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BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?

jimmyt 12 Oct 02 - 12:47 PM
Liz the Squeak 12 Oct 02 - 01:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Oct 02 - 01:09 PM
jimmyt 12 Oct 02 - 01:15 PM
Liz the Squeak 12 Oct 02 - 01:33 PM
jimmyt 12 Oct 02 - 01:39 PM
artbrooks 12 Oct 02 - 01:56 PM
M.Ted 12 Oct 02 - 05:07 PM
khandu 12 Oct 02 - 05:19 PM
Banjer 12 Oct 02 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,lady_anne@livejournal.com 12 Oct 02 - 05:49 PM
Bert 12 Oct 02 - 08:12 PM
Amos 12 Oct 02 - 09:07 PM
Sorcha 12 Oct 02 - 09:54 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 12 Oct 02 - 09:59 PM
khandu 12 Oct 02 - 10:21 PM
Amos 12 Oct 02 - 10:29 PM
jimmyt 12 Oct 02 - 11:16 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 Oct 02 - 03:09 AM
Mr Red 13 Oct 02 - 05:37 AM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Oct 02 - 08:57 AM
dick greenhaus 13 Oct 02 - 09:27 AM
DMcG 13 Oct 02 - 09:29 AM
jimmyt 13 Oct 02 - 09:52 AM
Sorcha 13 Oct 02 - 09:57 AM
C-flat 13 Oct 02 - 10:03 AM
Mr Red 13 Oct 02 - 11:42 AM
jimmyt 13 Oct 02 - 12:13 PM
Bat Goddess 13 Oct 02 - 04:51 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 13 Oct 02 - 05:33 PM
Sorcha 13 Oct 02 - 05:34 PM
Mr Happy 13 Oct 02 - 08:50 PM
Genie 14 Oct 02 - 12:01 AM
JennieG 14 Oct 02 - 01:45 AM
Sandra in Sydney 14 Oct 02 - 09:31 AM
Dave Bryant 14 Oct 02 - 09:46 AM
jimmyt 14 Oct 02 - 01:34 PM
Kim C 14 Oct 02 - 02:49 PM
Sorcha 14 Oct 02 - 02:54 PM
vindelis 14 Oct 02 - 03:28 PM
Peter T. 14 Oct 02 - 03:53 PM
C-flat 14 Oct 02 - 04:01 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 14 Oct 02 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,KateG 14 Oct 02 - 04:51 PM
Sorcha 14 Oct 02 - 05:01 PM
Little Hawk 14 Oct 02 - 05:16 PM
Little Hawk 14 Oct 02 - 10:58 PM
jimmyt 14 Oct 02 - 11:18 PM
JennieG 15 Oct 02 - 07:21 AM
Wolfgang 15 Oct 02 - 08:18 AM
53 15 Oct 02 - 08:45 AM
Little Hawk 15 Oct 02 - 11:05 AM
53 15 Oct 02 - 11:34 AM
Amos 15 Oct 02 - 11:37 AM
GUEST 15 Oct 02 - 01:29 PM
Kim C 15 Oct 02 - 01:37 PM
Sorcha 15 Oct 02 - 01:39 PM
Grab 15 Oct 02 - 02:32 PM
Amos 15 Oct 02 - 02:35 PM
Wolfgang 15 Oct 02 - 02:53 PM
Kim C 15 Oct 02 - 03:23 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Oct 02 - 03:25 PM
Little Hawk 15 Oct 02 - 05:47 PM
Amos 15 Oct 02 - 08:50 PM
Little Hawk 15 Oct 02 - 09:19 PM
GUEST 16 Oct 02 - 08:43 AM
Guessed 16 Oct 02 - 10:46 AM
EBarnacle1 16 Oct 02 - 04:19 PM
Bert 16 Oct 02 - 04:44 PM
jimmyt 16 Oct 02 - 10:50 PM
Little Hawk 16 Oct 02 - 11:01 PM
Kim C 17 Oct 02 - 10:02 AM
Little Hawk 17 Oct 02 - 10:34 AM
Kim C 17 Oct 02 - 01:19 PM
EBarnacle1 17 Oct 02 - 01:24 PM
YOR 18 Oct 02 - 01:08 PM

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Subject: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: jimmyt
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 12:47 PM

