Functionality not included

Comments 1 to 25 of 26

capnPedro 26th May 2007, 17:10 Quote
Originally Posted by TFA
My calculator said "boobs" (insert your best Beavis & Butthead impression here)
But how many butts does she got?

A very interesting read, however some companies will provide a pretty sweet package of accessories (I'm thinking of the piles of goodies you get with motherboards, and the numerous adapters, cables and games with graphics cards). But yes, I am quite annoyed my manufacturers using the "we'll released a half-baked, unfinished product, at a high price and fix it with patches later" mentality.

If you're an early adopter, you pay a massive amount of money for a product that won't really be 'finished' until much later when a patch is released. By this time, the price is much lower.

Would you be happy buying a car that's windscreen wipers don't work until you've taken it in for service a month later? No. But people see it as the norm with computer hardware and software.

Case in point, my 8800GTX still doesn't have overscan support, and it's been out for more than 6 months. Six months of being a flagship product, but a £40 card that is 2 years old can do it.

DougEdey 26th May 2007, 17:11 Quote
This seems to be another take on the whole "Why aren't things getting better for us?" that was from your Column Tim.

I agree with it wholeheartedly, but the reason I'm running on 4yr old hardware is because it works and it's stable

There are some minor niggles (like a cheap 5 year old bluetooth device not working to the best of it's ability under Vista) but most of those minor niggles are because the devices are classed as obsolete. This seems to be a trend of product development, to try and force people to new technology which has been heavily invested in.

But one thing I would like is for companies to release obsolete driver source code, stuff that they haven't sold (pointing at sitecom) for at least 2 years. It would make their life easier as they won't get as many angry customers and it would make the tech world happier because they can get their teeth into stuff.
Ramble 26th May 2007, 17:16 Quote
Agree totally, and it pisses me off SO much that companies like Nvidia or Creative still haven't got any proper drivers out. I mean, what the **** is wrong with them? Don't they like customers or money?
docodine 26th May 2007, 17:57 Quote
I'm not sure about your friend's TI-89, but mine came with four AAAs, and so did all of my friend's, but that's besides the point.

New Windows operating systems do not 'work out of the box' either, they require a long install which bores me to death. All the Linux distrobutions that I have tried take under ten minutes to install, and Windows doesn't seem any more complex than Linux, so... What's Microsoft's problem?
loratio 26th May 2007, 18:00 Quote
Good article :-) I very much enjoyed reading it. Thank You.
Glider 26th May 2007, 18:27 Quote
Originally Posted by docodine
All the Linux distrobutions that I have tried take under ten minutes to install, and Windows doesn't seem any more complex than Linux, so...
Try Gentoo ;)

Great article Brett, and very much in the spirit of OSS... You can say a lot about OpenSource, but most OS Software works, and if it doesn't correctly it gets bugfixed. If you have an idea about functionality, report it and it might get included. Compare that to Closed source...

And hardware wise, I'm not a gamer, so I don't need state of the art equipment. My home PC is a socket A Athlon 2600+, with 1 GB of RAM and a GeForce FX 5600 with 128MB of RAM. And that does it's job more then needed. Actually, my main workstation is my laptop too... A Acer TravelMate 4501, Pentium M 1,5GHz, 512MB RAM and a onboard Intel IGP solution with 16 MB shared memory. And even that low spec, the CPU is running @ 600MHz most of the time. But then again, I'm not into e-penis wars for the best hardware :)
TTmodder 26th May 2007, 20:08 Quote
That article is (sadly) a common case of hardware and software manufacturers way of thinking: Oh well why beta test it we just release patches and screw the costumers that buys it when launched.
jezmck 26th May 2007, 20:20 Quote
Good point, well written. More like this please. :)
Stubkier 26th May 2007, 20:20 Quote
Fantastic reading, put an smile on my face :) Know many of the problems all to well.

Have the 680i, Vista and a ti 89 titainium ;) And most of the time I am just looking for ways to make it all work.

Best regards Stubkier
Tyinsar 26th May 2007, 20:47 Quote
Originally Posted by capnPedro
If you're an early adopter, you pay a massive amount of money for a product that won't really be 'finished' until much later when a patch is released. By this time, the price is much lower.
Quoted for truth
This is true in almost every area but is especially evident in electronics - take DVD players (or VCRs before that): once they cost hundreds but now one that's under $60 has more functions and better quality.

This is why I stay in the mid to low range (not too long ago I upgraded from an Athlon XP-M 2500+ & 6600GT to an e6300 & 7600GT.)
g3n3tiX 26th May 2007, 23:48 Quote
I know it's not your point, but I had batteries with my ti89, and learned very quickly how to use it (the big block of printed paper that comes with it actually has a use...) and now I'm a TI89 power user...

