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Is Domestic based technology such a good thing?

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,115
Thanks: 6
Registered: 28-08-2007

Is Domestic based technology such a good thing?

May be a silly question to put on a board where people obviously love technology but at what point does your average person just give up on the technology available and look back fondly at the days when it didn't exist?
I'm having one of them moments where I look round all of my gear in the house and I can hand on heart say none of it is working the way I want it to. As technology goes I have fairly modern stuff and plenty of it, I know what I want it to do and it's designed to do it but getting all this stuff to work together is an absolute nightmare.
I appreciate some people enjoy getting things to work together even when they shouldn't and the satisfaction that gives but me, I'm a plug and play man, I don't enjoy surfing the internet unless I know what I'm looking for. I stopped surfing just to see what was happening in the world years ago, it's just not a nice experience getting dragged round in circles and achieving no definitive answers. I have even searched for that long at times and found that the closest answer to my problem was my own question  Cheesy
So that got me thinking, I've just turned 40 so back in my day there was a TV, possible console and a video player, all of them came in three states either 1.Working 2.Working not very well or 3.****ed, either way it wasn't my problem other than shelling out for a new one.
Now in this day and age I'm expected to look for things like firmware updates, drivers etc etc etc search boards for answers, email manufacturers often to no avail. When did making all this stuff work come out of the realm of the maker and in the hands of the purchaser?
I just think my life would be so much easier if I maybe went for a walk perhaps, went to the pub, got a hobby you know them sort of things we used to do before spending all day trying to get your Sky remote to work with your tv, something that makes you feel a sense of existence and purpose again.
If I was a mathematician I could probably sit down and work out how many codes there is for my TV, factor into that the number sky remotes and multiply that by the amount of people putting the wrong advice into a web site then the amount of wrong answers that will turn up in the first few pages of a web search and come up with odds worse than winning the lottery  Grin Being a simple man the answer is Sky should make the effort to make my tv work with my remote as soon as I put batteries in, for god sake they have satellites flying in low earth orbit is making this remote such a major feat?
BTW not looking for an answer to the sky remote in an elaborate way  Grin I just genuinely want to know if people think that having all this tech brimming around us has improved our lives or not?

7 REPLIES
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: Is Domestic based technology such a good thing?

variety is the spice of life
technology cant beat loads of things
friendships, outdoor sports and things
but Technology is interesting , it makes life easy , like driving about in a car
it also makes  commodities cheaper
how we gain now from mass production in factories using machines
it  helps to  make cooking ,  washing clothes easy etc
i'm after a high tech pressure cooker ,
these new digital cameras save the cost of using older photo film etc
and take the internet  right now it beats the rubbishy programs on  the old BBC and ITV
its just a bonus in life, making a lot of  things quicker and easier
the best things in life are free
enjoyments like going out for evening meal ,  a walk,  any outdoor sports  or anything  else, 
must always be around
I'm not addicted to  technology and cant figure out  tv remote control button placements or processes
but its great having technology about. when it  does makes my life easy or gives me more fun
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Is Domestic based technology such a good thing?

Technology is one of those things where you have to make it work for you instead of it making you work for it.  If you look at the ubiquitous iPhone, spec wise the hardware was on release very below par, in fact it was the technological equivalent of a brick, however, the UI is designed for ease of use, it's designed so a 13 year old doesn't have to show their parents how to download and install an app, so whilst the phone itself was very behind the times, the ease of operation gave it an advantage.
If you look at Google and it's dominance, it's not because it's a superior search engine, it's that when it came out all other search engines were rubbish filling your screen with ads, banners, distractions, Google came along with a search box, a button and a logo, that's it.  Over time Google became dominant and it's search improved, it's sort of a defacto standard now and is an example of interface being the most important asset.
If you have a mobile phone which you can SSH into to run a virtual console and input commands to your phone from your PC over USB using your mobile phone as a sort of computer, that's over-kill for 99% of the population, no matter how good it does geeky stuff, if the UI isn't easy to use it works against you, not with.
Me, I'm a geek, and maybe a nerd, I'll use Windows cmd prompt to get stuff done still because it's easier, I enjoy making technology work for me even if it's hard, which explains why I can SSH into my mobile.......
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Is Domestic based technology such a good thing?

