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Stupid Usability #79

Not Plug-n-Play

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 11/24/2014

From the mind of Joel Baglien, VP of Business Growth at High Monkey:

A few weeks ago I was going through my collection of expired and out of date hardware in preparation for a run to the electronics recycling center.  I discovered that I had a very large collection of small device power supplies.  Out of curiosity, and because I had a cold beer to keep me company, I took a look at the voltage and amperage on the backs of each power supply.  Not a single power supply in the shown in the photo below was the same.  What ever happened to the idea of plug-n-play let alone some standards?

What was even more interesting to me is that I could only find devices that matched up to three of the power supplies.  I really don't know what most of my collection is supposed to power.  So for stupid usability among power supplies . . . does every device really need to have its own power supply that can't be used with another device because of voltage, amps, or the shape and size of the plug?  One aspect of this stupid usability is that we the consumers are paying extra for power supplies for every device we purchase.  We are being stupidly parted from our usable money.
The irony is that all of these power supplies plug into a UNIVERSAL 120 volt wall outlet or a STANDARD 12 volt round car power outlet.  Does excess electronic waste equal stupid usability?  In this case yes.  I suspect everyone reading this posting has a similar (hopefully smaller) collection of unusable power supplies.
There is one alternative that actually works but you have to buy one of these separately.

The universal power adapter solves the stupidity of different power supplies but it does assume enough intelligence on the part of the user to correctly choose the voltage and the correct plug end.  It is a step in the right direction of good usability but still doesn't walk all the way to the end of the dock.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 11/24/2014 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments