First World Problems, Technology Edition

Yah, I’m spoiled. And I know Ford has has had issues with its Sync technology since its inception, with steady but gradual improvement over the years. But I can’t buy a new car every 12 months just for that. For now I’m stuck with a 2012 Fusion. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto probably weren’t on Ford’s radar back then.

Small inconveniences: why oh why would they bury the lone USB port in the bottom of the center console, a tiny dark hole deep down in a large dark hole full of cables and sunglasses and tissue boxes and hand sanitizer bottles, and… and… and… It takes a flashlight, small hands and several minutes of digging to find it, and a lot of fumbling to plug in a media player. Then there’s Sync itself. Occasionally it’ll recognize a device and play it through the radio, but not always, and when that happens just unplugging and re-plugging, or turning off the radio (entertainment system), unplugging again, rebooting, turning off again, in all possible sequences, will yield… nothing! The only fix then is to pull off to the side of the road, park, shut off the engine, open the door to make sure the system is dead dead dead, then start over. And cross your fingers. What the hey?

The media device I was plugging in is a nearly obsolete iPhone 5S– understand that iPhones are now beyond 9 and X and into the 11th or 12th generation to infinity and beyond. I am not an Early Adapter. I use it only as a media player, for music and podcasts. I’m not a fan of Apple or iTunes, but they work… generally, most of the time, and in many ways better than Android phones. Originally I had a 4th gen iPod Touch, which worked great, but it got so old Apple denied knowledge of its existence. “You are dead to me,” Apple growled as it turned away and counted its $billions in cash reserves stored in overseas bank vaults. So I was forced to upgrade. A little. But just try to find out how to REPEAT a playlist of songs in a continuous loop. Or play podcasts in chronological order, old to new, and not new to old. I don’t want a Wayback Machine. Go ahead and google it. They’ll give you very specific instructions on opening menus that don’t exist so you can tap buttons that are invisible, or not included in my unit or my ageing and non-updateable iOS, or whatever. I don’t know where they exist in the googleverse, but they’re not to be found where I live and curse.

Had to buy a new water heater last week. It pains me a little that the “old” one was acting up and no replacement parts are currently available, especially since the previous water heater, retired when we switched from propane to natural gas, is still perking away in the U.P. without a glitch. (Could it be a case of Location, Location, Location?) And probably the new owners can still get parts for that one, ancient though it is. The new one was the same brand and similar in all dimensions to the “old” one– simple plug & play, I thought, up and running in an hour or less. Except that it was just slightly taller, and the vent fan was on the opposite side, and on, and on, necessitating hours of cutting and soldering and gluing. Can we say Planned Obsolescence?

Yah. We can say that. Planned Obsolescence not only exists, but it rules our universe.

 

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