Sunday, June 24, 2012

Positive technology surprise

I have been toying with an idea: I need to jot down all instances of when a product design has been completely satisfactory and exceeded my expectations.

 Humanity, and by definition yours truly included, has been spending a disproportionately large measure of time in complaining about tech and products that do not live up to expectations, and in this endeavor one can loose sight of their technological blessings.

 It can be argued that the true aim of a well designed product is to not only enable a user to accomplish their desired task, but to be as unobtrusive as possible: ideally the user's focus must remain on the task and not be distracted by the tool itself. E.g. When using a pen to jot down the next breakthrough patent idea, one would rather focus on the inspiration rather than struggle with using the pen.

 Today, I had the good fortune of experiencing a small, pleasant surprise.

 When using a PC as a media server, a typical configuration would have the server hibernate on extended inactivity to conserve power. Typically, this means having to first wake it and only then start streaming. Understandably, this can be a little inconvenient, and the process of turning on streaming, can often become a mini project in of itself, and tends to dampen the mood.

 As a commendable design decision, DLNA requires that the renderer (media client) send wake-on-LAN packets to the server when initiating a request. This totally obviates the need to manually wake the server and simplifies the viewing experience tremendously.

 THANKS DLNA standards committee, and THANK YOU SONY for implementing this part of the standard correctly in your 46EX620 TV! Kudos and cheers! The EX620 does this very well.

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