUR UPDATE MURDERS CHILDREN.

Shift + Alt + Control happens.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:13 am UTC

Or breaks everything. I find most vanilla OS hard to use until I spend a day or three hunting down all the UI tweaks I have installed.
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby nowhereman » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:27 am UTC

This is one of the funniest XKCDs I have read in awhile. Partly because part of my job at Fry's is to convince people to not do things like this. I remember trying to convince a guy that putting a window air conditioner in your car was not a good idea. Until then, it never would have occurred to me that this was anything but obvious. Also, to any who are interested, I failed to convince him. I gave up and suggested a 2000W inverter to power it. I just hope one day I get to see the look on whatever poor soul pulls him over for the obstruction.
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:42 am UTC

Adjusting how you do it or doing it the way you are used to. I'm still torn on these types of choices.
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Jorpho » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:50 am UTC

nowhereman wrote:I remember trying to convince a guy that putting a window air conditioner in your car was not a good idea. Until then, it never would have occurred to me that this was anything but obvious. Also, to any who are interested, I failed to convince him. I gave up and suggested a 2000W inverter to power it. I just hope one day I get to see the look on whatever poor soul pulls him over for the obstruction.
There are pics of that sort of thing all the time on http://www.thereifixedit.com and the like.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Tirian » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:18 am UTC

Been there. A whole bunch of years ago, ActiveState Perl was patched so that it dealt with nested backticks the same way it worked on other ports. Great, except that it completely broke my workflow. I wouldn't be surprised if that system was still running on 5.6 over ten years later. The funniest part of the story is that I later found out that my (long-distance) girlfriend was the one who submitted the original bug report.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Icalasari » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:47 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
nowhereman wrote:I remember trying to convince a guy that putting a window air conditioner in your car was not a good idea. Until then, it never would have occurred to me that this was anything but obvious. Also, to any who are interested, I failed to convince him. I gave up and suggested a 2000W inverter to power it. I just hope one day I get to see the look on whatever poor soul pulls him over for the obstruction.
There are pics of that sort of thing all the time on http://www.thereifixedit.com and the like.


The train one is horrifying

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby wurlitzer153 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:14 am UTC

Can't wait till someone mentions the ribbon interface....
or Firefox's newish default header...
or anything to do with Win8...

The first thing I do whenever I get on a 7 machine is to change the desktop to Win98 classic.

And then there's that program I use regularly which was last modified in 1992. Don't know what I'll do when I loose 16-bit support.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby obarey » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:54 am UTC

Fire Brns wrote:Adjusting how you do it or doing it the way you are used to. I'm still torn on these types of choices.

My computer is supposed to be my tool, my extension. I don't want my tool to force me into any other way than I untended(unless I intend to leanr to use a new way.) That is why I have a .vimrc, .vim, .bashrc and .screenrc in my dropbox and most of the computers I use have symlinks to them. Which got weird recently when I got forced to work under cygwin.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby saengerbeatle » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:34 am UTC

CPUs can overheat, when you hold down the spacebar? really? and why?
This means when I fall asleep during my job, this job not just might be in danger; when my nose lands on the spacebar I could also set the office on fire?
When everybody goes to lunch and I glue or tape down some spacebars how much time do I have until the fun beginns?

wurlitzer153 wrote:Can't wait till someone mentions the ribbon interface....
[...]

this one IS hilarious! When you close the Main-Toolbar in AutoCAD2010 the only way to get it back is to type in ribbon. How can someone came up with this idea without seeing it might be a bad one?
Does this happen in other programms too? or only in AutoCAD?

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:42 am UTC

I suppose that's another universal law of technology.

There will always be someone upset over a given update.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby MarvinM » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:41 am UTC

Comic is spot on. I use an old version of TSReader, it has a bug in that it doesn't cancel the timer if you cancel recording of a program. This caused me some heartache before I figured out what was going on, but for the last maybe 4 years I have been setting a dummy program record before I do a transport stream grab to do a time limited TS grab, a feature the GUI doesn't have.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby imgx64 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:59 pm UTC

wurlitzer153 wrote:Can't wait till someone mentions the ribbon interface....
or Firefox's newish default header...
or anything to do with Win8...


