Is technology getting too technical?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by ASIGN_Baz, May 18, 2015.

  1. ASIGN_Baz

    ASIGN_Baz "Maker of awesome stuff"

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    I see this pattern:

    Once upon a time, about the 80's, to operate a computer you needed to be a computer programmer of the highest calibre.

    Then came the 90's to 2000's where everything got simpler, windows based, plug and play, all USB compatible etc etc.

    Now every program, software, firmware and hardware is so updatable and configurable, you just about need to have a PHD in programming again just to get it to do simple tasks.

    I don't want all the options all the time, I just want it to work. No fuss, turn it on and go.

    What gives? Are all the tech companies out there trying to make their products undesirable for the complications of making them do what you want them to do?

    Seems every piece of equipment I buy now, I need to go online and make phone calls to work out how to run it.

    Baz.
     
  2. C-BuZz

    C-BuZz Member

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    What are you referring to exactly? What doesn't just "work" when you turn it on?

    Most if not all pieces of hardware are highly configurable, once you set it up how you like it, that's pretty much it....

    Not sure what's so hard about that :confused: As for software, it's the same, get to know what your doing/using, set it up & your done. Sounds like a bit of a rant to me.
     
  3. 3stars

    3stars Member

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    i find they are adding functionality just for the hell of it a race to see how much they can cram in, then to poor consumer has to spend hours customizing it back to do the simple task it was originally designed for, drives me nuts.

    I think the acronym KISS has well and truly been forgotten.
     
  4. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    I tend to agree up to a point. Added functionality is all good, but adds to cost and is often unnecessary. A prime example are mobile phones. As an older guy, many of my peers have no interest in the many features of their phones. OK I am a bit more tech savvy but I only use a small portion of my phones features. Most of my peers love having a mobile, but all they want it for is phone calls. Many don't even text. Try buying a quality phone that does nothing but make phone calls! Surely a strong reliable and compact mobile with no added features and a really long battery life could be made cheaper and better than a phone which is smarter than its user?
     
  5. guy.incogneto

    guy.incogneto Member

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    Are you referring to any specific type of equipment Baz? As you're an engineer (I think), I'm guessing it's something related to that.

    I definitely agree, a lot of the bigger tools being released today definitely need people to do a lot of homework before being able to use them properly. Many which used to be purely mechanical now are computer controlled and can do 100x what they originally did. Which is great, but requires in depth knowledge.

    I think it's a good thing that we can do more with tech today, and more at home and rely less on having to send parts away.
    The tricky part comes when you have many hobbies and many peices of tech to research into and use. Then they get an upgrade every year and trying to keep up with that.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    ASIGN_Baz

    ASIGN_Baz "Maker of awesome stuff"

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    Rant? Perhaps. Easy for some. I don't knock my mum for not knowing how to send an email and getting frustrated opening an image on a computer. I try to hear her concerns and help where I can or pass her on to someone more knowledgeable than me.

    Specifics? Where do I start? My PC laptops, desktops, telescope mounts, led lights, mobile phones, modem and routers, DSLR cameras, photo capture and processing software, I could go on forever.

    I have had infuriating and frustrating time with all of these. Nothing is simple any more. A light globe is now more than just positive and negative if you know what I mean.

    Yes it's great that these things can do so much, but many are at the point now that the knowledge you need to get it to do what you want is so vast and the help you need when something goes wrong is so hard to get and time-consuming it becomes counter-productive to the point that you want to give up the task.

    Finding someone to help also becomes extremely specific.

    I have more hobbies and interests than most of my peers so I am probably feeling it more.
     
  7. power

    power Member

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    There's a website for the not so good at the technologies.

    www.apple.com.au

    Tech is now so much easier to use, back in ye olde times you had to know commands and stuff, now you just mash the screen with your meathooks.

    Also wtf, www.google.com.au answers all your questions - you used to have to figure shit out now you just ask a question in plain english.

    The real question, are users getting more dependant on things "just working" and when they don't "just work" do they just not know what to do?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  8. guy.incogneto

    guy.incogneto Member

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    Utilizing Google properly is also a skill that takes training or experience.

    Unfortunately, as we get older and our work lives and family take up more time. The less we spend on our hobbies and keeping up with tech. And eventually we get so far behind, nothing is familiar anymore.
    My dad used to be a big tech head. We had a 386 not long after its release when I was a kid and I was the first person in my class to have a 14.4k modem. But as time went on, he seemed to fall behind and things like setting up a new modem and Wifi has become a technical task
    I fear the day that happens to me. I love my comps, phones, cars, tools and toys. But I think it's the way of life. More stuff gets being released and simple things become complex.

    Manufacturers have to keep upgrading their devices to keep up with the competition, and mainly to have a reason for people to upgrade. Market saturation is not good for business. So releasing a new model with more features than last year is their priority. This can easily be seen with cameras and TV's, which are now packed with so much they are not recognisable from what they were just 6 or 7 years ago

    Crazy times to be in
     
  9. power

    power Member

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    I reckon the barrier to entry with tech is so much lower now.

    Everything comes with some wizard, etc.

    You used to turn a thing on and either figure out what it wanted - or read the manual.

    Now you just mash the keys/screen and things happen.

    Then there's building a PC, now you just slap all the bits together and turn it on - do we all remember manually setting jumpers?
     
