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Guru
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Ludicrous Software

05/07/2007 3:34 AM

My nephew missed his ferry because, although he had set his alarm on his mobile for 4am. The guy who wrote the software decided that.

a) Having it on 'silent'. or

b) Having it on 'don't ring on Saturday or Suday'

Should have priority !

This turned out to be a very expensive feature!

I've just invented a smoke alarm which won't go off at night and disturb your sleep!

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#1

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/07/2007 4:02 AM

I can understand situation "a". If you don't want your phone to make any sound, silent mode is the way to go (useful for when you're in a meeting, in church, or in a library).

Situation "b" is absurd. Don't-ring (for a call) shouldn't apply to the alarm as well.

My cellphone's alarm, however, has a feature that the alarm shouldn't function on certain days that I select which is usually Sunday. That's different. I like extended sleep on Sundays.

It also has a reminder function. This is different from the alarm settings and ignores whether the alarm is on or off. Might your nephew have used the wrong feature?

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Guru
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#2

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/07/2007 9:56 AM

The most expensive feature of any electronic device is the unread operating manual. Don't blame the designer.

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Anonymous Poster
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/07/2007 10:03 AM

I design electronics control systems and write the software which operates them.

Any designer knows that people don't read the manual. So I do blame the designer.

It is self evident that if a user sets the alarm he wants it to sound.

Have you read your car manual to see if the breaks will work every time you press the pedal?

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Guru
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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/07/2007 10:30 AM

No, but I did read the manual to see how the alarm works.

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Anonymous Poster
#16
In reply to #3

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/09/2007 9:44 AM

I doubt that a car manual will tell how the breaks work, it will however discuss the brakes; and likely the ABS system as well.

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Guru

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#4

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/07/2007 10:04 AM

Explanation might be that programmers pay more attention to the intended use of devices than on the "bonus" functions.

Buy a motor-sailing boat, and you'll get the worst of both!

I´rather use an alarm clock...

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Guru
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#6

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/08/2007 1:02 AM

With all the Gizmos to silence, no hardware interrupt left for the clock.

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#7

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/08/2007 1:08 AM

I have a similar gripe. On my Motorola V710 and 325i both have a button on the side that changes the ring mode. I suppose the engineers thought the customers sould like to change the ring tones without opening their phones.

OK. But in my case, the ring tones are changing by themselves because the button sticks out and requires little pressure to activate.

So I have missed many important calls until I decided to change all the silent profiles to ring normally - because when I look at my ring profile, it is different on many days, even when I made no effort to change it. The technical reps in India assured me there was no way to shut off the feature. ( I also filled my memory with photos of the inside of my pocket a few times before I decided to no longer carry the phone in my trousers pocket.) Design engineers need to think things through a little more.

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#8

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/08/2007 4:11 AM

Motorola were responsible for allowing their phones to be able to be switched off even when the keypad was locked. I found this on their first tri-band phone. I forget the model now

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/08/2007 7:53 AM

Obviously the alarm should have a first default to operate every day and make noise.

Then the options to mute it or off it on the weekends should be selectable by a user action = he knows what he does.

The other aspect is diversity. If I have an important event I cannot miss, I use two or more independent wake-up mechanisms. In my case a watch alarm, and battery alarm clock and my blackberry. Often when I travel there are such timeing situations.

He is learning. Next time he will have a dual alarm, I bet, or he is doomed

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Guru
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#10

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/08/2007 1:30 PM

It may be hairsplitting, but the "software" you mention is normally called "firmware" in the business......it lies between software & hardware......!

Firmware is the program that is built in and does not need loading for example!

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Guru
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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/08/2007 2:25 PM

D'uh ...

Yes I know this...I write the stuff.

When I'm writing it, I refer to it as software, once it's in the chip....it's firmware.

But to be fair to you, this discussion could be a pedant's delight!

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#11

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/08/2007 1:34 PM

Its not always the design engineers, the CEOs like to get things out the door and earning money, before the programming development is properly finished......they let the customer find the bugs and fix them slowly over the next couple of years, if you are lucky!!!

You know the ones, original Nokia company, MS etc etc etc

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Guru

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#13

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/08/2007 3:57 PM

Over the time I have had many different makes of cell phones, noticing that Motorola´s and Siemens´s had always (by far) the most complex and user unfriendly menus / functions.

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#14

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/09/2007 3:08 AM

All programmers are going to hell where they have to use their own software.

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Guru
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#15

Re: Ludicrous Software

05/09/2007 3:22 AM

I occasionally develop programs for PLCs and I always try to talk to the operators and maintenance guys to get their input before I finalize everything. This takes time, which is in short supply these days.

The project guys usually bypass this important step in program development and come up with programs that function how they think it should work. The end result is that they are making modifications after the project has already started up. This causes delays in start up and sometimes results in quality issues. Then they leave and the modifications are continued by us maintenance guys.

Some engineers develop the software to be user friendly, which endears them to the operators, but make it so difficult to troubleshoot that we, in maintenance, sometimes have to call them in to help in finding out what the problem is.

So, all you programmers out there...

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