The first thing that came to my mind was Gnome 3. I don't think anything comes close in the "breaking workflow" department.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:18 pm UTC

imgx64 wrote:
wurlitzer153 wrote:Can't wait till someone mentions the ribbon interface....
or Firefox's newish default header...
or anything to do with Win8...


The first thing that came to my mind was Gnome 3. I don't think anything comes close in the "breaking workflow" department.


I think gnome 3 is more similar to gnome 2 than the windows 8 GUI is to the windows 7 GUI. Although gnome 3 and the windows 8 GUI are probably more similar to each other than to their own predecessors.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby imgx64 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:07 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I think gnome 3 is more similar to gnome 2 than the windows 8 GUI is to the windows 7 GUI. Although gnome 3 and the windows 8 GUI are probably more similar to each other than to their own predecessors.


Other than the start menu, Windows 8 is identical to Windows 7. Window management, the taskbar, the desktop, the file explorer, etc. all work the same.

With GNOME 3, everything changed. In fact, GNOME developers explicitly tell the users to change their workflows to match the new behavior of the desktop.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby xenotrout » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:46 pm UTC

My personal "spacebar causes overheating" is xmodmap. Although it wasn't a bug when it was implemented, it was deprecated because it doesn't work well with evdev, but I haven't put enough effort into learning xkbd, so occasionally my keymap reverts to default and I have to rerun xmodmap.

I'm also reminded of the many bugs kept for backward compatibility in Microsoft products. If a program stops working because a bug is fixed, users will typically blame Microsoft anyway, and the program may never get fixed, so many Microsoft products, upon discovery of a bug in the implementation of an interface, just respecify the interface to match actual behavior (and in some cases create a fixed version with a slightly different name). The Excel date bug (actually intentional when implemented, as users of Lotus expected it), for example. My "favorite" is the Sim City workaround: the game had a bug in that it would free a previously malloc'd object, malloc it again some time later, and eventually use it uninitialized as if it had not be free'd. The bug never caused a problem because the Microsoft memory manager at the time would return the same block of memory without first erasing the previous contents, so the object was the same as if it had not been free'd. In the next version of Windows, Sim City stopped working because of an improvement or simple change to the memory manager. Rather than Maxis, author of Sim City, fixing the bug, Microsoft "fixed" it by implementing a memory manager like the old one that would be used iff the caller of malloc and free was in an executable file called "simcity.exe".

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:31 pm UTC

At work, we have a software product that we run through a code obfuscator before shipping to clients. The obfuscator recently released a new version (and automatically upgraded itself) which means the obfuscated version of our code now crashes horribly. The logging component uses reflection to tell where in the code it is when something goes wrong, and reflection and obfuscation are uneasy comrades at the best of times, so we think that's where things are going wrong. Our current fix is to use an earlier version of the obfuscator, and to keep telling it to shut up and not be so silly when it tries insisting it should be updated...

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:15 pm UTC

nowhereman wrote:This is one of the funniest XKCDs I have read in awhile. Partly because part of my job at Fry's is to convince people to not do things like this. I remember trying to convince a guy that putting a window air conditioner in your car was not a good idea.


How else would you get it home?

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby freezeblade » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:08 pm UTC

saengerbeatle wrote:CPUs can overheat, when you hold down the spacebar? really? and why?
This means when I fall asleep during my job, this job not just might be in danger; when my nose lands on the spacebar I could also set the office on fire?
When everybody goes to lunch and I glue or tape down some spacebars how much time do I have until the fun beginns?

wurlitzer153 wrote:Can't wait till someone mentions the ribbon interface....
[...]

this one IS hilarious! When you close the Main-Toolbar in AutoCAD2010 the only way to get it back is to type in ribbon. How can someone came up with this idea without seeing it might be a bad one?
Does this happen in other programms too? or only in AutoCAD?


Actually, I love that AutoCAD will never change, and every new thing can get reverted back to the old way. You can turn off the ribbon, you can disable all the toolbars, etc. My AutoCAD setup looks much like the version I learned on (R14), the only toolbars are Layers, Layers II, and viewports. Try as they may, people are pretty set in their CAD layouts, and will raise a huge stink if you try to break their workflow.

I was pretty pissed when I learned you couldn't turn ribbon off in office, and actually still use office 2003 for this reason.
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby popman » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:38 pm UTC

saengerbeatle wrote:CPUs can overheat, when you hold down the spacebar? really? and why?
This means when I fall asleep during my job, this job not just might be in danger; when my nose lands on the spacebar I could also set the office on fire?
When everybody goes to lunch and I glue or tape down some spacebars how much time do I have until the fun beginns?


