Archive for November, 2007

Network printers are great. You plug them in, give them an IP address, and everyone in your home or office can print to them. Plus, they’re quite affordable these days. But one thing drives me crazy: Network printers that have no screen, making it incredibly difficult to set them up. Nearly all the brands are […]

I looked over the user’s guide from a flat-screen TV yesterday. Aside from the usual problems with poor grammar and warnings against putting the TV in your bathtub, I noticed something else: they wasted a huge amount of space on the obvious. And I mean, really obvious. In fact, they dedicated two entire pages to […]

Lately, I’ve noticed that more and more websites are offering a search feature. This should come as no surprise: the tools for site search are widely available and fairly inexpensive. Google and other search engines even offer a free search box you can customize and place on your site. It’s easy to see how search […]

I don’t understand why companies have such a hard time explaining that you shouldn’t reply to certain emails. You know the drill: you place an order, or submit a tech support request, or sign up for a newsletter. Then you get the confirmation message, which inevitably says something like “Do not reply to this message, […]

Despite the widespread availability of syndicated music services like Muzak, a lot of restaurants, hair salons, and other service businesses are still playing music from the radio. Whether it’s traditional radio, satellite, or Internet broadcast, the use of radio content introduces the element of choice. Generally, choice is a good thing. But from what I’ve […]

I loaded up a retail website on Thanksgiving day and was surprised to see the site down for maintenance. The message was pretty terse, basically that they were making improvements and to check back later. Sure enough, I came back to the site the next day. Despite my own behavior, I doubt that 100% of […]

Life expectancy


My BlackBerry seems to need charging a lot more often lately. Now that I think about it, the original battery is at least two years old, maybe close to three. But aside from the age of the battery, I really have no way of figuring out whether it’s time to replace it. And because I […]

I got a little message from last night. Well, not very little at all. You see, it took them over 700 words to explain how to use the new login process, designed to keep users from having their login information stolen. I’ve never found them to be very concise in their communication with customers, […]

I hate it when I have to do or say the same thing twice. With people, it’s forgiveable — we tend to misplace and forget things from time to time. But with software, I expect the data I enter to be kept on hand unless I purposely delete it. With this in mind, I just […]

While shopping at Target, I noticed a particular inefficiency with their store layout. Regardless of what’s on display, virtually every aisle is the same width. Walking from one aisle to the next, I saw consistent bottlenecks happening. But these weren’t just related to the popularity of the goods being sold. Aisles with products that everyone […]