Stupid Design I – Frigidaire Gallery Dishwasher

frigidaire bad design splash guardI’m hoping to start a series of articles on poorly designed stuff with this article after I noticed that this is the third time the problem has occurred.

Our Frigidaire Gallery dishwasher, supposedly the quietest dishwasher in it’s class (what a joke) had it’s quiet pump die in the first few months and was replaced under warranty with a new one that is noisy beyond belief. But this is not what this rant is about. We mostly time the dishwasher to run while we are asleep so the noise is not a big concern.

After about a year of use, I was really lucky and noticed that a tiny rubber tab called “splash guard” near the bottom inside the dishwasher was ripped. A little bit of Googling led me to find a lot of complaints about leaking dishwashers thanks to that tab breaking. Also the placement of that tab is exactly where the wheels of the bottom tray slide. So basically it is intentionally placed in a way that it will rip and the dishwasher will leak.

So 12$ later, I find myself with a couple of new tabs, which lasted under a year. Essentially 12$-$15 every 6-12 months to fix a design defect in the dishwasher. Thankfully we don’t have other problems that people have with this dishwasher yet.

Blockbuster by Mail Suckage after DISH Acquisition

If you notice I haven’t had much to complain about Blockbuster for a while. Discs have been coming to me fast, new releases were coming pretty quickly, often delivered to me on the day of release. But for the last few months things have been just bad. Everything that is relatively new is on some kind of wait and I’m getting movies that are nowhere even near the top of my list. Just when I thought that the DISH acquisition would be good for Blockbuster. Here is a screenshot of the waits:

Windows 7, please just charge my damn laptop when it is plugged in

Once every few months, Windows 7 decides that it doesn’t want to charge my laptop while it is plugged in. Initially I thought something must be wrong my machine. A quick google search for “plugged in not charging” revealed that this is a problem with Windows Vista and 7 and happens to almost any laptop of all makes and models and the fix involves Uninstalling the “Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery” from Device manager and rebooting to reinstall it.

Why have laptop displays gone to the dogs?

My 6 year old Thinkpad R51 finally died. It was a refurb then so in reality it is probably 7 years old. That reliability is why I always recommend Thinkpads. I replaced this a few weeks ago with a new T400. The new laptop looks jsut as good and seems just as sturdy but what the hell is it with new laptop displays?

My old R51 display was really nice with excellent viewing angles and really high resolution (1600×1200). The new display has ok resolution (1280×800, 1440×900 was an option but this was such a good deal that I didn’t mind) but the viewing angles suck, the brightness seems uneven. I was expecting the “LED lit” display to be something far better than what I had. But all it has is eyeball searing brightness. No matter what I do to calibrate it, it just doesnt look good and the contrast and brightness never seem to be at any setting that is good. Did I say the viewing angles suck. I mean they are really ridiculously bad.

It’s the same with the new Dell laptops at work. Where have all the good displays gone? Then I search online and all I can find is people complaining  about not having the same resolution or quality on new laptops as they had previously. Even people willing to pay a lot for good displays can’t find any. So I guess the days of good displays are gone.

How I lost a few inches without losing them, really!

There was a time more than 5 years ago when I knew what pant size to buy. I blindly bought 31 and knew they would fit. Then I grew fatter. So I bought 32s. But recently, 32s have become too loose without my losing any inches (old pants fit perfectly). And today I found the reason why. Lying manufacturers.

I recently bought some pants online and they are just too big. So thanks to this stupidity which is not even consistent acreoss brands, I have to skip the convenience of online shopping for pants. I can understand the small/medium/large changing size as the population grows in size, but why lie with the numbers? Will men soon suffer the fate of women with pant sizes like 2 or 4 or 6 or 8, instead of the real dimensions, which really have no meaning?