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Reviewing the Reviews

After a longish period, with not much happening at all, the last week has been a particularly good time for reviews of my 'nostalgedy&#...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"

The above quote is from the great Arthur C. Clarke in 1961. All I've got to say is, if this is so, why do I feel like Tommy Cooper?
For example, the other dayI was trying to get my mobile phone to connect wirelessly with my new car's hands-free system. I followed all of the steps set out in the handbook for both the car and the phone. Would it connect? Would it bunny rabbits. I was reduced to holding the phone next to the radio, pressing buttons hopelessly and screaming "Connect you bloody thing" at it repeatedly. I could feel a nervous breakdown coming on. And then, for no apparent reason at all, it connected. Despite having followed the instructions to the letter time and time again, it finally decided to connect when it felt like it.
I think part of the problem (and I accept that a major part is me)is that Instruction Books are not written by the people who end up using them. Instead they are written by the people who designed the system in the first place, who know the thing back to front (probably the best way)and think you should too. It's a bit like when someone draws a map of directions for you. You can guarantee that they will miss out a vital roundabout or crossing which they didn't think was important but which had you hurtling toward John O' Groats instead of Henley in Arden.