I was just lounging in the hot tub after hanging out on ehMac and got to thinking about some of the neat things technology has brought us ...like said hot tub....and some of the worst things I've bought...like endless numbers of MP3 players for my daughter that seem to break far too quickly :greedy
Now this can be wide ranging from cool fishing gear - I have an Abu Garcia rod and reel that are about 35 years old, seen lots of use and keep on being a pleasure to use - to 8 tracks to high tech sunglasses.
Longest lived, most pleasure out of, dumbest purchase etc whatever stories you feel like relating about the wonders or perils of modern technology. Funny is good. Recommendations for or against is good.
- the hot tub - just about everyday winter or summer - nothing better on a cold winter night looking up through the steam at the stars
Smaller stuff that lasted
Ziess 8x20 compact binoculars - travelled with me all over the world - working wonderfully for 20 years and counting. Brings those neat details in close without weighing me down. ( I'm a birder anyway )
Braun hand blender - keeps going and going, elegant design, makes great shakes, foams milk, good pancake batter - cleans up perfectly, sits on the counter gets used every day. It groans from time to time then just wants a good soaking to labour for another year.
• almost any technology from iOmega Clik in particular
• ALL phone head sets - will somebody please make one that lasts.
• Canadian cable TV
Shortest lived - 2 weeks with a minDV camera - back to digital still
Most expensive - $1000 worth of snowboarding gear for the kids used once [img]graemlins/greedy.gif[/img]
Cool stuff current and happy
G5, Toshiba HD TV, my daughter's iPod, Sony PSII, Venture phone system ( highly recommended for small operations) Bell Mobility's Voice dial ( best $3 a month you can spend )
Wish List -
personal Grob 103 sailplane and time to fly it.
__________________ Spring Cleaning Sale email for flyer..sweet prices across the board • Many Retina's, Airs, new iMacs all on sale - great • OWC at par Trades welcome
Man... one of the worst ones that I can think of was this blasted Motorola Flip phone I bought. What a plastic piece of rubbish. I was never so excited than when I got my hands on it, only to regret the purchase a few days later. Worst signal/interface/user friendliness in the history of mobile communication! They're still bad...
Best? PISMO baby... lots of enjoyment. Actually sold my TiBook before getting rid of this one. ...Panasonic Ghetto Blaster. Bought it when I was in High School (87-88 or so). Blastin ever since. I've had it as my main unit for that long and it swings a big stick! Hooked up to my lap/iMac for sound. Friends can't believe it's not butter . Do not have heart to get rid of it - though I am buyin a new system w/ sub. That's it so far...
Ohenri: En Guarde. Choose.your.weapon:
13.3" BlkBook 2GHz Intel Core Duo | 80G HD | BT | AE | SD
17" iMac G5 2Ghz | 160G | BT | AE | SD Mac: I'm Loving it
Hmm I agree on the Startac phone “she who must be obeyed” has one and it always sound like crap.
Lets see other rubbish.
1. Grey market Direct TV Cards, they never work for long.
2. Little adapters from Nokia that adapt to standard headphone plugs.
3. Any “universal” remote that comes with audio video equipment. They just don’t work flawlessly and you need to spend hours programming them……. just so they can not work flawlessly.
4. Earbud headphones why would anyone want inferior sound and a sore ear?
5. Apple mice . They look sexy, but one button ?????
6. Emerson Electronics the ultimate in electronic crap.
7. VHSC what genius thought this baby up? Anything that needs an adapter to play a video was bound to fail.
The Good Stuff
1. Sony Eriksson T68i is small an can communicate with the outside world (Bluetooth Infra red)
2. X10 technology. I’ve got my whole house on these wonderful plug and play units. I can sit in my studio control lights and cameras all over the house. The best bit is it’s cheap cheap cheap.
3. Phillips Pronto, the universal remote that does work. Lets you design your own screen layouts and can do macros. I love being able to hit the DVD button and it switches all of the appropriate inputs on my receiver and TV and dims the lights.
4. FRS radios. We use them for a zillion different uses including live shows they often work better than the Motorola walkie talkies which cost ten time the price.
5. Blackberry. RIM has resisted the temptation of adding useless bells and whistle and kept the Blackberry the ultimate in mobile communication appliances.
not much of a list, but here are techno things that make me happy and those that **** me off
[img]redface.gif[/img] (not in order)
1. my BMW - just a pleasure to drive
2. anything Braun - shaver, hair dryer
3. b/w G3s, G4s, G5s
4. my sailboat - Laser 2 - wonderful marriage of tehcnology and nature
5. faxing to and from my Mac
6. PDF files for emaling invoices, quotes, POs - take that Canada Post !
7. VNC for remote control of computers (and it's free !)
1. Windows XP
2. 8100 - 8500 PowerMacs
3. Bell hi-speed
4. satetllite tv - rain shadows really **** me off
5. Hardware RIPs
There are many products in between that I only accept their performance. They work just as they should, but do not impress, but do not **** me off either.
