Birth of the (not) cool…

Sunday night I saw an advertisement for the Chrysler Pacifica siting its onboard vacuum cleaner as a feature… as if a shop vac or a stop over at the neighborhood carwash is just too hard to figure out. But fine, if people don’t have enough appliances in their homes and need to start carrying them in their cars full time too, I’m not going to judge. Well, I am going to judge, but I’ll do it quietly at least.

Add to that advertisement the several social media posts I’ve seen singing the praises of minivans as the new “cool,” all I can do really is shake my head and disbelief. A 68 Chevelle is cool. A 59 Caddy with its enormous fins is cool. A McLaren P1 is cool. Anything rolling out of the shed at Koenigsegg is, by definition, cool. See where I’m going with this yet?

I get that people drive minivans for very good reasons. They’re excellent at what they were designed to be – small, personally owned busses. People carriers. Chances are you bought one because it was very good at what it was designed to do. That’s the same reason I drive a full sized pick up truck instead of a 137 pound Smart Car.

What I didn’t do was buy a pickup truck and then try to justify myself as now driving a cool car. I bought a truck because I have two dogs that occasionally get filthy and from time to time I have the need to haul large or awkwardly shaped things from Point A to Point B. I didn’t buy the truck because it was cool any more than you minivan drivers bought your ride because of its cool factor. I bought it because it was vehicle that would get the job done.

If you’re driving a minivan, embrace it for what it is. Celebrate its capability. But for the love of Pete can we all agree to stop pretending that it is any way “cool?”

Doesn’t play well with others…

After spending more hours than I want to admit trying to get a little electronic gizmo that will remain nameless hooked up wirelessly, I’m finally calling it quits. Wired direct to the router, all is well and it works like a champ. Unplugged it just sits there blinking out a steady reminder of its failure to play nicely with my home network.

Maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much of the last ten years entrenching myself in Apple’s near-seamlessly integrated garden, but my tolerance for tech that has to be tinkered with is probably at an all-time low. It’s trite, but I want my gear to come out of the box and just work. Some might call that an unreasonable expectation, but those people are, for lack of a better word, simply wrong. There are any number of companies out there proving that tech doesn’t need to be complicated for the end user. Unfortunately there are even more in business that don’t seem to have much of any regard for providing an elegant solution to whatever problem their device is supposed to solve.

I was looking for a piece that would integrate into what I’ve got already with a minimum of fuss or trouble. What I found is a bit of kit that probably works ok if you’re willing to change or make compromises on the set up you have already. I’m not. That means instead of integration, I’ll be stuck with a standalone solution. In the end I’d rather have to manage two sets of controls and two apps than compromise on functionality.

Take that for what it’s worth.