Too Many Features/ Inconvenient Features

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  • Too Many Features/ Inconvenient Features

    Woodturner mentioned on the thread: “Another Potential Sawstop Competitor” a couple of people he knows who turned the safety feature off because of cost of replacing blades and brakes.

    That made my mind run to “features” in other things we don’t use or never get into the habit of doing. There are features that get in the way of normal performance or just plain inconvenient. (My wife’s Rav 4’s cruise control - if one back clicks the speed from 70 to 60 in speed limit areas, the second it hits 60, it hits the brakes until it gets to 60. I hate that “feature”.) There are features on my computer that I have never been able to use, and most certainly, there are features on my iPhone that I have never used.

    In the early days I drank too much of Steve Jobs’ cool aid and took to intuitive computing like “white on snow” (to change an idiom). Up until SJ changed the OS to Unix (and I basically liked the Unix system and was on a Unix forum in Tokyo for a while back in the late ’80s.). But since moving to the Unix system, most app developers stopped the strict intuitive approach and started with the what I call the list mode with some intuitive motions built in: Do A then B, press key combo Shift C or command x etc - I hate key combos because they still change from time to time or with different language changes). The latest two OSs for the Mac took the “trash can” totally away from the desk top. Old people (who started wth the Mac back in the 80’s) have difficulties wth this. Now: Drag trash to the pop-out dock and down at the bottom or off to the far right (and it moves around) and it is a hit or miss proposition. Or learn the key commands. (Are you kidding me???) That is why we went to the Mac in the first place, we didn’t like having to memorize key commands (or type them in) We wanted to “just do it.” Oh, I miss intuitive! (And it was as powerful as key commands).

    There was an app (available in the US but developed primarily in Japan) that was the best layout app I have ever used. It was a word processor app that allowed vertical and horizontal text, double byte code, right to left and left to right. It had the best search and replace engine that I have ever used - paragraph returns, spaces or double spaces or triple spaces, capitalize or not capitalized ad ability to change any and all with a click. Now, 30 years later, NOTHNG comes close.

    Features are just too complicated in electronics and tools. Way too many commands to remember. Way too many parts to figure out. Alexa and Siri are steps in the right direction for things they can control.

    BUT, back to the Sawstop, it is inconvenient in its purpose to the point of doing as WoodTurner mentioned, its $ cost on replacement parts discourages its use, not even counting the time cost to replace - when you only have an hour to work on something. I like the proximity promise as it will not destroy or require time consuming replacement.

    Rant Off,- (hiding behind old age creeping in!)

    Comments?
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

  • #2
    Lee,

    I understand and that is one of my pet peeves. Too many things today are overly complicated and in my opinion technology has ruined a lot of things that I used to enjoy.

    Automobiles are one of those. I pasted the point of needing a vehicle years ago. But the prices are absolutely absurd and so I just keep replacing parts on my 2006 Dodge van. It isn't that I can't afford a newer or even new car, it's just that I can't see spending $20,000 or more, when all I need to do is spend a few hundred for some new parts. Besides, my 2006 isn't all that different than my Dad's 56 Mercury which I bought from him when I was 18. Minor change to the auto shift positions, radio still sounds the same (although the speed doesn't adjust the radio volume like the 56' did). Sure, mechanics has changed a lot, but from a driver's position, it's pretty much the same view. But a 2020, there's so much electronics added. Who really needs all that distraction and if I don't need it, then why should I have to pay thousands of dollars more for it? I had a relative (passed two years ago) who bought a new car after ten or so years. He was so frustrated with it, he wanted to take it back. Personally, my car's expenditures over the years have been $75, $1856, $2700, $4800, $8500, $10,000, $16,000. The first price and the last two prices were used vehicles. But you can see the sticker shock on each purchase. Today I'm looking at $30,000 PLUS... for what? For all those electronic gadgets? No thank you. I don't play the radio anyway, unless I'm waiting for my wife. When I drive, I pay attention to the road, the engine and tire noise, and how the steering wheel feels. My eyes are flitting between the road and the mirrors and I don't need or want any other distraction. I like to drive, no coinciding entertainment is required.

    Then of course there's the software. What a rip off that has become. For illustration and graphic design work I originally used Micrographx Designer, but it was bought by Corel. I originally bought Corel Draw 6, then upgraded to 7, 8, 9, 10, etc. My employer would pay for it. Once retired, I bought X8. Since the latter was the "home & student" version (I'm no longer selling my talent) I only paid about $100. Last year I paid about $180 and sent it back. Over those many years, the program has added nothing but little frizzy changes that offered no real enhancements. Now, they want to rent it to you, with monthly premium. Give me a break.

    WordPerfect, my favorite writing software. I bought that when it was a small little company call Satellite Software, based in Orem, Utah. It could do everything I wanted, far better than a typewriter and lightyears ahead of a big pro word processors like the 'Wang' used in our company in the 70's. They even gave you a little color coded template that you could place over the function keys on an IBM-style PC keyboard. It also had a 'reveal codes' function, which greatly enhanced writing and layout. And, the early version could process files from almost any source. Then Microsoft stepped in and complicated though whole thing, and became so confusing to use that some of our secretarial staff quit. I used MS Word for years, frustrating years. Two years ago I went back to WordPerfect.

    Photography? Wow! I still have my Canon 'New F1' film camera which I purchased in 1983 (it was Canon's best camera at the time). It still works, still great, but it's 'film' and therefore expensive and less convenient to use. But it's simple, it only takes pictures, exposing a 35mm film strip. Your choices for that exposure are focus (turn the ring on the lens and view what it looks like), adjust the shutter speed and the aperture ring on the lens, press the shutter release button.