1. DVD's - I'm a movie nut (I know they're compressed image, but they last longer than VHS which wear out over time)
2. BMW - best car I have ever owned (never broken down once!really)
3. Lego - hours of fun as a child (I still play with it now with my nephew [img]tongue.gif[/img] )
4. The Internet - without it my job would take 10x as long for researching information (great tool)
5. Frisbee - me and my wife and a park on a summers day (need I say more)
1. 12" laser disks - boy did I make the wrong choice 15 years ago with this
2. Betamax - great image quality but hardly any stores rented them
3. Iomega JAZ drive - got it replaced under warranty 3 times and it still never worked (freeze & crash every time)
4. computers - I have a love hate thing with them. They're a great tool but sometimes I feel like they rule my life. I work all day long with them. It gets me crazy! [img]tongue.gif[/img] my wife wishes they were never invented (this one is for her)
5. Records - they're big, heavy in large numbers yet I still buy them for DJing. Whenever I move they weigh a ton. Can't the dance music labels just make cd's from now on. Records sound terrible after too many plays!
I don't have much for "Bad Tech" stories, because if something doesn't work, or work well, I just trash it immediately, and avoid that company's products for life. But, I do have one, which I will share, because it's still dogging me.
Vacum Tubes; everybody has some, and won't admit it.
2.4 gig portable phones
every consumer remote ever made
nearly every blaster ever made
Really, really, bad tech:
I bought a Nokia cellphone about 5 years ago; it was fairly big, fairly simple, analog only and worked flawlessly. Perfect.
Well, not quite perfect; it has nicad batteries, and a new battery is a hundred bucks.
So, I though I would buy a new cellphone instead of new batteries, mostly because the nicads had to be recharged once a day.
So, I did, and set up my account.
I work in the middle of nowhere for 6 months a year, so it seemed stupid to me to have a 12-month/3 year or whatever plan. $25 a month for 12 months is really $50 a month for me, and I know that there would be other costs on top of that.
So, I went with Pay-As-You-Go from Rogers/Cantel/AT&T/whatever they call themselves this week. I really wanted to go with SaskTel, because they have coverage all over the place, including about the first 100 miles of the far north while Rogers dies at Prince Albert National Park (200 miles south of SaskTel's coverage).
But, with SaskTel, if you don't make a call every 60 days, they cancel your account. Not a big deal to get it up again, but I wanted to be able to call as I'm coming home. So, off to Rogers (12 months before they cancel you).
The first phone worked great, I gave Rogers my CC number and all it took was a few button pushes (*611 and a brief talk to a voice messaging system) and another 60 (now 75) minutes are on the phone. Great.
Then, I couldn't use the *611 anymore. Which is to say I could, but I had to wait for a real person to answer, and then give them my CC details each time, and wait for activation. Not good; a real degradation in service. Why? Ask them.
Whatever. I buy the new phone, and go to set it up about a year ago. Well, *611 with voice messaging is gone. *611 with the nice person who asked me all those questions each time is gone. Now we have ...
AUTOMATED VOICE RECOGNITION
I managed, after about 45 minutes and 10 tries, to get the thing to activate my phone and set up 75 minutes. Hint: even though it doesn't work often when you talk in a normal voice, it never works when you scream. Just so you know.
When it came time to add some time to the phone, I simply could not get past all the dialogs, no matter how many times I tried, without an error of some sort.
I can still hear the harrowing sound of the artifically soothing female voice going:
"I'm sorry. I didn't get that."
For an idea of what I went through, have a woman with a nice, soothing voice, say that over and over again 75 times every morning for a week.
I tried to talk, somehow, to a real person about this. I was able to talk to real persons, after some very extensive detective work at Roger's website.
They were helpful, sypathetic, and exceedingly sincere. They also were prohibited from helping me, as they are only allowed to help contract phone customers.
I emailed Rogers. I explained my problem. I was ignored.
I emailed Rogers again, this time saying that the system they had was impossible for me to use, and I wanted to cancel my account so I could dump the phone on another unsuspecting user to set up their own torture sessions with Rogers.
Rogers refuses to cancel my account. The only way to cancel the account (wait for it)...
... is to use the Automated Voice Recognition system.
In about another 3months, my account will be deactivated (not used for 12 months). I will then finally be free of Rogers/Cantel/AT&T/whatever-they-call-themselves-this-week.
Now, about that "avoiding the company's products for life' part. I also cancelled and sold my sattelite dish. This, after reading a glowing report in the Globe&Mail about how flawlessly this new system works for Rogers, and how cheap it is to run for thier "low value" customers on Pay-As-You-Go.