ice ice baby

May 7, 2006
Quote of the Moment
"You can ask him anything, but he's going to say what he wants, at the pace that he wants. It's like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is."
--Stephen Colbert on interviewing Jesse Jackson

Spellcheck Thought of the Moment
I've been thinking more about why I like Google's spellcheck feature so much. It's not like I don't have other ways of checking spelling, and it's less customizable than almost any of them...I can't tell it to ignore HTML, the names of certain people, or just little vocabulary quirks I'm content with using. But before Google, there were 2 main spellcheck UI formats I encountered. Microsoft Word has both of them...the oldest is having the computer read through your document and throwing up a popup for each word it thinks is incorrect. Later, Word's default switch to the "immediately underline the suspect word" format. I thought it was a big improvement. But Google, in effect, gets the best of both worlds... press the button, and each suspect word (in the input forms) is colored and underlined, and you can click to get a droplist of suggestions for each one. This is great! It allows quick scanning in a way "popup on each word" doesn't, and by not showing up until you're ready to spellcheck, the underlines don't interrupt your writing flow the way the Word default does. (I just can't bring myself to ignore the notification as soon as it appears.)

Heh. I love it when I can analyze exactly what it is in a UI that makes it work for me.

Also, Google's check leaves corrected words a different color until the spellcheck is over. This is likely partially a programming expediency, but it also has some very positive UI implications.

Link of the Moment
Slashdot linked to this this comparison of old gadgets and their current counterparts, and someone pointed out the even niftier gadget blog retrothing.