DISH network tip.

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On 9/23/2015 11:22 AM, Muggles wrote:

Engineers (and engineering environments) are an odd lot. Youthful, energetic, adventurous engineers often but heads with stodgy old, uninspired engineers (and, many managers are stodgy old engineers who couldn't "remain current" in their field and ended up shuffling into management -- long forgetting what engineering is really like!)
I am very selective about the folks I'll work with and for -- simply because I want to be able to continually explore new ideas and approaches. Some colleagues can be counterproductive when you have such goals. Some employers/clients can be too fixated on "getting it done" and ignore the consequences of HOW it gets done.
More than once (in my early career) I came up with very clever solutions to problems that were dismissed as too "threatening". Instead, being directed to choose a more mundane (less "inspired") approach to the problem -- even if it was more costly, less robust, etc.
In other environments, there was a healthy "friendly competition" to arrive at the BEST solution to a given problem. Who *thought* of the solution wasn't important: everyone enjoyed the challenge of trying to *improve* on it, feeding off each others' contributions.
I've met "old timers" who were visibly envious of the excitement I would express in my work. Or, the technologies that I was exploring. They'd long since traded away that sense of adventure for "job security"... and, now, were reduced to more mundane sorts of work: the equivalent of ditch diggers. (very well paid ditch diggers!)
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On 9/23/2015 2:57 PM, Don Y wrote:

Sounds like a 'thinking outside of the box' kind of mindset. Love it!
--
Maggie

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Muggles wrote:

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On 9/23/2015 8:51 PM, Muggles wrote:

There are certain "types" that I characterize with this anecdote: Ages ago, primitive man invented the wheel. It was SQUARE with a small hole in the center for an axle on which it would rotate. The conveyances that they created with these were, naturally, "rough riding".
Over time, the wheels would wear and become rounded. At which point, they would be promptly replaced with *new*, SQUARE WHEELS!
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On Wed, 23 Sep 2015 21:16:03 -0700, Don Y

That sounds like Microsoft's business plan.
I had this over my desk
http://gfretwell.com/ftp/Tireswing.jpg
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On 9/23/2015 11:20 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Mine is a modest plaque that says: "Please don't straighten out the mess in my room. You'll confuse me and screw up my whole world..."
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On 9/23/2015 11:16 PM, Don Y wrote:

Makes you wonder about new products today that don't really work all that great in the beginning.
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Maggie

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On 9/24/2015 7:43 AM, Muggles wrote:

The trend is to let the customer "debug" the product. Yet, many products never actually reflect those "detected bugs" back into their refinement. I.e., buy an early version, get the bugs that came with it forever!
So called "rapid development", "incremental development", etc. have replaced the traditional "waterfall" approach: specification, implementation, test/verification.
One wonders if the same folks advocating this development style would be happy if their DaVinci surgical robot was *deployed* with such software: "Have you installed TODAY's software updates yet? BEFORE my scheduled surgery????"
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On 9/24/2015 10:08 AM, Don Y wrote:

yikes!
A funny thing happened when I was in surgery waiting to be given the anesthesia. The Dr's in the room needed the table lowered, and none of them could figure out how to do it. Finally, one of the nurses in the room walked over, hit a knob, and adjusted it in less than 3 seconds. I had to laugh to myself (and out loud) that these highly educated Dr's couldn't adjust a surgery table.
--
Maggie

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On 9/24/2015 9:53 AM, Muggles wrote:

I had a lover who was a nurse. She would rant endlessly about how bad/inept the doctors were! Mistaken orders, Rx errors, etc. And, this is what you would EXPECT them to GET RIGHT!
When looking at new cars, I was annoyed at how many questions that I asked re: stuff under the hood were met with blank stares. Cripes, this is YOUR PRODUCT! Don't you KNOW IT?? What do you do all day when there are more salespeople than customers? Play Solitaire?? Aren't you interested in your product enough to quiz one of the techs in the service department about those things that you're ignorant of?
<frown> As a customer, I could care less about how many silly awards your car company has won. There are all sorts of awards essentially designed so EVERYONE wins something! Tell me something specific about *this* vehicle. Something in which *I* have expressed an interest...
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On 9/24/2015 2:42 PM, Don Y wrote:

