Review of 'Tiles' by CE Software

I think I like TILES, but there's something odd about it. I don't think the programme is what it thinks it is, but I don't know exactly what it is yet either. It's what geneticists call a hopeful monster. It's out there in the cybernetic ecology, thrashing about blindly, hoping that it fits in somewhere well enough to guarantee it a place in the next generation. I don't use it in the way that I think CE Software designed it to be used, on the other hand I find that I am turning to it sufficiently often now to make it worth keeping in my start up folder. I'm still not quite certain why, though. I mostly get irritated by the number of things sitting in my startup folder, because it means every time my Mac gets into a bit of a bait and starts ranting on about F-Line errors (can I ask the embarrassing question what is an F-Line error and what does it want with me?) it takes hours for the thing to start up again. It's bad enough watching all the pretty little INIT icons staunchly marching across the bottom of the screen, challenging me to guess which one of them is the one that's causing all the trouble, but when the Finder then starts relentlessly launching every last tiny application that I've had a brief crush on in the last couple of months, I know it's time to go out for lunch. Maybe TILES is a sophisticated startup folder substitute which means that I can take everything other than TILES out of my startup folder.

One thing I don't do with TILES is let it propagate all over my desktop. I've made the mistake of trying to keep rabbits before and I'm talking about real life rabbits here, which actually come up and twitch their ears and noses at you in an emotionally rewarding way. The trouble is that they also do stuff with each other which they find emotionally rewarding and you quickly find that you have too many of them. You're trying to make your way through life and you find that the sheer quantity of rabbits you have is slowing you down. While you're working out what to do about it you suddenly discover you've got another five dozen of the emotionally rewarding little bastards frisking and twitching about the place, and not a single one of them has a humane delete button.

TILES, thank goodness, has got a delete button, and if you hunt carefully you'll find that it has a prophylactic button as well. Look under the Configure menu immediately. There's a check button there marked 'Make Desk Tiles' which you must uncheck. If you're in time you may just be able to stop the program from recklessly spawning little baby tiles all over your screen real estate. I must offer my apologies to whoever it was on the CE development team who wrote all the code for laying little TILES all over my desktop, but you have been seriously wasting your time. My great goal in life (well, one of them, at least) is to stop their blasted code from ever getting loose in my machine thank you very much.

And I think that this tells me what I need to know. If you have to spend a lot of time actively preventing a program from doing the thing that it is keenest to do then your hopeful monster is actually a hopeless one.

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