Can you fix this?

There is a story on MSNBC about how we are The Tech-Support Generation. This is nothing new to me. For the past eight years or so I have been doing computer support or one type or another. My sister used to call me from the other coast to ask about computer issues.

The story talks about the design of computers and consumer electronics. The problem is caused both by the designers and by the consumers. Think about what happened with the development of television. A few years after the US settled on the NTSC standard there were already better standards. Still we stuck with that standard for 50 years. With digital TV there is 2 standards, 1080i and 740p. To get their TVs to work correctly consumers have to know about these two standards. TV shows will also be broadcast in 480i and 480p. Consumers have to navigate all of these broadcast standards to get their equipment to work.

Consumers to do help out the designers. Users keep on demanding features. Some customers might have a TV that does very good processing. A DVD player manufacture needs to make a DVD player that can either process some signal or let the TV process the signal. This lets them sell to the part of the market that will most likely buy their product. The problem is that most of the people that use that DVD player have no idea what that setting is for. Sometimes that setting can disable the player if set wrong.

We have the ability to create incredibly powerful consumer devices. We have the ability to give users amazing flexibility in use. The problem is that flexibility cause products to be more complex. To sell enough products the manufactures have to be all things to all users. In the end users at the bottom of the curve will always be left in the dust because of this.

I picked this up from Faisal


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