Thursday, January 14, 2010

Annoyances

The world is full of minor irritations; things which could have been much nicer had a little bit of extra thought thought been put in at the design stage. Here's my list of them, starting with laptop computers.

Laptop Computers
  • Why isn't there a switch or light sensor to turn off or dim those flashing LED lights for power, hard drive,networks etc. at night? Ever slept in a room with a laptop which has been left on to run a malware scan?
  • Laptops are named as such because they can be used on your lap. So it isn't a good idea to put sockets, buttons and DVD drives at the front edge where they will dig into you when you do use them on your lap.
  • Why aren't ALL laptops made with the ability to switch off the screen quickly?
  • There are now 750GB hard drives available for laptops so it takes a special kind of idiot to design one with a 120GB (or less) hard drive.
  • Painting a laptop? It may look nice for a while but paint wears off and black plastic showing through a silver 'Paint job' makes a laptop look really scruffy. (HP please note!)
  • Cordless mice WILL be dropped - lots of times. Build them so that they can take it and so that they don't burst open and spill the batteries. (Microsoft please note!) Put buttons where you can use them but not where you constantly press them accidentally.
  • No-one in their right mind carries a 17" laptop around with the lid closed and using it as an mp3 player. (Dell please note!)
  • Air vents should NOT be placed where they will be blocked if a laptop is used on a lap.
  • Why aren't instructions provided which tell people how to clean out air vents and why it's desirable to do so?
  • Why aren't all laptop screws inserted using an anti-shake fluid such as Locktight so that they don't work loose and drop out?
  • It's NOT a good idea to lightly solder a power socket directly to the motherboard of a laptop so that if the power plug is knocked it breaks the socket away from the motherboard. (Toshiba please note!)
  • Which clot is it who thinks mice, USB hubs and the like MUST have multi-colour LEDs built into them? What exactly does this achieve?
Websites
  • OK I'm unusual in that I have a laptop with a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution screen. I HATE websites which don't cater for this screen size and which display everything in a narrow band down the middle of the screen. Take for instance the .net magazine website (which really aught to know better) Here it is displayed full screen on my computer:

    Now at least if you magnify the text you can still read the site but look what happens if you display the HP website full screen on my computer and magnify the text:

    ...and they pay people to produce a mess like this?
  • Again I'm unusual because I live out in the country away from any towns or villages. This means my house has a name not a number and does not have a street or district. It does however have a UK postcode not a five number zip code. You wouldn't believe the number of websites I go to where if you fill out an address form to buy something they can't cope with an address like mine. I get:
    Please insert house number
    Please enter street
    Please enter a valid zip code
  • Even worse are the sites with incomplete postcode data. For some reason about 20% of the sites I visit insist my postcode isn't real. When eventually I give up and ring them they usually ask "Is it a new house?"
    "Fairly new. " I respond, "It was built in 1860."

Domestic appliances
  • People WILL hang on the doors of tumble driers so why are the hinges not made stronger?
  • The light bulb lighting the inside of a microwave will eventually burn out and you shouldn't have to dismantle the whole thing to replace it.
  • Hotplates on stoves don't look hot. Would it be too difficult to fit a warning light which will only go out when they are cool enough to touch?
  • What idiot designed a plastic bottle shelf for a fridge which isn't strong enough to take the weight of the bottles it contains. (Whirlpool please note!)
  • Painting instructions in the outside of a deep fat fryer where they get greasy and can only be cleaned with an abrasive cleaner is a rotten idea. (Breville please note!)
  • Can no-one invent an automatic toaster which toasts the first slice as well as the rest?
  • Vacuum cleaners which sound like a jet engine taking off should not be made without ear defenders being provided. (Dyson please note!) Have you ever noticed you don't hear them in the adverts?
  • The person who came up with the idea of region codes for DVDs needs to be 2nd in line for shooting come the revolution. First place should be reserved for the designer of DVD players which lock to a region but claim to be 'multi-region'.
  • PLEASE will someone produce a remote control for TVs, DVD players, satellite receivers etc. which is programmable and has an LCD display to tell you what the functions are. It shouldn't cost £30 or more! How about one which beeps to help you find it in the same way you can find the portable phone.
Computer software
  • Computer games which contain anti-piracy (drm) software such as Securom should have this clearly labelled on the OUTSIDE of the case. Come to think of it, let's make Securom's designers first in line for shooting.
Politics
  • I will probably vote for any politician who can answer any question with a simple 'yes' or 'no'.
  • We have democracy all wrong. The last person we need as President or Prime Minister is the megalomaniac who wants to be President or Prime Minister! Presidents and Prime Ministers should be dragged kicking and screaming to the job.
  • I will definitely vote for any politician who suggests hanging as a suitable punishment for spammers. After all, annoying 2 billion people has to be a good reason for this punishment.
Sticky Labels
  • I just bought a cyclists water bottle from my local branch of Tesco. Nice bottle design but some idiot felt it needed to have a large, ugly, self-adhesive label which proved impossible to remove easily and which left the bottle so sticky that it would stay stuck to a hand which had gripped it. Now I know I can remove the stickyness with iso-propyl alcohol or methylated spirits but that would be absorbed by the plastic bottle and add an unpleasant flavour to the bottle's contents and in any case should I be forced to do that? All this person has done is to ensure I NEVER buy a second one! Listen morons - put the non-adhesive label, along with the bottle in one of those mesh nets Tesco sell onions in.

I'm sure you can think of lots of other annoyances. Why not add them here.

1 comment:

John Chapman said...

I would have bought the domain annoyances.com but someone got there first and filled it with text adverts! Now that's annoying!