I was actually told by one of these "marketing" people that the American consumer will like what we tell them to like. Therefore, they had the right to tell us what to make because the consumer would like it. Funny how often the consumer doesn't necessarily like what they are told to like.
On another note, the "beeping" sound of common appliances need to be toned down. I once took apart a microwave and removed the speaker for that reason. A volume control is a must. Also, remove the last beep of the warning cycle is key.
Just Like Father Guido Sarducci said about the birthday song, it's too long. Remove the second "happy birthday to you," and it's tolerable.
Tool_maker's story made me sit up straight. The possibility of the "bug" in a system being an actual bug is an old joke in electronics. It's a joke because the actual occurrence is more than a pun, and has actually happened, according to my tech support friends back in the day.
When I first got an oven with one of those touchpads, I was happy--thought it was cool. Now, 10 years later, it's failing--you have to push harder and harder to activate the contacts underneath. Sometimes the timer just doesn't work, since that's the function I use at least once a day.
@Elizabeth: You find it hard to believe that a bug could be the source of the problem. I saw an ant colony bring an M-1 tank to a standstill. It had nothing to do with engineering and I hope the editors see fit to let this story fly.
We were on an operation in the jungles of Vietnam and my Armored Personel Carrier was following behind a tank as it busted brush. It approached a tree with a large cluster of red/orange leaves, that appeared to be dead. When the tank hit the tree, the red/orange fell out of the tree and covered a good portion of the tank. It wasn't leaves at all, but a colony of army ants. The ants quickly began biting any warm body they contacted, which was about 6-8 soldiers in and on the tank. Now if you were dealing with just a few it was no big deal and you could swat them off, but when there were hundreds the pain was unbearable. They quickly got under your clothes and the only thing to do was get out of the area, get out of your clothes and start beating them off.
So here sat the tank while the whole crew bailed out and off the tank pulling off their clothes while swatting ants off each other while jumping and screaming. You would be amazed at how fast those ants and their victoms can move. I saw one guy pull everything off without undoing a button or zipper. After the fuss had settled we poured diesel fuel around on the surface of the tank which seemed to solve most of the problem, but periodically for several hours we heard yelps and saw swats as the tankers discover ants not detered by the diesel fuel.
So when someone tells me a bug can mess up the works, I remember when I saw them stop a machine of war.
tekochip, sounds like you did a much more thorough job of designing--and testing--those interfaces than some of the examples we've heard about here. I like your "Twister" description--makes it easy to visualize.
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