7 annoying things about technology

A part of the unashamedly #firstworldproblem series.

iPad typing is frustrating
iPad typing is frustrating

Here’s a list of some everyday technology glitches that vex me:

  1. Putting the USB stick in the wrong way around – always. (How does that happen, when you’d think between two choices, there’s a greater chance of choosing the right way?)
  2. Scanning documents. The scan quickly leaps to 99% and then keeps you waiting three minutes for the final percentage to finish (Thanks for @catep36 for the reminder).
  3. Auto correct. It’s frustrating to type a tweet on your phone with a particularly long word within it, only to look back and see it’s been auto-corrected and makes no sense. Also, I’ve lost count of the number of people that tell me “I typed Prakky into my phone and it turned into Orally. Hee hee”. (Yes, we can adjust correction settings on smartphones or our desk tops, but it’ll still get you somehow).
  4. Typing on the iPad. I’ve been touch typing since age 12, but the flat shiny keyboard of the iPad has conquered me so far. I fumble over it. And then I encounter vexing point number 3) above.
  5. When strangers don’t mute the keys on their mobile phones and you have to endure a ‘beep beep’ with every key they type. This often happens while waiting for public transport or sharing an elevator with a stranger.
  6. When you quickly shut down your iPhone and accidentally take a screenshot of the last application open.
  7. Desktop printers. Apparently designed to last 6-12 months.

How about you? What aspects of technology annoy you? (And don’t just say ‘iTunes’).

37 Comments Add yours

  1. Jodie says:

    email notification alerts – in the middle of the night

    1. Prakky says:

      I’ve left the iPhone by the bed before, only to have the lit-up screen wake me up. To tell me someone liked my Instagram picture. That I posted 2 days ago.

      1. Since the advent of Words/Hanging with Friends, I’ve started switching off my notifications when I go to bed. Annoying to switch off and on again (especially when you forgert to turn them back on and spend the day thinking nobody loves you), but it’s much nicer than the blinding screen at 3am.

    2. Chris Oaten says:

      Jodie. Simple fix. Switch to Airplane mode.

      1. Jodie says:

        well yes of course, I guess i was referring to either forgetting to close my laptop and hearing the ding of an email alert down in the lounge or the person sleeping next to me being able to happily sleep through their alerts

      2. Some idiot says:

        Popular people who have the audacity to be deep sleepers are the worst.

  2. Ben Teoh says:

    Batteries – or more to the point, the need to recharge batteries with different chargers for every device.

    and iTunes.

    1. Prakky says:

      When is someone going to invent the megabattery? Oh, they probably have – but it’s not available and again, we can blame capitalism.

  3. Jodie says:

    oh and forget desktop printers, what about the fact that ink cartridges cost more than printers – madness

    1. Prakky says:

      It seems crazy, doesn’t it? That’s capitalism for you.

      1. Chris Oaten says:

        Prakky… ever so economical with words. Here’s the long answer. It’s not crazy. It’s consumers who are at fault. Here’s what happened….

        Printers used to be really expensive and the inks not so much. But gradually printers became as much a commodity device as computers; if you owned a computer, you more than likely would have a printer, too. Big retailers such as Hardly Normal realised that they could force manufacturers into a bulk purchase scheme that worked very much in the retailer’s favour. And if the manufacturer didn’t comply with huge discounts on wholesale supply, their devices wouldn’t be stacked near the front door where voluminous traffic would provide a preferred supplier with healthy sales, even on the slimmest margins.

