back to article What will happen when I'm too old to push? (buttons, that is)

I'd like you to consider my underwear. As we move inexorably towards another Christmas – for American readers, I understand you prefer the euphemism "Holiday Season" for its more generous syllable-count – close relatives have begun asking what gifts I might like to receive on the big day. What I want, of course, is toys. …

  1. Dr_N Silver badge

    French Toilet Training

    That sign is obviously written by an Anglais, as the French have no toilet training whatsoever.

    As confirmed by observing the state of the toilets where I work.

    And the fancy taps wouldn't be a problem as they hardly ever use them.

    1. You aint sin me, roit
      Trollface

      Re: French Toilet Training

      Au contraire, mon petit pois!

      There's squatting training... and aiming training!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: French Toilet Training

        There's squatting training... and aiming training!

        There's allegedly driver training and good manners training as well. Apparently.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: French Toilet Training

        That explains why its impossible to find a piss-pot when you need one .. I must have walked 2 miles!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: French Toilet Training

      Come on, what's your problem?

      Too grumpy to appreciate the unique smell of Paris streets late at night and early in the morning?

      Disclaimer: it is the only major capital (and major city in fact) I can think of where you have to watch your step while walking downtown in the "civilized part" of it so you do not step into a turd every 2-3 meters. Quite a few of them not dog turds either. And the overwhelming smell of piss everywhere - the metro, the streets, the parks, the whole place reeks of urine. Add to that a concentration of pick-pocketers which rivals St Petersburg in its glory days and voila - the most "beautiful" city on the planet.

      1. bitbank

        Re: French Toilet Training

        Sounds like you haven't visited Rome. I lived there for 2 years and your description of Paris sounds very familiar. The dog feces situation improved a bit with enforcement of existing laws, but human urine was ever present - especially near trash bins.

      2. herman Silver badge

        Re: French Toilet Training

        Au contraire - Budapest is the most beautiful city on the planet. Paris is a sad 4th after Vien and Praha.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: French Toilet Training .

        Is this what their revolution allowed the Frenchies to do ?

        Liberté, égalité, fraternité .

        Which could roughly translate as the brothers ( and sisters ) are free to p*** and s*** anywhere because some pompous bunch of Royalists can't tell them what to do anymore :-D

    3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: French Toilet Training

      I can top that sign.

      At Versailles, where the busses go in, there's a small gatehouse, and behind it, there's a wooden door, let into a stone wall. On the door, is a yellow triangle with the international lightning bolt symbol for dangerous electric voltage.

      Wedged into the space between the door and the jamb, was a torn piece of corrugated cardboard, with the following inscribed on it in heavy black ink:

      Ne pas uriner -- risque du choq

      I read French. None of the other folks on the bus laughed at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: French Toilet Training

        Do they no longer have the street pissoirs in France?

        The above descriptions in France could fit most towns in England since local councils started axing public conveniences. A few years ago I visited Crystal Palace. The council "You are here" display marked three public conveniences. One had disappeared below a new supermarket. Another was a derelict shell. The third in a park was intact - but only open in the summer months.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: French Toilet Training

      "Go piss somewhere else other than on this door."

      The natural response will be, "I don't see a door here. I see a urinal."

      And if anyone dares to ask, "Does this look like a toilet to you?!" they'll just get pissed on and get replied, "YES!"

  2. Anonymous Blowhard

    Does anyone else feel that blue LEDs are now a bit "beige box"?

    1. Admiral Grace Hopper

      "beige box"

      Nothing wrong with a beige box. I'd quite like to be able to get my musical equipment in brushed champagne gold still.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Mushroom

      LEDs are great. Cheap, reliable torches, power saving long-lasting lightbulbs, nice cheap status lights on kit so you know what the hell is going on (rather than them trying to save cash by having one lamp trying to report 15 different conditions by flashing/changing colour).

      LEDs are a curse! I bought a little USB power supply the other day, that allows you to charge a couple of devices and still plug your alarm clock in. Very useful for the bedside table, rather than messing around with power strips. But oh no! It's got retina burning LEDs on the face, because nobody wants to charge their phone/tablet while sleeping, that absolutely never happens.

      OK, maybe that device was designed for your desktop and not the bedroom. Explain my Teasmade then. Yes, I've hit middle age and continue to accelerate, I'm a hopeless 70s throwback, etc... It makes me a lovely cup of tea in the morning though. But I have to put a cardboard box over it on the bedside table, because the light that lights up to tell me the alarm is set is so bright that I don't require an alarm, as I'm unable to sleep. I can fucking read by it!

      It's a very big button, they obviously felt only really, really old gits would use it. But they didn't need to fill the whole back of the button with one huge LED, they could have just used a little weedy one. Where do these morons thing this device is going to be placed?!?!

      1. Trilkhai

        Maybe the designers of your Teasmade are from the USA, given the norm over here is to keep automatic hot-beverage machines in the kitchen?

      2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        RE; LEDs

        I agree about over-use and over-brightness of LEDs nowadays. From memory, the last three times that I've used sparky's tape, it's been to tape over LEDs to stop them illuminating the entire room.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: RE; LEDs

          I've got three similar cases. One is a computer case with a painfully bright blue power LED. It's not too bad when it is continuous, but if I put the computer into sleep mode it blinks continuously. And it shares a connection with the power cable (not sure how they manage the sleep detection with that) so cannot be easily disconnected. It's bright enough that I can see the room flicking on and off in blue from another room.

          Second case is a portable, battery-powered speaker. Same deal - it blinks on and off constantly which makes it useless for the bedroom. Turning it to face the wall obviously spoils the sound quality a little and duct tape to the front of a speaker is not my preference.

          Finally a speaker beneath my TV set. Happily that one can be duct-taped over.

          I really don't know what all these people were thinking.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: RE; LEDs

            "I really don't know what all these people were thinking."

            Trendy...shiny...trendy...outshine everything else in the showroom...trendy...shiny...

            1. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Re: RE; LEDs

              "I really don't know what all these people were thinking."

              Trendy...shiny...trendy...outshine everything else in the showroom...trendy...shiny...

              Just wait... some marketing type will figure out how to have them blink at night in Morse Code to deliver ads...

