Thursday, 24 May 2012

Frickin' Remotes!

Ok. I'll start by saying that I'm pissed. In both senses of the word.

We have a Mac Mini that served as our TV controller for quite some time. It was retired when we got a replacement and a Drobo. It was sitting in my office for some time turned off. I decided it was time to configure up a nexus repository for it. So I turned it on.

Keyboard failure. Frickin' bluetooth thing. They're too small to be useful in my not so frickin' humble opinion. But I bottle it up. Like most stupid UX things that happen on a daily basis. "Must Bottle It Up. Must Bottle It Up. Must Bottle It Up. Can't Make A Scene."

Anyway, we figured out that one of the batteries had leaked internally. So after much mucking about we got the batteries out and cleaned out the awful mess. Took ages. Luckily we have a fully stocked tool kit of weird evil looking screwey things and filey things that look like they belong in a dental surgery that made it possible.

Still no luck. iBrick.

So I found a replacement bluetooth keyboard. Popped new batteries in. Turned it on and up popped a window on the Mac Mini:
"Trying to connect to keyboard 00:c3:78:86:82:28:37:91:87:29:17:29:37:19:27:91:27:39:12:70:01:23:34:45:67:78:89"
Ok. Ok. I'm exaggerating. But you get my point.

Then:
"error: trying again in a minute"
What?

No luck. And again. And again.

So I chucked a wobbly. Shouted at the machine:
"It's frickin' there. Look! You stupid pile of shit! Look. Where I'm pointing! Right there. 2 frickin inches away! You've got a camera! Use the frickin thing!"
No luck. Stamped my little feet, grabbed the keyboard, removed the batteries and chucked it in my 'frickin stupid hardware box' and went off to get a *wired* keyboard.

Worked first time.

Now. To the title of this article.

I went downstairs to watch a movie. I found myself staring at our coffee table. Not that I do that often I might add, but at that point and given I was about to have an aneurysm it just seemed to me that that this small table seemed to be groaning under the weight of TV remotes.

I lost my rag.

I probably need valium.

Or more Wild Turkey.

Or both.

Why the frickin' f**k do manufacturers create remotes with such massive over the top stupid frickin' complex devices that rival the devices they control in size?

We've got a TV, a DVD and a I-Don't-Frickin-Know-What-It's-Called-That-Controls-Sound thing. They all have remotes. HUGE remotes that look like they come off the set of Transformers. I'm not an unstable person, but sometimes I get the sense that they could easily morph into a ten wheeler or something.

Anyway...

Total number of buttons: 213.

213 buttons.

What the frickin' f**k is that about?
Ben tried to placate me saying I need to cope better.
Cope? COPE?


213 buttons.

In a typeface that makes it frickin' impossible to read without a microscope.

They're frickin' remotes!!! Wha? Why the frickin f**k do I need a an FM/AM button on a I-Don't-Frickin-Know-What-It's-Called-That-Controls-Sound thing? Or a T-Shift button whatever the frickin f**k that is? And what the frickin f**k is PDVD? or RAN? or Test-Tone?

Seriously you guys who design these things.... Take your hand off your... T-Shift... and think about your target market. For the most part all we need is:

PLAY. PAUSE. STOP. EJECT. UP-VOL. DOWN-VOL.

Seriously... If anyone works in the 'things-that-make-you-life-work-nice-at-home-industry' then please, I'm begging you, have pity. Please. Pity.


PITY. Please. Please. I really, really don't need an aneurysm right now.

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