        It got to the point where competition among manufacturers for both market and mind share became so great that they all began making el cheapo printers that could be sold at a loss and were happy to do this because they realised the real river of gold was in the ink. For instance, the first printer I bought had a Canon BJC-20 black ink tank that cost about $20, or about $50 by today’s prices but it contained three times the amount of ink that my current black ink tank does but which costs $23. Ever noticed how ink tank capacities have shrunk over the years? Can we accept that they’ve shrunk the capacities in order to fit more ink colours in the same space for better photo printing results or was it all a ruse to make us replace ink tanks more frequently? Or a combination thereof? Anyway…

        So we now find ourselves with a surfeit of printers in the sub-$200 range, which provide an ordinary print quality and a range of models from the major names in the sub -$100 range. These printers are truly awful. They are not made for durability or quality output, but because we – and by “we” I mean humankind in a loosely collective sense – are generally pretty happy with shitty products as long as they’re cheap – many of us simply get what we deserve: inferior goods, and some of us wonder why they sell printers for which replacement ink tanks are more expensive than the replacement cost of the printer. Well…. d’uh.

        The irony hanging over consumers’ heads is that buying a quality printer – and by quality I mean quality that approaches photo lab image quality or digital bureau text/graphic print quality – means spending a lot more money on the printer in the first place. An Epson R3000, for instance, will cost you $1265, and the ink tanks are higher capacity and cost less to replace than the cost of the printer; meaning, provided you can exploit the economy of scale, that spending more on the printer will likely end up costing you less per page to run than buying a cheap printer, which you will likely have to replace sooner than later as well. Of course, this concept rarely enters the mind of the typical consumer because they’re too busy avoiding tripping over the $69 HP printer near the entry door at Hardly Normal. Instead, they’re content to remain confounded by the whole ink tanks v replacement cost thingy, like so many infants fascinated by their Fischer-Price push carts.

        If you’re upset about the cost of replacing inks, you might like to remember that not so long ago the printer-buying public rushed into buying cheap and nasty printers, thereby fuelling demand for them, which became a feedback loop, allowing HPO and Canon and Epson to build their fortunes on ink cartridges. Instead, consumers should have said “no, we don’t want your shitty printers that break down in a year or less, we want better quality, we want innovation, we want ink tanks that last longer, and we want you (the manufacturers) to invest in R&D that will deliver these things, and we the consumers will be happier, and the environment will be better cared for, and retailers can find some other shitty product to flog, and we can all live happily ever after.

        Like Prakky said…. that’s capitalism for you.


      2. Some idiot says:

        I’ve met the guy who owns Cartridge World.

        Had fun shooting his Lamborghini.

      3. Jodie says:

        To be honest Chris, I just bought the best printer I could afford at the time. It was for my daughter to print out school work and the odd photo from her new digi camera. I think it was around $300 – paying $1k or so for one just wasn’t in the budget I’m afraid. The odd (expensive) cartridge is much easier on the cash flow of this little black duck. I’m not upset by the cost of cartridges it’s just annoying.

        Sorry – Guess I should stick to a Fischer-Price trolly or make my child practice her penmen ship by writing everything – Actually that brings me to another annoying thing about technology – you never see beautiful handwriting anymore!

  4. Hee hee – I like having an excuse to complain, and no better way than when someone else starts it ;).
    Agree with all of those and will add…
    1. Getting hot legs when you sit with the lappy on your lap. Especially in summer. I’m sure the sweat will kill it one day…
    2. People who don’t use Social Media saying “Pfft! I don’t want to read about when people go to the toilet or what they had for breakfast” *sniff sniff scoff scoff*
    3. All of the cables. Oh, the cables!
    4. Printing double-sided manually. It will be the death of me….or the printer. I’m guessing the printer
    5. Every second one of my blank CDs bucking the system and wanting more from life than allowing data to be written to it (okay, so I write to CD rarely now, but it still irks me).

    1. Prakky says:

      Great list – hot laptops, agree! And cables, especially the tangled kind.

    2. Ric says:

      Actually, with the current temperatures in Adelaide, that hot laptop is the only thing keeping blood circulating to my legs …

  5. Caroline says:

    Accidentally pressing that certain combination of keys that flips the contents of your screen on their side. Then trying to remember what they are.

    Oh, and iTunes.

