Project Management

Gadget Blues

Bob Weinstein is a journalist who covers technology, project management, the workplace and career development.

Ever consider why tech gadgets are so difficult to understand and master? Maybe it’s some kind of conspiracy by all the companies that make computers, software, DVDs and home theaters.
 
A whole niche industry has been created around just fixing this stuff when it breaks, and explaining it when it doesn’t run properly. We call PC technicians when our computers malfunction because we don’t have the faintest idea how to fix the problems ourselves, and we call software support representatives to tell us in plain English how to get the program to do what it’s supposed to do.
 
How many times have you bought a tech gadget, excited to plug it in and use it, only to be stopped dead in your tracks when confronted with a thick, intimidating user manual that must be read before you can even turn it on?
 
Technology users fall into two broad categories: savvy users and unsophisticated users. The savvy ones are addicted to their tech gadgets and can’t live without them. They don’t really understand them, and couldn’t explain the difference between a bit, a byte and RAM, but they love their tech toys and depend upon them for their jobs and in their personal lives as well. Cut the power and disable the batteries, and they’ll probably have a nervous breakdown because their lives are suddenly paused until the power returns.…

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"It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off."

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