Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Technologically brain dead?

Once upon a time, I took pride in my ability to learn and use new technology. I was quite smug about it, in fact. Lately, I'm feeling brain dead.

Case in point. During a recent trip to the local supermarket, I decided to try out the "scan as you go" equipment. The idea is that you carry a portable scanner and bag with you. As you select your items, you can and drop it into your bag. When you get to the cashier area, you don't have to scan each item, just download the results of your portable scanner and out you go. Only, I had a miserable time managing. First I had to guess how to activate the scanner as there were no instructions (scan your store card, and grab the scanner that lights up). But, that wasn't too bad. But, then came the time when I had to scan my first item. I looked at this device in my hand and stared at the various buttons, wondering which one to press to activate the laser scan. After trying each button, I guess that pressing the big one that made the red laser glow was the one. But, the scanning mechanism didn't work well. I had to try scanning each item multiple times. I assume that I was supposed to press the buttons in some order that worked only when I accidentally pressed things in the right order. Then, at checkout, I had no idea how to finish up the order. There was a sign that said, scan the end of order code. But, what I didn't realize was that it meant I had to use the scanner to read the bar code on the sign! I ended up feeling stupid and flustered. I doubt I'll use it again because it's a lot easier to just scan things at the checkout area. Bleah.

Another case in point: We're using our bug tracking system in a new way to track our activities. Only, half the time, I can't see the sub tasks that are assigned to me. I just moved one task to the Done column (because I'm done with it) and the task vanished. It doesn't show up in the Done column. Again, I ended up feeling stupid and flustered.

And don't get me started with Facebook! I don't use it often, so I'm unfamiliar with the interface to begin with. It keeps changing so every time I look at my main page, I'm baffled. I don't even know what I'm looking at and there are so many options now, I'm not sure which one to choose. Thank Heavens that Twitter is still simple.

Either the world is becoming one big, unusable interface, or I really AM getting old and unable to keep up with new technology. Either way, it's making me cranky.

1 comment:

Bethami said...

i don't think i'd be able to manage with that scanner either.
they started a wiki at my office and are trying to get us to use it with EVERYTHING. well as much as possible. and i definitely still have some ramp up time there...
never mind the technology itself, im not sure i get this whole "wikiculture".