I used to get most frustrated with people. People are, after all, apt to do things that prevent our own smooth motion through existence. Don’t get me wrong, they can be fabulous too; but by and large, frustrating.
These days it’s more and more the fault of technology. But since technology is created by people, doesn’t it ultimately amount to the same thing?
For example, right now I’m coping with:
- Ikea Höpen mid-brown/glass wardrobe doors that collapse and fall apart under their own weight
- A TomTom satnav device that thinks I should exit the A27 at Shoreham by taking a hairpin handbrake-turn left off a 70mph motorway and driving the wrong way up a one-way entrance ramp (it’s a wonder nobody’s died yet)
- A Ford Mondeo ST TDCi Estate car that stalls inexplicably at traffic lights and even whilst cruising on the motorway; which consumes tyres unevenly and at an abnormal rate; and whose electric windows go down instead of up
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom which introduces superb processing and workflow features without which I cannot live as a photographer, but which makes everything ridiculously slow whenever I add more than a few thousand photos
- An HP LaserJet 2605dn colour laser printer which prints everything beautifully except double-sided prints of web pages from Internet Explorer which inexplicably crash and jam it
- Apple iTunes which occasionally but regularly “loses” hundreds of tracks that it could previously find just fine thank-you very much
- An Apple iPod that doesn’t quite understand randomness and thinks I want to hear the same artist over and over again for a couple of hours
- Digital Photo Frames that work very well with photos of the right size and which are in the correct orientation – but are useless in the real world
- A dual-core laptop PC with an excellent spec which is rendered slow and useless by Windows Vista
- Electronic dimmer switches that turn themselves on and waste energy
- Lighting transformers that last less time to destruction than one of the light bulbs they’re powering
- A Canon 28-300mm Professional L-Series lens which, upon each zoom, pumps huge volumes of dusty, unfiltered air through my incredibly dust-sensitive full-frame sensored Canon EOS 5D camera
But hey, it’s not all bad. I love my Hitachi plasma TV, my Morphy Richards Fastbake Bread Maker, my Topfield T5800 DVR…
It’s not as though I’m exactly a duffer where technology is concerned either. I’ve been a techno-freak all my life. No, there is definitely a problem that runs through all the faulty technology we find ourselves using, and it’s this: a lack of attention to detail. The trouble is that attention to detail costs money, and it’s easier to gloss over the last ten percent of a design’s market readiness than to really do it properly.
Anyone up for an attention-to-detail consultant? I feel a new line of business coming on…