Am I the only one who yearns to buy a coffee maker, VCR, or any other small electronic device that is nondigital? A simple on-off switch, no memory, LCD display, or any other bells and whistles? I have a new video cmaera that I am sure I will never get the hang of, simply because for one thing, everything I need to know is in a pulldown menu, and mostly because the d***n print is so small that people 40 and older can't read it anyway. I am not a Luddite who doesn't enjoy technology, but now it has gotten so technical that every time our power goes off, the whole house seems to blink on and off until my son comes by and resets everything! For 50 year old eyes, I would gladly sacrifice the ability to program in when I want the coffee pot to come on for a switch, either it is on or it is off! If I am alone in this let me know and I will try again to cope with this annoyance. I have found an old style percolator that is being made with these features, but as you might expect, it is back ordered. Maybe there's a reason it is...perhaps people want this stuff! Reminds me of a situation where I used to buy a particularly good wine at the local grocery. Everytime it came in, it would sell out so fast, I took to buying all that was available. After it had been gone for a few weeks I asked the stock manager about it, and he told me that htey had stopped getting it as everytime he got it in it would sell out so fast the shelf stayed empty, so they stopped getting it! I know this is the first time a thread has showed creep with the original posting, but there is some correlation somewhere! Anyone else want to bitch?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 01:07 PM

You want simple? Get a bloke.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 01:09 PM

Is that stock manager still in business with an approach to selling like that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: jimmyt
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 01:15 PM

LTS, I don't think getting a bloke would be beneficial, but just to make sure, are they digital? McGrath, Yes! he is still there! And based on Peters principle, he probably soon be the store manager!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 01:33 PM

Well you said simple, you never said beneficial!!

I know what you mean though.. The Body Shop keep bitching about their falling profits. I wonder why? Whenever I go to a Body Shop I want to refil/replace what I'd bought previously. They sold it to me in huge quantities so it's usually a good 6 months or more before I need to go back. When I do, they have ceased to do that line. Take bath oil. They used to sell huge quantities of it and you could add your own perfume or leave it unscented. They've stopped selling it. I asked why. The store manager said and I quote "Oh, it was just too popular, so we stopped it". I went to one yesterday after only a couple of months but didn't recognise a single item I'd bought previously. Either the ingredients are different or the line has been discontinued. And they wonder why no-one recycles there anymore.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: jimmyt
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 01:39 PM

Exactly! Liz I see your point!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 01:56 PM

Yeah. When I walk into the kitchen in the middle of the night to get a glass of water there are so many LEDs that I don't need to turn a light on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 05:07 PM

The answer is that simplicity is not easy to achieve--it takes a lot of reworking, which is time comsuming, and it takes clarity of vision, which is a gift--besides, if something was simple and functional, you wouldn't get fed up and buy a new one--


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: khandu
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 05:19 PM

And if it was simple, you could probably repair any malfunction yourself. Ah...but if it is complicated, to the serviceman it goes!

khandu


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Banjer
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 05:47 PM

...and then yuo find that the service man is going to charge more than half the cost of a new one just to look at the damn thing beofre he even fixes it....so off you go to purchase a new one!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: GUEST,lady_anne@livejournal.com
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 05:49 PM

A subject close to my heart - I want ON OFF and Volume Control

All the other buttons can be used as replacements for those three if/when they fall off.

I decided a long time ago I don't want any appliance that thinks it's smarter than I am.

Of course, I also want to live in a town where the speed limit and the average age are the same...Live long and drive fast!

Happy Frustration - the Lady, Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Bert
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 08:12 PM

No, you're not the only one.

Remember when a really complicated microwave had a knob AND a button. the simpler ones just had a knob, and came on when you closed the door.

Now you have a numeric key pad and an array of buttons. To operate them you go Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Oh Shit I hit the wrong button, cancel, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep.

And you have to hit one, zero zero for one minute. I usually hit one, one, one. 'Cos it's easier and the one minute was pretty arbitrary anyway.

The one we've got now has a handy little button marked 'beverage' which would be great if it stayed on long enough, but of course it doesn't so you have to go for another 22 seconds (see above why not 20 seconds)to get a cup of water hot enough to make a cup of tea.

I think we should lobby our politicians for digital currency so that the shopkeeper has to go Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Oh Shit I hit the wrong button, cancel, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep. to gain access to each and every Dollar or Pound or whatever. The manufacturers would soon be making simple stuff if we did that.

