Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Bad Tech Revolution

I may be getting myself into deep water, but I want you all to start a riot. (I can hear Mr Plod's hobnails at the end of our road as I write). No, please don't trash your hardworking local retailer's shop, or even take it out on big business retailers. They're the good guys in this tale.

I actually want you to trash the device on which you're reading this, and the other devices connected to the same network, or at the very least complain to the producers of the abject technology that we seem compelled to use.

Why? Because they suck. After all this time, and tens of trillions of dollars, finding a device that will print when you hit a button, that will format your document consistently, that will sync your data properly, that will, well, WORK is next to impossible.

Let me line up my mug's list of companies that make me want to revolt:

Apple - yeah, you scientoloapplegists, their products are good, but iTunes sucks. It wiped my iPhone the other day and I couldn't recover my settings, messages and photos. Crap software, I'll never buy an Apple product again. But then again I said that in 89 and kept my word until the iPad... And what is it with no cursor control ? That costs me years of my life prodding, prodding, prodding. GIVE US CURSOR KEYS!

HP - what was in the business plan? 'Let's become Lexmark'? Nothing works, printers hang because of 'energy saving', wireless is a battle, cartridges run out after two pages of printing and you install 300GB of crap software on my desktop that is so unfriendly that it took a geek like me several hours to figure out how to scan something. I'm not surprised that you're getting out of the hardware business. You're crap at it.

Goggle - Android. Enough said. Makes Windows 3.1 look like the mature OS it was. Cough. Banger racing has fewer crashes.

Virgin/Motorola - my Virgin STB wheezes and catches a cold whenever I ask it to do something. For a £1500 a year service selling a STB based on a five year old mobile chip is inexcusable. Then asking an additional $300 for a proper STB (TiVo) is an insult.

Netgear - don't even get me started. A router without Win7 support after the OS has been available for over two years.. This productnactually came out of the store and went literally into the bin.

Humax - their Freesat box is possibly the worst piece of hardware I have ever encountered. It's the only physical thing that has made my wife threaten to leave me unless I get rid of it... So the box goes.

BT Vision - see posts passim

Sky Go - five years on and Sky still deliver a totally shit online experience. At least I can use my login on two devices now! Well, actually, it isn't devices, is it? It's IPs. How can a technical champion get it so wrong for so long ? I'm not surprised that piracy is so popular..... They are digging their own redundancy cheques..

Microsoft - Word 3 was just about perfect, now formatting a document takes weeks of deconstruction of some awful background XML. Word has become unusable.

Panasonic - my TV clearly has a HDMI cable connecting it to the sat receiver, but still choses to start on Aux3 when you switch it on. Duh?

Vodafone - I've saved the worst for last. Vodafone charges you money to be on a network that barely works. Talk reception is poor at best, but data reception is unavailable in most of Britain, including areas such as most of central London. This company seems to be selling snake oil - the execs who run Vodafone are the biggest muggers in this country and deserve many years behind bars, in my opinion.

All of you listed above, please be warned, there have been horrible dark moments when all I wanted to do was trash your offices and hang the dreadful people who have been responsible for torturing me so badly with bad products and services.

And that's before I get started on the manuals and online support...

Isn't it time for a Tech Spring ?