Letters to Redmond

August Letters From Readers: Tech Pet Peeves

Redmond magazine readers share what gets their goat when it comes it technology.

When Editor in Chief Doug Barney asked readers for their pet peeves ("Pet Peeves Bite," June 2011), his inbox was flooded with replies.

I have pet peeves with Apple and Microsoft, and I work professionally with both. With Microsoft the thing that bothers me the most is when Windows shows my drive size to be 20GB smaller than it is. With SSDs, it drives me mad!

They're expensive and I need that space. And I know it can be done -- it's something Apple does well.

Microsoft should show the whole drive space, and make the OS install smaller.

Received via e-mail

Here are some things that bug me:

Word formatting. I did some of my best, long-document writing in Adobe Framemaker, and I found it fairly easy to work with because it had a straightforward way of working. It had a consistent interface and all elements adhered to a single philosophy. Once you understood how documents were structured, formatting became trivial. Alas, Word lacks a single, coherent model for the document (as far as I know).

Netbooks. I have a couple netbooks (Asus EEE PC701 and a Dell Mini 9) and an iPad, but my new notebook suits my needs very well -- a Dell Vostro V13. It has a real ULV dual core CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 13-inch display (1368x768) and a full-size keyboard. It's a half-inch thick, and weighs about three pounds -- all for about $450 (including a third-party RAM upgrade from Crucial). Battery life could be better (it's three-plus hours real use), but it's a great compromise. I like my iPad as well, but the almost-required case makes it very thick and heavy.

Ken Hansen
Received via e-mail

My pet peeves are the annoying warnings in Internet Explorer 9 about add-ons, security settings and having to click the "Show all Content" to see my pages. It keeps freezing and restarting my sessions and locking my computer up completely. I found a Regedit fix -- if the problem isn't fixed by Regedit, I'm going over to Chrome!

What's also annoying is you can't really have Android phones in an enterprise environment without having to use Gmail to sync the phones to Exchange Server. Google has to start learning to play nice with everyone. We have HIPAA compliance to follow and Google won't tell the government what kind of encryption it's using, so it's considered non-HIPAA compliant. This means no Android devices in our office.

I also laughed at Barney's Word formatting pet peeve. I share that pet peeve -- but what's worse is trying to explain it to people who should know better, but don't.

Amy Ewald
Received via e-mail

Barney's column reminded me of a big pet peeve of mine: When you search Explorer (which I do often), it doesn't remind you what you searched for (or are searching for, when the search is ongoing).

Oftentimes, I start a search, go on to something else, and when I get back to my search, forget what it was I was looking for. And the blasted thing doesn't tell me!

The Search dialog should prominently display what it's searching for, or at least add it to the dialog's title bar, as in something like: "Searching your C drive for *.txt files containing 'Sit on a potato pan Otis' (not case-sensitive) that were created/updated within the last year."

B. Clay Shannon
Milwaukee, Wis.

Finally, someone shares my Word-formatting complaint! It drives me crazy when I have to edit somebody else's Word document.

I've used WordPerfect since version 3, and reveal codes have been there from that day. It sure makes doing the reformatting a lot easier -- and helps with knowing what's going on. I've had a lot of people tell me that the window at the bottom drives them crazy -- that blows my mind. Why can't Microsoft do the same thing? Or does WordPerfect have that patented?

Allen Rhein
Received via e-mail

About the Author

This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at [email protected] and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.


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