Technology Trust Issues

I know technology is fallible and I know my standards are probably far too high for things, but I find that once a technology or gadget has shown its imperfections to me by way of failing or misbehaving, I have a really difficult time being excited about it or trusting it again.

For quite some time I was absolutely addicted to playing drums on Rock Band. I’ve always thought I would be a decent drummer and while I know it’s not “real drums” it’s fun and fulfills that tiny dream. I bought the Ion Drum Rocker kit and totally rocked out. Until, of course, I found a problem during practice mode where hitting the yellow cymbal changes the tempo on you. After switching out the drum kit controller like three times with Ion Support (which, by the way, sucks), it turns out the problem is software-based. I also started noticing things start randomly misbehaving, like the kick pedal not registering (or going off by itself), hits not registering on the pads… and that turns out to be a funky combination of static buildup, needing to unplug the drum controller for a few seconds, and bad luck.

During the course of solving that problem, I honestly lost my feel for it. I don’t play nearly as often now, and it’s because I don’t trust the technology to behave. To do what it’s intended to do. Playing it has become a bit less fun and a bit more worry and stress over why it’s not working.

Last week I got a Droid X. Love it. Had a bit of a weird issue where the speakers suddenly lost volume but fixed it by a simple power cycle. Then we went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium this past weekend and I noticed that there’s a flaw with the camera CMOS censor such that in darker shots there’s a noticeable magenta spot, like there’s something on the lens. Suddenly, I’m slightly less trusting, and slightly less enamored with it. I still like the phone, but I find I’m not tinkering with it or messing around with it as much since I saw that.

I stopped at the Verizon store and I’m getting a replacement unit, so it should be fixed when the new unit arrives in a day or two. It’s just… I hope I don’t lose my passion for it. My enthusiasm. It’s shown me weakness, fallibility, and it’s going to take some time for me to trust it again.

I am, admittedly, a perfectionist. I hold myself to very high standards and “it works” is generally not good enough. I’m thinking, though, that even if “it works” is good enough, there’s another question to be asked: is it trustworthy? Can I trust a product or service not to break in the middle of an operation? Even if a product isn’t super-feature-rich, if it does one thing and one thing really well, I’m fine with that.

Reliability is high on my priority list. Is it high on yours?

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