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Oh No, Not Again!

Measurements to the Tenth of a Millimetre

Comparing the measurements of two or more bits of kit can be vital. If your shelf is x- mm wide, y-mm deep and z-mm tall then kit whose dimensions exceeds these measurements is clearly no good to you (unless you are prepared for some DIY shelf alterations).

Sometimes comparing dimensions is done for rather less practical reasons. You just really want a slimline external hard drive, or attractively proportioned printer, thin digital camera, or whatever.

I accept all that, and am quite partial to a bit of proportion comparison myself. But really, do we have to go down to the tenth of a millimetre to make a comparison?

I see this degree of precision used in the measurement of mobile devices a lot and it irks me. I don't know about you, but I can't judge the difference between 91.8mm and 91.6mm by eye. No pocket in asny of my clothing is going to burst asunder at the need to accommodate a few mm. And when choosing a device while I do take into account its overall dimensions - including weight – I round up or down in the traditional way. Two or three or even five tenths of a millimetre here or there isn’t going to make or break a purchase.

Pink Stuff for Women

Anyone who knows me will have seen this one coming. Note to marketers: some women will buy stuff because it is pink just as some men will buy stuff because it is black.

But both the colour palette and the great wide world of individual personalities and preferences is vast and you do your customers an injustice by failing to reflect that. Worse, you patronise them terribly by trying to sell them stuff because it is pink (or black).

I know, I know, every time you add a colour to a product range you up the production costs. But it can be done. The PEBL may be badly named, but Motorola sure does a good line in colour variation. Notebook makers are trying to vary colours away from silver and black but tend to get a bit hung up on red. Just one example is Samsung’s new Q40. Then again, PC World online is also selling a pink version.

For the record, I rather like emerald green and yellow. Psychologists go figure what that says about me.

MicroSD Memory Cards

Simply put, a flash memory card that is the size of microSD is just too small. At about half the size of a SIM the cards are fiddly to swap in and out of devices.

Now, as mobile devices get smaller, thinner and lighter the memory cards they accommodate consume valuable space that could be shaved off the overall size, and so it is understandable that smaller card formats are developed.

Compare microSD to Compact Flash and you can see how far we have come.

How much further can we go, though? I’d guess not much. Just as keyboards have an ergonomic limit in miniaturisation beyond which it becomes impossible for us to use them, so do flash memory cards. It’s our own fault, really, we humans, for having such clumpy hands, but there’s not a lot we can do about that.

OK, there are a few things I’d like to see the back of in 2007.

Now it is over to you. I’ll be watching the Forums.

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