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Author Topic: Knobs in a Peugeot!  (Read 5005 times)
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Lima
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« on: 23 March, 2014, 08:24:51 PM »

I’m no luddite.  I have a smartphone and a tablet and I couldn’t operate without one (well, I probably could survive without them but I prefer life with them).  One of their most redeeming features must surely be the multi-functional touch screen which affords clean & simple aesthetics whilst offering an infinite number of virtual ‘buttons’.  Brilliant.

A few years back I installed a car stereo (incorporating one hundred and one other functions I’d probably never use) which featured a touch screen display.  It all looked rather slick but I decided to sell it on eBay a week later because the touch screen was both dangerous and annoying… and potentially so too is the Peugeot 306 judging by the current crop of magazine adverts.

Of course it’s not only Peugeot that is incorporating this technology into its cars… they’re nearly all at it.  But what worries me is the extent of functionality which is being moved onto touch screens and the size of the area one must touch to command the desired function.  When driving my admittedly less fashionable analogue cars I am able to adjust the heater temperature, fan speed, de-mister and switch radio stations without taking my eyes of the road.  But with a touch screen this is much much more difficult.  Worse still, if the road isn’t billiard table smooth you have a job ensuring your finger selects ‘Radio 1’ instead of ‘End Navigation’.

When driving, my girlfriend has a habit of looking at me whenever she is talking, whilst I resolutely stare forwards at the road from the passenger seat to a) emphasise a point, and b) allow me maximum screaming time during each and every life-threatening hazard.  Whether one is driving at 70 on a motorway or 7 in town traffic, any deviation from looking at the road can have disastrous consequences (unless of course you’re starring in a Hollywood film where the cars are presumably fitted with a forward facing mirror on the near side A pillar to allow protracted conversations and uninterrupted eye contact between occupants whilst negotiating twisty coast roads).

Perhaps it’s just me that couldn’t operate my fancy car entertainment system without having to look at the screen.  Perhaps the X-box generation have evolved pixel sensitive fingertips and cannot comprehend my concerns, but for me anything more than two or three large bold buttons on a touch screen would require sacrificing some good old ‘looking where I am going’ time.  As I see it there are already too many people not paying attention to what’s going on around them.

It’s fair to say then that if Peugeot and other manufacturers don’t see fit to have knobs in their cars then that obviously rules me out as a customer.  Read that as you will :?
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Lima

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« Reply #1 on: 24 March, 2014, 11:17:43 AM »

Nothing wrong with being a Luddite. There's a quote by Richard Petty in the latest Motorsport which reads - " Something is better if it's better. It ain't better just because it's new". That's so true. The world has gone slightly mad. For instance I work in Indesign, Photoshop etc. They are so complex that I have yet to meet another designer who fully understands how to achieve everything that is possible in those programmes. We all know the everyday stuff but we have a situation where professional designers have to Google how to do something more complex and unusual. Then what happens is that now there is a newer version. Everybody upgrades, but nobody has yet fully mastered the old one. It's madness, as there is nothing that can't be produced with the old one anyway. Only the other day I was chatting to a friend that apart from medical research all progress could quite easily stop now. He said 'Ah, but we'd all still be living in caves if we'd though that'.  But the difference is this - in the 50's, 60's 70's, even 80's generally speaking things like cars, cameras, tv's etc were rubbish. We now have tiny mobile phones, every possible sort of communication, ultra reliable cars that don't rust, cameras so advanced and sharp that a professional could only have dreamed of them in the past, flat screen tv's again with pin sharp images. We've reached a point where there is still progress, but as far as I can see only for the sake of it. We don't need better cameras, for instance. There is a limit to how sharp an image can be and a modern professional camera has reached it, whereas back in the 30's progress was still warranted. I caught the end of a programme the other night about a Japanese train crash. The Japanese themselves were talking about the 'Japanese disease' where speed is the most important thing, that everything must be done faster. They are planning a train to travel at 550kph but someone said that the Bullet train is fast enough and it really isn't needed, that the speed of modern life is leaving human nature behind. Rather like the billions that will be spent so that we can reach Birmingham 20 minutes earlier. I'll bring this ramble to an end with this example of modern living. Recently I've been collecting a few mechanical watches. I like the fact you can see the workings through the back and the fact you have a little machine on your wrist and not a souless battery. My brother thought they were great. "How do they keep time?" he asked. I said after a bit of adjustment, they gained about 3-4 seconds a day. "Yeah, you see, that's the trouble with mechanical watches." he replied. I pointed out that if he set one on Monday morning, in 15-20 days it would only have gained a minute. I asked him what he does in his life that he needs greater accuracy than that? He thought about it and said "That's a point, I'm going to buy one". So - there is a link here to knobs in a Peugeot - you're right, tiny little screens are dangerous and just because Peugeot tells us it's progress doesn't actually mean that it is.
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DavidLaver
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« Reply #2 on: 24 March, 2014, 11:43:09 AM »


