Technical features, you can really do without?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Trenchfriend, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Old Mariner

    Old Mariner One of the Regulars

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    For me, it's "mobile versions" of sites that drive me bonkers, although not all are really atrocious. Despite my smaller sized cell phone, I prefer to use "web"/"desktop" versions of sites. EBay is the most notorious criminal in this regard. I can do better searching in a seller's store on desktop than mobile. I have a hard time trying to keep it in desktop after switching from mobile, because it keeps bumping me back to the mobile version. It's incredibly irritating. And speaking of apps - I wanted to delete old "wish lists" in my etsy account, but to do that, I had to download the @#$^ app, I couldn't just use the site on my phone to do it. So there I had downloaded the app, deleted the lists, and then deleted the app (because I liked the site version better). Just...ugh. -_-
     
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  2. Old Mariner

    Old Mariner One of the Regulars

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    Almost forgot about this one (another anti-app rant):

    Most likely due to the @#$% address changes that took place, 2? years ago, in this area, I had a package delivered here that was someone else's. I wanted to try to get this to them, but things got kind of messy. Managed to speak with a mail carrier about the address. Here, it was listed as the town I am in, but the street address was for a nearby town. So, I had to get ahold of Amazon (since every delivery truck could be found that day except Amazon's naturally). I went to the site to contact them - I couldn't call because of the pandemic situation. Ok - I will chat then. But...in order to chat I had to download the app. Really? I have to download the @#$% app, just to @#$% chat with someone. Fine...I will download the @#$% app to @#$% chat...@#$%. I managed to get in touch with a rep and got that sorted out. By the way, I learned that they couldn't track the package (wt...?) So, I was told I could keep it, donate, or discard it. I was not going to do that. I wanted to get this package to the recipient. Someone I know managed to find her on Facecrook. (I am not on Facecrook). We managed to meet so I could give her the package.

    But, I really shouldn't have to download apps just to do what is linked on the website that which I want to do.

    I don't mind apps in certain circumstances - Pinterest being a good example for an app idea, but when websites start morphing into apps, that irritates me to no end. So much for the KISS method.

    At least now I won't have to deal with the stupid Amazon app download notice that showed up every time I visited the site.

    >_>;;;;;
     
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  3. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Synthesised voices. On my phone: "Voice over on," no it's not shut up. (Actually I tend to use a profanity towards it.) On the Sat-Nav: "When it's safe to do so, make a 'U' turn," what, in a one way street? In the supermarket: "Surprising item in the bagging area," you mean that the reader didn't record the barcode, stupid till. Have you ever noticed how patronising those voices sound? And no matter how hard I try not to, I nearly always wind up arguing with whichever synthetic voice is giving me grief.
     
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  4. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    I try not to do any of that stuff on my phone. I find it irritating for anything other than taking a picture or video, texting, or actually making a call. Apps are a pain, and the regular computer screen version of place such as this are too $%^&ing small, even when magnified with that little two-finger swishy move, and subsequent swiping back and forth to red across a page, to be of any use to me. I can wait until I can sit down at a computer.
     
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  5. Old Mariner

    Old Mariner One of the Regulars

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    Understandable. I have no choice as my only net connection is via the phone. /:-/
     
  6. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    I'm not quite sure I understand this. Do you mean on cars? I've had both power, and hand-crank windows freeze up on me, and either one is a PITA to free-up.

    Unless it's as hot as the sun outside, I drive with the windows down, and when I've had 4-door sedans with hand crank windows, I can't tell you what a pain it was, every time I had to park and run into a place, to roll of the windows up and down by hand. My VW is not as bad because it's only 2 windows, and the car is so narrow I can easily reach the passenger side, and it's a quick ratio - not many turns to do the job. But in my old Saturn SL sedan, where I could barely reach from inside? Or the 1967 Chevy Bel Air? There was no way to reach the rear window cranks from the drivers seat, so I had to pack up a week's worth of rations for the time it took to hike around the car to roll the windows up or down, and especially down - take the keys, unlock the front passenger door, open it, roll down the window, reach in and unlock the rear passenger door, open it, roll down the window, and then close it. Then come around to the drivers side and rinse and repeat. hahaha
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
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  7. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    The MG has got mechanically winding windows, but I tell you, it was a tortured soul that fitted them. The car shares a lot of it's DNA with a Morris, why it doesn't share the window handles I'll never know. Not only do you need the arms of a gorilla to reach down and open the window, you also need to leave the winding mechanism in just one particular position, otherwise the wretched thing spends the entire journey jabbing you in the leg. An hour of that and you might find electric windows slightly more bearable.
    The first picture shows where the winding handle is, alongside my leg. The second shows you that the door handle can be placed in an accessible point, so why cant the window handle be thus so? it is in The Morris.
    shirts & winding handle 004.JPG shirts & winding handle 005.JPG
     
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  8. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

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    I remember being in a car with the power windows on the fritz. You had to pull one of them up while hitting the button when it hit a certain catch point. Eventually, it died completely . "Well," said I, "At least we don't have to go through the agony of manually rolling them up and down with a handle. Wouldn't that be just awful?"

    Another thing I thought of: Swiffer cleaning products. My mother was fond of these, and accrued a few, which puzzled me as she wasn't the sort who usually went in for As-Seen-On-T.V. gimcrackery. I suppose they may have been easier to use for someone enervated and logey from chemotherapy.

    Microsoft Word, at least since about 1998. This is partly due to my modest graphic design background, when I absorbed the notion that text formatting should be done in a page layout program. On the occasions when I write something of length, I prefer to use WordPad and save it as an R.T.F. file. Pretty much all of the bells and whistles on Word are just so much ballast, as far as I'm concerned. The only exception I can think of is if I have to use a diacritic or symbol for some reason and need to access the full font set.
     
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  9. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Totally hear you. Almost every single mobile version of a website I've ever used is less functional, even on a mobile, than the real site, and often less navigable on the phone, despite the point of a mobile version. As for the apps, they're even worse. All the invasiveness, minimal functionality. Many years ago I had the fscebook app on a phone for a bit because at the time it was the only way to upload photos from the phone without first transfering them to a laptop. What made me delete it was how invasive it was - it actually forced all my facebook contacts into my phone, including entering phone numbers for people I have never met in person, have no reason to call, and I'll bet didn't realise FB would do that with their phone number, or I shoul think they'd neer have been conned into entering it.

    I once reduced people in the next line to hysterics by arguing with the auto til. How I stopped short of bashnig the damn thing I'll never know... I hate their smug, patronising voices. Sainsbury's ones at least can be muted, which is a big plus.

    I'm fine with Word, my pet hate is how they've realsied they can gogue the use for more by never selling you a copy of the softwar,e but instead obliging you to subscribe to a cloud-based version, so you have to be always online. In work I require them to put Office 2016 onto my machine directly; at home I've just dropped Office in favour of Open Office. It's not quite as good, but it is interoperable with office and it does everything I need it for. If I wanted to be price-gouged at every turn I'd buy into the Apple lifestyle....
     
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  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    There are advantages to using a twenty-year-old computer, not the least of which is avoiding "feature bloat." If I didn't need it in 2001, I don't need it now.

    I do most of my professional writing in a twenty-five-year-old program called "Tex-Edit Plus," which is a slightly beefed up plain text program for Mac. No "features" beyond the absolute bare minimum. When I'm done with a piece, I paste it into Word 2004 -- which has more features than I need, but people want Word Documents, so I'll give them one -- and I'm done. I don't even know what the point is for most of the crap they load into Word these days, because I've never had need nor occasion to use any of it.
     
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  11. Agreed. WordPerfect has always, always, always been a far better program, at least for word processing. The one advantage Word has over WordPerfect is the deeper pockets of the company that produces it--they put it everywhere and convinced everyone they had to use it, so it has become more compatible. Aside from that it's one of the least user-friendly programs I've ever used.
     
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  12. Old Mariner

    Old Mariner One of the Regulars

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    Wow (re - Facecrook). I pretty much ended my relationship with that site in 2016. I had only returned very briefly due to a spiritual group that I was seeking some sort of information from. When I finally got it, that was the end. Even if I tried to rejoin to possibly connect with others, my new account was 'killed' by their program of some sort that required a photo and I never got passed it or 'approved'. I was not the only one who wound up with this problem, and in the end, I gave up completely - which in itself was a blessing in disguise.

    I had to laugh about the voices at the tills in the responses. I have done the same myself. :D

    Like Nobert, I prefer WordPad as well and have used it frequently. I also keep a 'notepad' type app on my phone which gets used heavily - and keep Notepad on hand on my (new*) laptop.

    *New because it just arrived today. Last time I had one was in 2017. Glad the newer ones are far lighter. Using it online now to download and update, and then will do so every so often, as I don't have I-net in my apt. (just phone). I mainly got it for image work (labels, pictures, and such - not net use).
     