Every time you hit the spacebar, emacs should send some data to your X server and a whole bunch of other things. The number of operations sent to the CPU caused the overheating.
you could do the same thing on any system with direct hardware access.
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby peshmg » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:48 pm UTC

I think a more pressing question is this: why this person's control key is hard to reach? Where exactly are his hands all the time?

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby ThirdParty » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:04 pm UTC

I loved this comic. Especially the line about "Just add an option to reenable X". I can totally see myself writing that on a support forum. I think I've probably done so once or twice. (About more reasonable things than spacebar heating, of course. Or at least, I felt that they were more reasonable; the devs in question might disagree.)

xenotrout wrote:Rather than Maxis, author of Sim City, fixing the bug, Microsoft "fixed" it by implementing a memory manager like the old one that would be used iff the caller of malloc and free was in an executable file called "simcity.exe".
Gah. I find it really annoying when a program fails to work because it (or worse, something in its path) didn't have the name it expected. Honestly, if I want to install a program in "HD/Applications/Networking/" instead of just in "HD/Applications/", the program should not break. And when the solution to a mysterious bug turns out to be "remove the character 'ƒ' from the name of the enclosing folder of the enclosing folder of the document", that's just not fair.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:21 pm UTC

No, I get that bit. I have an xmodmap script that runs when I log in or resume, which switches my Super (Win) key with Caps Lock.

Spoiler:
Step one: I don't like Caps Lock, so I've disabled it, which means that the keycode is sent, but the DE interprets it as VoidSymbol.

Step 2: I use the elementary desktop, and I wanted to set the exposé key to that useless Caps Lock key, but it didn't take.

Step 3: I use Synapse (a search and launch tool like Gnome Do or the Unity search screen) for all of my launching needs. Unity and Gnome Shell consign the Super key to this task. But it won't take in Synapse, even by editing its settings directly instead of through its settings GUI, since Synapse sees Super as a modifier key.

Step 4: But Voidsymbol isn't a modifier key and so worked for Synapse. Meanwhile, elementary accepted Super for exposé.

So, qualified success; same features, same workflow. But I really wanted my thumb button for search-and-launch and my pinkie button for exposé, which is how I had things arranged in my previous DE (Unity.)

So, Step 5: xmodmap. And solved. = )
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:33 pm UTC

"Every change breaks someone's workflow, so make all design decisions based on technical wankery and ignore the wails of your users!"
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Epistemonas » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:49 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:Gah. I find it really annoying when a program fails to work because it (or worse, something in its path) didn't have the name it expected. Honestly, if I want to install a program in "HD/Applications/Networking/" instead of just in "HD/Applications/", the program should not break. And when the solution to a mysterious bug turns out to be "remove the character 'ƒ' from the name of the enclosing folder of the enclosing folder of the document", that's just not fair.

It’s occasionally useful that Windows is still compatible with DOS 8.3-character file names. I have an old version of the Adobe Creative Suite with an installer that rejects paths containing parentheses, like, say, “C:\Program Files (x86)”, but is quite happy to install there if you call it “C:\PROGRA~2”.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby EvanED » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:04 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I think gnome 3 is more similar to gnome 2 than the windows 8 GUI is to the windows 7 GUI. Although gnome 3 and the windows 8 GUI are probably more similar to each other than to their own predecessors.

That depends on how you used Win7. If you're like me and used the start menu as basically a command line with "better"-than-normal tab completion, then you probably barely notice the difference.

(I'm a bit sarcastic when I say you probably barely notice the difference, but really the biggest disruption to my workflow in Win8 is not the presence of the Metro start screen but the fact that to search in settings and stuff you have to either press Win-W or click the settings icon button along the right side of the search results.)

xenotrout wrote:My personal "spacebar causes overheating" is xmodmap. Although it wasn't a bug when it was implemented, it was deprecated because it doesn't work well with evdev, but I haven't put enough effort into learning xkbd, so occasionally my keymap reverts to default and I have to rerun xmodmap.

Whoa I wonder if that's what's wrong with my xmodmap. On my home computer, whenever I use my KVM switch to change my keyboard away from my Linux box and back, it forgets that caps lock should behave as control. I didn't know that xmodmap is deprecated...