Also why don't we email this thread to every manufacturer that complicates things unnecessarily?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Amos
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 09:07 PM

Blokes do have an on-off switch, easy to use, centrally located and unmistakeable in design. And they have a voice activated volume control with one simple command. "Shuttup!".

Gals, on the other hand seem to have been the inspiration for highly complex arrays of buttons and incomprehensible subroutines. Talk about devices which think they're smarter than you!! 'Course, they usually are -- especially the modern models. The ones with the advanced BS Detector and Filter capability.

And they seem to have obscurely hidden "On "switches, and multiple hair-trigger "off" buttons, too. No manuals, and the drop down menus stop working the first time you push the off button -- even if you pushed one you didn't know was there.

But it's no use complaining -- it's a terrific design in a lot of other ways. Aesthetically near-perfect. When t is running right, the user-friendliness is unbeatable. When.



Sigh...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 09:54 PM

Yeah, I need a new coffee maker and a new sewing machine. Putting off buying both.........too many bells and whistles. Just make the damn coffee and go front, back and sideways. Seems far too easy for the designers. Might just get an old fashioned (!) percolater from the second hand shop for the coffee maker.

Isn't "planned obsolescence" wonderful?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 09:59 PM

Why can they make a coffee-maker that will come on when you want it to, turn off after a given amount of time and perform other digital miracles but they can't design the simple caraffe that the coffee is dispensed into in such a manner that it will pour without getting coffee everywhere?

Why can you get a brand new cordless drill for less money than a replacement battery-pack for the same model?

Why can you get a brand new inkjet printer for less money than it costs to replace the two ink cartridges in the thing?

Why is it just about impossible to get a late-model automobile without guaranteed-to-be-a-costly-repair-in-a-few-years electric windows?

Why are the control buttons on many car stereos so small that it is impossible for guys with big fingers to punch just one button?

Why are the numbers on the keypads of modern telephones printed on using a paint that will wear off from normal use within just a few years?

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: khandu
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 10:21 PM

Give me 1952 Chevy DeLuxe, an old acoustic guitar, a pint of Guinness and my lucky wife...sit back and watch me smile!

khandu


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Amos
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 10:29 PM

A jug of brown,
A loafing Malibu
A goold old axe, and baby, You
Beside me, harmonizing in the wilderness.
Ah, wilderness Were Paradise enow!

Omar K. Nelson
Georgia in My Mantra, 1959


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: jimmyt
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 11:16 PM

Glad to know it's not just me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 03:09 AM

A few years? The numbers on my mobile wore off after a few WEEKS! People are amazed that I can text any messages as quickly as I do... but it means that no-one steals my phone..... why steal one with no numbers?

As for sewing machines - I agree. I'm happy with my front, back and zigzag, but repairing it when it throws a wobbly is just getting ridiculous!

I counted last night, in my bedroom alone there are 4 red lights (2 on the phone, one to tell me it's charging, the other to tell me if someone is using it - it goes green when someone is) and 2 digital clock displays. If I wanted to, I could have 9 digitally displayed timepieces. Add those to the 6 clocks about the house and I'm really not looking forward to the next time the clocks change..... thank heaven at least 3 are just a touch of a button and one does it automatically. There's still one around we didn't bother changing last year!

I wonder how much power is used by all these machines sitting on standby permanently..? I read somewhere that enough power is used by one 10 storey office block with computers on standby in one night, to light a bulb for some ridiculous amount of time like a decade. (OK, I possibly exaggerate, but it was a ridiculous amount.... I know our bills went down when I started turning the old computer off rather than leaving it on standby, along with several other bits of equipment used rarely).

Part of the problem is that these things do not have an OFF switch. Everything has to be ready immediately, so it's all on standby. I remember waiting for the TV to warm up, the radio to get going and my dad going round every socket, switching off and unplugging at night. We don't even do that when we go away now... the sockets are all stuck in such stupid places that are obscured by furniture or inaccessible corners (one is so low down it has to be upside down or you can't plug anything in because the cables are in the way), that you can't reach half the switches anyway!

Half the time people tell us to save power and the rest of it, they sell us stuff designed not to be switched off. It's a no-win situation that we have to work around...

