Mauriat Miranda     mjmwired

Design Flaws

A coworker recently setup a Comcast Digital Video Recorder (DVR), which is basically a mini-computer recording TV onto a hard-drive much like a VCR. He listed an amazing and convenient feature set which almost impressed me. I asked him one simple question: Must it be left on 24/7? Answer: Yes. He admitted that he didn't like that part either.

This brings up my frustration with many similar new gagdets, appliances and most software. Either no one conceived that such a basic feature (turning it off) was a good idea or their design approach forced them to remove that option entirely. Either way I see it as a design flaw. I know many people might disagree with that assertion but I see it more apparent now than ever before.

I've sampled many free software applications on the internet that perform DVR-like capabilities (think similar to Windows Media Center) and most of them also expect you to keep your system on continuously (with 24/7 high speed internet connection). When I ask if there is some way to have such a feature, I get such resistence: "Why would you do that?" or "You don't want that!". Ack. The best would be: "Keeping it on isn't a big deal. Power costs aren't that much". Yeah, right!!! ... To a similar extent I see many free software projects with what I would call similar design flaws. Question: How do I reduce memory usage? Answer: Add a stick of memory. Memory is cheap. Question: How do I reduce disk consumption? Answer: Buy a bigger harddrive. Disk space is cheap. ... I cannot express how annoying such responses are. Did the answer the question? Could they?

The days of intelligent design are numbered while the end of bad assumptions is no where in sight. One of the many reasons why I'm more inclined to do things myself rather than rely on the flawed decisions of others.

Posted in: Technology, Stuff,


  • Jeff Schiller on May 18, 2005 ~ 08:08 AM

    I’m curious.


  • Mauriat Miranda on May 18, 2005 ~ 10:10 AM

    Feature set (ie. plural). Live TV pausing. Dual tuners. Whatch while you record. What what you record. Record ALL instances of a program on that channel or any channel. Record similar/related(?) types of programs. … I’m sure there were more things but that’s all I can recall.