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.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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-?
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!
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.
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.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.