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 05:37 AM

I love techtoys. My VCR lists all the recordings I made on it and what date/time I recorded them or the title of the show (or the one just before it because the broadcasters are so stupid with the schedules)
En mass they seem to be haphazzard with their choice of design features and sometimes they have constraints of time &/or firmware size which means the proceedure to discombooberate the frazzle fiddle is about as meaningful as that.
AND the manual is something else, even when written by someone with english as a first language.
Try looking at these as an engineer/programmer, when you know they could have done a better job just by thinking a week longer. Frustration, they could give me a job helping them, I am waiting for their call (or job ads).
eg
My home phone (if I paid for it) could handle caller ID with names from the personal directory not numbers. But the 20 long list of redial numbers is still only numbers. Now is that sloopy thinking or what? AND it wasn't cheap - but digital. It wasn't as if they didn't have competitors &/or established practice to compare with either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 08:57 AM

YES!!

Last summer my fan died. It had a metal base, plastic vanes, did not rotate, & had one speed - I inserted the cord in the power point, switched it on & off it went cooling the room. The fan was purchased by my parents sometime before I moved out in 1976 & has been most summers since. The new fully plastic fan has 4 push-in buttons & a rotating head. I don't need the rotation & only use 1 speed & within a few weeks the buttons fell down into the base. I knew it wouldn't last as long as the old one!!

As I couldn't unscrew the base - it uses Phillips screws AND some damn safety screws that need a specialised screwdriver only engineers & techs have, I superglued a satay stick to the appropriate plug & moved the plug so it contacted the magical bit that makes it operate, & fixed it. A $25 fan is not worth fixing & I refuse to throw away that much plastic.

So now it worked just like my old fan, I plug it in & turn it on & wonder if it will last this summer.

Last week the power failed & fortunately I only have 2 digital clocks to set - luckily I don't have a microwave, TV, video etc.

Liz - I too have had sewing machine problems - all I wanted was straight stitch, zigzag & maybe buttonholes - the simplest machine had 22 stitches & I have used maybe 4 of them.

Bring back simple, well made things that have just what the consumer wants & work for a long time.

Sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 09:27 AM

I have a simple, foolproof solar-powered clothes dryer for sale. Ecologically friendlym sheap to run and cheap to buy. Consists of a length of rope and a couple of clothes pins.

I'm planning on establihing a Luddite's website.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 09:29 AM

Its not just appliances. I tried to buy some AAA batteries last week and the range from a single manufacturer was amazing, including a price range where the most expensive was 4 times the cheapest. But there was next to no information about why you should choose one battery rather than another or any way of estimating whether the promised "more flashes from your camera" was enough extra to justify the extra cost.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: jimmyt
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 09:52 AM

I might concede to manual switches with big print. On_OFF   or LOW-MEDIUM-HIGH I have washcloths covering the LED displays in my bedroom, and I swear I get more sleep than when it glower blue green and red, not to mention the VCR just keeps saying 12 12 12 12...


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 09:57 AM

I use black plastic electric tape to cover up all the damn blinking red lights in the bedroom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: C-flat
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 10:03 AM

When I'm gigging I use a multi-effects pedal to give me quick access to some basic tones and to avoid any excessive knob twiddling during the performance. I have two tones for my accoustic and three for my electric guitar. To get a pedal that would allow me to access and change the parameters to get these 5 basic tones I had to buy a full on bells and whistles pedal with dozens of factory presets and hundreds of programmable options.
Last night my gadget went haywire and dumped all my settings, leaving me with only the factory pre-sets, so I unplugged it and carried on without it. Guess what...........I liked it better straight. I've played so long with these gadgets that I forgot how good a Telecaster sounds played "clean" through a Marshall amp. My accoustic had a good "honest" tone to it too.
Seems funny to play and not have to think about what you're feet are doing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 11:42 AM

Sandra in Sydney
You now have a dozen or more fans (all techie male) with screwdrivers at the ready. Chivalry is not dead! Too right mate! Spotyer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: jimmyt
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 12:13 PM

Sandra, NEVER TRUST A GUY WITH A PLASTIC POCKET PROTECTOR!This is not chivalry, He just waits to get at your tech stuff! Has no interest in the damsel in distress! Go back! It's a trap!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 04:51 PM

Yeah, basic tools (like appliances) shouldn't have a learning curve. I still prefer cameras (you know, the kind that uses FILM) to let ME make the decisions and turn the knobs -- If it needs a battery, I don't want it. I don't want to HAVE to over-ride stuff. And the less it does "automatically" the less likely it is to break. (And the easier and cheaper it is to fix.) And that doesn't just apply to cameras.

