Plug-and-play, got a few hours?

Posted On: Saturday - June 3rd 2017 4:54AM MST
In Topics: 
  Curmudgeonry  Artificial Stupidity

Peak Stupidity has upgraded (not the website, but that's coming)! Wow, the bluetooth keyboard has been made fully operational, which should speed things up while our writers are on the road. OK, what you say, it's plug-and-play? Yeah, let me tell you about plug-and-play, buddy; there is always some stupidity hanging around anything called "tech" nowadays ("tech" being an ignorant shorthand for computer technology, as there are plenty of other lots-more-technical things around in this world compared to ic-chips and software).

Here's the small dose of stupidity to relate today. Yes, this keypad that you're hearing from right (on my mark). NOW, should have been easy to set up. I put the table in the correct place, turned on bluetooth connectivity on the table, and got ready to type. No joy. OK, where's the ON button? It was hard to tell whether the problem was in the tablet or this new keyboard. Just "FOLLOW! THE! DIRECTIONS! DAMMIT!", I've always ignored in the past, but that's a good last resort. Hey, there were no written directions, in English or any other language, this time. A 3 x 4 sheet of paper had some line diagrams that were completely unusable. Holy crap, I couldn't tell which little oval is supposed to be the tablet vs. the keypad, and there was no "legend", or a few arrows to the only two controls/indicators on this thing, one tiny button made for the pinky finger of an infant, and one LED. I understand, from observation, that good translators must be too expensive to hire for 1 hour to spread this $200 cost over 10 million units (I guess it didn't pencil out.). How about a guy who can draw well enough for the user to see what's what?

I finally noticed the tablet had recognized this keyboard, and had the keyboard working anyway, noting that the LED had turned blue (blue for "bluetooth", got it!). That was all good until the next time I wanted to use this thing. It was a total no go, after 1/2 hour of messing with it. The tablet could not recognize it, and no blue LED; I guess the blue LED meant it wasn't going to be recognized. OK, I was starting to figure things out, but the impasse was that I was still without any idea of the workings of this thing. (Did it need charging? Who knows - no LED for that, or maybe the one LED would turn Red, but NO DIRECTIONS. How about the tiny button, had I turned it off? I don't know how to know off from on.

I was ready to go back to Best Buy with this, when it worked again. I hadn't touched a thing since the last time, when it didn't work, so there was no learning process, other than DON'T! FUCK! WITH! ANYTHING! NOW! Then, after I tried to turn the tablet off, I figured next time I would rotate it 180 deg within it's mating part on the keypad to make the tablet's off switch easier to get to. Then, it didn't work. AHA! The receiver for bluetooth must need to be very close to this keypad, and the tablet must be only in one orientation. You could have told me that in English you stupid geeks, and saved me a few hours at least. (Or, I could have tried to look this up via DuckDuckGo, but what to type in? "Stupid POS keyboard works some of the time" would probably give a lot of answers.)

"Live and learn", people will tell me, but, listen, mechanical engineers don't make you go through this with something technical, like say an electric solenoid valve. The've got specs and a full description of all wires, fluid connections, and indicators. Plug-and-play, right, I'll believe it when I see a plug and a play button.

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