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View Full Version : Some designers are idiots (rant)


OFSO
29th Jan 2015, 19:27
We watch internet TV using laptops, screen turned off, inputting flatscreen TVs, works well, but you do need to have a laptop next to the TV.

So I thought I'd invest in an new Android internet TV box. Small, tidy, fits under the TV, out of the way. (Important with wife in house).

Bring home, plug in power, ethernet, cable to TV.

All fires up and works.

OK, so among the preloaded apps are the useless ones (farcebook, twit, linked-in) and not the entertaining ones such as YouTube. So I go to google to find a YouTube app to download. First thing. Having typed in YouTube into the search box, you can't hit enter directly, but must find the cursor box (sometimes a box, sometimes a line, sometimes a faint light blue, sometimes grey) and using shift keys put it over the words YouTube. Hit select, up comes an interactive on-screen keyboard, last thing I need as remote control HAS a keyboard. Hit "back" and away goes my search box along with keyboard. Start again. Finally up comes YouTube. "No YouTube app available for your device". So every time I want to use YouTube I have to go via google, because no bookmark facility is available ! Go to YouTube item I wanted (BBC series on Mozart) hit enter, and what's this ? The internet box thinks it's a smartphone or tablet as a "touch to start" button is on my TV screen. Hmmmm. Must put the cursor box over the start button ? But can't find it on a black background. Check settings to see if I can change the cursor colour or brightness. No, I can't.

....and so my afternoon went. What lunatic designed such an appalling user interface ? You can't see the cursor, the cursor appears sometimes at the top of the screen, sometimes at the bottom, sometimes nowhere at all, and mostly hard to see or always invisible against a dark background; the selection of apps appears to have been made by a prepubescent teenage boy, and (unlike my android tablet and smartphone) you can't add to them.

There's also the facility to play meja files from a hard drive, and there's a digital TV receiver built-in. Maybe they work well, who knows ? but somehow I doubt it.

Oh well, I always did prefer reading a good book........

victor tango
29th Jan 2015, 19:38
OFSO
You do make trouble for yourself with all these new gizmos when your tele was working perfectly:rolleyes:

funfly
29th Jan 2015, 19:55
Designed by computer geeks who want to show how clever they are.
Bit like my car, loads of gadgets but never designed by a driver.
Bit like driverless cars, they seem to forget that many of us actually like driving.

I've just bought a tele with Internet capacity - waste of time if you ask me!

FF

Shaggy Sheep Driver
29th Jan 2015, 19:59
I often wonder what juvenile twit writes all those obscure short cuts to never-used features into otherwise useful apps such as MS Word. A slip of the finger while typing and WHAM!

Your text vanishes maybe for ever, to be replaced with a screen full of stuff you never saw before, and entirely alien to what you were doing.

NOOOOOO! We don't want this!

KISS!

Keep It Simple Stupid! A design attribute lost on these idiots, it seems!

hiflymk3
29th Jan 2015, 20:34
It's not entirely the designers fault, it's also the folk that buy "must have" latest in tech gizmozzzzzzzz.

vulcanised
29th Jan 2015, 20:47
As soon as you do manage to find something that is useful and works, it is upgraded or improved so that it isn't and doesn't any more.

MFC_Fly
29th Jan 2015, 20:51
We watch internet TV using laptops, screen turned off, inputting flatscreen TVs, works well, but you do need to have a laptop next to the TV.
Or you can use a 5m HDMI cable, works a treat :ok:

Radix
29th Jan 2015, 21:02
..........

OFSO
29th Jan 2015, 21:30
Or is it that I have got used to gadgets that DO work such as my cheap 'n cheerful Andy tablet from Maplins (107 quid) or my free plus €80 cashback HTC smartphone ? Both do exactly what I want, when I want.

As soon as you do manage to find something that is useful and works, it is upgraded or improved so that it isn't and doesn't any more.

I dread the thought of them needing replacement.

No, can't use a long HDMI cable as laptop hasn't HDMI o/p.

when your tele was working perfectly

Still does, it's the satellite channels wot we lost.

I shall go and sit under a tree and eat worms.

MFC_Fly
29th Jan 2015, 22:27
No, can't use a long HDMI cable as laptop hasn't HDMI o/p.
Should have got a better laptop :p

Still does, it's the satellite channels wot we lost.
Being serious, was that due to the move of the free UK channels to the new Astra 2F satellite and much tighter UK footprint? If so, depending on your location, have you thought of a bigger dish?

Fox3WheresMyBanana
29th Jan 2015, 22:36
http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/data/media/17/communication-satellite-dish_3284.jpg

Windy Militant
29th Jan 2015, 22:37
have you thought of a bigger dish?

There'll be one going cheap in Cheshire soon if the developers have their way!

