You, bug

I get a kick out of hardware bugs: unexpected (but consistent) behaviour in normal electronic devices. Maybe electronic devices were a bit more foolproof back in the early 80s, basically because they probably had a couple of simple transistors that were easy to program. Nowadays, everything seems to come with (some sort of) operating system.

  • My very first MD Player (Sony, I can’t remember the modelnumber, but it’s not listed here, and it was one of the very first models released in Europe) had such a crappy ‘randomizer’ that I could predict which track it was going to play next. Now, I know that writing a good randomizer is a true art, but I wonder if Sony’s engineers were in a time crunch to get the first players out.
  • My DVD player (which does run some kind of custom OS) goes in complete lock-down mode whenever there’s an unreadable disk in it. I expect the player to say ‘Uh-Oh. I can’t read this’ and then barf at me.
  • My laptop’s fan is running on high whenever the computer comes out of hibernation. It does not quit. This can be quite funny when it’s running on batteries. The only way to get it to stop is to restart the computer.
  • Pressing the snooze button on my alarm-clock always seems to turn on the radio (naturally, it has a button for that too and it’s called ‘Radio On’). The worst part is that there’s no way turn the radio off after that, except for pulling the plug.

Maybe we should go back to ‘Made in Taiwan’ devices.

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