          2. cd

            Re: RE; LEDs

            Blu-tack.

        2. Yesnomaybe

          Re: RE; LEDs

          I bought a TV for the bedroom. The missus and I like to watch the news in the morning in bed with a cup of coffee (Jeebers, we are SO OLD!!!!) TV duly installed on a bendy-arm-type-thing (Oh yes; why oh why oh why invent a SLIGHTLY different alternative to a VESA mount to put on your crappy cheap TV? Why not just go with the standard measurements? WHY?!?!) Anyway: Put the thing up, turned on. Oh the glory of lolling in bed, coffee and news. Brilliant. On standby, the TV has a super-bright blue FLASHING LED on the front. It's like having the emergency services sitting on standby in your bedroom. Never mind, I am a resourceful fella. Out comes the black insulating tape. Now the remote doesn't work. The sensor sits in the same spot as the blue flashing LED torch! Gah. Foiled again. I am reduced to get out of bed in the morning, and with creaking back and protesting knees, bend down and switch it on by the wall-socket. Oh the humanity!

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Happy

            Re: RE; LEDs

            What you need is one of those remote controlled power plugs.

            Except that will probably have an LED too...

            So plug that into an extension lead, to a plug in another room. Except they also have power lights on them, but you can probably safely tape over that one.

            1. TheOtherHobbes

              Re: RE; LEDs

              Or get an Echo and do everything by voice.

              I've just bought an Echo and a Wemo switch so I can turn the bedside light on and off without moving.

              Bliss.

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: RE; LEDs

                Or get an Echo and do everything by voice.

                Assuming:

                1. Echo understands your voice, and

                2. You don't mind Amazon knowing everything you are doing..

              2. sysconfig

                Re: RE; LEDs

                Or get an Echo and do everything by voice.

                A cloud-enabled recording device in the bedroom? To each their own...

        3. Barry Rueger Silver badge

          Re: RE; LEDs

          Probably the best Slashdot poll ever asked people to count the number of LEDs that they could see from where they were sitting.

          I recall that the average came in somewhere between fifteen and twenty.

      3. wikkity

        RE: because the light that lights up to tell me the alarm is set is so bright

        I close my eyes when I'm wanting to sleep. It works, you should try it.

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: RE: because the light that lights up to tell me the alarm is set is so bright

          Eyelids are not opaque to all light.

          And many devices are too bright for some of us who prefer to sleep in total darkness.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: RE: because the light that lights up to tell me the alarm is set is so bright

            And many devices are too bright for some of us who prefer to sleep in total darkness.

            Especially when the migraine-fairy has decided to make it's regular visitation..

            I have a 4-gang powerboard under my side of the bed. There is always something plugged into the mains-lead end - if only to hold the bit of cardboard[1] in place over the red light that indicates that it's connected..

            Being extremely myopic as well I have a bedside clock with ~7CM high digits (otherwise I have to lean over to read the time). It does, however, come with a dimmer switch and is a nice soothing red.

            [1] Yes, yes, I know I should do something more permanent but that presupposes a supply of circular tuits which I currently don't have..

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Solution

        LEDs are a curse! ... It's got retina burning LEDs on the face, because nobody wants to charge their phone/tablet while sleeping, that absolutely never happens.

        Electrical tape with a pin-pricked hole in it.

        Or http://lightdims.com/

        My alarm clock LEDs were bright enough to read by....

        1. Loud Speaker

          Re: Solution

          My alarm clock is bright enough for people two blocks away to read by. We solved the problem by putting it in a garden grade bin bag - and you can still tell the time by it!

          And all for £2.50!

      5. bitbank

        I agree with you about bright LEDs everywhere. I work at home and have a army of rainbow lighting staring at me at night. There would be nothing wrong with LED indicators if they would just add a few more cents worth of parts to include an automatic dimmer circuit.

        1. Chris Evans

          LEDs = Street light polution

          Example: The red LED at pedestrian crossings next to the button they press is often brighter than a vehicles rear lights!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: LEDs = Street light polution

            "Example: The red LED at pedestrian crossings next to the button they press is often brighter than a vehicles rear lights!"

            Probably justified as being bright enough to see in bright, direct sunlight by someone with very poor vision but not totally blind, which seem reasonable to me.

      6. John Styles

        See also the LED on the electric toothbrush - sodding flashing green whilst charging.

      7. herman Silver badge

        You need some black gorilla tape. No blue LED can get through that.

  3. John Mangan

    I feel your pain . .

    I used to love roller-coasters. Could ride them all day long. Last two visits I'd had enough before the day was 2/3rds done. Oh, woe.

  4. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Love the sign

    Being in french, it almost looks poetic.

    I wonder if they are aware it resembles the framed and mounted dictates of that horrible woman from Order of the Pheonix - Theresa May - that was it?

    Getting older, you loose interest in the passions of your youth or you become more jaded as you've seen it all before several times and the myriad disappointments, merely gritty little niggles at the time become large hills of disinterest and finally the mountains of I can't be bothered anymore, just give a good book and a nice fire.

    Then there's Douglas Adams 3 rules on reaction to tech (there might be an undiscovered fourth).

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Pint

    Not being old

    Just realising there are better uses of time than watching blinking Blue LEDs (Red and Green was so 15 years ago).

    You've realised the Emperor has no clothes.

    1. Alien8n Silver badge

      Re: Not being old

      I really want to know why my TV has a red status light to tell me it's turned on. I would have thought the fact that I'm watching it would be enough to tell me that....

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: Not being old

        Same design logic as the on-screen do-dah for the volume control, so that deaf people know the TV has gotten louder

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not being old

        All my radios have a red LED to help me find the power button when they are switched off. However when listening to the radio in bed in the dark it is a fumble to find that same button. Why did they not merely have the LED change colour.

        A Sony DAB radio has several other design features that are apparently poor.

        The button to change bands is flush with the panel - alongside other identical flush buttons to select Tape or CD mode. To a finger tip the whole area feels like contiguous flat panel.

        It shows useful information for a DAB station. It is questionable whether one wants to know the frequency of a DAB signal - and it omits the diagnostic error rate that some other radios have. The track that a music station is playing essential if you want to avoid "name that tune" insomnia. However to select it you have to use a remote control to sequence through the three display variables. If you change preset stations or come back from standby - it resets the display.