And now, every time the power fluctuates (as it does almost every day), everything needs to be reset. Arghh!

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 05:33 PM

I have a vegetable-powered dishwasher. It's name is Susan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 05:34 PM

I do have to say that there are a few things out there that actually work. (My sewing machine worked quite well for almost 30 yrs). I have an electric meat grinder that I would hate to guess how many pounds of meat has been through it. Bought it at least 16 yrs ago and it is still going strong. Have a DirtDevil carpet shampooer that I bought just last summer, but you wouldn't believe how many times it has been used. Only paid $100 for it, and it has definitely paid for itsself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 08:50 PM

'oh pity,oh pity,oh pity my plight and all those who suffer from shortness of sight'

i know the answer to the qs most above are asking- 'THEY' just want u to buy replacements.

BUT! why oh why do THEY [20/30 somethings designers] make car door handles, tv/video/sound/computer/mobile phones systems etc with miniscule controls EXACTLY the SAME COLOUR as their surroundings?

why do they have tiny BLACK controls camoflaged against a BLACK carcass?

i mean, JUST HOW r u supposed to find these controls without a bright light source & a big magnifying glass? [braille?]

its just no use to try to shop around, 'cos they're all the same!

i now have probs trying to get in & out of fiend's cars 'cos i can't find the door handle either o/s or i/s! [even when NOT under the influence of scottish wine or similar!]   

more examples?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Genie
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 12:01 AM

I'm witch you, jimmyt!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: JennieG
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 01:45 AM

I use a coffee plunger - no lights or electricity to worry about! The other night on local TV a bloke had some sort of handy little meter that he was plugging in to appliances on standby to show how much power they were drawing....it was quite frightening, 4 watts here, 6 watts there, here a watt, there a watt, everywhere a watt-watt, and we are paying for it in bigger power bills aren't we!

When My Trusty Old Singer sewing machine died a few years ago I bought My Lovely New Bernina...bells, whistles and fancy stitches....and I use them too. I like sewing.

Slight thread creep - any other Mudcat quilters?

Cheers

JennieG


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 09:31 AM

Thanks for the offer of help, Mr Red & or the warning, Jimmyt, but I do like fixing things myself (when I can). I still have a bookmark I bought in 1977 - pic of Mona Lisa wearing overalls with a spanner in her pocket - caption - "The best man for the job is often a woman". Things I can't fix I naturally call for help & I will keep you both in mind.

When my first dryer was only a young thing lint started escaping from the lint catcher & getting caught in the door, so I took off the door. After I had removed the thick felt-like mass of lint, I put everything back & it worked perfectly. But I never found where the 3 inch piece of wire, shaped like a capital "R" fitted & the dryer kept going for 17 years in total. Maybe if I had put back the "R" I would still have it?

Sandra - sometimes handy person & always luddite (I need a solar powered clothes dryer)


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 09:46 AM

LTS - is this Bloke that you're talking about MANITAS or an upgrade/relacement ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: jimmyt
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 01:34 PM

Sandra, I agree! the paradox about this thread is that as I am complaining about technology, I am doing it on a computer! We all love these modern convenience things as well as have them! Should be a new term for technical Luddite!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Kim C
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 02:49 PM

A few months ago I got tired of my watch batteries going down (all my watches went down at once) and thought, hey, I'll get a wind-up watch.

Yeah, right. That was a good one. Hahahaha.

For those of you who yearn for a few ole-timey gadgets, try the Vermont Country Store. I don't know the web address offhand but if you Google them, you'll find it. They sell manual typewriters AND those lever-action ice trays. (I hate those stupid plastic twisty ice trays. You can never get the ice out.)

