Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why are there stupid products? Why?

About two years ago, Microsoft outed the Zune HD, a much anticipated iPod Touch alternative. It had AMOLED screen with Tegra dual-core processor. It was not sold in South Korea, so one of my colleagues ordered it from the U.S. When I first tried his Zune HD, I immediately found that it lacked external speaker. Really, Microsoft?

Zune HD was supposed to compete with iPod Touch as a mobile computer, portable game console, and yet it lacked external speaker. That was stupid. Without a built-in external speaker, why can applications like "e-mail" can alarm the user? And how much could an external speaker module cost, 1 dollars? That was really, really stupid. No wonder the product failed.

Recently, I bought a keyboard from a company called Rapoo. I think the name was E9060. It was a slim keyboard with touchpad on the right. The thing is, there was no gap between the delete-enter-shift line and the touchpad. That was stupid. Consequently, I often touched the touchpad by mistake when I tried to press the delete key or the enter key. The keyboard itself had a good layout, good key-press feeling, but the no gap thing made the trackpad unusable. If the engineers just used it for 10 minutes on a real environment, they should have noticed it.

There is a famous C/C++ editor called Source Insight. In its jump to caller dialogue, resizing the window does not resize the view on the window, so the file names truncated. That is stupid. And the problem is there for at least 3 years. Does the author himself actually use his own editor to develop? I seriously doubt it.

My question is do they actually use their products for themselves? I cannot think the developers of those things are stupid, most of them must be smarter than I am. Then why are thing like these? Is there a big rule that I do not know? What is this?

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