      3. IsJustabloke Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Not being old

        "I really want to know why my TV has a red status light to tell me it's turned on"

        The remote infrared receiver is next to it and they give you the light so you know where to aim the remote

        1. Nattrash
          Trollface

          Re: Not being old

          And who said there are no original ideas anymore nowadays. Reading the comments, the solution for the French, or perhaps the international, urine issue is obvious. I'd like to propose this logical train of thought:

          --- Gentlemen pee where they shouldn't.

          --- Gentlemen find it difficult to ignore blinking LEDs

          --- Gentlemen find it difficult to ignore bright LEDs.

          --- Gentlemen know different LED colours are status related.

          --- Indicator lights on tellies are help aim the remote.

          --- Gentlemen have difficulties aiming while peeing.

          Hence I suggest placing bright LEDs which might help them aim, and change colour if they "hit the right spot".

          Sorry..?

          Erm...

          Yes - right - Ne pas uriner -- risque du choq

          1. Olivier2553

            Re: Not being old

            I am sorry to disappoint you, but that has already been done:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri8DBAib0lQ

      4. Toltec

        Re: Not being old

        The status light is useful if your sky/virgin/bt box shuts down because you have not pressed a button for a couple of hours so your TV now sits there blank, but powered up.

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: Not being old

          Toltec's valid point notwithstanding (though most decent TVs will detect there's no signal coming in over HDMI and go into standby mode), most of the above is down to the designers either prioritising form over function, or simply not giving enough thought to how the user interacts with the device. IMO.

        2. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Not being old

          " if your sky/virgin/bt box shuts down because you have not pressed a button for a couple of hours "

          Or in the case of the spanky new IQHD box from Foxtel, the new power saving feature means that, if you haven't touched a button for the last 30 minutes, you can't be watching, so it switches to sleep mode. Great for watching really short movies.

      5. Filippo

        Re: TV status light

        My TV has a red status light because it literally takes longer to boot than my laptop, so I need to have something to tell me I've actually turned it on. And since we're talking about being old - CRT TVs could have video & audio running from cold in a fraction of a second.

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: TV status light

          "

          CRT TVs could have video & audio running from cold in a fraction of a second.

          "

          No they cannot. The CRT requires a fair amount of time before its cathode is hot enough to emit enough electrons to light the phosphor, and usually at least as long again before the stream is at full intensity and properly focussed.

          Admittedly that's not nearly as long as a modern TV set takes to boot its CPU so it probably seems instantaneous in comparison.

          Thermionic valves are so much faster than silicon ...

          1. DropBear Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            You know you're getting old when...

            ...you look at an orange LED and start hankering for one of those oldskool, proper, monochromatic, true orange LEDs instead of the red/green emitter pair trying to fake it yet you can still discern.

          2. W4YBO

            Re: TV status light

            "CRT TVs could have video & audio running from cold in a fraction of a second."

            Some manufacturers used tricks like keeping one third operating voltage on the filaments all the time. Not enough for emission, but warm enough so the screen was viewable within about five seconds. Sony Trinitrons, in particular. Great monitors, but bastards to converge.

            I've had luck dimming the blue LEDs with several daubings of Sharpie black marker, and the silver Sharpie will almost obscure some.

            1. herman Silver badge

              Re: TV status light

              Olde Skool TipEx is best.

      6. Captain DaFt

        Re: Not being old

        "I really want to know why my TV has a red status light to tell me it's turned on."

        Huh, mine's the opposite. Turn it off and the LED lights up to let me know it's off.

        I guess I'm not supposed to be smart enough to figure it out by the blank screen.

      7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Not being old

        "I really want to know why my TV has a red status light to tell me it's turned on. I would have thought the fact that I'm watching it would be enough to tell me that...."

        Most are the opposite. The LED indicates that the power is on and it's in stand-by. The LED normally goes off when the TV is in use.

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Not being old

          "Most are the opposite" - I'm not sure about "most", which leads to the next problem, we've got all these bloody coloured lights, flashing or not flashing (at indeterminate intervals so sometimes you're waiting, trying to decide whether or not it is flashing), trying to TELL US SOMETHING, but I DON'T KNOW WHAT and the sodding things are "labelled" as a raised black plastic icon on a BLACK BACKGROUND that I don't recognise even after I've used an oblique light to highlight the shape.</rant>

          I think I'll go and lie down, my charger is signalling in morse that my phone is about to catch fire and my router is flirting with with my air conditioner.

      8. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Not being old

        "I really want to know why my TV has a red status light to tell me it's turned on."

        Hah! My Denon amp has a red lit up ring around the power button to tell me it's turned OFF. And a green one to tell me it's on, just in case my failing mental capabilities make me forget I pushed the button.

  6. AndrueC Silver badge
    Happy

    Christmas presents are easy for me. Golf balls and golf gloves. Particularly the former - I keep misplacing them for some reason :-/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Golf balls and golf gloves. Particularly the former - I keep misplacing them for some reason :-/

      Get some that float :)

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Have you considered taking up a less painful sport? Like boxing. Or just admit you're a massochist and go to your local dungeon...

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Have you considered taking up a less painful sport? Like boxing. Or just admit you're a massochist and go to your local dungeon...

        Golf - a good days walk in the country spoiled by having to lose^w hit a ball..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Or just admit you're a massochist and go to your local dungeon...

        What's a massochist? A masochist who likes getting punished by crowds? A Catholic? Someone who dislikes his weight but goes to McDonald's every day?

        :)

  7. Lee D Silver badge

    Christmas is easy.

    Amazon wishlist.

    Steam wishlist.

    Other site wishlists.

    Stick the links to the above in a Google Doc which contains the line "And a jumper with a reindeer" and share it out to everyone who wants to buy you something.

    Make sure there's big expensive gadgets on there. And tiny silly things. And a DVD for Auntie Joan who doesn't know what to get so your brother buys you the DVD and tells her that he got you something from her.

    And then anything off-list is basically potential eBay material. Sorry, guys. That's the truth of it. So much so that when I buy others gifts, I make sure to make it clear that - so long as they enjoyed the OPENING of the gift, the surprise, the joke, or the initial tinker - then that gift is theirs to do with as they will, even re-gift, and no shame.

