Today, I was amazed at the sudden change in direction an IRC conversation took. This afternoon, on IRC, my friend George gave us a link from The Register about how AOL UK is dropping their support for Mac OS X and focusing on supporting Windows. At one point in the article, a spokesdroid for AOL UK states that localizing the software — the act of “translating” the software for another country and culture — takes “may months of effort”. I mentioned that if localization was so expensive, they could simply use the American version instead. After all, although both countries spoke different variants of English, the American software would still be comprehensible to British users.
And that’s when Adam went off. Adam often comes off as a complete and total prick who needs a good working over with a two-by-four, but he is a dear friend for whom I would take a bullet nonetheless. Adam’s a walking contradiction — the most belligerent peacenik I know, a genius at human-computer interface who generally holds most humans in at least mild contempt. He’s prone to ranting, and especially on matters of Apple-versus-Microsoft (he’s a Mac zealot, sometimes to the point of irrationality) and war. Combine the two, and you’ve got the recipe for an Excedrin headache.
Somehow the thought of making Brits use software localized for Yanks got him on a tirade about American cultural imperialism. He went on about how the Americans naturally assume that the world should adopt their values and be like them.
Steaky baby (my nickname for Adam), you’re talking about protecting the home of the once-mighty British Empire from cultural imperialism? The people who who brought us the Raj in India, the Opium War, never ever installed an ethnic Chinese as governor during their tenure in Hong Kong, caused trouble even in their own backyard and practically wrote the book on imperialism? I think they can handle a little American spelling.
I was suggesting a way to get British Mac users to still use AOL, not a way to turn the UK into the 51st state! Geez, these Limeys (Adam’s descended from ’em) are so touchy when it comes to Queen and country.
Editor’s Note: Mr. deVilla wishes to make it clear that Adam should not take the above too seriously. Mr deVilla also suggests Adam avail himself of the many laxatives available at a finer drugstore near him. ASAP.
I blame George
It’s George’s fault. He started it. But I will forgive his little faux pas and visit him in New York City in order to celebrate his birthday with him. And embarass him in public by playing “Happy Birthday” on the accordion for him in a very crowded public place.
May I recommend…
Stuff About Things, a blog about stuff and things by my friend and co-worker, John Henson.
Also of note: pony, a blog by my friend and former co-worker, Adina. She has a keen journalistic sense. You can tell just by the way she noticed the rise in incidence of public farting and dutifully noted it in her blog. Look out, Messrs. Woodward and Bernstein!