Most useless gadget ever?
I just wanted to know the most useless gadget that you have ever owned. To get the list going, my number one is the black and decker Autotape.
Take a simple device (measuring tape) that works perfectly, over engineer it (tripled in weight and size) and produce a product that does not work is infuriating and a total waste of time.
Any other suggestions welcome.
Shoulda bought the Kenwood changer - it has an RS232 interface (well, it *IS* a few years old) and uses some (poorly designed but basically functional) software to pull your CD Data from Gracenote.
On useless gadgets:
Those S-shaped steel plates found in many laminate flooring sets (you know - with the wedges and the block to bang in the last plank without destroying the tongue and groove).
These S-shaped plates are meant to make it easy to bang in the last plank before the wall - just hook one lip over the plank and the other one will be standing up 30cm or so from the wall for convenient hammering.
- because they're only 5 cm wide, they do so much damage to the end of the plank that sometimes not even your edging strips will cover it
- because they're only .003mm thick, they buckle and rub off red/blue/green (depending on the set) paint all over your nice new floor
I think Ikea makes one that's about 10cm wide and 3mm thick steel and works wonders, but most of the others are useless - better to use a crow bar to push that last plank in.
Imagine you have to fit four evenly spaced shelves into a space 4 ft 5 3/8 in high. That's not at all a nice figure to have to divide by five; and even with a calculator, you'll still need pencil and paper in case you manage to forget the whole numbers while you're converting decimal fractions to 16ths or 32nds. (Which, by the way, you'll have to do four times: once for each shelf position, to avoid cumulative errors.)
Or you could just divide 135.6cm. by 5, use the constant function on the calculator to get all four shelf positions (while the answer is showing, press + twice; successive pushes of the = key will give your 27.1145-times table) and have time left over for a cup of tea and a fag.
And Americans wonder why immigrants are so much quicker at building houses!
Re: Tape Measures
How do they fit on the feet and inches that I need to work in?
If you want a really good steel tape measure, then buy one on the Continent next time you go on a booze-and-baccy mission.
The ones you get over there have centimetres and millimetres on *both* edges; meaning you can always measure right up to the edge of a workpiece, without ever having to try to balance just a fraction of a millimetre of the hook over the edge of the board. Just how useful this is won't really be apparent until you've tried it; but once you have, you won't want to go back.
Sony 300 CD disk changer...
Sounds good on paper, even sounds good when listening as its Sony's ES line and has a nice optical digital out. And it's even well built.
Of course, you WILL have to type in the name of every CD and every track to actually know what you are listening to on it's front panel LED display, as you can't actually see the disks...
At 300 disks, let's say 10 tracks per disk...yep, 3000 titiles to type...using a either a plug in keyboard, or worse, the front panel dials. Which of course, only the most anal person would DO, meaning the rest of us just shove a couple of hundred disks in and hit SKIP a lot until we find something vaguely listenable.
And you can't relocate the machine with the disks inside, or they will move about and get scratched.
All in all, a device that appeared just as CDs had reached their logical conclussion...thank god for streaming media players today. Especially ones that use gracenote and other on-line title sources...