This is Random

But it’s not just TVs. Who really likes the “software” in their car, microwave, or blu-ray player?

All of this software is terrible in the same handful of ways. It’s buggy, unresponsive, and difficult to use. I actually think the second sin is the worst one, especially when it comes to appliances and consumer electronics. Dials and knobs respond to your touch right now. Anything that wants to replace them had better also do so.


via: Daring Fireball

I’ve made my living by hanging around the leading edge of technology for over 40 years. What I have learned is this: When software sucks, it sucks on a whole nuther level that analog stuff just can’t. And software is showing up in more previously simple things every day.

It’s probably why I like 19th century technology so much.

Duly noted.



3 Replies to “This is Random”

  1. Nowhere is this more apparent than with sailing. Our obsession with gizmos has made a very simple technology much more complex – to what end?

    On a similar note. Yesterday, I spent five hours driving the main north/south west coast interstate, which is as straight a line as humans could possibly have made of geography, yet many vehicles had a gps screen on the dash, backlit so bright I could see the straight, vertical line from the next lane. If all the gps were to fail at once, would traffic on the freeway stop?

    Perhaps this is not what you meant. Sorry for the rant. I am not anti-technology, though it often seems so.

  2. Ranting is kind of the point here.

    I don’t really understand why, but electronic gizmos separate us from the world in ways our previous technologies didn’t. Maybe it’s because we make them animated, like magic little creatures talking to us constantly. And because they allow us – or just give us the courage and false sense of security – to do things we didn’t think we could do without them, we begin to psychologically depend on a belief in their magic.

    It’s weak magic, though. Like inflatable muscles that let you hang out in a biker bar, making you look more formidable and fit so no one will mess with you. Then the gizmo springs a leak and you and everyone else sees clearly you got nothing. Brought less than a knife to a gun fight.

    I know I get robbed of the experience of being somewhere if I spend even a little time watching my progress on the GPS, or listening to chatter on the radio, or the cellphone. I like what they can tell me, especially later, and they’re great secondary safety. (First being wits and experience, for which gizmos of any kind can’t substitute.) But it’s a constant struggle to keep from getting sucked in, and just take in all the info available you only get when you lift your head.

  3. I was thinking about putting digital winches, autopilot, and dagger board controls on the Melonseed, but I couldn’t figure out where to store those damn lithium-ion batteries in a place where I could hit them with my automated fire suppression system! So until Boeing get’s those darned 787 batteries worked out, I’m sticking to hand controls. Guess I’ll have to leave the inflatable muscles in the box for a while, as I’ll be so bulked up from hauling that sheet and working against the weather helm…….

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