The technologically challenged?

Subject: The technologically challenged?
From: "Damien Braniff" <Damien -dot- Braniff -at- asg -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 14:03:30 +0100

I agree with Geoff but I think there's another factor involved and I'm
not quite sure what to put it down to - I'd guess at least a bit of
'keeping up with the Jones'. What this leads to is people ending up with
gadgets (covering a multitude of sins!) that they don't need and/or
can't use. As Gene said (I thnk), check out e-bay - what you want is
probably there as somebody clears 'gadget space' to make room for more!

I get mocked by my eldest daughter because my mobile phone is just that
- a phone, used for calling people and (very!) occasionally sending a
text. It has no games, music etc. Now I like gadgets as much as the next
person but only if they're useful (OK, occasionally just fun!).

We also live in a world where the great money-god rules and companies
need to make more and more profit. To do that they need to sell us
things (or services) and you get to the stage where everyone who is
going to want Product X has it and so you get new features, and more and
more... Usually we're not being sold anything really new, maybe a
slightly better version of what we had plus new 'features' we won't use
- at least they'll all probably need documentation!

You can improve products but you reach a point where the new features
are a selling point and not a lot else. If you look a Word - a perfectly
good word processor that has grown and grown and each new release comes
with more bells and whistles. Yet who among us, who might conceivably
use it more than others, can say they use more than a fraction of what's

It's a perpetual dance to get a new angle that might be used to sell us
more - I've noticed a host of ads recently for razors, wet, dry,
battery, electric... How many ways is there to remove hair? I'd have
thought they'd have reached the height of perfection by now and some
friends have said you can't beat a shave with cut-throat :-)

Maybe, eventually, an equilibrium will be reached where we get what we
want, it doesn't need lots of docs and we can enjoy the 3-day week that
they once promised technology would bring! I won't hold my breath though

Damien Braniff
Sr. Technical Writer
damienb -at- asg -dot- com

Waterfront Plaza
8, Lagan Bank Road
Belfast, N. Ireland BT1 3LR
Tel: +44 (0) 28.9072.3124
Fax: +44 (0) 28.9072.3324



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