I agree though on the high-price/low functionality at the time of buying aspect though.

I just love the Colums at BT...
[cibyr] 27th May 2007, 00:42 Quote
Meh, we all know the risks of being early adopters. We all know what to buy when we need something that Just Works™. But we take the risks for the chance of being that much faster, or doing something that's that much cooler or easier.

I've got plenty of cases that go both ways.

My Dell 9400 lappy: the first dual core laptop anyone round here could get their hands on. It's big, heavy and not too great on the battery life but I love it. It's a fully-functional, fast computer that I can carry in my backpack and use anywhere (for a few hours). Came with two batteries ;)

My 17" LG LCD monitor: one of the ones that had DVI back when that meant a 10-15% price bump. Didn't come with a DVI cable. "Borrowed" a DVI cable from work, and I'm still happy with it years later.

Dual 6600GTs in SLI: SLI did nothing but piss me off. I could rant for pages about it. Barely any performance gain, and plenty of bugs that I'm sure still aren't fixed.

My 8800GTS: Despite all the whining about the drivers etc I haven't had a single problem with this card. That's probably because I'm running it under XP and without SLI. It's fast enough to handle anything I throw at it :)

Sony Ericsson K800i: great phone, exactly what I wanted. Except for three things: Memory Stick Micro - I still haven't seen a 2GB one, thanks sony. The included headphones completely suck, so I had to buy a cable from china so I could plug my own in. And the software is horribly bug-ridden. The phone randomly reboots on some songs. The word you pick from the predictive text input won't stick if you flip to another page on an MMS. Lots of dialog boxes that only have an "OK" option and disappear to fast to be useful. And the update software is worse. Annoying activex flash thing that relies on you using IE to have said activex control installed. They don't even publish release notes for the updates. It didn't fix any of the bugs I noticed, but introduced an animated preview for videos. Which sometimes crashes. Oh, and it takes 40 minutes to notice when someone's sent me an MMS.

Wow, I guess I had a lot to rant about. Point it, some new tech is great but some never gets fixed. But you don't know until you try it for yourself - which is half the fun.
David_Fitzy 27th May 2007, 02:48 Quote
It's the magpie effect we all love shiny things, the shinier the better. I would love an overclocked core 2 quad 8800 OC SLI 24Xraptor raid etc setup, but i don't do much more than internet/email. My current setup (signature) is fine for this but i still want more. I just can't afford it :(


Some of my favourites from way back when
Cheap Mod Wannabe 27th May 2007, 04:45 Quote
I think this applies to a tiny minority of people who have to have the best performance/hardware and like to twiddle with things. And then those who want to safe a bit on performance/price while building their systems. This market is so damn small that I really don't think this is a very fast increasing trend. Well I agree that this trend is kinda around, in software and games especially.
Garbageman 27th May 2007, 08:18 Quote
I recently upgraded my machine, (amd 4600+ X2, 2gb ram, 8800 GTS 640mb) and had a bitch of a time getting my monitor to cooperate with this graphics card. Got artifacting, thought it was the card. After replacing it and having the same problem, decided to look elsewhere. Checked every component on my PC and eventually determined that it's something to do with the DVI port on my monitor. Been running a DVI-VGA adapter to VGA on the monitor and have had no problems since.

My point is, yeah this hardware is new and the drivers are buggy, but in attempting to resolve this (albeit, insignificant) problem, i learned a lot about how things work and actually enjoyed attempting to fix it.

So yeah, it's stupid and annoying that the latest technology has problems, but it's also part of the thrill to me. If it had just gone together and worked right away, it'd be cool, but I like having the extra information I now have on the subject.
Javerh 27th May 2007, 08:18 Quote
The big companies have noticed that they can use the enthusiasts to test their stuff for them for free. Why pay for quality control when somebody with too much time and money burning in their pockets will do it for you for no extra costs. When a fault is found you can just shrug it off because the large consumer base doesn't care.
DeX 27th May 2007, 12:44 Quote
It's ironic reading this having just returned from the supermarket and fallen into this very trap. I needed some kitchen scales. I had a choice of the cheap £5 Tesco value ones on the left, the slightly more expensive ones that included a measuring bowl in the middle, and the £14 shiny plastic and glass digital scales on the right. I went for the best ones as I thought it's always good to invest in some good kitchen equipment. Anyway I get home and of course it completely didn't occur to my that despite being the most expensive scales I can't even use them because I don't have a 9V battery! Grr
mattymoo 27th May 2007, 19:09 Quote
Don't get me started on the Asus P5W DH Deluxe which when we bought it in August last year had "supports Core2Duo" on the box and manuals but was then later revealed on the Asus support website to require a BIOS update released in November to enable proper Core2Duo support... and that this upgrade wouldn't work with a Core2Duo processor in it! Worst component purchase ever, second to a dodgey Asus GeForce3 graphics card I bought some years ago though at least Asus and the store I bought it from acted and replaced it... with this motherboard I'm getting the "tough luck" treatment. Since had to buy another motherboard (MSI) and I'm not sure I can trust Asus anymore. That recent article showing their new board to be slower doesn't help matters either.