Sounds reasonable to me! I've come across salesman who could sell, but it wasn't because they really knew anything about their product.
--
Maggie

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On 9/24/2015 2:40 PM, Muggles wrote:

Smoke and mirrors. Ego stroking. etc.
If you think carefully about what you are doing and what they are saying, it's relatively easy to see the "curtain" hiding Oz.
I can understand a shoe salesman not knowing much about the shoes he/she sells (what is there to know besides price, size, etc?). But, something as big, complex and expensive as a motor vehicle seems to justify knowing more than the number of *wheels* it has! ("Um, I'll have to get back to you on that... Hey, Jim... do you know how many wheels are on this vehicle? I've got a customer who wants to know...")
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to ask anything about a car other than how much is the down payment, and how much a month. The same for most other large priced items. The color is probably the most important thing.
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On 9/24/2015 3:55 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

That's probably true. But, if the only question will be those pertaining to color and payments, there's no need for a sales droid! You could design a vending machine to handle those requests!
As a salesman, knowing about your product gives you things to talk about that can highlight its assets and differentiate it from the competition.
I did a lot of research before we looked at each vehicle that we considered in our search. It was embarassing to have to correct salespeople about how certain features operated, etc.
We also tended to notice a lot of details that salesfolks either didn't notice or chose to ignore. E.g., we found all of the Subaru SUV-ish products "imposed" on the legroom of the passenger in a way that made it very uncomfortable for either of us to occupy that seat. On a repeat test drive, SWMBO sat in the passenger seat and complained that she was uncompfortable. Having sat in that spot on the first test drive (different model vehicle, same problem), I immediately told her what to look for -- how she was being forced to sit: "Oh, my!"
It was unfortunate as I really liked the layout of the engine compartment in those vehicles (given that *I* would be doing all the maintenance work). But, we quickly ruled them out solely because of this "seating problem".

It is actually the first or second question that we were asked. The other being related to financing, our budget, etc. Amazing how many salespeople were unable to get past this issue! "We'll be paying cash for anything you have on your lot. Your job is to convince us that we should buy one of YOUR vehicles instead of one of the vehicles from any of your competitors that line the street, here..."
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On 9/24/2015 8:20 PM, Don Y wrote:

I've ruled out several cars just because the drivers seat was uncomfortable, and the door was so close to the drivers seat that you couldn't adjust the seat unless the door was open. What were they thinking with such a design?
[...]
--
Maggie

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On 9/25/2015 7:27 AM, Muggles wrote:

Yes. We ended up choosing between our "finalists" based primarily on how good *both* seats felt. I.e., *one* of us will be seated in the passenger seat so it had better be AS COMFORTABLE as the driver's seat!
We gave some (token) consideration to the back seat, as well. But, we rarely drive folks around so this wasn't going to be a deal-breaker (or maker).
Many of the cars that we *thought* would be in our final list before we started the selection process failed to clear that bar: their seats were very uncomfortable (even though we spend ~250 hours ANNUALLY in the car). Others failed the "visibility" criteria (c'mon, guys... don't you *see* that pillar blocking your vision?? Are your eyes located on a different body part than mine??)
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On 9/25/2015 9:55 AM, Don Y wrote:

yeah! If the seats in the front aren't comfortable for both myself and hubby, it's a deal breaker for me. If the controls are too complicated, it's another deal breaker. I once drove some Ford new model and they said you had to go to a class to learn how to operate all the bells and whistles it had. DEAL BREAKER! I want to commute to work and around town, not learn how to program an SUV. I don't need complicated in order to commute. Give me comfortable seats, reliability, heat and AC, a radio that plays local stations, maybe a CD player, I like power steering, windows, and seats, and a light colored interior. What's up with offering a black interior as the ONLY choice??
--
Maggie

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On 9/25/2015 8:23 AM, Muggles wrote:

SWMBO does most "solo" driving. I drive very infrequently. Most of my time spent in the car is weekly shopping trips. In previous vehicle, she hated passenger seat (comfort) so ended up driving most of the time. New car has essentially "equivalent" seats in passenger and driver spots.