I'm also reminded of the many bugs kept for backward compatibility in Microsoft products. If a program stops working because a bug is fixed, users will typically blame Microsoft anyway, and the program may never get fixed, ... Rather than Maxis, author of Sim City, fixing the bug, Microsoft "fixed" it by implementing a memory manager like the old one that would be used iff the caller of malloc and free was in an executable file called "simcity.exe".

Actually it's even more dramatic than the first sentence says. A lot of those backwards compatibility hacks came about during the Win95 transition. At that point in time, even if Maxis had fixed SimCity, how would people have gotten the patches? Even now with auto-updates people run old unpatched stuff; what'd it have been like when Internet access was way less common?

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby VanI » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:16 pm UTC

peshmg wrote:I think a more pressing question is this: why this person's control key is hard to reach? Where exactly are his hands all the time?

Unfortunately, he has no pinkies.
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby webgiant » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:38 am UTC

nowhereman wrote:This is one of the funniest XKCDs I have read in awhile. Partly because part of my job at Fry's is to convince people to not do things like this. I remember trying to convince a guy that putting a window air conditioner in your car was not a good idea. Until then, it never would have occurred to me that this was anything but obvious. Also, to any who are interested, I failed to convince him. I gave up and suggested a 2000W inverter to power it. I just hope one day I get to see the look on whatever poor soul pulls him over for the obstruction.

Great, you had to tell me about this and express the opinion that it would be difficult. Now I have to do it just so I can find out if its even possible.

Also, if my math is right, and such an air conditioner even exists, a 500W air conditioner (about 1500BTU) would be more than adequate to air condition a car. You could even get away with a 400W air conditioner. So the problem wasn't that its difficult, its that he was using the wrong size of window air conditioner.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Jorpho » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:51 am UTC

xenotrout wrote:My "favorite" is the Sim City workaround: the game had a bug in that it would free a previously malloc'd object, malloc it again some time later, and eventually use it uninitialized as if it had not be free'd. The bug never caused a problem because the Microsoft memory manager at the time would return the same block of memory without first erasing the previous contents, so the object was the same as if it had not been free'd. In the next version of Windows, Sim City stopped working because of an improvement or simple change to the memory manager. Rather than Maxis, author of Sim City, fixing the bug, Microsoft "fixed" it by implementing a memory manager like the old one that would be used iff the caller of malloc and free was in an executable file called "simcity.exe".
Well, the thing is, if they were writing according to a spec that Microsoft published, then Microsoft would be to blame if they broke that spec, right? (I was reading this lovely article just recently about how SCO Unix 3.4 won't boot on anything newer than a Pentium 1 because it was programmed according to Intel's 386 spec, which happened to change just enough.)

I believe nVidia is still doing something similar, by the way – there's a fix for "Grand Theft Auto.exe", for instance. This came up because apparently the only way to persuade GTA London 1969 (which uses the same engine) to run is to rename its executable to "Grand Theft Auto.exe".

freezeblade wrote:I was pretty pissed when I learned you couldn't turn ribbon off in office, and actually still use office 2003 for this reason.
There are third-party utilities that will do the trick, if I'm not mistaken.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby phlip » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:43 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Well, the thing is, if they were writing according to a spec that Microsoft published, then Microsoft would be to blame if they broke that spec, right?

From what I understand, the SimCity example isn't a case of the spec changing... it's a case of the program doing things that are undefined according to the spec, but happened to work in the particular implementation it was built against. That is:

Code: Select all

a = new int;
*a = 5;
delete a;
print(*a); // does it print 5?
According to the spec, behavior here is undefined. On DOS, it typically will print 5. On Windows (or any other multitasking system), it might print 5, or something completely different, or segfault.

I recently read this thing, which is full of similar stories...

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby drbitboy » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:53 pm UTC

I'm into the heating side of this.

Many years ago my dad got into overclocking. This was before on-chip temperature sensors were common, but he wanted to have some idea of the temperature of the CPU. He drilled a hole in the CPU heatsink, then epoxy'ed in a temperature element that was positioned and sanded so metal touched the top of the CPU casing. Now, he did realize the futility of attempting to meaningfully measure the temperature of something that is being actively cooled (as my brother says, there are two kinds of people in the world, the few who should design measurement systems and the rest who should not; Dad is one of the former). He knew the measurement was a low-accuracy, but hopefully reasonable-precision number to compare the relative effectiveness of different cooling strategies. He didn't even display it as an absolute temperature, but measured a millivolt differential between the heatsink sensor and another in the airstream of an inlet fan, and occasionally used an approximate degrees/milliivolt to estimate the temperature rise wrt the cooling air.