I'm still "up for progress".  Specifically I'm very pleased with my new camera.  It can almost see in the dark.  Simple to use for me, enough gizmos for the kids, a worthwhile drop in size over the one similar I bought a dozen years ago.

Replaced the washer drier "like for like" after 15 years.  The "expected finish time" is a nice feature as is the larger capacity, faster spin and more powerful drier.

As for cars not so sure...our "new" one is still 8 years old but in the 18 years since "the everyday car" was built not so much progress.  Tyres are five times more expensive and cracked two wheels in a year (and this is the smallest wheel and tallest tyre they do). Not quite as comfortable for all a tiny bit quieter.  The additional  100bhp is rarely used and never required.  Fuel consumption only a little better for all I know a more recent petrol or a turbo diesel can achieve massively better fuel economy.  Stability is better which ups the cruising speed on a wet and windy night but I'm not sure its better than the Dedra Turbo was 25 years ago.  Economy is the real gain (as I understand it) for all as a "low mileage family" (walk or public transport day to day) we're better buying something thirsty and depreciated.

For electronics and software that the kids can buy games for pennies that work reliably is great.  We were wrestling with a PC game installed from a CD recently which reminded me just how cheap and easy an app is.  I was also minded to admire the console builders for how reliable their kit and software is.

TV?   Its rare we watch it live and "the video shop" is a distant memory.  Broadband speed to thank for that.

Aircraft?   How I miss Concorde flying over at 4.02 every day.  Who wouldn't like to see a giant airship?

David
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David Laver, Lewisham.
Lima
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« Reply #3 on: 24 March, 2014, 11:47:31 AM »

The thread isn't about progress per-se; more about pointless technology in unsuitable environs.

So the point worth noting is that you could theoretically adjust the time on your mechanical watch whilst driving far safer (relatively speaking) than you could with a menu-orientated buttonless touch screen.

Far safer still would be to adjust the time before you left of course, but where's the fun in that! Smiley

That said though, I like the fact that I never have to adjust my computer or phone's clocks twice a year as it's done automatically. So progress certainly isn't all bad Smiley
« Last Edit: 24 March, 2014, 12:03:02 PM by Lima » Logged

Lima

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« Reply #4 on: 24 March, 2014, 12:10:53 PM »

Sorry Mark I mis-understood, I thought you were referring to the people who drove them..
Am I alone in thinking this?
Paul  Wink
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Lima
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« Reply #5 on: 24 March, 2014, 12:13:25 PM »

Sorry Mark I mis-understood, I thought you were referring to the people who drove them..
Am I alone in thinking this?
Paul  Wink

The title was intentionally ambiguous. Happy to chat about the alternative Wink
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Lima

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« Reply #6 on: 24 March, 2014, 12:23:11 PM »

I am only against 'progress' for the sake of it or to make something that was perfectly good obselete. It's like when the little brochures fall out the paper and you can buy something like a 'Microwave with Radio, toaster and DVD player' - just because they can. The point I was making to my friend was that if, in some bizarre circumstance we found that all progress was halted today, I don't think we'd find ourselves wanting for much, if anything. As far as watches are concerned, someone made a point on a website that with the incredible accuracy of the cheapest battery watch, there is no logic for mechanical ones. He put it down to the 'tamagotchi effect', the fact that if you look after it each day, in return it tells you the time:)
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Lima
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« Reply #7 on: 24 March, 2014, 02:08:40 PM »