They also sell a wind-up watch, but it isn't to my liking. My solution - I rarely wear one anymore. It's actually kind of nice, because if I have on a watch, I'm always looking to see what time it is. Sometimes, it'e better not to know. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 02:54 PM

Kim, get a wind up pocket watch!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: vindelis
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 03:28 PM

Ever heard of a Flatley? No not the dancer from Riverdance - the thing that my mother bought forty odd years ago - and I still use, to dry clothes. Who needs a tumble-drier?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Peter T.
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 03:53 PM

The problem is that no one makes anything on a grand scale for the aging, which, given the demographics, is completely bizarre. Someone who figured out a way to franchise "Seniors' Shops" in such a way that they weren't associated with the old and musty but the young and the trendy (I know that makes no sense, but that is the wierdness of the times we live in), would make a billion dollars.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: C-flat
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 04:01 PM

Hey vindelis, my Mother used to have a Flatley dryer. She used the sticks to wallop us with!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 04:49 PM

More thread creep in response to JennieG's thread creep:

JennieG - My wife Susan is a quilter. In fact, when her old Singer finally gave up the ghost, I bought her a new Bernina. Now, you have to understand that, for a guitarist with an extra thousand bucks in his pocket, buying a sewing machine for someone else instead of yet another guitar for himself is quite an accomplishment. Sort of like if Faust had told Satan to "Go to Hell!" instead of selling his soul to him.

And, just so this post won't be all thread creep, I will add that those Swedish folks do build some nice machinery that doesn't exhibit some of the bad things we've been talking about in this thread. If everything was built as well as Bernina sewing machines, Husqvarna chain saws and Volvo cars and trucks there'd be a lot less complaining about the inappropriateness of modern technology.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: GUEST,KateG
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 04:51 PM

Well, I just finished a project and put away my sewing machine....a 1917 (that's right 1917) Singer, cast iron with lovely decals on the body. 85 years old, sews forward, period, and runs like a top. They just don't make them like that any more.

I'm still trying to figure out my new microwave. Best breakthrough was when I read the directions and learned that if I pushed the HOT WATER button twice, it would get the water hot enough for my morning cuppa.

As for the VCR, we had to borrow a neighbor's kid to set it up for us, and when it died we threw it away. Haven't bothered to replace it.

On the other hand, when it comes to computers, I want ALL the bells and whistles. Go figure.

Kate G


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 05:01 PM

For quilts, see this page, and also, the Quilts page 2. Before Mudcat, I used to quilt........


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 05:16 PM

jimmyt - You would probably enjoy life among the ordinary people in Cuba. No joke. There are virtually no digital devices to be seen anywhere, just a little of the old fashioned stuff with on-off switches and dials mostly. And all the food is homecooked right before you eat it. No microwaves. No "fast food" chains, but lots of unique cafes. And no WalMart (hee, hee). And no advertising. No wonder they've been embargoed for the last 50 years. :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 10:58 PM

Well, how about that. Went to song circle tonight, and tried to heat up a mug of water in the microwave. It has about 30 buttons on it, and a digital menu. I was completely unable to get it to do anything but say "beep!" repeatedly (while showing different numbers on the digital display). No one else can figure out how it works either. I drank cold water.

Next week, I am bringing a shotgun to song circle. The microwave either obeys orders and heats my water or the little digital bastard dies!!! :-) Time to go back to campfires, matches, and Coleman stoves, I guess...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: jimmyt
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 11:18 PM

Or, Little Hawk, our new line of Cuban El Microvaveo! I am sure I would love itr!1 I have seen articles with all those neat 50's autos in Havana. I am only on this bandwagon when I have a TECH problem!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: JennieG
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 07:21 AM

Sorcha - I love your quilts - especially the lovely antique you were lucky enough to inherit. I had to buy my antique quilt!

Bruce, what a nice bloke you are, to buy your Susan a new Bernina, they are great. I still have the Singer treadle machine that my grandmother bought in 1925 to sew my mother's baby clothes, and of course it still works. My brother gave me another Singer treadle machine last year because his neighbour was going to throw it out, even though it was in excellent condition with original accessories, manual and even the key to the door locks...which also fits my Nanna's machine as they are the same model. My ambition is to make a quilt on the old machines. One day. If ever I can afford to retire from paid work......

Cheers

JennieG


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 08:18 AM

You'd all love to read the very non-technical D. Norman, The psychology of everyday things.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: 53
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 08:45 AM

I agree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 11:05 AM

With what?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: 53
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 11:34 AM

I have an electric pencil sharpener that is very easy to use.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 11:37 AM

That's because it is modeled on prior familiarity....


