Fred Sampson's Radio Weblog
a card-carrying member of the reality-based community


Contact Fred:


I listen to IT Conversations


Subscribe to "Fred Sampson's Radio Weblog" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Electronic Freedom Foundation



  Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Radio Userland, my blog tool, has been crashing lately while in news aggregator mode. Which not only is inconvenient, but I've lost a few posts in the process. Which is maddening. I posted a query to the Radio discussion list, where it appears others are having the same problem without effective solutions. I want this to stop, now!

12:55:02 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

You know itís a bad sign when even Robert Adler, the retired Zenith engineer who helped invent the remote control over 50 years ago, says that ìyou need a pilotís license to operate a remote controlî these days. Heís got a point. Besides proliferating like rabbits (itís not totally uncommon for some peopleís A/V setups to sport a dozen different remotes) most lack obvious, self-documenting interfaces, with the thirst for adding more features usually winning out over having an elegant interface. Add to that, manufacturers are never going to get together to make electronics work better together, so for the most part, weíre all going to be spending more time learning how to use stuff than using stuff sometimes. That said, put any human in a room with any remote and theyíll be using it like a pro in a matter of seconds if thereís any chance theyíre going to miss Nip/Tuck.

Interesting that even the gear-heads at Engadget recognize the concept and value of self-documenting interfaces. Of course no one's going to take the time to read the book that came with the device! Me, I think remotes are far too complex: for example, the remote for my DVD player has at least 20 buttons that I never use and don't even know what they do. Perhaps it's just that I don't need any complex functionality: play, stop, FF, skip are about all I need. But then, I'm an old fogey anyway.

12:52:47 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2002-2005 Fred Sampson.
Last update: 5/21/05; 10:22:10 PM.

July 2004
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jun   Aug

Search this site:

Fred's Blogroll

ACLU Safe and Free

What I'm Reading:

The WeatherPixie