Good article, as usual.
konsta 28th May 2007, 10:56 Quote
It's an interesting read, but I can't say that I wholeheartedly agree. I'm running a souped up Vista 64bit system on a E6600 with 4GB of ram too...and I'm loving it. The only driver problem that I've actually had, on a very diverse range of hardware is a lack of 64bit drivers for my TV card from Hauppague. As it happens though, I've got a working cobbled-together solution anyway. This machine has given me far fewer bluescreens than my old system did, and vista is quite pretty.

Admittedly, I spend a lot of time tweaking and playing and messing about generally...but that's because I'm a techie and I like doing that - not because I have to. Any non techie would find my system to be smooth and without fault, and probably use it happily for a long time.

So all in all...quite a happy bunny. Nothing in this world is perfect, but I have a fully operational Vista 64bit system, no XP backup, and I'm fine. Honestly.
Nexxo 28th May 2007, 12:05 Quote
Moral of the story: don't be an early adopter, and only buy stuff that you know will do exactly what you need.

I invested in a dual CPU system because it gave me the creamy smoothness that I wanted. People thought I was nuts. Now they're all upgrading to dual core. My PC can still beat the pants of most.

I have had a Radeon 9800 Pro for years. It gave the all the power that I needed. I only upgraded to a XT1650 recently to support the resolution of my new 30" TFT. Again: people think I'm nuts. But the screen estate is exactly that I want (I know, only one DVI port, but I only need the one -- it is a PC monitor, and that is how I use it), and the card again delivers exactly the power I need.

When I bought a Tablet PC people again thought I was weird; why eschew the functionality of a full keyboard on a laptop? Why not buy a convertible? But laptops and convertibles are heavy, and they do not have eight hours of battery life. When other people are hunched over their laptop keyboards in the train, or looking for sockets to plug in to, I am happily browsing my tablet like a magazine, or jotting notes like on a notepad. Functionality, as I want it, how I want it. the key is to consider how you want to use your technology, and how this informs your choices.
Hugo.B 28th May 2007, 12:50 Quote
The good thing is, if you are limited by the amount of money you can spend, you have to buy last years model which "just works", but isn't that better than the latest thing which barely "just works"?

Nexxo 28th May 2007, 13:49 Quote
True. In fact, last year's model often works just great. It has matured, and is capable of running all the current releases. And it is half the price of the latest model. What more do you want?
Dr. Strangelove 29th May 2007, 15:40 Quote
Great article with very valid points. Every now and then I get the God I need that new cool shiny thing-itch, but luckily logic kicks in (combined with my bank balance). I use my computer for standard stuff (for which it is more than adequate) and to play Guildwars, which I can do at 1600x1280 with all the eye candy on max with no problem. This is where logic kicks in and tell me that why should I buy a new GFX or CPU or... when my system can do everything I need it to do.
I guess some people just have more money than sense

The interesting question is really, how many here have systems that are waaay overkill for what they use it for. and "yeah but it CAN run so and so game at max res and detail" if you don't play that game why bother. How many here upgrade without actually needing it, but just because they all of sudden have the urge or cash to do so?
TGImages 29th May 2007, 16:48 Quote
In the corporate environment we try to stay a bit off the curve. For most of my users, a $450 - $650 Intel based XP PC is more than sufficient for anything they are doing. MS Office, a few Citrix based apps and surfing are essentially all most users need. It makes it a lot easier to upgrade users when the budget is showing $600 for a new PC as opposed to $2000 or more per box. True we don't have full Vista compatible video boards but at 2.8ghz+ with 1gb of ram it is enough for most business needs and unless we do a major software change (no plans for at least 3 years) then the machine should outlast it's expected lifecycle (apprx 3-4 year technology refresh plan).

The last thing I need is a bunch of the newest components in a box that's not going to be stable. It's bad enough when it's your machine... now try supporting that for 100's of users. Give me stable and functional and I'm happy.
Henry 30th May 2007, 05:27 Quote
You used a TI calculator? Sheeesh Brett, I kinda have to think less of you now... I might have to ship you a HP with RPN and let you use a real calculator with your tea ;)
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