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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Save Icon [Sep. 24th, 2006|05:22 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick

I like how the "Save" toolbar icon is still a 3.5" floppy disk.

Does this make any sense to the younger generation(s) of computer users?

Will the OLPC laptop sent to developing countries inherit this to-them-meaningless icon?

[User Picture]From: henry
2006-09-25 12:32 am (UTC)
well what should it be then? a keychain flash drive? just a block of 1's and 0's? a laser shining through a crystal??
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-09-25 12:44 am (UTC)
You mistake my complaining for having a better suggestion.
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[User Picture]From: henry
2006-09-25 12:45 am (UTC)
nah, I know you better than that. there really is no good answer.
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[User Picture]From: mcfnord
2006-09-25 01:07 am (UTC)
i choose a laser shining through a crystal, with a mystical gnome.
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From: evan
2006-09-25 06:09 pm (UTC)
See the later comments on the post. "Save" is a concept that only mattered back when storage space was small compared to document size. These days I could save every letter I typed as separate documents for years and years and still not fill up a hard drive.
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[User Picture]From: phil
2006-09-25 01:26 am (UTC)


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[User Picture]From: funjon
2006-09-25 02:01 am (UTC)
A giant trash can!
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[User Picture]From: lacey
2006-09-25 01:04 am (UTC)
When I was in high school (I left a year and a half ago,) most people had never heard of USB Drives, and the vast vast majority of people held the floppy as their storage option of preference. I think most never knew there was an alternative. I'm in my 2nd year of college now and I still see a shocking number of people who prefer floppy discs. People who should know better ;)

When I got my laptop, I opted to get it without a floppy drive. I'm a big USB drive fan. Floppy discs annoy the hell out of me. Even so, even though they are obsolete to those most versed in computing, they're still used quite heavily in schools, and among casual users. I think it'll be at least 5 years, and maybe more, before they're left in the dustbin of computing history for good.
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[User Picture]From: dan_lane
2006-09-25 01:26 am (UTC)
This is especially wrong on things like Writely!

Actually.. the save icon on MS Office 2004 for the Mac uses an icon that looks a lot like a Zip disk.
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[User Picture]From: erik
2006-09-25 02:32 am (UTC)
Oooh.. even more apropos!
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[User Picture]From: joshc
2006-09-25 03:12 am (UTC)
and the open icon is a file folder; just for fans of mixed metaphors.
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[User Picture]From: dossy
2006-09-25 01:52 am (UTC)
For a home appliance where people call their desktop case "the hard drive" ... the floppy disk icon for the "Save" action is probably very appropriate, regardless if people even know what a floppy disk is.

People in third-world countries who have never had the misfortune of eating a McDonalds meal can probably still recognize the brand from a picture of the golden arches.
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[User Picture]From: christowang
2006-09-25 02:02 am (UTC)
Mac: Hi, I'm a Mac

PC: And I'm a PC

Mac: I have one toolbar at the top that lets you do everything by clicking on words like Save and Print.

PC: I use legacy icons that are easier to understand like the 3.5 floppy disk and a printer that uses continuous feed paper.

Mac: That's helpful for people that can't read but want to write a document.

PC: Yes, we are just easier to use.
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[User Picture]From: maxvt
2006-09-25 09:06 am (UTC)

Actually, I still use a 9 pin matrix printer with continuous paper for draft output. Nothing can beat a matrix in terms of cost per page, by an order of magnitude. So be cautious with those "Legacy, trash bin of history" declarations, will you? :)

(and, incidentally, the matrix printer also beats any other tech in terms of noise level :( )
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[User Picture]From: robflynn
2006-09-25 05:17 pm (UTC)
Awh, I was about to comment on the 'print' icon, myself. You beat me to the punch. Yours was more creative, too.

I lose at today.
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[User Picture]From: wcu
2006-09-25 06:08 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: jeresig
2006-09-25 06:45 am (UTC)
"Will the OLPC laptop sent to developing countries inherit this to-them-meaningless icon?"

I'm developing the frontend for the Wiki/Editor application and this is one item that we're actively working on. Since our audience is of people who've never used a computer before, we have to build conventions that'll make sense to them. We're not entirely sure what that's going to be, yet - but it's definitely something that we're working on.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-09-25 07:27 am (UTC)
Cool. Thanks for the reply.
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[User Picture]From: ciphergoth
2006-09-25 06:55 am (UTC)
The right thing is to abolish "Save" altogether, and use version control instead.
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[User Picture]From: askbjoernhansen
2006-09-25 07:00 am (UTC)
> Does this make any sense to the younger generation(s) of computer users?

Hopefully we aren't far from obliterating the generally idiotic concept of "saving" files at all in "general use" programs. "Export" makes sense, but in normal use the computer should just store whatever I write - and let me do any kind of undo at any time.

With a bit of luck Apple's timemachine thing will make more application developers do this.

- ask
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[User Picture]From: brad
2006-09-25 07:26 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.
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[User Picture]From: idonotlikepeas
2006-09-25 01:54 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about using that LiveJournal site, but what's this blue thing in a circle that they use for a logo?
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[User Picture]From: mart
2006-09-25 05:39 pm (UTC)

I want my money back!

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From: legolas
2006-09-25 09:16 pm (UTC)
Perhaps it couldn't save something ;-)
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[User Picture]From: bostonsteamer
2006-09-25 09:25 pm (UTC)
Man, I saw the same thing but I didn't know how to save a screenshot. I was looking for the Save button but all I could find was a stupid floppy disk from the early 90s. I threw all those out with my MC Hammer pants.
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