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Unnecessary Functionality

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Unnecessary Functionality Reply with quote

Jimmy Kimmell does an endlessly funny skit called Unnecessary Censorship where they take snippets of shows and bleep random words or ones that begin as if they were a cuss word. It's pretty funny especially when they do Elmo or "The View".

So, today I present "Unnecessary Functionality" -- functions in hardware or software which are simply put there but for no good reason.

Case in point, I was trying to find the Settings menu for my mp3 player so I could change the auto-power off setting when I noticed a top level menu item I had never noticed before: Stopwatch.

Ok, I might want to use my mp3 player as a Stopwatch...the only thing is, I think I would either be listening to music with it...or not carrying it at all. Thus, I would not be waiting for an opportunity to use a stopwatch by always carrying my mp3. And during those occasions where a stopwatch is necessary...almost every cell phone has one (more on cell phones later).

So, there you go...finding functions that have no purpose in life.
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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just bought a new car which, unlike my last three cars, actually has some later 20th century innovations like A/C and power windows.

Which leads me to question: the power side mirrors adjustment switch. My switch, like most, has 3 position switch in the center of a square rocker switch for making the mirrors go up, down, right left. No problem with the rocker, however, why a three position switch? Left is for the left mirror. Right is for the right mirror. And center is for...? Exactly, why have a center position?

Oh, you may say, that is so you don't inadvertently move the mirror. Yeah, but come on...the mirror switch is forward of the window switches and is not a place where you would rest your hand...and the windows rocker switches are nothing like the side mirror switches! There is little or no likely hood of accidentally touching the rocker switch and moving the mirrors.
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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:49 am    Post subject: Mice...a sort of infinite unecessary functionality. Reply with quote

Mice have evolved into an endless source of unnecessary functionality.

For example, I bought a wireless keyboard-mouse gamers combo from logitech. Now in general, I ahbor over buttoned peripherals, and can't see how a slow wireless system could be better for gaming than a wire, but ok, I've grown to love the things because they let me sit on the couch and compute.

I did however wrestle with some of the software that comes with the mouse, which allowed me to to set some but not all of the seven buttons/wheels on the mouse. The problem was that the one thing I wanted to set -- the ability to zoom using the rocker button -- could only be achieved by using an enhancement of the mouse software from someone else -- who presumably had the same requirement.

First of all, I'm inherently bad with sophisticated mice because I'm left handed. That means that all the buttons that are meant to be pushed by wrapping my fingertips around the mouse, are pushed by the sides of my fingers resting on the mouse.

Unfortunately the mouse software plus the mouse add on caused me any number of problems such as not being able to register my keyboard on reboot. I went through several sets of batteries, thinking power was low until I gave up and uninstalled and went with whatever basic Windows drivers are there for such things.

Problem is, the basic windows drivers no longer let me control all the buttons, so I end up clicking that rocker switch with is the Back button on a browser...very annoying.

My favorite mouse that I discovered at work is the Microsoft "Comfort Mouse" -- it's got a convex hourglass shape and -- it's symmetrical across the center axis -- works same left or right handed! Only the two basic buttons and the wheel are there -- I use the corded optical kind. Someday I might find out if there's cordless version, but for now it really is comfortable.

That's unlike my wireless mouse at home, which, while it lets me compute from the Couchtop, has me on edge that I will flip back one or more pages everytime I read an engrossing blog post.
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