As I design these sorts of things for a living, I'm not intimidated by them. Rather, see them as learning experiences: why did they make this design choice instead of some *other*?
I find very few "big" disagreements with their chosen implementation. Most noteworthy is NOT being able to "backup" your settings to a thumbdrive. Imagine what happens when you accidentally delete -- or *lose* -- all the addresses, phone numbers, etc. that you've meticulously "programmed" into the car/GPS! Likewise, in the 21st century, it doesn't seem too far fetched to let me *edit* this sort of stuff on a PC in the comfort of my home -- instead of trying to type stuff in on a touch panel seated in a hot garage!
I addressed the "how to backup the OTHER settings" issue by creating a "cheat sheet" that enumerates all the settings, their FACTORY DEFAULT choices, lists of POSSIBLE choices and *my* choice (using bold and italics to make the visual distinctions). I laminatated these and stuffed them in a seat back pocket -- so I don't have to remember where I "filed" them!

We found MANY seats to be very uncomfortable. The Lexus saleswoman was chagrined that we spent a mere *minutes* at her dealership! We'd sit in a vehicle, then get up, close the door and walk away -- in search of another vehicle that *might* have more comfortable seats. (we didn't find any, there!)

We encountered lots of black-on-black offerings. Totally ridiculous in an environment where it's sunny 360+ days per year and over 100F on anywhere between 60 and 100 of those days!
[We likewise lamented the sun/moonroof issue but typically had no choice in that "option" for the sorts of vehicles in which we were interested.]
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On 9/25/2015 11:02 AM, Don Y wrote:

My hubby doesn't ride in my vehicle often, but if he's been ill or had knee surgery (something like that), he has to ride with me, so the passenger seat has to fit him and be comfy enough for a ride to the Dr's office and back. He's a big boy, so the passenger seat has to have some leg room, too.

I ask "why" a lot! haha

I file/organize things in a similar way, too.

I was almost sold on a Nissan Juke but the seat were terrible. The most comfortable seats I've tried thus far are in a Nissan Cube.

I can't stand black interiors if it's going to be my car. I'd rather have a beige or tan interior.
--
Maggie

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On 9/25/2015 4:00 PM, Muggles wrote:

We found the seats in the Rogue, IIRC, comfortable. The Murano's seats felt too "conforming" (or, maybe I got that backwards)? The rogue had an interesting "rear shelf" in the cargo area that would have been of use to us. But, to be of *real* value, you'd have to buy a spare (the shelf is nominally the floor of the cargo area so when you raise it to the upper "shelf" position, you lose that rigid floor support)
We ruled out both vehicles because they both had "bugs" (flaws) in the vehicles we test drove: one wouldn't operate the rear liftgate when commanded (could be a broken switch or wire... or, even a configuration setting! But, the saleslady should have been able to address that problem: "See? this setting controls that feature!") and the other vehicle I was able to crash the navigation/entertainment system leaving it completely unresponsive. Not a good sign given that the dealership has continuous access to those vehicles AND the paid staff to keep them fully operational at all times! ("first impressions")

Some vehicles had light "fabric" but dark dash, side panels, etc.
A downside of the beige interior (which is what we had and what we chose for the new vehicle) is that it "scuffs" easily and visibly. Lots of blackish marks where the soles of my shoes drag across the threshold (if I fail to lift my feet high enough to completely "clear" that threshold).
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