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:29 PM

Which is a familiar priority...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:37 PM

Sorcha, I actually have TWO wind-up pocketwatches. One is an antique I picked up at the flea market for the low low price of $35 - it's about 100 years old, and runs like a dream. Mister bought me a nice Russian hand-painted watch one year, too.

Trouble is... I don't always wear pockets... maybe I will have to make me one that I can attach to pocketless garments. ;-)

When I got married my mother tried to convince me I needed an electric can opener. I told her the Ecko hand-crank can opener (which cost about $2 back then) was just fine. To this day I have never owned an electric can opener.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:39 PM

Get a brooch and a fob; hang it from your dress.......I had an electric can opener once--lasted about 2 mos and I tossed it and never bought another one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Grab
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 02:32 PM

All this stuff comes with manuals. And I know there are a few translated-Japanese manuals going round, but they're exceptionally rare for anything costing more than £20 or so (if you buy a cheap £2 digital watch, don't moan that it's crap! ;-) So read the manual, and it'll work.

Setting the clock on the video, for example. The manual will say, "Press button 1, press button 2 for the number of hours, press button 1 again, press button 2 for the number of minutes, press button 1 again". You'd never guess that, but any fool could follow the instructions to do it - it's just a shame so few fools do. Even where it's less clear (eg. "button 1=time set, button 2=hours, button 3=minutes"), just play with it for a minute and anyone can work it out. And when you've got no manual at all (eg. borrowing a video camera) then just play with it a bit and see what all the buttons do - again, you'll work it out in time.

I've yet to buy *any* piece of equipment which I couldn't work out how to use completely from the manual. (Note that doesn't mean I've always had stuff working first time - but if you don't pay attention to the manual properly then you lose. ;-)

Havinng said that, I'm perfectly willing to say that there's some stuff that's built really clunkily with bad user interfaces. I hate that, bcos it implies that the designer hasn't put any thought into their work, and as an engineer that gets me annoyed. But it's never stopped me using stuff, it's just made it a little more difficult.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 02:35 PM

I am still concerned about the drop-down menus which stop working after you hit the first invisible "Off" button.

What can we do about this?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 02:53 PM

Not my video, Grab. I followed the manual closely and it started similar as yours. Easy to follow and I did it slowly and methodically. Until I came to that instruction that said 'Now set the ...dial (number 32 in Figure 4) to the wanted value (you have five seconds time for that, after five seconds the system returns to the original state)'. I was too slow to find Figure 4 in that time not to speak of number 32 dial, so I had to start from scratch and had to write the instructions down on a paper for otherwise I never would have been quick enough due to reading time alone.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 03:23 PM

Sorcha, I will try that. Not only would I have my wind-up timepiece handy, but I'd also be making a fashion statement. :-)

Speaking of manuals... is it just me or do the Microsoft "Help" files totally blow? One day I was working in Word, and I was trying to insert a picture with some text or something - I don't even remember now - and followed every single step outlined in the Help file, and it Still Didn't Work!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 03:25 PM

What bugs me is that every little thing on our stereo is small, black and discreet, it has a snug, flat front, the CD drawer slides away neatly, the cassette doors form a delicate smoked front, and it's all topped off by a volume knob the size of a tuna fish can sticking out of the front. The stupid thing is, it needn't be there that size. Why not a neat little sliding jobby or push button like the graphic equalizers or the tuning for the radio? No. It has to be the biggest and most awkward bit on the whole damn machine.

And it's a slightly different shade of black so you can't miss it!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 05:47 PM

Ah, yes, manuals...fine and good. But what do you do if the device in question was purchased by someone else at some prior time and the manual is nowhere to be found?!!! Often as not, this is the case. It is certainly the case with the microwave from hell, which is probably going to meet a well-deserved end next Monday. I have decided that death by shotgun isn't good enough for it, and am going to toss it in a live volcano instead, if one can be found around here. If not, there's always those handy cliffs down by the lakeshore. It should make a lovely splash.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 08:50 PM

Geez, LH, you'd be much happier with a working microwave -- why not just ask a 12-year-old??

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 09:19 PM

I don't have access to one at the moment. Maybe I should just phone up George Bush...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 08:43 AM

You're the tenth person I've told today. There's no demand for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Guessed
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 10:46 AM

Bat Goddess - that camera without a battery - er call me a pedant but --- does it have a flash?
Dangerous stuff that magnesium sulphate!   **BG**


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 04:19 PM

To paraphrase the joke about the funeral procession: Of course you can borrow my kid, just join the line.

