I always thought Preston Gralla was an idiot

Right from the first moment he gave my software, WFTPD, a negative review whose contents indicated he was confusing it with a completely different piece of software, I knew Preston Gralla was an idiot.

Every so often, I forget about him, because he's at least a relatively inconsequential idiot. He's not Steve Gibson, whose legions of fans hang on his every word, no matter how hyperbolic, contrived, unoriginal (unoriginal, yet claimed to be "unique" and "brand new") or incorrect.

Then again, every so often, I am reminded.

Last time was his "6 Steps To Protect Your Wireless Network", which, as I pointed out in "Wireless Security", overlaps significantly with "The six dumbest ways to secure a wireless LAN".

Today's is "", in which he states (as the whole basis for his article):

In Internet Explorer 6, you are able to customize your toolbar by adding buttons, removing buttons, changing their appearance, and so on.

Don’t look for that feature in Internet Explorer 7. It’s not there any more.

Uh… yeah.

So, when you select "Tools", then "Toolbars", and finally "Customize…", what you are looking at is a mirage. The apparent ability to remove, add, move all those toolbar buttons around is completely absent.

Maybe Preston's confused because it's no longer on the View menu. A "Power User" who can't cope with the possibility that a feature has moved from one menu (which is now hidden) to a different one? That's like turning up your guitar amp, smacking your head against the strings, and calling it a "Power Chord". With power must come sophistication, or you're nothing more than an oafish brute.

In another part of his article, Preston says:

Internally, Microsoft has created a mythical typical user it calls “Abby” who knows very little about computers. It now targets the operating system and browser at this imaginary Abby, potentially leaving the rest of us out in the cold.

Clearly, Microsoft needs to create a new mythical user called "Preston". Abby could teach Preston a thing or two.

2 thoughts on “I always thought Preston Gralla was an idiot”

  1. Actually, “Abby”, the prototypical AOL mom, knows a TON about computers.

    We came up with “Abby” based on what we thought that persona knew and did (mostly email and some IM’ing). Then we went and interviewed some Abby’s and discovered that they were surprisingly computer literate. They didn’t USE the system for that much but they knew how to do a lot.

  2. Good to hear from you, Larry.
    Like I said, Abby could teach Preston a thing or two.
    You need a prototype like my mother, who’s often calling for help with the same functions that aren’t basic enough that she does them all the time, but aren’t so complex that she isn’t interested in doing them. Guided Help in Vista would be a great help to her!

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