I remember the "PBA" or push button auto setup because as a kid I decided to see what happened if the buttons were pulled out. A mechanic had to come to the parking lot and repair the car before we could go home. (Not that I was looking forward to getting home and facing my punishment...)
But my modern day peeve is the location of the wiper control stalk on my loveable and rugged '98 Chevy Malibu. The ignition switch on these cars is mounted on the dash and the wiper control stalk is directly in front of it, about 2 inches from the key slot. The process for starting the car is insert key, turn to start, then turn the wipers off. It takes some articulate manuvering to turn the key without bumping the wiper switch on.
I have a 2003 Expedition, and I hate where they put the 4WD rotary switch. It is hidden behind the gear shift lever when you are driving. It has happened that you will bump the transmission out of Drive while trying to access the switch. It is just fine if you are in Park ,which is probably the only time the design got reviewed. It just doesn't work well for when you are actually driving and need 4WD immediately.
I remember my 1973 Ford having the ignition switch on the left. Our Chevy's were on the right in pickups until 73 when they went on the steering column.
Maybe I just never paid that much attention, but I do not recall owning any other car or truck where I could not just glance and find the gauges. The positioning of the 4-wheel drive control is not just poor design, it is dangerous.
People that order buses and office furniture should have to live on the bus and work with the office furniture. The they would not buy the crap that we have to commute in and work at. Thank goodness I have reduced my commute to 12 miles and 45 min @ 5am from 2 hours and 40 miles at 3am.
We have an infinitely adjustable computer work top next to a finitly adjustable table top. I adjusted the computer to the neatest table setting. The there are two pairs of legs to interfer with the five leged swivl chain. The chair has lots of adjustment except seat pan.
We use to seat on the desk to visit. Now if we do that the desk tips. We have wheeled file cabints to sit on. Wouldn't want to lean back into space.
I never considered the fact that a manufacturer might want you to get used to "your" car only, within their models. Makes perfect sense. I drive Dodge/Chryslers, and have to take a minute to figure out other brands. On another note, remember when the switch for bright headlights was on the floor?
My 56 Chrysler had the two-speed Power flight that preceeded the three speed Torgue Flight. There was virtually no slippage and all of the buttons were in a little cube on the side of the steering column. I never had the nerve to try that R thing at speed.
I had an instance where things were too familiar. My '84 K5 Blazer and my "77 K5 Blazer had very similar dashboard designs. One time I was exiting an interstate at a place I used to exit daily when going to work. I let my mind wander as I approached an intersection trying to remember how things were the last time I had traversed this way. As my mind traveled back, the truck was slowing and I reached my left foot over to depress the clutch and prepared to shift into 2nd gear.
Suddenly, the truck screeched to a halt, my wife flew forward in her seat and I realized I was not driving the '77 with a stick shift, but my "84 automatic. "What was that all about?" "Oh just daydreaming." But fortunately I had not moved the shift lever or I would have slammed it into park.
We've got Ford Focuses as company cars. Not much better. There are 10 buttons on the steering wheel, four marked with arrows and two marked "OK". None of them changes the volume on the radio. The button on the centre console which switches the radio between manual and preset mode is marked with a symbol similar to the logo of well known sports shoe manufacturer. There are 2 such buttons. Don't get me started on the climate control interface.
In many engineering workplaces, there’s a generational conflict between recent engineering graduates and older, more experienced engineers. However, a recent study published in the psychology journal Cognition suggests that both may have something to learn from another group: 4 year olds.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
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