Friday, June 26, 2009

Rants: Browsers and Stupid SAF Stuff

Well, here goes the usual rantings again and it's generally about what is happening to web browsers that I personally feel and also about the stupidly and badly designed SAF POS terminals in cookhouses.

Web browser
Well, web browsers are generally growing and becoming more bulky and stuffed up with all too many stuff it shouldn't have. A browser is simply a tool to browse web pages and display contents, rather than the millions of external plugins and tools (etc... plugins, Opera Unite features ...etc...) which all major web browsers, including MSIE/IE have.

Hey, can't we just get back to the usual web browser that meets the ACID standards rather than all too much junk? It always takes a bit of a time to startup a browser (regardless of the browser type) because simply, it has lots of stuff to load these days compared to those of olde.

So those designning browsers, it's best to keep it light because that's what people really want (not just me).

SAF Cookhouse POS terminals
I have used the cookhouse POS terminals to scan my identity before getting my food for months and I am totally not impressed by the crappy design. It's just too rough around the edges, buggy and totally inefficient in many circumstances.

For those SAF agents prowling the internet to look out for blog postings, I would keep this particular rant rather abstract because I am sure some paranoid agents might want to come after me if I put the rant in too much detail. Don't worry, there's no pictures going to be included and nothing that leaks any secrets or breech any rules on the Official Secrets Act.

Firstly, the POS terminal for the usual user and the admin user is just crap. I know it's SAF stuff but hey, can't there be at least some efforts in the all too plain GUI design ? Next, when the 'ID card' gets scanned and you are choosing some options or doing something, when someone barge in and scan their 'ID' too, the system gets confused and interrupted.

The system can become rather lag when all the POS terminals are in use... so make it more robust. The admin console is not easy to use, you have to select a virtual keyboard (because it has no keyboard physcially), choose the type of food you are eating , select this and that... for the admin terminal for those who didn't bring their 'ID' to scan and need to type in details on their own. How about making all these little gui interaction more smooth than the current one that breaks any user work flow? Maybe an embedded virtual keyboard should be activated and present all the time rather than having to press a button to call it up?

When a person already entered into the system, let's say for lunch, I have already scanned my 'ID' and took my lunch but someone enters my 'ID' again for lunch, I guess the system is going to get into trouble, else why would someone try to stop us? Ok... this situation is not clear since I can't talk too much about it so go and get guessing.

Mass entry of users have to be done manually and very taxing, why isn't there an easier way like a gui to select all from a name list ?

I think that's as much as I can say for the SAF POS terminal.

That's all for this post.

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