Kill Mister Paperclip! BY KAITLIN QUISTGAARD (06/22/00)
Kaitlin Quistgaard, editor of Salon Technology, is a sad individual who lacks a sense of humanity as well as a sense of humor.
Quistgaard wants to "kill" Clippit, an animated paperclip assistant that inhabits several Microsoft Office applications. Clippit, according to Quistgaard, tries to guess what you're doing, but always gets it wrong -- and then winks at you anyway.
Personally I love Clippit, who is always available to provide assistance, and I've found the suggestions quite accurate and helpful. But the best thing of all is the humor. Many a time I've been bogged down in some problem and I've looked up to see Clippit prating about, doing something stupid like looking really bored, rolling the eyes, lying on the floor having a snooze and speeding off over the horizon on a motorbike.
Computing can be a solitary, pressurized experience but never with Clippit. It's encouraging to know that some at Microsoft have a humorous streak.
-- Bob Leslie
Hey, lay off the Microsoft paperclip.
Aside from "Microsoft Bob," it's the only thing they've EVER done that wasn't a direct rip-off from some other company. Now that Gates wants the "freedom to innovate," I think we shouldn't be too critical of their first baby steps in this arena.
After all, this innovation thing -- I mean, actually coming up with your OWN ideas -- is a pretty scary concept for people who have never done it. So be nice. At least they're trying.
-- Steven Maurer