Sep 19, 2010

Back to Analog Basics

Recognize this?
Your current digital product, appliance or service is offering you daily problems. You're fighting your way through settings via zillions of sub-sub-menus, hoping to get that one simple task done. In fact your 'life-style experience' thingy is a product of guaranteed instant stress.

Now there are always some geeks nearby, offering 'help' by friendly telling: you are doing it all wrong. Your settings are incorrect and additionally need to be tweaked(by principal), upgrades installed and special geek-tricks added to the equation before such a device can work at all... This takes time. Yes a lot of precious time (hours), during which you're told how you are living your life utterly wrong, explained at the same geek tech level, which slows down your present perception of (lost) time even more.

And then it shows; the offered intervention did not help.

Surprisingly this does not change the mood of your geek-friend. Quite the opposite; you receive an even longer explanation about why it did not work. In many details that is, until you finally surrender by nodding that you understand him completely...

Why these creatures are willing to spoil so many consecutive hours of what could have been a fine day is beyond my comprehension (I already exploded mentally twice). I know the world needs them for propelling our technical development. And basically, I am a technician as well. Professionally I'm creating bridges between Planet Geek and Earth, thereby understanding both entities. But in my free time I find myself more often in the base camp of the average John Doe nowadays. Effectively I'm pulling myself away from the interventions and want to call it a day. However my friend is more focused than ever and does not let go.

More geek tricks are pulled in and, since the challenge level is rising, others step in soon, turning this into a geek frenzy. After much longer it is finally your product bursting up in flames at which the whole pack is joy-ably agreeing it is you who choose the wrong Operating System in the first place.

Well I'm sorry, but back on earth I find it an insult if one imposes such a discussion to a consumer in the year 2010. I know consumers are indeed slowly mentally degrading, but geeks lack common sense. The product is just crap, period.

Daily Digital Crap Products
Getting to my current affairs; I have been trying some 5 different types/brands Digital Cordless Telephone sets these last couple of years and concluded it's crap.
Battery charging issues, never correct battery indicator, non-responsive number buttons, blinking lights, alarm messages on the display etc...
My favorite annoyance is the "missed call" message on the display. It took 18 (!) button pushes to clear that message from the display, every-time. Why is it that manufacturers aside from implementing a hundred ridiculous options, cannot create a selectable basic simple operating mode, offering nothing but making a call?
I have installed one complete set with 4 handsets at my parents house. Their world is different and they do not recognize any of the display messages at all. And the one in their bedroom is blinking red from day one. Every time a unit does not work or responds differently, they conclude it's probably their operating error and accept that. Hmmmm...... maybe a small learning opportunity for the control freak?

Back to Analog Basics
Out goes the digital crap phone stuff, in comes the Beocom 2000 from Bang & Olufsen. I bought this telephone sometime during 1990-1995. It has an astonishing design. It's greatest asset was and still is its superb audio quality. I used this great device for over 12 years without a flaw ever...

The brown leather pouf is over 35 years old and needed a 2 hour leather creme polish as it was totally dried out. Both are milestones from the past. Guess what? They both still function well.
This model has just a few basic functions like 20 memories, a red emergency number button, an LCD showing the dialed number (no call ID recognition) and 3 selectable true analog ring-tones.
Installation process takes 1 single non-dramatic step: connecting your RJ11 cable. No batteries to install and charge 24hrs, no firmware upgrade, no operating system settings, no help desk and no on-line manual.

That long greyish thing on the left is your handset(wired connection!). As soon as you pick it up from the hook-switch you hear the analog line buzz. Not that digital created artificial sound image from the past, just the real thing.
No answering machine, mailbox, Call ID and/or hide call ID. Just the basics needed for a phone conversation between earthlings.