Interesting point. We have a level of domestic technology, computers running xp/linux, a few old style televisions with freeview boxes, mobile phones.
My stereo was purchased in 1988 and works perfectly and I have no intention of changing it.
However I think I have reached a point where enough is enough. I am not interested in iPhones , plasma TVs, cable, Windows 7.
I cannot understand why someone would have a 4 foot wide television on their living room wall.
I am not too interested in TV but I do like computers however I am happy with the way I have them.
The other thing is of course the commercialism associated with technology constantly being updated, upgraded and the cost involved.
Manufacturers are counting on the culture of update at all cost, the iPhone is a good example of this. I know people who have taken out another contract to run concurrently with their existing one just to get the new model iPhone. I don't get it!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,115
Thanks: 6
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Is Domestic based technology such a good thing?

I'm not sure what my point is here really but there is one  Grin I guess I'm saying that with al this tech becomes responsibility for the owner to keep it maintained which I don't think is fair. There should be some standard of interoperability. I know a fair bit about the workings off stuff due to when I first got a computer it did interest me but now I want things just to work rather than me getting it to work.
Because tech moves that fast there is pressure on developers to get their new products out in the shops before someone beats them to it, this has bred IMO a culture of putting unfinished goods on the market and leaving the onus on the purchaser to get it to work.
Using a car as an example would you buy a car that didn't run properly then spend hours messing with it to make it work? I think of all the people out there that want to take advantage of some tech available but understand nothing about how it achieves it. At some point these people are going to get left behind.
I am at the point now where I just want the stuff I have to do what I want it to do and understand it. The best bit is when you get warned that altering something is at your own risk  Grin Crazy it wouldn't happen with any other products on the market. I can't see things improving either, because of the vast amounts of differing formats, operating systems, platforms or whatever. Global standardisation of certain home entertainment products is what is needed, they should all conform to a certain standard and not be allowed on the market until it has been thoroughly tested and pressure on the manufacturer to be responsible for making it work.
When it's working tech certainly does improve lives but when it's not it's the most frustrating thing ever unless your that way inclined. Things need to slow down a bit and stop bringing out the next Gizmo until they ones they have are working properly. After spending yesterday afternoon trying to get a sky remote working with no joy here I am again looking for answers to network problems I have. Yet another day wasted when I could have done something more interesting. I have no doubt that by the end of it I will be no further forward because at some point one bit of the tech will end up blaming the other sending me on the wild goose chase that is the internet taking advice from people who might even have less of a clue than me! And all this so I don't get a phone call at work saying this laptop won't connect so my missus can check her email to make sure her nans meals on wheels are ordered.
There lies the double edged sword I guess, the fact the my missus can do that on a Sunday from the comfort of her own home against the fact that to be able to do that I need to know what NAT, static I.P's, routing, portforwarding blah, blah, blah. Would it not been easier if we just ticked some boxes and posted it through some door  Grin It would for me anyway because I don't give a monkeys cuss about what my routers doing.
In fact the only thing I do know is it isn't doing what I bought it for.
So anyway just my pennies worth, there is a fine line between tech improving our lives and being a nuisance. As the tech gets better it seems to become more of a nuisance and less accessible to your average every day punter like me and I wonder at what point that line will cross and I myself will turn into that bloke at work who doesn't know what the internet is, but he looks happy to me  Grin
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: Is Domestic based technology such a good thing?

there is  a moral here
everything in moderation
just have in  the basics
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A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.
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Re: Is Domestic based technology such a good thing?

I'm with AWB on this one.  For instance, just the thought of getting a new television set fills me with horror mainly due to the prospect of getting all the wires in the right place and the thing tuned in.  Shocked
Even computers are a nightmare these days with all the vulnerabilities and updates.  I spent about 2 or 3 hours on and off the other evening just sorting out a flawed MS update.  And yes, I agree about the Internet and by and large only use it if there is something that I want to know.
The only two items in my home that I could/would not do without are my laundry machines - washer/tumbler dryer and dishwasher. 
I don't have any kitchen gadgets though (except for can opener and toaster).
Television is not so important - don't have Sky but I do have built in Freeview but don't watch it all that much.
I do get away from it every day when I walk the dogs and that is very good indeed.  Also, I go to the library regularly as I like to read.
As I get older I do feel that it is all a bit much.
As has been said, moderation is all - pick and choose then you will possess it and not vice versa.
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: Is Domestic based technology such a good thing?

unscramble this word to find a technology

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