    One year I bought a particularly troublesome teenager an Amazon giftcard and stuck it in a plastic maze which you have to solve before you can open it up to get to the giftcard. It became a running joke (especially after she opened it up and then THREW THE GIFTCARD AWAY not realising what it was) and that box went round FOUR other people (family, friends, friend's family, etc.) with differing contents before Boxing Day actually finished.

    But, yes, I get the "I'm feeling old" bit. I've been middle-aged since birth but - Steam games? Meh. All remakes and junk indie games and overpriced AAA titles. TV seasons? Nothing I can think of that I would want, even with free reign over all of Amazon and Google Play. Gadgets? Nothing enthuses me there any more and I'm quite happy with my current phone and laptop.

    Nowadays, it's the junky toys, the childhood things I never had when I was a kid, and the stuff that makes me laugh that I ask for.

    Christmas is about having fun, enjoying yourself whatever religion (or no religion, like me).. Socks don't do that. Serious things that you "need" are no fun at all. And if I need them, I've probably already bought them.

    No, I want toys and junk and noisy things and science experiments and board games only hilarious when everyone is drunk, and all the tut in the world - of which I'll only be playing with the boxes from the day after. That's what Christmas has always been about, ever since I was a child, and I see no reason to break with tradition.

    If I'm going to have to drag a dead tree into my lounge without needing to provide an explanation, I can damn well have some silly toys too without having to pretend to be an adult.

  8. Static Cat

    I have 7 and 4 year old boys so I buy them what ever I want knowing they'll be too busy fighting over the box to use the gifts I actually wanted in the first place, giving me my chance to snaffle them away as they'll forget about them for the next shiny thing about 3 hours later.

  9. Joe Drunk
    Pint

    Not all us 'Merikans prefer the euphemism "Holiday Season" over Christmas. It's merely our obsession with political correctness that forces us to remain belief-agnostic.

    I used to believe adverts when I was a yoof and rush to the store to buy the latest and greatest thing-a-ma-bob to impress myself and my friends. The vast majority of the time disappointment was all I got.

    Jaded. That's why the latest shiny new gizmo no longer appeals to me. I know that the newest phone/tablet/computer/TV etc. will only be slightly better than what I have now. All adverts are lies. That's why I block them/skip past them on my DVR.

    The other thing is I have other ways I would rather be spending my time than troubleshooting faulty electronics/firmware, Google-ing for hours on why new gadget won't sync properly with WIFI/bluetooth/IOT etc. despite documentation stating it should work flawlessly.

    That's the real sign I'm getting old - I used to have the patience to spend an entire afternoon on the above scenario.

    Beer icon not only because it's Friday but because that is one of the ways I would rather spend an entire afternoon than trying to get some wonky gadget working.

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Holiday season

      I reckon that there is nothing wrong with calling it Christmas, even for non-Christians (ie. me). The main reason that society has a holiday at that time of year is for Christmas. Right? You don't have to be Christian to acknowledge that, or to take time off work because it's Christmas time in Western society, even if you are muslim or atheist or Jewish. It doesn't mean you are actually "celebrating the birth of....etc" (I certainly am not).

      Or am I completely misguided?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Holiday season

        Well you start getting into the whole "State endorsement of religion" and the First Amendment once you start thinking that way. Slippery slope. Plus some non-Christian people insist on making their holidays known too to avoid being felt left out. Eventually, you reach Seinfeldian levels and start thinking about celebrating Festivus just to be contrarian.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Holiday season

          All the popular holidays (xmas, easter, halloween) are originally pagan in origin.

          Xmas was just rebadged from rebirth of the Sun to birth of the son of god, easter is named for the Hare goddes Eostre (now it's bunnies instead of hares - eggs 'cause it's fertility thing) and halloween for death. Birth, coming into fertility and death and the afterlife.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Holiday season

        Just call it Saturnalia instead (approx date of old fest kept, rebadged to updated religion)

        Many folk in pubs & clubs at crimbo certainly seem to follow that type of celebration behaviour wise

      3. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Holiday season

        Yes, completely misguided!

        The birth of Christ definitely did not take place in December, the romans weren't nuts and did their censuses in summer so the timing is a complete bust. Christmas is actually marking the pagan rite of the Winter solstice, offset by a couple of days as to not overlap.

        Back when Christianity was new they told people that you'd burn in hell if you did this, that or the other and as a result they were seen as being quite uncool and harsh, and so they weren't gaining market share from the other established religions already on the market.

        Sales rethought their value proposition and added more holidays and feasts to Christianity to gain market share, as noted including copying the winter solstice over from paganism and rebranding it as Christmas with a couple of days offset so that they could try and convert the pagans to the cross, and coming up with other feasts such the Feast of Tabernacles (lifted from from celebrating getting the harvest in, etc, etc, etc.)

        But yes, your right that you don't need to believe in what people celebrate to enjoy the holiday, perfectly sensible attitude. ;)

        1. DropBear Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Holiday season

          Wait, you bemoan that we might have gotten the SEASON of JC's birth wrong?!? Quick piece of advice - never look up how the YEAR was "established"...

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Holiday season

            'Quick piece of advice - never look up how the YEAR was "established"'

            There's also years BP (before present) in radiocarbon dating, "present" being taken as 1950. We used to round dates to the nearest 5 years but I never took into account the absence of year 0, partly because it would have looked odd to have nice round numbers in the BP version but not in the BC and it didn't really matter until one result came out at 1950 BP. Thanks to the link I now know it wasn't a bug, I was just anticipating ISO 8601.

        2. Wiltshire

          Re: Holiday season

          Did the Mithriaic Romans know about Armstrong Pi cycles?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "our obsession with political correctness that forces us to remain belief-agnostic."

      Yeah, I always find that a bit weird. Every presidential speech starts and/or ends with "God bless America" and/or other references to God. Meanwhile, there are laws which pretty much forbid religion in schools and public buildings.

      Someone else mention first amendment rights and state sanction of religion. Yet the Prez of the day endorses the Christian God all of the time.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "Yeah, I always find that a bit weird. Every presidential speech starts and/or ends with "God bless America" and/or other references to God. Meanwhile, there are laws which pretty much forbid religion in schools and public buildings.

