Thursday, January 28, 2016

[megsytrl] Computers are not toasters

Manufacturers attempt to make computers and devices with embedded computers (e.g., routers) as devices which "just work", "like a toaster", but  that is a design aesthetic which is not appropriate in many situations:

Any time the user is forced to sit and wait, waiting for the computer to finish computing.  Detailed progress output is not distracting to the user in this case; the user has nothing better to do.

Any device which can malfunction, especially malfunctions in software which can be corrected by updating software.  Easily accessible additional output can help report, diagnose, and fix the bug.  Only an idiot assumes their software is bug-free.

Somehow the design aesthetic of being able to see a computer acting like a computer, not disguising it to act like a toaster, but instead being able to see the computer performing a task as a series of steps, as being un-neat and un-sightly has pervaded the industry (famously Apple and everyone who copies them) making the world a worse place.

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