Jun 182004

Well, not really. Just an observation, to tell the truth.

Setting up a new dialup connection on a Mac (with OS X) seems to take about 5 minutes when you’re talking to a dumb user. There are two tabs to fill in, and a total of 3 essential blanks on those tabs (4 if your ISP doesn’t supply DNS servers automatically). Maybe 10 mouseclicks total, including selecting fields to type in.

Setting up a new dialup connection on a PC (with Windows XP) seems to take about 15 minutes when you’re talking to a user of equivalent dumbness. The Windows XP “Create a new connection” wizard has 8 screens, one of which has ZERO options on it. If you need to specify DNS servers, there are at least 3 additional windows to go through. And this isn’t counting the sequence of navigation tasks necessary to get to the “new connection wizard” in the first place.

If I knew how to program Windows applications, I would definitely make something that looks like the Apple Network Preferences window, and have it generate the appropriate registry settings to create a new dialup connection (complete with the two tabs on a single window), and convince every ISP in the country to distribute it to new users. I’d even make the program fit on a floppy (or even a 8MB USB memory stick for users without floppy drives). Tech support workers everywhere would love me.

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