A big part of the problem is that the cost of labor is approaching a large proportion of the cost of making inexpensive items. When you have to pay someone $15 to look at a $20 item, of course it's annoying. It's also a reflection of how inexpensive manufacturing has become.

I came across another wrinkle in the problem last week, lack of standardization. We had gone on a business trip to Jamestown, New York and videotaped a technical process on EP speed. When we popped the tape into a VCR, the picture was unusable. In an effort to get a usable copy of the tape, I hit 4 different video stores. Each showed a different degree of distortion on its test screen. Not one had a really professional unit that could be fudged to go slightly faster or slower. When I got home, just for the heck of it, I tried my home VCR and it worked perfectly, so I ended up lugging the whole into the office.

Go figure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Bert
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 04:44 PM

I had to hook up a new DVD player a VCR and TV last week. Each one of them needed a flashlight to read the plug ins at the back. And neither the DVD player or the VCR had enough finger room to screw the leads in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: jimmyt
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 10:50 PM

I have spent the better part of 2 days trying to get cordless headsets installed on my office telephones "for convenience" They still don't work right!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 11:01 PM

If it's any comfort, Jimmy, they probably never will! This is part of the fun of using modern phone accessories. Think about getting a cellular and a couple of pagers, as well, and installing a microphone on your computer, plus a little webcam, for live chats via the Net. The fun just goes on and on...

I wonder when they will market little collar-mounted pet intercoms, so you can talk to your dog from five miles away and tell him to "get off the couch!"? (You'd also need a remote surveillance camera, of course, to see if he obeys or not. Hmmm. Sounds like a whole new field for lucrative profits here to me. Isn't marketing wonderful?)

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Kim C
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 10:02 AM

I have said this before on other threads, but I'll say it again here, just for fun.

My daddy grew up in West Virginia (you hear that, Bobert!?) in the 1930s-40s. People were still farming with mules and horses, and grannies were still wearing those old dowdy sunbonnets. (hey, if it ain't broke...)

One time he said to me, y'know, we come up with all these modern time-saving conveniences, and what happens? We save so much time that we cram more things into a day, then we don't have time to do anything! Why, when I was a boy, your grandma did the laundry by hand once a week, and hung it out to dry, and we always had clean clothes to wear. [course I have to throw in, they probably didn't have many clothes to begin with!] Now, nobody has time to do the damn laundry.

And I thought that was just Daddy being funny. But I got to thinking about it, and by golly, he's right.

I have since heard others make the same comment.

And this reminds me of something else.... anyone got the Monsters,Inc. DVD and seen the little short film, Mike's New Car? Mike gets this swank new car with all these bells and whistles on it, and fiasco ensues. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 10:34 AM

Absolutely, Kim! Cuba was a spectacular example of what you're talking about. Just about everything is done the old-fashioned way there by most people, and you know what I noticed? There was more time for everything, life was much more relaxed and friendly, and it seemed like on any given day you had maybe 3 things to do at the most, instead of 50, and a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment in doing them. Plus more socializing, more fun, more conversation, more shared activities with friends.

You won't necessarily find this out, however, staying at a tourist hotel. You would have to live with some ordinary Cubans, which I did.

I highly recommend the non-modern lifestyle to anyone lucky enough to find an oasis in which it is still happening. The intention behind our "labour-saving" devices has not so much been to save labour as to increase production and profits.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: Kim C
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 01:19 PM

It's really my day job that makes me not have time to do anything. ;-)

Just this morning I saw a little plaque in a catalog that read, How wonderful it is to do nothing and rest afterward...


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 01:24 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't they make simple appliances?
From: YOR
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 01:08 PM

This has been a fun thread to read!

I see that Brita has come out with a water filtering pitcher that contains a digital meter to tell you when to replace the filter. Let me get this straight, a water pitcher that requires a battery, huh!

I bought two cheap princess style phones, one for the night stand and one for the kitchen wall. The least little bump or brush with your sleeve as you go by and the phone jumps off the hook onto the floor. I'm old school I thought products are supposed to improve over time.

My replacement/second microwave has 1/5 the features of the old one and it cooks food just great, and 1/3 the cost.

Darn, lunch break is too short, Roy


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 13 May 5:33 AM EDT

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