The reason that these gadgets are so sh:mad:te is because the same idiots who think calling you at tea time is a good idea are involved.
I think this has been posted before but here is why it all goes poo, or rather kitten shaped!
BKorP55Aqvg

ExSp33db1rd
30th Jan 2015, 01:34
Precisely, why the fcuk do THEY have to keep changing everything ?

I grew up, and had a successful career, queing up to put my tuppence in the big red phone box at the end of the street, my parents didn't get a telephone in their house until I'd left home at age 21 (maybe they knew a thing or two !) and in a long airline career I never once needed to ring home from overseas, once I was gone on a trip I was gone, no reliance on Skype or suchlike, my family were provided with a list of overseas hotel telephone numbers in case of emergency - fortunately never needed.

Bliss. I survived. Now my grandchildren walk around with an Internet thing permanently welded to their right paw. Thinks? How do I persuade them not to bring the infernal gadget to the dining table ?

Turbine D
30th Jan 2015, 02:33
Err,
Just looking at the ages of this electronic wizardry panel, what I have found is to employ one or more of the grandchildren between the ages of 8 to 14 before buying any electronic communication equipment. They know how everything works or doesn't work and can lead you to the best buy with no after grief…:ok:

AnAussieNut
30th Jan 2015, 03:19
Slight thread drift but as we are on the subject of technology I thought it appropriate.

A friend sent me this recently .:)
I saw a great viral image this week. It's a screenshot of the iPhone reddit app. Someone is looking at a reddit post which asks the question (http://as.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/15yaap/if_someone_from_the_1950s_suddenly_appeared_today/c7qyp13), "If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about today?"
A redditer posts a reply which has received over 3,000 upvotes at the time of the screen grab: "I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in to arguments with strangers."
The Promise of Technology - The Machine Starts (http://www.themachinestarts.com/read/2013-01-the-promise-of-technology)


Cheers from dunnunda


Paul

mikedreamer787
30th Jan 2015, 03:57
- The (ex) wife once got an interactive TV
thingy like OFSO but eventually she gave
up setting the bloody thing. I had a crack
at it myself and gave up in disgust. From
then on we survived on just our cable TVs
laptops, iPads and iPhones.

Smart phones are just amazing in my book."In his book? How dichotomically quaint. :hmm:

mikedreamer787
30th Jan 2015, 05:45
A transvestite.

Krystal n chips
30th Jan 2015, 05:57
I grew up, and had a successful career, queing up to put my tuppence in the big red phone box at the end of the street

Well as career options go, that must be unique...;).

Although pushing button A, waiting for the thunk and then button B was always a "more in hope than expectation" experience.

mikedreamer787
30th Jan 2015, 06:06
Yes that infamous bloody button B. IIRC
one had to make sure not to punch it too
softly or one didn't get through and one
had to repeat the whole damn process.

Stanwell
30th Jan 2015, 07:46
Or, if one didn't have tuppence for the call, when the other party answered, a sharp whack to the right side of the A/B box
would get you through.
It tended to raise the eyebrows of passers-by, though.

ian16th
30th Jan 2015, 07:55
Button A caused your money to become non-returnable.

Button B, if you were lucky, got you your money back if the call hadn't been connected.

As an unaccompanied child, I never passed a phone box without trying Button B, it occasionally produced 2d.

AnAussieNut
30th Jan 2015, 07:56
Confession time--

When I was about 8 years old a mate taught me a trick to get extra pocket money..get a tissue and shove it up the coin return slot,leave it there a few days,when people made a call that did not connect they would press button B to get there coin back but the paper was in the way .
go back after a few days and get enough for quite a handful of sweets from the milk bar next to the phone box..

Cheers from dunnunda.

Paul

TWT
30th Jan 2015, 08:21
I got a few coins by checking for obstructions in the coin return chute and removing any bits of paper jamming it up :ok:

As did every other kid I knew too.

goudie
30th Jan 2015, 08:36
As an unaccompanied child, I never passed a phone box without trying Button B, it occasionally produced 2d. ian16th

That very thought sprang to my mind also.

ExSp33db1rd
30th Jan 2015, 08:52
Although pushing button A, waiting for the thunk and then button B was always a "more in hope than expectation" experience.

Ye Gods ! How do you cope with modern technology ? A satisfying thunk after pressing button A meant that your money had gone forever, no use pressing button B then. One pressed button B first, as others have described, in the hope of getting a free 2d before you started.

joy ride
30th Jan 2015, 09:01
The think that annoys me is setting language options on Macs and PCs. Those that are set for French, German, Italian and other languages will give correct spell and grammar check.

Set every computer to 'English (UK)" and the spell check stays on "English (US)". My spelling is actually getting worse because I have stated doubting it thanks to this. Stupid designers cannot figure out that if I set it to English (UK) it should NOT query colour! Sort it out you numpties!