        Someone else mention first amendment rights and state sanction of religion. Yet the Prez of the day endorses the Christian God all of the time."

        There HAVE been lawsuits by Atheists challenging the statement (because freedom OF religion MUST include freedom FROM religion, as Atheists avow, not realizing that a lack of religion is itself a religion, just as lack of a choice is still a choice.

        Anyway, we didn't really get into the "In God" business until the Red Scare, where Atheism was strongly associated with Russian/Chinese Communism. Duck and Cover and all that.

    3. herman Silver badge

      Way back yoinks, Christmas was commonly known as Yule Tide, before is was hijacked by the Christians. Most young people don't seem to know what it means though. Guess I'm old.

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    When you get older

    the ratio of what functionality you actually use out of the total functionality of the device gets less and less.

    I'm undecided if this is down to

    1) More and more useless bells and whistles being added because the product needed an update

    or

    2) You find out what suits your use case and can't be half arsed to learn to use anything else (or the manual is written in Chinenglish that even the autours would find difficult). If you do try anything new you soon drop it because your memory is so full the new things you have to do can't find space to be retained.

    or a comination of 1) and 2)

    The same goes for MS Orifice. All this latest whizz bang must have bells and whistles is totally irrelevant to 90%+ of users yet still more crap is added with every release.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: When you get older

      "the ratio of what functionality you actually use out of the total functionality of the device gets less and less."

      I'm not sure about that unless you stretch "used" to include "tried it once & still couldn't work out why they put it in".

    2. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: When you get older

      Remote controls for TVs etc seem to be gaining a silly number of buttons (and presumably functions behind them - though some just double up as different ways to do the same thing) that never get used.

      I bought an Amazon Fire Stick recently, and the remote control is refreshingly simple (though with some TVs it isn't needed; the equivalent controls on the TV's remote are passed through).

  11. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Oh, Alistair...

    I'm not sure how old you are, but I'm going to guess you're a similar age to me (~50), but you must never, never give up. If you do they have won...you know, them. The Millenials.

    Personally, I delight in their lack of understanding of the tech in their hands. I was there when the tech began, and I will be there when the next generation of tech emerges and they all queue up to worship at the altar of shiny lights, to gawp at the smoothness of the UI and to drool at the shortness of arcane application names that serve some strange purpose that they think they cannot live without.

    But we, the aged ones, know the truth of it. It's all ones and zeroes down there; electrons flipping around circuits and logic gates snapping to and fro. Such it always was and such it always will be, and it is us, US, the original "Computer Wizards" that remain the guardians of the secret knowledge.

    They may have high level understanding and swift reflexes with which to tap their buttons and send their unintelligible gabble to each other, but rare is the one who has The Understanding.

    Now, where did I leave my dried frog pills?

    (Paris, because *they* will never understand the reference.)

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Oh, Alistair...

      Most don't even know what the "save" icon represents. On a website or phone app...

      I think they're missed the bullet on this one!

      1. brotherelf
        Coat

        Re: Oh, Alistair...

        It's a tiny window, isn't it? Because that's what you use to look at the clouds, and that's where your data is.

        Also, beware that floppies will become ironically hip -- I'm sure there's already a web design 2.0 chief framework composurizer who hands out 3.5"s as calling cards, with the QR code of a link to their CV on Github embossed on it.

        1. Darryl

          Re: Oh, Alistair...

          Floppies will become ironically hip...

          Saw this the other day.

          1. VinceH Silver badge

            Re: Oh, Alistair...

            Saw this the other day.

            And did you visit the link in the poster?

            I just did. I feel that I have missed a point somewhere.

      2. DropBear Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Oh, Alistair...

        "Most don't even know what the "save" icon represents"

        Less and less of a problem ever since skeuomorphism was proclaimed no longer to be the new black - even recent Linux distros come without icons in menus or in toolbars (or indeed any menus or toolbars) these days...

    2. magickmark
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Oh, Alistair...

      @Bernard M. Orwell

      Is that you Burser?

    3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Oh, Alistair...

      I see your "The Understanding" and raise you "The Knack".

      youtube.com/watch?v=CmYDgncMhXw

  12. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Happy

    Not me...

    When I first saw that poster, I thought "I'd have loved to have that on my wall when I was at university".

    My second was "I still would love to have it on my wall - except my missus would kill me".

    Third: "Gotta get a man-cave sorted".

    So either that's a sign of my unending youth, or my ending immaturity. Go figure.

  13. IsJustabloke Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    NooooooooMannnnnnn!!!!!!!

    I was at that gig....

    I love all that guy's stuff.

    1. gregthecanuck

      Re: NooooooooMannnnnnn!!!!!!!

      Saw him live in Vancouver decades ago. Was a cool show.

    2. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: NooooooooMannnnnnn!!!!!!!

      "I love all that guy's stuff."

      Ditto - he's still putting out new stuff, and I'm still buying it.

      But on the subject of feeling old... We Have a Technical dates from around 37 years ago! =:o

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Excellent use of the Jacques Tati clip - Play Time - A Masterpeice in film

    Have a virtual "upvote" for reminding me of this classic film.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] I need new socks and underpants, [...]"

    ..and handkerchiefs - but they have to be big, white and made of cotton that will soften after a few washes to be useful for ad hoc cleaning of spectacle lenses.

    I'll buy my own socks thank you. Comfortable short white suit my needs in retirement. Possibly a reminder of the equivalent worry-free da.

    As a child in the 1950s our underpants were off-white and baggy. In the 1970s there were tight fitting "slip" briefs. In the 1990s there were tanga ones that used as little material as could still be comfortable. Both the latter styles came in bright primary colours and stocked by the likes of M&S and BHS.

    Swimming briefs went from black high-waist water/sand filled woollen ones - to the instant dry minimalist Lycra of Speedos in all shades of colours and patterns.

    Then came the millennium. Colours started to change to the muddy ones of a student's mixed hot wash - possibly a new cohort of designers had that as their reference point. Swimming briefs went from divers' Speedos to baggy below the knee cullottes. The same voluminous expansions happened to leisure shorts - signalling the demise of the Fred Perry short shorts.

