Zhaba Zhournal
Thursday, August 07, 2003 
Overengineered product of the day 
Now really: who needs a mouse pad with a built-in calculator, digital clock, FM radio, and headphones? If you've got a computer—which presumably you do, if you're using a mouse pad—you've got a calculator and a clock; if you have Web access, you have a radio; if you have an electronics store within walking or driving distance, you can get headphones. If you don't have Web access, you can get an FM radio pretty easily and inexpensively too. And, more to the point, what good is a single product that has that many disparate properties? One of them's going to break faster than the others, and probably they'll never all work correctly at the same time. The radio's going to lose reception, the calculator batteries will die, the LED display will fade out, your mouse hand will hit the keys, the mouse cord and the headphone cords will get tangled...

It's pretty much a floor wax that acts like a dessert topping. The cost of doing several things at once is usually not doing any of them particularly well.

Oh well; people like gadgets, or the idea of gadgets; the idea of saving time and energy is very appealing. But it usually just winds up being a headache that doesn't save much of anything.

[ at 9:24 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Yes, that's me.


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