An item K8 loves, and item K8 hates

The item that I love is my Wacom Bamboo tablet. It’s the original Bamboo, before the bamboo fun, or bamboo craft, or pen and touch or any of those things; just the good old basic one.

I love this tablet because it’s fairly intuitive to use, once you get it set up with your computer. The affordances are pretty clear. You know how to hold a pen, so you know how to hold the tablet pen because it looks like a pen. it becomes pretty clear that how to orient the tablet in relation to the computer.

The visible feedback is one of the things that make tablets easy to use. When positioning the pen over the tablet, the movements of your hand are directly mimicked by pointer on the computer screen.

The constraints of the tablet, are mostly psychological. You see that there is a square defined on the tablet and realize that when the pen is outside of the square, it will not function.

One of the downfalls of the tablet I’ve found, is when using newer operating systems, the tablet driver malfunctions and has to be reinstalled over and over again. Luckily, I’ve recently gone back to using Windows XP, so this isn’t really an issue for me anymore.

The item that I hate is the ghetto, old, gas stove that came with my apartment. Not only is it hard to use, but because of it’s firey nature, it’s a real health hazard.

The most obvious problem is the mapping of the elements in relation to their controls. They’re all just slapped on the front of the stove where not only do they have no real relation to the elements that they control, but you have to bend down to read them… not that reading them informs you of much. Low, Medium and High are the only words on the dials. No instructions on how to light the stove.

The auditory feedback is also lacking in the lighting department. The quiet “click” of the lighter can only be heard is the rest of the apartment is dead quiet. I often find myself bending down to look under the pot to see if the flame is on. This is especially a hazard, because if you just assume it’s lit, the stove will just pump gas into the tiny apartment.

My final major issue with the stove is that the dials don’t really correspond even with their function properly. when the dial is positioned at “low” the flame actually goes out, though the gas doesn’t completely turn off. Again, I find myself bending down to check whenever I adjust the dials. An easy way to fix this issue would be some kind of physical constraint stopping you from turning off the stove all the way or at least some kind of feedback letting you know that you’ve done so.

I do a lot of cooking and this stove just seems to have it out for me.



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