Storage Informer
Storage Informer

“Jane! Stop this crazy thing!” (… called Moblin)

by on Jul.21, 2009, under Storage

“Jane! Stop this crazy thing!” (… called Moblin)

Over the past month or so, I viewed all of the episodes of "The Jetsons on DVD." I grew up in the 1960s in the US, and this show formed the unconscious fabric of our thinking about how the future would look, feel and behave.

The end credits of that series showed the same little scene – George Jetson, the dad of our little family, has just come home from his day at the office, and instead of relaxing with pipe and slippers, his chore is to walk the dog, Astro, on some treadmill hanging in the sky.

All is well for a beat, and then in a classic Hanna-Barbera moment, Astro is no longer walking on the treadmill, but George is being thrashed on the belt, which has accelerated to running speed.

"Jane! Stop this crazy thing!" – George yells.

The treadmill anticipated the user&aposs desire to go faster (because Astro started chasing a cat) but failed to recognize the need to stop.

One of the things I truly love about the Moblin user interface is that there is no "off" button. This is because it is already the most natural thing to do in Moblin, almost as if it anticipates the user&aposs desire to do so.

Don&apost believe me? Here are some examples:

  • When I want to shut off my cell phone, I just hit the power switch, the same thing I did to turn it on.
  • How about my TV? Same thing, just hit the power button, same thing I did to turn it on.
  • How about my car? A lamp? Desk phone?
  • TREADMILL? Oh, well I suppose they do have a "stop" button. But that&aposs because it could hurt you badly if you didn&apost have it there, right?

In fact, almost everything turns off in a reversal (or repetition) of the action you took to turn it on.

So how do you boot Moblin? You hit the power button on your netbook. How do you turn if off? Um, same way. No need for some "shutdown" in the user interface. In fact, when you hit the power button, you see an almost instant off behavior. Nice!

In fact, I remember some other computer operating system that came out in the 1990s which required you to hit the "Start" button to shut it down. Now that&aposs intuitive! And guess what, every OS decided to follow suit!

But not Moblin. It kind of makes sense.


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