  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Laptops have come a long way since I used my dad's Digital with Windows 95, 8MB RAM and 500MB HDD - in 1997, that cost GBP2,500!! In 1999, my employer paid GBP1,000 for an Acer laptop for me. That Acer had 32MB RAM and 2GB HDD - and that was seriously swish at the time. Now you can buy a ridiculously better equipped machine for a fraction of that price. How technology moves on....

    One thing my Acer had which no other laptop I've ever had was the ability to play a music CD in the CD-ROM drive without switching on the rest of the laptop, just the player. At the time I was renting a bedsit in London, not long moved there, and it was great as I didn't have any other CD player in my digs at the time.

    A trechnology I could sure live without is anything voice-activated. I can't stand the very notion of having to talk to something - I'd much rather use the keyboard or mouse.
     
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  14. Old Mariner

    Old Mariner One of the Regulars

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    Someone I know has, or had, not sure if they still have it on hand, an old laptop - from the 90's, if I recall. Thing weighed a proverbial ton. This laptop I have is so lightweight that I am terrified I will drop it just by having it slip out of my hand. It's around 2lbs compared to my old one which was 7.

    I hate voice activated stuff as well. I don't really use it, and the "speech to text" on the phone messenger is terrible. No punctuation and it can totally misinterpret words.

    I am also a killer of auto corrupt (auto correct). It's one of the first things I disable when I get a new phone.
     
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  15. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Are we separated at birth? First thing I switch off one a new phone too. The only thing worse is *predictive text* - ugh.
     
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  16. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    There is a scene in Star Trek: The Voyage Home (1986), where the crew goes back in time to our present, on a mission to save the species of humpback whale. They find a design firm so they can 'invent,' or rather build something with their future technology called 'transparent aluminum,' which will be strong enough to house two humpbacks, and the water for them, when they are brought back to the future (the trade-off for the guy who owns/runs the firm is that the gets the formula for transparent aluminum, which will supposedly make him a fortune when he 'invents' it).

    At any rate, Scotty sits down at a 1986 computer, looks at it, and says, 'Computer.' When it doesn't respond, he says it again as more a questioning demand. He is then told he has to, and fingers are wiggled, as in you have to type. So he sort of rolls his eyes and begins to speedily bang away at the keyboard (which I found amusing since they don't ever do that in the Star Trek future).

    The scene was funny then because we thought, of course, no one talks to computers like they do in the Star Trek future. But it's funny now also because we do talk to computers (Alexa, for example) and look how far we've come (in some ways, not far).

    I'm just waiting for someone named Cochrane to invent matter/anti-matter drive.
     
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  17. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    And on my current new phone, I can't even switch that off. Argh.
     
  18. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

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    I haven't had a microwave in YEARS. They actually freak me out a little. My BF doesn't have one, either. Heat it up in the oven -- comes out better!

    I haven't had a TV in years, either. BF has one, but we pick and choose what we want to watch via YouTube mostly. He has Netflix, but I have no interest in anything on it. I got my own media selection lol.
     
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  19. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend

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    I'm using my 10 years old microwave 99,9% to defrost my frozen greybread. The perfect function of a microwave!! :)
     
  20. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I know the exact scene - it alaysmakes me laugh to think about it because it always comesto mind any time I say I hatevocie-operated tech. I mean, I guess if it worked as well as it did on ST for basic commands and such, but when I've been sat in long meeting at work, or had a heavy day's teaching, I just want tog sit in silence for quite some time, even if I am actively typing during that.

    Interesting, though where voice control has and has not taken off. A few years ago before everything went to Direct Debit I paid my electricity bill by phone. I spoke to a machine with everything for a good five minutes thaty it all took, and its capability to hold a random conversation and unddrstood everything I said was almost frightening (five years before that, I had been amusing myself with a standard BT voicemail system that could only do "yes" and "no", but even at that I had discovered it was the tone and duration, not the words, as I rpovem by saying "bum!" to everything - staccatto, short, sharp it read it as no, slower and more lilted it read as 'yes' - same word, both cases). It's not many machines can fully follow my Liam Neeson accent. But if the electricity bill paymewnt system can. why did that never make it to the typing programmes? Most of the time it's faster to type, but sometimes I do think it would be nice to be able to just 'dictate'part of it, then format on the screen. Perhaps the lakc ofmovement in that area is many of us don't like it - perhaps the problem lies more in the shift to open plan offices....
     

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