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Nuisances

 

What they are

Things that one does not like, but has to tolerate.  They often generate frustrations.

Some of these are just because of me (e.g. my lefthandedness causes a number of nuisances that most other people do not encounter).

Others seem to be a nuisance to a large part of the population, yet not much is done about them:  overpopulated cities, traffic noise, advertisement mailings.

Increasing complexity of computing is one of my favourite nuisances (not that I'm particularly a masochist).  Computers get slower and less understandable.  Just read my story of a PSION user, and disagree if you like.

Nuisances aired on other pages include:

PDAs

Mobile phones

Commercialism

Alarm clocks with projection on ceiling

They are the great fashion now.  We've had one for years, but it gave up the ghost.  It was also a model that synchronised with a radio time broadcast.  Since the reception was particularly bad in the bedroom, it sometimes got out of sync, not good when you have set an alarm.  I therefore needed to use two alarm clocks:  the good old faithful Philips "cube" and the newer-fangled projector clock that just died.  It is nice to know the time just by looking at the ceiling, so I tried to find a replacement that would do both jobs.

That meant the new thing had to satisfy the simple criteria of the table below.

Note that the following were not criteria:  display of extra information such as temperature, date, weather forecast; snooze function.

Criterion Satisfied by
Philips "cube"
Satisfied by
old projector clock
Satisfied
by new clock
time independent of broadcast
backup battery
alarm independent of radio
radio
time set by up and down buttons
alarmset by up and down buttons
fast and slow up and down
two independent alarms
time synchronisation by radio
projection
24h display
re-arming of alarm after 24h
display brightness control automatic
buttons on top so they can be
pressed by one finger

After months of searching I found an Oregon Scientific device that seemed ok and bought it for 99€.  Back home I was astonished to find that the projection was parallel to the face of the device.  I don't know about you, but my clock is on my bedside table, and I like to see its face, hence I point it roughly towards the bed, but certainly not away from the headboard.  But that made the projected display stand at about 90º of what would be readable.  It is possible to turn the projection by 180º but no other angle!

I should have thought about these criteria for the projection:

I wonder if the designers of the Oregon Scientific BAR339DP ever used it themselves, or even if they have any checklist of criteria.

An evening was lost, or spent, or enjoyed, (you may choose) in taking the device to pieces and modifying it so it is now usable. I was so upset, having spent so much time finding a reasonable device, that I could not care less that in the process I lost the guarantee.

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next planned revision: 2009-11