It's funny how things often happen in pairs. So today I've got a
couple of screens ... one from good software, and one from -- shall we say,
needs improving -- software.
I'm running the latest version of IE, and I have
to say IE (and Windows too, but that's another topic) is looking better
and better. One feature the IE team has integrated (and I really, really like) is
the ability to preview all the tabs in a mini-window.
I'll be the first to tip my hat to Firefox for popularizing this
feature. I find that with tabbed browsing, I'll drill quicker and
deeper through web sites because I can open and close the tabs in a
more manageable way than a separate window for each page
allows. The problem is that for power surfers, the tabs
become unmanageable, too. IE7 has a cool new feature to see a
preview of all tabs, as show in this mini-screenshot below. I
circled the preview button in red on the screenshot on the left.
Meanwhile, I head home from work and quickly set up a couple of hockey
games to record (it's a dual tuner unit, capable of recording two shows
simultaneously). The Comcast DVR runs Microsoft software, and
while it's overall a great DVR, it does fall short of Tivo and has a
few really annoying quirks. One of those quirks are these
infuriating pauses that seem to lock up the UI for up to a minute while
the device crunches away. This usually happens when hitting
record or erasing a show.
The device still records (thankfully, otherwise recordings would be
filled with minutes of annoying pauses) but unfortunately it's queueing
the remote commands. Instinctively, I'll hit the record button again (thinking the device didn't get the first command),
which only selects the default option when the next screen eventually
loads. This can be really disastrous if you've got 4 or 5
commands queued up.
In this case, I hit record on the second game and was presented with this
screen. Don't worry if you don't know what it's saying, I'll
So after waiting a solid minute when hitting record, the conflict
screen pops up. It's basically saying: "I'm currently
recording NHL Hockey. You want to record NHL Hockey, too, but I
can't. If you choose to continue, I can't record NHL
Hockey. What do you want to do? Record NHL Hockey or Don't
Record NHL Hockey?"
Hmmm... that's helpful -- I really don't know what happens in either
case. Part of this is a limitation of the guide data, I
realize. But, as it turns out, what's really going on is
this: Tuner 1 is recording NHL Hockey. Tuner 2 is recording
King of Queens (nowhere to be seen). When I hit record on the
second game, it pulls up this screen to figure out if I want to
override the other recordings. That makes sense, but it doesn't quite work.
Tivo gets away with a dumbed-down (and cartoon like) interface because
it works. In this case, I want to stop recording the billionth
King of Queens episode, but I can't figure out how to cancel it without
diving into a multitude of other menus. Why not give me the
option to cancel the other recording, too? It doesn't help that
each screen takes a minute to load.