If there is one stupid computer trick I hate more than another, it is when the computer yanks focus.
That is: you're typing along, getting down your guacamole recipe, or a regular expression, or your thoughts on computer quirks -- and half the line you were typing is lost because the system has pulled up a new window to ask if you want your nails buffed now, or has decided that the browser window you were loading in the background is now the most important thing in your life.
Microsoft holds the crown in this area -- their dialogs keep popping up again and again, and my typing goes out to them -- every damn time. On a Macintosh, it happens less, but a bunch of applications will do this to you. Camino has sinned most recently, so they get to hold the dead skunk in this post, but they're not alone. Linux/KDE has myriad annoyances, but they don't play this trick often, if at all.
How did it get to be a good idea to have my computer interrupt me constantly with little annoyances? Do any UI designers out there want to explain -- or refute me?
So a few days ago, my computer stopped working. The preliminary diagnosis is a defective NVIDIA graphics processor failing. The good news is that I won't be charged for the new motherboard this fix entails. The bad news is that my computer will be in the shop for a week, possibly more. I should be able to send and receive email -- but I won't be able to check as regularly, and it's likely I'll respond even more slowly than usual. And it's absolutely certain I'll be grumpier than normal for the next week, but I'll try not to spread it around.