The Sorting Hat of Software

The reason I needed to install iTunes was that this morning I received an A-Level Physics revision program, which includes various videos. I have a book of questions that I’m working through, but I thought that a program that I could quickly load up whenever I had a spare five minutes might not be a bad idea. Now, bear in mind that I’ve just downloaded and installed iTunes, and was impressed. iTunes worked on me. Within moments I saw something I liked, and it just worked. Moments after closing that down I loaded up the Physics program…

First thing it does: change my desktop colour depth to 8bit. Now, that’s just annoying. It quickly became apparent that this wasn’t going to be a program I could run on one monitor while browsing on another. It took over the entire screen. Changing the colour depth also meant that the refresh rate dropped to 60Hz, which made my head hurt after only a few seconds. Then, on the first screen, it says ‘Please enter your name’. So I did. Then: ‘Enter a password’. I couldn’t be bothered, so clicked ‘Next’. No: ‘You must enter a password’. Why, exactly? Is it likely that someone is going to steal my computer in order to better my thermodynamics mark? Do hackers regularly prove their evil genius by proving they know more about relativity than the average student? I suppose if I were one of twins, and we were both studying Physics, and we hated each other, then we may not want to share our scores. But, really.

If you compare first impressions to Hogwarts houses, iTunes is Gryffindor to the revision program’s Slytherin. The good news is that the questions seem to be very good, and the testing methods are smooth and easy. It’s just a shame they couldn’t have put it all into a nice Windows GUI!