  6. Jodie says:

    The hot laptop thing bothers me, I do wonder of possible health implications in future – am I being paranoid or are we just asking for trouble? Almost off topic but cancer due to excess technology use will be bloody annoying :-/

  7. Jodie says:

    iOS updates that result in lost settings, in particular car blue tooth needing to be reconfigured after every iPhone update – am I just getting petty now?

  8. Alex says:

    My pet hate is that some things (& yes, iPhone, I’m looking at you) haven’t been designed with long finger nails in mind. While I think I have normal sized hands, a lot of people think they’re small and yet I find it impossible to use an iPhone because I usually have very long (natural) nails.

    I get really het up about that.

  9. CathieT says:


    To applications that weren’t, in my humble opinion, broken or updates that make something else, that was functioning perfectly well thank you, broken.

    People if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  10. CathieT says:

    Oh yeah – and putting empty folders on USB sticks is right up there too. Right Prakky?

  11. Chris Oaten says:

    My TV does this really annoying thing.It screens reality TV shows. I wish it would stop doing that. Also, the time it takes for my phone to talk to satellites. What’s up with that? I used to have to get out a paper map and look up the index and turn to a page and deal with grid references. Now I’ve got a phone to do that but it takes about 8ms for my location to update. This means that if I’m travelling at, say, 60km/h, then there’s about 20 metres out of every 100 where I can’t be absolutely certain of where I am. Bloody technology. And don’t get me started on couriers. We ordered a wand on the Wednesday before the Harry Potter Part II movie, which was six days later. On a Tuesday. And you know what happened? You wanna know what happened? We had to drive out to the airport to pick it up. Was going to be delivered the next day, which means we would have not had Ginny’s wand in time for the midnight screening. Of course, the wand was official merchandise purchased online from The Wizarding World of Potter. In Orlando. Florida. On the other side of the planet. And it did get as far as Adelaide Airport actually LESS than six days later. Add yeah, when the PMG was running the show, that sort of thing would have taken months. MONTHS! But still. We had to drive out to the airport. Bloody international freight carriers. Can you believe it? I mean… really. The cheek.

  12. Liam Thorpe says:

    On the printer thing, I hate that it’s often cheaper to buy a whole new printer than it is to buy ink cartridges. Bu then if you buy the cheap ones, they clog up the print heads 😡

  13. Tarale says:

    Microsoft Word, and its lovely ideas about how I want my document.


  14. Steve says:

    Ear buds.

    Specifically, when you wave at someone and somehow catch the cord on your thumb and rip them out of your ears. Or get your sunglasses tangled up with your hair and the cord. (That may be just me.)

  15. Damien says:

    Okay, these are more iphone app problems, but anything that plays audio when the phone is on silent means an instant delete, and same with any game or app that stops my music playing so it can play an intro sound. It’s like web games that force full screen. Casual gaming means gaming while doing something else.

  16. Ash Simmonds says:

    Putting earphones in your ear BEFORE putting the music on, after having left the volume on max previously – this is a sure-fire way to really bust out some moves.

  17. Tim Wallington says:

    Louis CK tells us that we should really learn to appreciate technology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk

    1. Ben Teoh says:

      Ah, yes. One of my favourites, and always grounding. Maybe this post should be subtitled #firstworldproblems?

      1. Ben Teoh says:

        Ah… it already is. I hate not having ‘edit’ buttons on comments. Oh wait…

      2. Prakky says:

        Thanks Ben! Will add your experience to this list … 😉

    2. Prakky says:

      Tim, that clip was awesome. Thanks for sharing it – I’m looking forward to the day I can watch more Louis CK on high speed internet while sitting in a chair and flying through the sky.

  18. Scott Gregory says:

    Random (and mostly unknown) people who absue, insult and spit (Yes! You read correctly!) at me for owning and iDevice instead of Brand X phone with Brand G operating system.

    1. Chris Oaten says:

      Oh, Scott, I so hear you. The latest fashion seems to be deriding iDevice users for not preferring an Android device. If you’re reading this and it sounds like you, I have a nice, dark alley we can meet in.

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