Make it idiot-proof, and someone will make a better idiot

By | February 21, 2006

Somehow, after reading about Steve Johnson’s six-hour ordeal with the iPod, I lost my entire faith in technology’s promise to rescue mankind from all its miseries. If an alleged Internet critic with a respectable organisation like Chicago Tribune can struggle with an idiot-proof product, what hope does the hapless man in the street have?

But wait! All is not lost.

I recently bought a 4GB iPod nano and within half an hour of installation, I’m all set to go. Just goes to show that the real problem for Johnson lies between the keyboard and the chair, not technology per se.

Further reading of comments in response to Johnson’s post confirms my suspicion. Here’s a sampling:

“I find it hard to believe that the Chicago Tribune employs a man who struggles to set up and [sic] iPod as a tech writer.” – posted by Derek

“It’s hilarious when people whine about their computer illiteracy.” – posted by joebob

“People who don’t know what OS they run and don’t understand basic thermodynamics can set up an iPod. What’s your excuse?” – posted by Thad

Indeed, I wonder what is Johnson’s excuse. Trolling for flames? Bad hair day? Or just plain stupid?

And I wonder if anyone else has the same kind of “problem” with the iPod…

2 thoughts on “Make it idiot-proof, and someone will make a better idiot

  1. Podder

    i cant believe anyone can falter with the ipod!! gosh, even my grandma could’ve used it without referring to the manual!

  2. Stephen Yeo

    Somehow, I am inclined to agree with Johnson that the lack of a separate charger is a real inconvenience, especially when you are travelling and you’re not in the mood to lug your laptop with you. Then again, adding a travel charger will make the packaging less slick than it is now.


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