Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Returns...to Spank Us All for Supporting Crap - Gizmodo

The other week, I went in to an Orange shop to see about upgrading my phone.

I have an old Nokia - specifically, an 8310 that I have hung on to because it was the last, small phone with the old monochrome interface. It has the least number of button presses to let me make a phonecall, or send a text message. This is good. It is elegant, and does everything I need it to (appart, maybe, from taking photos - I quite like camera phones, and it doesn't let me manage my calendar easily. Those things I'd find useful).

I also have an old nokia on an old tarrif - a very good 'price match' deal to an old One-to-one tarrif, that they rapidly withdrew for being too good value to the customer, apparently. My line rental is about £11, and I ususally pay about £22 all in for my calls and texts; I make few phonecalls. I never use WAP as I'm rarely far from the internets, and my phone breaks whenever I do try and use it.

Anyway, said phone is at the end of its natural life - not holding a charge, generally falling appart. I love it, but it's not much longer for this world. So I went in to try and get an upgrade.

The man in the Orange shop on Oxford street, just west from Oxford Circus (on the southern side of the road) was called Keith. I explained that I quite fancied upgrading to a new, shiny phone, something N73, personal organiser ish. I wondered how much that might be. When he pulled up my details on his sytem, he looked up at me, and laughed directly at my face.

I'm going to move to T Mobile, I think.

Anway, I feel about new phones pretty much the way that Joel Johnson feels:

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Returns...to Spank Us All for Supporting Crap - Gizmodo:
"You broke the site, clogging up the pipe like retarded salmon, to read the latest announcements of the most trivial jerk-off products, completely ignoring the stories about technology actually making a difference to real human beings, because you wanted a new chromed robot turd to put in your pocket to impress your friends and make you forget for just a few minutes, blood coursing as you tremblingly cut through the blister pack, that your life is utterly void of any lasting purpose.

Then you had the audacity to complain about broken phones, half-assed firmware that bricked your gear, and winner-takes-nothing arms races between the companies whose gear your bought and the hackers who had nothing better to do than try to fix it. Do you realize how ridiculous that is? Programmers with free time did more to help you get quality products than you ever did by buying the broken gear in the first place.

Stop buying this crap. Just stop it. You don't need it. Wait a year until the reviews come out and the other suckers too addicted to having the very latest and greatest buy it, put up a review, and have moved on to something else. Stop buying broken products and then shrugging your shoulders when it doesn't do what it is upposed to. Stop buying products that serve any other master than you. Use older stuff that works. Make it yourself. Only buy new stuff from companies that have proven themselves good servants of their customers in the past. Complaining online about this stuff helps, but really, just stop buying it."


jemima said...

I could not agree more. I thought I wanted an iPod nano because they are so sexy etc, etc. I went to try one out and came away astonished that people put up with the clunky user interface. Teenagers in phone shops completely lack any sort of perspective about why someone might want, um, a phone. I think that's largely because they spend lots of their days fielding questions from other teenagers about which phone is the most recent (= most cool) and they forget that some people actually make calls and want to have the technology work for them for once.

kim said...

Yep - it's about usecase. For the teenagers, their use means they *do* need all the bells and whistles and gimmicks - that's what they're in the market for. That's what's 'good' for them.

Ironically, Vodaphone had the great idea of releasing a 'basic' phone, with the simplest interface. My parents got one immediately. I can't quite bring myself to do that, because, dammit, I work in new media and understand this modern tech. I'm just phoneshy.