  10. C-BuZz

    C-BuZz Member

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    If she can't send a simple email or open an image in the year 2015 on a computer then computer's are not for her.

    My old lady is in her 70's & she's a facebook junkie posting all sorts of video's/images & playing a plethora of facebook games all day every day :lol:

    A few things I've learnt being a extreme computer geek/nerd for the last 25 years is that it's so easy to throw your hands up in the air & say it's all to hard. But the real problem is they are just to lazy to learn how to use it (whatever the tech may be) & the bottom line is they CBF'd & would rather someone else do it for them.

    You want Help? Help is only a few keystrokes away on Google/Youtube ect.. You can become an expert in basically ANY field these day's without even leaving your house. You need to embrace new technology & go with the flow. Or you'll get left behind :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  11. power

    power Member

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    My mum is a complete tech numpty - that's why I bought her an iPad.

    She has had almost zero contact with it tech - honestly, the iPad means she can actually use it - and I even gave her a Windows based lappy once, that didn't even get used.

    The iPad is a whole other story, even then sometimes it's a bit much - but you throw a 90's PC at her - fuuuuck, forget it.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    ASIGN_Baz

    ASIGN_Baz "Maker of awesome stuff"

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    Unfortunately a lot of manuals are so vague and non-specific. Some go as far as directing you to a website or yahoo group for problem-solving.

    Mashing keys generally breaks more than it fixes. Someone with a little knowledge around a computer is often way more dangerous than someone with none.

    BTW what is Google?








    Just kidding. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Kurosaki

    Kurosaki Member

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    Exactly, how many people can remember all the DOS commands and what they do?

    Yes, tech equipment comes with a lot of config and customizing options these days but more often than not you can completely leave those alone and they will work perfectly fine straight from the box.
     
  14. power

    power Member

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    Even bloody tv's - turn the bastard on after plugging in cables - thing auto-tunes stations. Don't even need a tv guide, because ota guide.

    Who remembers those stupid dial tune things - fuck they gave me the shits, or the button ones where you opened a door and there was a few switches and a little tuning dial .
     
  15. OP
    OP
    ASIGN_Baz

    ASIGN_Baz "Maker of awesome stuff"

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    As complex as a piece of tech might be, just as you get the hang of it, they go and change it all with upgrades.

    I bought a 3D heli months ago that even though I spent a lot of time on flight sims, reading forums, instruction manuals, you tube tutorials etc etc, I still couldn't configure the bloody thing to even START!

    The last TV remote I bought, I had to go online and download the make/model software into it to make it work with my TV. Simple enough, but as I said, just as you get the hang of it.....

    I was great at tuning in the old TV's manually.

    The problem, is keeping up. That, and finding the bloody instructions you can understand.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  16. power

    power Member

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    This is why I've given iOS the plug - they've barely changed it from day dot.
     
  17. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Part of it is the manipulation of people to let others "take care of all that". They don't want people to do what they want to do, they want to have it where they sell you stuff and it will ONLY do what they want it to do. You won't need to figure anything out because you won't have any control over any of it. Getting people so frustrated that they just go, "oh I give up" is part of the process....

    Otherwise, yes, it's nuts. Many years ago, I went to a talk from some sociologist/something or other. She did predictions about future trends. One of the things she said was that the rampant consumerism that we have will disappear/reduce and demand will become driven by need. (In other words, all of this CRAP will piss everybody off to the point where they'll go, to hell with it, just give me a potato peeler and a pot and take your magimix away).
     
  18. xplod140

    xplod140 Member

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    You sound like you've fallen over the 'cliff'. Have you also stopped listening to new music too?

    I enjoy new tech and going off on tangents to find solutions to inconsequential problems.

    I remember having to tune VCRs with a screwdriver and witing my own telephone line from the other side of the house so I could hook it up to a modem.

    If it's beyond you then it's probably time for euthanasia. :Pirate:
     
  19. TrennaHowar

    TrennaHowar Member

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    I can understand both sides of this argument.

    Like others have pointed out some people just cbf'd and want someone else/the computer to figure out what they want to do. To that I say it is important that people learn how to do things and give something a go.

    However I do believe the complexity of these things is quite high for people with no prior knowledge. It would be like me trying to fix things in the body or a car, the systems are so complex I would'nt know where to start. However i'm willing to learn and can look things up to get basic stuff done.

    I reckon most of the issues these days are UI/UX problems that just haven't been looked at. Flexibility has been the key for many years, getting our devices and computers to do an ever increasing amount of things. Apple with the iPhone regardless if you love or hate it simplified the experience of using a phone.

    My mum like others is terrible with computers. But give her an iPhone and she figure it out. We need to get better at designing computers that can be fiddled with, without breaking stuff. "what happens if I click on this" kinda stuff. The iPhone was the first step I believe in making this a reality.

    The true test is if you can give give someone a piece of technology with no prior knowledge and they can figure it out and get stuff done just intuitively. Us nerds often forget that computers are a tool to get stuff done. Like a car that for most people is a form of transport from point A to point B, a computer is a tool for communication and the more technology can get out of the way to enable people to get stuff done the better we will all be. :)
     
  20. power

    power Member

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    further to the above, 20, 30 years ago tech you could give a 2 year old and they could "figure out" just didn't really exist.

    As I said, wizards, templates (for pretty much everything) have lowered the barriers.

    yer mum could probably run a fb page or an eBay account.

    try getting her to write even a basic website in actual code....
     

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