Nothing Works Catweazle

Geoffrey Bayldon on the cover of one of Richard Carpenter's Catweazle  booksImage from Wikipedia‘Nothing works’, as Catweazle used to say and if he were to have appeared some 38 years later than previously he’d be uttering this exclamation quite frequently.

Having yesterday bought a toaster after a number of years just using the gas grill we found that inevitably the item was defective.

Earlier in the week I’d also had to explain to somebody that that their shiny new Vista laptop could not work wirelessly because this particular model was not fully functional with the ‘new’ Vista OS despite sporting a sticker than proclaims its Vista compatibility (now the subject of a US class action) though really its the laptop manufacturer who applies the sticker.

The world in which we now live puts a priority on getting products to market in order to make a profit. Making sure the product works most of the time is of secondary importance and in the cut throat build it cheap (though in the case of Vista which cost a reported $6.5 billion to get to market I’m not quite sure how that quite fits my example), sell at a profit world it’s hardly surprising that quality control these days is mostly undertaken by the consumer and the faint hearted who can’t push for a redress just have to put it down to ‘it always happens to me’ and move on.

We used to be able to go to the moon using less computing power than than a speak and spell toy but now we can’t make toasters that work reliably and when they do they still don’t toast evenly. Progress?

As for Vista , I’ll apply the service pack update for the third party and see what else fails to work after that.


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