    No wonder that I stock up at any opportunity. Tanga underpants from a niche supplier spotting a gap in the market - and original Fred Perry short shorts from charity shops and eBay. Speedos are no longer necessary as a naturist in my own back garden.

    No doubt in some respects the fashion trends are catching up with my preferences again. This is the first year that my short shorts didn't evoke a single wolf whistle or rendition of "we like short shorts" from the home-going streams of teenage school children.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It appears to be a sign of the times that appearance is paramount to function.

    It seems that every time I want to replace something then the original design is no longer made - even if it claims to be the same iconic brand. What is offered is usually deficient in one or more functional areas. Even new things soon show deficiencies that were presumed to have been overcome to make the often long-standing idea viable.

    A solid die-cast Kenwood food mixer - becomes a flimsy plastic confection. Its attachments connection apparently deliberately altered to make your existing collection no longer compatible.

    A microwave oven usually has a cavity coating that will quickly deteriorate with heat and steam. The transparent door becomes useless in seconds as the ventilation fan is insufficient to stop the heavy condensation that will fuel the rust. Customer reviews talk of poor door seals and even flaming malfunctions.

    Radios that forget some or all of their settings if the power is removed. Pre-set stations that can only be accessed from the remote control by stepping through them.

    Computer hardware that cannot be upgraded or repaired by a reasonably competent owner. Software that automatically upgrades - and removes existing functionality.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Nah, it's just the way companies work.

      First you have one engineer with a good idea, a high quality product at a reasonable price that sells itself when you look at the product. The engineer goes to a company and contracts with them to build it at a reasonable price, allowing for a bit of profit for the people building it and to the designer.

      As the product sells like hotcakes the company then expands and you end up with marketing, and business people employed. These people point out if you make the product more lightly it'll still sell because the reviews have already been written, and the product then loses quality. Eventually the product devolves into a piece of cheap tat that you have to replace every five minutes, the MBA types apparently failing to realise that when somebody replaces your cheap tat, they buy something else in disgust.

      They make a lot of money off of the brand name as they devalue it, until a new engineer type starts up with high standards. Rinse, repeat ad infinitum.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "First you have one engineer with a good idea, a high quality product at a reasonable price that sells itself when you look at the product."

        An old timer in the 1960s once described how companies designed a new valve radio product. Presumably drawing on his experience in the 1930s onwards.

        They built the prototype to the highest design standards. They then removed selected components until it stopped working. They put that component back - and called it the production model.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Invented by a Used car salesman

          That process has a name: Muntzing, Named after Earl -Madman- Muntz, the guy that invented the technique.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Invented by a Used car salesman

            Many years ago now, I had a neat self-winding pocket camera.

            My dad took it away on holiday and it broke. So he bought me a new one. I couldn't find it anywhere except that I'd seen it as an own brand in Dixons. It was identical to mine and close to the same price. But it didn't work very well, the film kept slipping when it wound on. Luckily dad, for some reason, had the original one still. So I compared them. The little toothed wheel inside the new one was flimsy plastic. In the original it was steel.

            I was annoyed enough to dismantle them both. Almost all the moving parts were exact copies in poorer materials.

  17. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    It worked the other way for me

    When I was a kid I was very shy and afraid of looking stupid, so feigned indifference to all the new stuff the other kids were playing with. Now I don't care if I look stupid, and will quite happily twiddle things, push/pull them and... "oops did I do that" with a big smile.

  18. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Calling Mrs Dabbs

    As a child, it would be astronaut figurines; as an adult, it's anything with a glowing LED

    Wondering what to get him for Christmas? Surprise him with one of these

    http://www.lidl.de/de/silvercrest-tv-simulator/p145145

    It has 12 LEDs!!!

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Calling Mrs Dabbs

      Okay, now you owe me a new mind, 'cause seeing that... thing... just blew to old one.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Calling Mrs Dabbs

        You probably don't want to look here then!

  19. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Ne pas pisser

    Imagine you wanted to dissuade passing pedestrians and late-night revellers from relieving themselves in your doorway. You’d put up a sign saying something like "Private Property" or "CCTV", right?

    Or two sections of chicken wire and a car battery.

    1. Toltec

      Re: Ne pas pisser

      "Or two sections of chicken wire and a car battery."

      Or two sections of chicken wire and an obsolete 40kV CO2 laser PSU.

      I like technology...

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Ne pas pisser

      Just go to the farm store and look for electric fence equipment. Much is reasonably priced and very durable. If you've ever taken a piss and hit an electric fence, believe me, you'll never do that again.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Ne pas pisser

        If you've ever taken a piss and hit an electric fence, believe me, you'll never do that again.

        When nature's callin', don't be stallin', use your common sense...

        ...don't whiz on, the electric fence.

        - Ren & Stimpy.

    3. Queasy Rider

      chicken wire and a car battery

      I immediately was thinking along the same lines, but I thought adding one of those shiny brass kick plates to the bottom of the door (with appropriate battery connected) would class up the neighborhood nicely.

    4. herman Silver badge

      Re: Ne pas pisser

      Why waste money on a high voltage PSU and battery? Just wire something up to the mains with a 40 Watt bulb in series - good enuff.

  20. Sureo

    "How do old people navigate a brave new world that keeps getting braver and newer at an accelerated pace?"

    We just ignore as much of it as possible and know it will eventually go away.

    1. herman Silver badge

      Old people have seen multiple iterations of the same old shit before and know that it still isn't what it is cracked up to be - that's all. Now get off my lawn so I can turn on the Robomow.

  21. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    There are two standard reactions to most new stuff:

    1. Seen it done better.

    2. Seen it done before and it didn't work then, either.

    On the rare occasions that neither of these apply you know you've got something worthwhile.

    Sadly there's an almost universal reaction to something that isn't new but has had a make-over, reboot or whatever:

    3. It wasn't broken, why did they fix it?

  22. Wiltshire

    No wonder that Series One Land Rovers are so coveted as therapy from complexity and flimsy designs!

    It has the kind of toolkit we can only dream of for "modern computers".

    An adjustable spanner and a hammer.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "An adjustable spanner and a hammer."

