My Top 5 PC product peeves!

Warning… rant follows!

I love my computers and all that goes with them BUT, why oh why do manufacturers insist on perpetuating the awful design flaws which tend to irritate and frustrate most users. Here are my top 5 pet peeves:

1) Grey or black text/symbols on black plastic cases, buttons and knobs.

What are they thinking of!! For example; I have a very nice Asus laptop with all the usual connection ports along both sides. The body of the laptop is black and the manufacturer decided to identify each port with a … wait for it … black symbol. Now, many of these ports are identifiable by their shape and size but there are also identical ports for things such as audio in and out – in for microphone and out for headphones. I can never remember which is which and identifying each involves a lot of tilting and a magnifying glass and torch. I wonder if the geniuses ever considered that a lighter color on black would probably be much more easily discernible… obviously not.


2) Optical drive eject button placement.

I wonder who decided that the eject button for optical drives fitted to desktop towers should go UNDERNEATH the extended tray? Maybe a contortionist? Why in heavens name can’t they be positioned ABOVE the extended tray? Oh, sorry… because that would make life just too easy!


3) Power adapters.

Why don’t manufacturers place stickers on AC adapters which identify the product they are supposed to be connected to? We buy a new PC and it is covered in stickers with useless information; yes I know there’s an Intel inside, that’s one of the reasons I bought it in the first place. Oh look, it’s running Windows 7, fancy that. Duh! Manufacturers seem to have a really skewed idea of what information we need and don’t need.

Why can’t power adapters all be a size and shape so they fit easily side by side into a power board?  And why the heck can’t they make adapters where the cable exits out of the TOP of the adapter instead of to the side which always gets in the way regardless of the size of the adapter. You know — the way they make most plugs!!

4) USB cables and connecters.

Which way is up? There’s a 50/50 chance of getting it right but if you’re anything like me, you always manage to somehow get it wrong. For goodness sake, why can’t they just make both connections so there is no up or down to worry about?



5) Power cords that are built into the body of the device.

How much more convenient is it when devices include power cords which disconnect both ends? Point in case; my computer desk is positioned close to the wall, obviously for space saving reasons. I cannot push a normal power plug through the gap between the wall and desk, but I can comfortably push through the other end, the smaller end which plugs into the device. Manufacturers take note; we do not want power cords built into devices. What’s that you say? You can’t have every Tom, Dick, and Harry just being able to replace broken power cords themselves… hmmm.


Okay, that’s the end of my rant. Not that I’ve run out of material, but my lovely wife just delivered a nice cold beer, so I’m chilling out. Besides, I don’t wish to bore you too much. I’m sure you’ll be able to add your own favorite peeves, please feel free to do so via the comments.


About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

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