Friday, March 13 2009

Dear Steve Jobs,

I like buttons.

Sony Discman

I know you think buttons and cables and ports are all bad things, and should be hidden from the user whenever possible, but you’re going too far again. The new Macbook Pro that you can’t plug two even slightly oversized USB cords into, even on the 17-inch model that has acres of free space along the one side you permit ports to appear on? Yeah, that’s pretty stupid.

And the new Shuffle that can’t be controlled without the supplied button-starved remote control that apparently has difficulty registering its array of clicks-and-holds when operated with sweaty fingers? Yeah, that’s looking pretty stupid too.

Now, I have to admit that you’re not alone in your hatred for visible controls. See that picture up above? Way back when, the retailer almost begged me to take it off his hands, because no one had ever bought one, and since they’d been discontinued, he couldn’t get it out of the store fast enough. Customers walked in, looked at the sea of buttons, and bought something else.

I, on the other hand, walked in, looked at the device, and said “Look, look! Logically different operations on different buttons! It must be mine!”.