Agree with you Stanley. But you know that the microwave alarm clock toaster shoe polisher will soon appear as an optional extra on the new S-Class Cheesy
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Lima

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« Reply #8 on: 24 March, 2014, 02:55:54 PM »

I must admit that as I typed 'Microwave with radio, toaster and DVD player' I found myself wanting one.
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« Reply #9 on: 24 March, 2014, 09:39:33 PM »

I recently got myself a new phone , a touch screen ! I like modern technology I think my phone is just great . Its a HTC nicely designed and has a very easy to use menu . It receives calls clearly ,take good photographs and has internet . Its Great ! Or is it ? after 30yrs working with my fingers in the construction industry and repairing / restoring Lancia's,  my fingers are useless with a touch screen ! My old Nokia 5210 had buttons that you can feel and press firmly ! No problem getting the message across ! I'd hate to see a touch screen in my car , it this ever happens I'm ducked !  Roll Eyes
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Lima
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« Reply #10 on: 24 March, 2014, 09:51:05 PM »

LOL  Grin

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Lima

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« Reply #11 on: 24 March, 2014, 11:56:10 PM »

From the cars that I have driven recently the touch screen is rapidly being overtaken by the Voice activated systems combined with a touch screen ... which technically means that you don't need to touch the screen anymore ... its just there for you to see if your voice command has been interpreted correctly ....

All well and good you say ... but I think you have to train it to your voice ... I'm not convinced that they like regional accents!

But the good thing is they are always polite ... irrespective of how rude you are to them as it learns your accent

Then again with the latest Cruise control systems that brake for you if you get too close to the car in front ... maybe you can fiddle with your touch screen in blissful ignorance as to the car in front changing speed!

Do I like these innovations ... yes Cruise control can be a licence saver ... Active cruise that brakes for you ... no, not really as you feel you are losing control ... and some of the pleasure of driving

Where will it all end ... eventually I think we will end up with cars that drive themselves ... making the world a very boring but safer place until the systems crash! 
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St Volumex
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« Reply #12 on: 25 March, 2014, 07:10:51 AM »

Mark, I love technology more than most (I 'do Facebook'  Shocked ), but only if it's useful to me.

But my personal favourites are the knobs in Lancias that can't talk about anything else, and can't wait to tell everyone that their car is a 'real, classic Lancia' as it was built long before yours, is so much better made, more exclusive, expensive, etc etc etc.  Roll Eyes

As much as I love driving a car, I can't wait for the knob recognition systems that would prevent knobs in Discoveries, Porches, Audis, and BMWs from driving through our peaceful village at 40 mph instead of at the legal 20 mph speed limit.  Grin
« Last Edit: 25 March, 2014, 07:27:35 AM by St Volumex » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: 25 March, 2014, 05:30:52 PM »

Sorry Mark I mis-understood, I thought you were referring to the people who drove them..
Am I alone in thinking this?
Paul  Wink

The title was intentionally ambiguous. Happy to chat about the alternative Wink

What about knobs who name Peugeots?

They've got themselves in a Tiz here. Once upon a time there were the 301-305 saloons all trundling along in numerical order without issue, then in 1986 someone said let's make our first medium sized hatchback & call it the 309 to sit alongside the 205 hatchback, 505 & 604 saloons. From this followed the 306, the 307 & the 308 hatches and now we have the latest  hatchback in the line up with this smart uncluttered dash & what have they gone & called it? Not the 309 cos its already happened & not the 310 but the 308 (Mk2) .
Talk about a cock up!
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« Reply #14 on: 25 March, 2014, 07:15:06 PM »

That is a bit bizarre but still not as bad as a lot of modern cars from the Far East with just the most meaningless words as names. There's a Dacia (not Far Eastern I know) that appears here from time to time called the Stepway. I feel like shouting 'That's not even a word!'. I remember thinking many years ago that Lancias have had the best names of any manufacturer. This was long before I even knew I would own one. Extremely bored one day I read the comprehensive list of models in an exhaust ad in Classic and Sports Car. As I read all the Lancia names Flavia, Fulvia, Flaminia etc I realised no other manufacturer came close. I don't think there's ever been a duff one and they all meant something.
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