He tried several benchmarks and stress tests to get the reading as high as possible, gaining a fraction of a millivolt here and there. One day while shutting down, he noticed that the reading was a quantum step higher than ever before. He looked at the screen to see what part of the shutdown process had accomplished this amazing feat: "It is now safe to turn off your computer."

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby drbitboy » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:04 pm UTC

LongtimeUser4 must be a relative of Simon Wagstaff.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Xeio » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:58 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
freezeblade wrote:I was pretty pissed when I learned you couldn't turn ribbon off in office, and actually still use office 2003 for this reason.
There are third-party utilities that will do the trick, if I'm not mistaken.
But... ribbon is awesome. I'd never go back to non-ribbon.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby orthogon » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:18 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Jorpho wrote:
freezeblade wrote:I was pretty pissed when I learned you couldn't turn ribbon off in office, and actually still use office 2003 for this reason.
There are third-party utilities that will do the trick, if I'm not mistaken.
But... ribbon is awesome. I'd never go back to non-ribbon.

I'm not normally very good at detecting trolling, but this, surely, is a clear-cut case. The alternative, that you really do like the ribbon... well, it's just absurd. You'll be telling us that you think "Entire Caption" is the appropriate default for cross-references next.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby PHDrillSergeant » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:19 pm UTC

VanI wrote:
peshmg wrote:I think a more pressing question is this: why this person's control key is hard to reach? Where exactly are his hands all the time?

Unfortunately, he has no pinkies.


He is Lionel Twain.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Xeio » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:29 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:The alternative, that you really do like the ribbon... well, it's just absurd.
:(

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby orthogon » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:38 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
orthogon wrote:The alternative, that you really do like the ribbon... well, it's just absurd.
:(

OK, OK, please forgive me. If the ribbon works for you, that's great: user Interfaces are incredibly subjective. I just wish they'd kept the menus, at least as an option.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby mrbaggins » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:46 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Xeio wrote:
Jorpho wrote:
freezeblade wrote:I was pretty pissed when I learned you couldn't turn ribbon off in office, and actually still use office 2003 for this reason.
There are third-party utilities that will do the trick, if I'm not mistaken.
But... ribbon is awesome. I'd never go back to non-ribbon.

I'm not normally very good at detecting trolling, but this, surely, is a clear-cut case. The alternative, that you really do like the ribbon... well, it's just absurd. You'll be telling us that you think "Entire Caption" is the appropriate default for cross-references next.


I've never used cross referencing, but I just hit the button and "Entire Caption" isn't even an option. Default appears to be a numbered paragraph (Office 2010). I haven't tested yet on 2013.
Why is it that 4chan is either infinitely awesome, infinitely bad, or "lolwut", but never any intermediary level?

RogueCynic
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby RogueCynic » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:17 am UTC

I've heard said that a reasonable man adapts himself to his surroundings, while an unreasonable man adapts his surroundings to him. Therefore all progress is made by unreasonable people. Applying this concept to the comic would suggest that progress would be made by backing out of changes. Therefore, progress is a backward movement.
I am Lord Titanius Englesmith, Fancyman of Cornwood.
See 1 Kings 7:23 for pi.
If you put a prune in a juicer, what would you get?

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Wingman4l7
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Re: 1172: "Workflow"

Postby Wingman4l7 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:04 am UTC

Icalasari wrote:
Jorpho wrote:
nowhereman wrote:I remember trying to convince a guy that putting a window air conditioner in your car was not a good idea. Until then, it never would have occurred to me that this was anything but obvious. Also, to any who are interested, I failed to convince him. I gave up and suggested a 2000W inverter to power it. I just hope one day I get to see the look on whatever poor soul pulls him over for the obstruction.
There are pics of that sort of thing all the time on http://www.thereifixedit.com and the like.
The train one is horrifying
Holy crap, it sure is: http://cheezburger.com/7041577472 :shock: That sure doesn't look like "100 MPH tape" to me... :(


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