    So three years ago, I bought a new Canon Digital SLR. Look much like my F1, but it's so advanced it's like scary. It has so many buttons, switches, menu selections and choices that I don't think I'll ever figure it all out. It takes great pictures, but also has menu selections for a variety of subject choices, that set offer digital enhancement to the color, focus, background sharpness or blur, even lens profiles for the particular lens you're going to mount. It takes movies, and has a variety of choices for things that I could have never imagined. Sometimes I think just owning a smartphone would be simpler

    But wait, "smart phone", there's the very epitome of complex. I have one, but it's mostly turned off. I know how to turn it on, make a call, even take a picture with it. But what a headache, I don't need to be 'in-touch' that much. I keep it in my pocket, turned off. I might have to use it one day if I get caught off guard somewhere. There aren't any phone booths any more.

    Oh well, I still know which direction the sun rises and sets. and I still have a compass in my 'ready pack' in the trunk. I still have a roadmap, and if worse comes to worse, I still know how to start a fire.

    Funny that in the 70's and 80's I used to have a reputation for being a "tech guy". Now I can't figure out a Roku box or an I-phone; I think it's just a lack of interest, the world is getting boringly complicated.

    So at this point, I think I'll just take my glass of wine and go find an old western to watch, or maybe a nice quiet evening with my favorite Churchill book.

    CWS
    Last edited by cwsmith; 12-18-2020, 10:00 PM.
    Think it Through Before You Do!

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    • #3
      I must be at that age, too, where I am craving simplicity (I'm writing this while also babysitting a robot in my lab using remote desktop from my home office in Central America). I am no luddite, but I recall the days when I would spend hours going through complicated machinations to rip a CD or copy a movie, but now I can hardly be bothered and just buy it from Amazon for the download. I also used to build and tweak PCs, but I've lost track of what's hot and fast so I'll just buy something prebuilt and deal. Maybe it's realizing that money is just another tool and that time is precious whereas when I was younger and poorer, the thinking was flipped.

      Without all the free time when I was single and childless and had much fewer responsibilities so many years ago, I think I've really homed in on what's important and what features in a new gadget or car are really worth investing my time in learning and using versus being with my family or enjoying a hobbie.

      We were forced to update our Adobe Acrobat installations a couple weeks ago. I needed to eSign a PDF which used to be a simple task in the previous version, but I could not find the dang button! This is probably the most important feature in Acrobat that is used across our organization other than just viewing PDFs, but it got buried. I actually had to put in a stupid IT ticket for help to find it. Took about 10s once the help session started, but things like that are infuriating.

      Paul

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      • #4
        Thanks for sharing.

        Originally posted by leehljp View Post
        Woodturner mentioned on the thread: “Another Potential Sawstop Competitor”
        ...cruise control - if one back clicks the speed from 70 to 60 in speed limit areas, the second it hits 60, it hits the brakes until it gets to 60. I hate that
        Indeed. Experienced that on a rental car. Worst "innovation" I've seen in vehicles lately.


        Originally posted by leehljp View Post
        Woodturner mentioned on the thread: “Another Potential Sawstop Competitor”
        ...Steve Jobs... Oh, I miss intuitive!
        I never appreciated Steve Jobs much until after he died and Apple shifted its approach. Early on I was continually impressed with the intuitive aspect of their devices, and the simplicity of how things worked. Having cut my teeth on Microsoft MS-DOS and Windows from the very early years, the contrast was so refreshing. Stuff just worked. In my first ten years with a Mac, I don't recall finding a bug (maybe I found one?) Similar (but shorter period of experience) with iOS.

        Then Tim Cook took over and started the downward spiral. I've watched the simple elegance fading away with each successive update. And then as an added insult, bugs in their software. I've started wondering if they were hiring management and programmers from Microsoft. I use Windows 10 and experience a new issue every week or two. (They create new bugs as fast as they fix old ones). I don't experience bugs as often as with Apple products, at least not yet, but it isn't like it used to be. Apple had an impressive system going for awhile. Plus, my iPhone gets painfully slower with each iOS update.
        [/QUOTE]

        Originally posted by leehljp View Post
        Woodturner mentioned on the thread: “Another Potential Sawstop Competitor”
        There was an app (available in the US but developed primarily in Japan) that was the best layout app I have ever used. It was a word processor app... Now, 30 years later, NOTHNG comes close.
        I've used several word processors over the years. Microsoft Word is lame. It has a lot of features, it just has fundamental portions of its design which were a bad kluge 30 years ago - and remain. I preferred every other word processor I've used. Too bad Word "won". A a former coworker named it well when he called their word processor program: Microsoft Worse.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by atgcpaul View Post
          We were forced to update our Adobe Acrobat installations a couple weeks ago. I needed to eSign a PDF which used to be a simple task in the previous version, but I could not find the dang button!
          Don't get me going on Adobe. Acrobat gets more screwed up with each release. Tasks that used to be simple and quick in Acrobat are now multilevel menu clicks. Their recent staff should teach classes on how not to design software...

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          • #6
            I am still using older versions of Word before the ribbon came to be. I cannot find the things I am able to do in the old versions on these newer UI's. Libre Office is still using the older style menu system and since it is free it's a good choice. Besides is can import and export many different formats.

            As a former mainframe software installer I spend a lot of time staring at the screen looking for the place I need to click because of poor design. And don't get me started on subscription based software.

            Merry Christmas to all.

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            • #7
              I have the 2016 Version of Word (Mac OS) and hate it. WHO EVER put the interface together must have been stoned out of his mind! The font choice and size is under "home" but the Layout page with all kinds of paginations (I guess that is the right word) is on its own. So when one lays out a page and needs to adjust the font, you have to exit "layout" - and go to "Home" and do the fonts, then exit "Home" and go back to "Layout" to make adjustments. Stupid!


              Hank Lee

              Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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