      Or just one very heavy adjustable spanner.

  23. Mandoscottie

    hahah its all so true!!

    Ive given up battling the retina burning leds....my biggest gripe these days was replacing all 8 GU10 halogens our previous house owners fitted in living room......brilliant what a cost saving...

    Until switching them on that first night, holy mother of god, its like walking into some kind of trippy pearly gate area, white of whiteness......even the cats wearing shades at night!

    I ended up removing 4 of the 8 and leaving the hole sin the roof....lol may refit 4 Halogens just to dullen it a bit and not leave holes in the cavities :P

  24. cambsukguy

    Toulouse

    96 free Super-loos dotted around the town centre.

    Some think it is funny to go in one, touch the close and jump out again, meaning a 20 minute wait for the person waiting outside. Really, 10 seems excessive but an actual device to 'see' you are still inside would improve them immensely.

    The town still managed to smell of piss in places but they made an effort so not Amsterdam or Paris levels.

  25. Herby Silver badge

    Christmas (no), Holiday Season (no), FESTIVUS!!

    For the rest of us.

    Yes, LED's are a scrooge that should be dealt with. Why do you need one. Nice while pilot lights were very nice and usually were not full brightness.

    As for buttons, maybe we should go back to dial telephones. Fortunately they still work on local exchange lines (if you still have them).

  26. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    "What I want, of course, is toys. Being a grown-up, however, these normally take the form of unnecessary gadgets and landfill-destined electronics."

    Be grown-up about it, and ask for LEGO.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Be grown-up about it, and ask for LEGO.

      This is El Reg.. so Playmobil please.

  27. thx1138v2

    And we old geezers don't want ANYTHING that talks. I've got a wife, two kids, and 3 grandkids that somehow think that talking proves they are alive - or something - although the grandchildren have moved it up a notch. They seem to think they have to SCREAM at each other, the dog, the walls, and/or Grandpa to prove they're alive. Funny, they never scream at Grammy.

    I don't want a GPS that is telling me, "Go straight for six point two miles" when I can clearly see the lake in front of me that is about 30 yards away while I'm at a T intersection. Lying bitch is trying to drown me. That was my first experience with talking auto tech. Self-driving cars? What about that frigging lake, HUH? HUH?

    And microwave ovens need only beep once, please. I've decided the reminder beeps are a devious plot to get me to damage the damned thing so I can pay to have it repaired. I've outsmarted it with gritted teeth and a little growling so far but my dentist is likely to reap the rewards of that.

    An Amazon gift card is sufficient. So I can buy paperback novels. Nope, no electronic gizmo needed. When the mega-EMP strike occurs I'll have plenty to read while I starve to death, thank you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And microwave ovens need only beep once, please."

      I'm currently using a microwave that is the "solo" small version of my old combination big one - probably about the same date too. It is interesting how many functions are not quite the same.

      The small one has a "one touch" timer button that allows 30 second increments - but has an apparently arbitrary limit of 5 minutes. Why? If I want to keep pushing it - why stop me? Otherwise it has a numeric pad.

      The big microwave gave 30 seconds on the first "one touch" push - then only whole minutes up to an arbitrary limit of 10 minutes. Common values of 1m30 or 2m30 had to be set with an alternative method that finally involved a continuously rotating knob. The latter theoretically gave 10 second increments - but in practice produced unpredictable forward, and sometimes backward, jumps reminiscent of the Golden Shot. Boldly spinning it apparently randomly often ended up at the desired value - whereas careful turning was like playing whack-a-mole.

      The big microwave used to repeat the "finished" beeps at long-ish intervals until the door was opened. The small one gives one set of beeps only. The result has been a search for my cup of coffee that I believed I had made recently - only to eventually find it still in the silent microwave and decidedly now lukewarm.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        "That was my first experience with talking auto tech. Self-driving cars? What about that frigging lake, HUH? HUH?"

        At the end of the road, continue forwards one hundred yards. Then you have reached your FINAL destination.

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Joke

      "An Amazon gift card is sufficient. So I can buy paperback novels. Nope, no electronic gizmo needed. When the mega-EMP strike occurs I'll have plenty to read while I starve to death, thank you."

      But why no electronic books? I don't get it... I thought rolls of punch tape and a hacked Enigma machine that can display them would be thoroughly EMP-proof!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I thought rolls of punch tape and a hacked Enigma machine that can display them would be thoroughly EMP-proof!"

        An MoD development insisted on the mainframe reading and producing 5 track telex paper tape. Out of curiosity the requirement was queried. It was explained that a dispatch rider might be dying on his feet on arrival from radiation poisoning - but the tape would be intact.

    3. Tim99 Silver badge

      "And microwave ovens need only beep once, please."

      I was genuinely impressed with one of swmbo's recent purchases, a washing machine that signals that it has finished by opening the door. A discreet click that can be heard from the next room; and if we missed that, we can see that the door is open. The only problem that I have with it is trying to remember whether it is open because it has finished a washing cycle - Or, if I had just left it open for ventilation...

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Whereas we have a washing machine that has various glowing lights, but not one that shows when it's on and the timer is set. So most times I put in the detergent set it to go, immediately press the "on" button, put away the detergent, then press the "on" button again...., because I know that the one time I don't check to make sure it's on it won't be.( And I know that if I don't press the "on" button at the same time as setting it, that will be the time I forget to go back and do it after I put away............)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The only problem that I have with it is trying to remember whether it is open because it has finished a washing cycle [...] "

        My washing machine is a decent distance away from my living area - so I never hear its bleep. I wouldn't even notice its open door unless I was going to the garden. My solution is a neat pocket timer unit with four independent timers.

        I set it to whatever the current ETA will be for any kitchen device to finish its current task. When a timer expires it bleeps - and keeps bleeping every second until it is reset. It also shows how long it has been since the timer expired.

    4. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "An Amazon gift card is sufficient. So I can buy paperback novels. Nope, no electronic gizmo needed. When the mega-EMP strike occurs I'll have plenty to read while I starve to death, thank you."

      What if it's a FIRE, though? Lot easier to take your library when it's one little device instead of a bookshelf full. And a fire is MUCH more likely than any EMP holocaust (which can BTW be mitigated to a good degree, ask your military).