UniFoxOs
30th Jan 2015, 10:04
Had exactly the same problem as OP, only I bought a quite expensive "Big Name" little box to play music from my CD collection, now ripped to hard disc. It was advertised as "control from any web browser", and came with what I thought was an unnecessary remote control.

It turned out that the "control" from web browsers allowed you to do the set-up. My vision of sitting comfortably anywhere, playing music selected on my phone/pad/pc/lappie vanished when I discovered that to actually play the music you had to be tied to the TV with the remote.

Everybody else who bought it seemed to find the same. In the end I bought a Pi and set it up myself.

Also - like a lot of things today it seemed to be designed for kids, with "Fisher Price" screens, very small fonts, and text colour not distinguishable from the background.

Tankertrashnav
30th Jan 2015, 10:17
Last night I dreamt I was using an old dial phone and failing to get through because I forgot about button A. Now I'm reading this thread.

Does this belong on the odd coincidences thread? Weird!

Groundgripper
30th Jan 2015, 10:44
How do I persuade them not to bring the infernal gadget to the dining table ?

Put a large jug of water in the middle of the table and tell them any phones brought to the table will be placed in it.:E

GG

Capetonian
30th Jan 2015, 10:58
Why can't designers design cables that don't end up intertwined like mating snakes?

Wonderworld
30th Jan 2015, 11:22
YouTube on Apple TV is great. Youtube vids can also be streamed from an iPad to the TV via Apple TV as well. So 2 options there. :ok:

ExXB
30th Jan 2015, 12:10
Why can't designers design cables that don't end up intertwined like mating snakes?

Simples, tie a loose knot with the two ends of the cable.

panda-k-bear
30th Jan 2015, 12:32
I had a similar experience to OFSO where the sat channels went wobbly last year. Ultimately it has been rectified by using a bigger dish but, in the meantime, we used our existing TV and plugged a Google Chromecast into it - 30 nicker from amazon and it works a treat. Then I just streamed FilmOn using our existing wireless router. It took a grand total of 10 minutes to set up.

TWT
30th Jan 2015, 13:04
I wish that all those little tubes in the bathrooms of hotels (shampoo,bodywash,etc) were labelled with large print.The number of times I've had to walk out of the shower to get my glasses in order to identify them is ridiculous :)

OFSO
30th Jan 2015, 13:09
Old time phone boxes - you didn't have to use money, you could just tap out the number on the receiver rest.

joy ride
30th Jan 2015, 13:12
With you there TWT! Worse still: the menus in smart restaurants: huge piece of fine paper, left mostly white apart from a postage stamp area in the middle for the words. "Classy" to a designer, "Useless" to anyone with less than perfect vision, even more useless in the standard subdued lighting!

OFSO
30th Jan 2015, 13:13
have you thought of a bigger dish?

Tests at our location show no signal on a 3 metre dish. Possibly one such as that at the Arecibo Observatory would suffice.

I have five 80cm dishes and thought of whipping up a combiner but can't be bovvered just to watch endless repeats on BBC which are all on YouTube anyway.

Blacksheep
30th Jan 2015, 13:16
Why bother with 2d and the buttons?
If you picked up the handset and then tapped out the number on the handset rest, you could call anywhere in UK for free. :suspect:

panda-k-bear
30th Jan 2015, 13:43
OFSO - FilmOn - that's the best solution we found.

UniFoxOs
30th Jan 2015, 15:16
If you picked up the handset and then tapped out the number on the handset rest, you could call anywhere in UK for free

As OFSO just said. You can still do it (tap out the number) on a lot of exchanges as they have to cope with rotary dials even today.

When young the GPO (as it was then) discovered that the takings from a call box adjacent to a certain telecoms traing centre had suddenly dwindled to almost zero. Turned out the the trainees had discovered tapping and were calling their girlfriends long distance for free. GPO put recording apparatus on the line, logged the numbers called, and investigated. Fortunately I was without a girlfriend at the time.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
30th Jan 2015, 16:58
My dad fitted a lock to the rotary dial of our home phone. My brother and I got round it with the tapping routine, and he never figured out how we were doing it. Happy days!

Krystal n chips
30th Jan 2015, 17:13
About this cunning plan to deprive BT of revenue.....which is fine in principle I agree.

How do you tap out.....0 ?

And then, alas, comes this....

Pulse dialing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse_dialing)

I like the bit about "abstracting electricity "

As we are being nostalgic about telephones, did anybody ever dial the fabled Whitehall 1212 at all ?

UniFoxOs
30th Jan 2015, 17:31
Not WHI 1212 but (showing my age here) certainly called SKY 1234 on a number of occasions

victor tango
30th Jan 2015, 18:31
Whilst on the subject of trying to read things like packets etc.
Why don't the TV people realise that putting up sub titles on the screen in white is a real pain to read if the background, like a table cloth is also white !!

Think how easy it must be to organise a black box background with white lettering for sub titles, surely ????

mr fish
30th Jan 2015, 20:29
in defence of "smart tv"...I purchased a Samsung set a two years ago and setup was a doddle.


pressed the "smart" button on the remote, home screen loaded and builtin wifi started scanning for nerworks.


recognised mine and asked for password. after password entry the set downloaded required updates....job done!!!


any luddites out there who have not watched YOUTUBE via tv are really missing out...there is everything from long missing 60s, 70s, 80s tv and film to music vids, concerts etc.


as a ehem..guitar player, a personal fave is ROB CHAPMANS video channel.


FISH.

OFSO
30th Jan 2015, 20:53
How do you tap out.....0 ?

As any fule kno, it's ten taps. Look at a dial: 0 follows 9.

OFSO (ex GPO Tech2A 1961-1968)

ExSp33db1rd
30th Jan 2015, 22:02
Old time phone boxes - you didn't have to use money, you could just tap out the number on the receiver rest.

I never knew that ! Too late now, but I did discover that by stopping at a phone box in every "Local dialling area" on the way to my home from London, I could record the code to make a free "local" call to the next area, and by adding them all together I could make a free call from Darkest Dorset. Took me about 4 hours to drive home one day, and I ended up with a number about 60 digits long, but I triumphed, of course I soon got bored with the whole thing but had proved a point. (didn't have a phone with memory dialling of course, or I could have just loaded the whole thing and just made a cup of tea whilst the phone dialled the long number for me )

After school I worked out of town and at the end of the day took the train to my hometown station, then I had to decide whether to go for the bus home, or walk 20 mins in the opposite direction to see if my father was still at work and ride home with him. I begrudged the 2d to ring him ( this was 1950 and my salary was 1 pound a week ) so used to place a reverse charges call with the operator, and if I heard him answer I knew he was there so put the receiver down ! This worked for awhile until one day the operator cut me off until my father had accepted the charge, then she re-connected me - they were on to me!!

My grandchildren will never believe me. Happy Days.

Hydromet
30th Jan 2015, 22:40
Long time ago, when all long distance calls from it were manually connected and had to be justified as 'official', the local weather bureau had a 'red phone' to the State Emergency Services. The met. staff soon discovered that the 'red phone' was an extension of the SES phone network, and by dialling 0, they could obtain an outside line and dial anywhere they wanted to.

ricardian
30th Jan 2015, 23:01
Windy Militant - I've been dragged to project planning meetings that were very much like that shown in the YouTube clip

con-pilot
31st Jan 2015, 00:09
After school I worked out of town and at the end of the day took the train to my hometown station, then I had to decide whether to go for the bus home, or walk 20 mins in the opposite direction to see if my father was still at work and ride home with him. I begrudged the 2d to ring him ( this was 1950 and my salary was 1 pound a week ) so used to place a reverse charges call with the operator, and if I heard him answer I knew he was there so put the receiver down ! This worked for awhile until one day the operator cut me off until my father had accepted the charge, then she re-connected me - they were on to me!!


Did the same in my early years of flying when I was first married, on RONs, after I checked into the hotel (before I headed to the bar ;)), got to my room, I'd make a person to person call to myself to our home number. So when my wife answered and said I was not there, she knew I was at the hotel and I was not charged for a long distant call.

Back then, young charter pilots were only paid for the hotel and a fixed per diem for food, we were not paid for such trivial things as calling home.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
31st Jan 2015, 00:58
As teenagers, we just used to let the phone ring twice, then put down the receiver (n.b.in the UK, you didn't have to put money in to a public call box until the 'phone was answered). No one answered the home phone for three rings by agreement. It meant whichever child was out needed picking up. We would have an agreed number of rings if there was more than one of us out. When younger, we were allowed to play after dark if we stayed by the public phone box (very few had a home phone then). We acted as messengers - people would ring and we would go get the callee from their house.

G-CPTN
31st Jan 2015, 02:36
Our first telephone (in 1955) was a shared 'party line'.

Incoming calls were signalled differently (so only one subscriber would hear a ring-tone), but if you wanted to make an outgoing call you needed to check that the line wasn't already in use by your 'party'.

Of course you could lift the receiver and listen-in to the other persons' conversation, though they could detect your presence due to the 'echo' on the line (or if you sneezed or coughed or put the receiver down clumsily).

Before we got the telephone, communication on urgent matters (such as the sudden death of a relative) was by means of telegrams. My uncle was killed on his motorcycle in a crash with a one-eyed van driver who was overtaking another vehicle.
Said uncle was a merchant seaman on shore leave. He had a daughter the same age as me - 6 at the time.

Telegram read "Tom killed. Come."
I named my son Tom so that the name would live on in the family (and keeping him in 'heaven' through the memory).