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Camcorder Needs a Good Smack

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naperlou
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Feel good factor
naperlou   8/9/2012 9:04:13 AM
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Nancy, I think you hit the nail on the head!  When you write that smacking it made you feel good, I thought, yes, that is why we do it.  Sometimes we just want to get back at "it".  Of course, most of the time I find myself rationalizing the smacking as something that makes sense in a technical way. 

Nancy Golden
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Re: Feel good factor
Nancy Golden   8/9/2012 10:32:54 AM
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I agree, naperlou. I remember telling one of my fellow engineers that I was about to get out my "troubleshooting hammer." While that particular tool didn't actually exist - it felt good to think about using it when a problem was particularly troublesome and it made it sound "technical!"

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Feel good factor
Rob Spiegel   8/9/2012 11:57:45 AM
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Naperlou, I can't tell you how many times smacking something did make a technical difference. I has a TV who picture would go out of whack color-wise until you smacked the TV on its right side. Then it would straighten out until the next time it was turned on. Everyone in the family learned how, where, and how hard to smack it. That went on for a couple years.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Feel good factor
Ann R. Thryft   8/9/2012 12:11:18 PM
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Thanks, Nancy, this story gave me a good laugh. I can't count the times smacking an appliance has made it work better. I remember this approach as the first step in tech support back in the day when you hesitated to call the TV repair guy because it cost so much.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Feel good factor
Rob Spiegel   8/9/2012 12:30:27 PM
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I remember those days, too, Ann. That's when the TV and the stereo were considered pieces of furnature. Then came the age when you carried your TV or stereo to the repair shop. Now we're in the age when we throw them away when they quit working.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Its not the Engineering as much as it IS the Market
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   8/9/2012 1:15:52 PM
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The problem is not so much with the camcorder as it is with the market & industry mentality to continually cost-reduce.  You can bet the first working model units, engineering had working flawlessly; but market pressure to drive down cost results in an age-old, known adage ,,,,"You get what you pay for."

Its not hard to understand, but its really sad. The point of sale is the happiest moment a customer will ever see in the life of cost-reduced electronic device.  How many really awesome product technologies can you remember in the last 15 years that have become nearly obsolete, not for the lack of capability of the technology, but for the mismanagement of the technology; either by bad management decisions, or indirectly, by a market of cost-driven consumers. Here are a few off the top of my head: PDAs,  Flip-Phones, Folding Keyboards, Projection Displays ,,,, Can you add to the list-?

Nancy Golden
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Re: Feel good factor
Nancy Golden   8/9/2012 6:13:09 PM
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And it still is today, Ann - I had lunch with a friend today and when he got in his car to leave and turned it on, the AC blower was not working. He nonchalantly got out of the car, popped the hood - and gave it a good wack. When he got back in, it was working!

Nancy Golden
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Re: Feel good factor
Nancy Golden   8/9/2012 6:14:24 PM
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Rob, I think I must have bought your T.V. in a garage sale...we had one just like it.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Its not the Engineering as much as it IS the Market
Nancy Golden   8/9/2012 6:18:00 PM
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JimT, I agree completely in that frequently we have sacrificed quality for cost reduction. I used to buy a printer with the expectation that it would last five years or more because they actually used to. When I purchased one that crashed after two years and commented to the salesperson how surprised I was, they responded that 2-3 years was the normal life expectancy. We now live in a throw-away society and that is a shame.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Feel good factor
Rob Spiegel   8/9/2012 7:09:23 PM
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Yes, Nancy, you probabloy did. I was surprised by how consistently effective the smack was. It was also interesting to see how well the kids adapted to the reality of the smack -- and how to do it just right. I guess it's a matter of motivation.

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