  28. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Does this mean...

    ...the "technology tart" bit of the bio will have to be changed? What to? Answers below please.

  29. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    they don't like buttons to be in different places...

    I don't like buttons at all. Double sided sticky tape is so much better.

  30. Jim-234

    Probably because "Newer" usually = worse but pretty

    Possibly one reason people eventually hate newer things is the modern obsession with making everything actually worse in usability and workflow but "prettier" and "shinier".

    Software of course is at the forefront of this.......

    It's not just in the computer world, all over, everybody seems to feel the need to reinvent the wheel because the wheel isn't cool enough & probably because you can hire IP lawyers to fight over patents on it... unless you are Apple in which case rounded corners never existed before you came.

    As you get older, one thing you start to really dislike is spending more money to buy something to replace a broken item that should have just kept on working. The replacements of course being made ever cheaper and will break even faster.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Probably because "Newer" usually = worse but pretty

      Funnily enough in the midst of this I needed to find the "Autosummarise" function in WORD.

      I've not had need of it for a few years, being past that stage. When I did work full time we used Office 2003 quite happily and this function was sometimes very useful ( and worked surprisingly well) . At home we use 2010*. Today my student daughter could have used such a tool. So we looked for it. And it isn't there.

      Apparently they removed it because the people who let Microsoft upload their data weren't using it enough. So it was "fully deprecated" (sic). It is/was one of those tools that is extremely useful on rare occasions. And in 2010 they took it away. So if I compare WORD 2010+ with 2003's version I can now see a big disadvantage to the later version . But I'll be bu***ed if I can think of anything I've actually gained by having 2010 instead of 2003

      Yet I can't help feeling that this function was killed because MS never actually promoted it, then took their data from the people who are unsophisticated enough to allow them to collect it, so in many cases probably wouldn't have even known that the function existed. Not too different to the Start menu debacle.

      It's like the old joke. A chap was visiting the seaside, and went for a walk on the top of the cliffs. At the edge there was a terrifying drop. So he asked one of the locals why there wasn't a fence. "Ah well", said the local. " There was, but no one ever fell over the edge, so we took it away"

      *Yes we have LIBREOFFICE for most stuff.

      1. ID6

        Re: Probably because "Newer" usually = worse but pretty

        Yes, I think you have put your finger on it – and that probably explains some of the young/old split. Younger people tend to be more drawn to pretty; old folk less so, and as we get older, most of us have had our fingers burnt by inferior replacement products and so learn to be more cautious about new stuff (of course on those rare occasion when something new is a genuine breakthrough the young are likely to adopt it first).

        Many tech products seem to have peak utility – afterwards utility declines but prettiness & marketing hype may continue to build. Mobile phones – as phones – seemed to peak around 10 years ago – my Nokia 1112 was a comfortable size for speaking into, had a screen that was always on & visible in the brightest light, a battery that holds a charge for the best part of a week and when it finally does fail can easily be replaced without necessitating the binning of the phone.

        I have flirted with a smart phone but rarely find it useful – in fact it is a curse because when I should be chilling out in a cafe or relaxing while travelling I find myself compelled to try and find a Wi-Fi signal & then endure a frustrating browsing session as my finger fails to interface properly with the website. Yes, I realise I must have some psychological problem that draws me in but I don’t seem to be alone. Solution is to put the device back in the box and keep it for those occasions when I am staying away from home & it might be useful.

        My mate brings his smart phone when we go on walks & accesses maps – but it’s a bit embarrassing as he constantly zooms out to see both A & B and then zooms in to see some detail and loses his route – while the rest of us fold up our OS map having figured out where we are going. And of course doing bit of research at home before setting out means you can enjoy the outing rather than spending all of your time buried in a device oblivious to the surroundings.

        Peak watch seemed to be achieved several decades ago but happily Casio still manufacture the watch I purchased from Woolworths back in the 90s – but no need to buy a new one yet as after 2 battery replacements & two strap replacements the original is still fine.

        Peak portable audio player was also reached decades ago – the storage media has certainly advanced since then – but if you want something with integrated speaker & decent volume that can be heard over the sound of boiling kettles or running bathroom taps and can be controlled with wet hands without looking away from the hob then most modern devices don’t fit the bill.

  31. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

    Yeah...

    I don't know about that, my 70 year old father asked for a tablet for Christmas two years ago and after a month or so it was his go-to computing device. It might have taken him a few weeks to get the touchscreen down, but he now loves the thing. I didn't even have to show him how to use it, it figured it out on his own.

  32. Karl H

    "Old people in general don’t like gadgets, you see. That’s because they’re old."

    True to a certain extent.

    The old codgers ( assuming Alzheimers hasn't set in yet ) can remember a whole catalogue of ways of how things we're done before the new gadget came out or ways it could be done without a gadget at all.

    I find old codgers ( of which I will be one sometime pretty soon ) will usually appreciate a new gadget that is truly revolutionary ( think mobile phone, internet and further back TVs, cars, jet planes etc ) .

    What they don't appreciate is just tossing around and making things more complicated than they need to be, which is what happens on a lot of the latest "new tech" that is quite often not even "evolutionary" let alone "revolutionary".

    Moving where things are on a computer interface is quite often a pointless exercise. Its a bit like supermarkets just moving where they stock a certain item ( yes there are "marketting reasons" behind this" ). This buggers about with people's mental maps of the world, and just makes things harder than is really necessary.

    Old codgers for all their curmudgeonliness are often more able to see when something new is just a pointless exercise, just designed to extract money from fools who have to be "hip".

    So Alastair "Not being arsed" about pointless new tech should be taken as a sign of wisdom, just worry when you "can't be arsed" by revolutionary new tech.

    For me the only revolutionary new tech I'm currently getting excited is medical advancements that might allow me to spend my kids inherittance by living an extra 20 years in good health. I'm also looking forward to self driving cars, so when the DVLA want to take my licence off me circa 2040 I'll still be able to get around without using buses or over priced taxis.

  33. Grunchy

    My doggies peep & poop on everything they can.

    So does the rampaging herd of bunnies that have infested my neighborhood!

    What the heck, it all turns into fertilizer eventually.

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