Why Doesn't Anyone Complain?
I've been keeping a list of some things in the world of consumer electronics that bother me. In the spirit of the late Andy Rooney, I offer this list of tech peeves for everything from shiny displays to confusing backup processes. Am I the only one who is bothered by these tech annoyances? Let me know what you think or if you have other tech peeves that drive you up the wall.
High Gloss Displays Are Like Mirrors

When did the industry decide that no one needed a matte display on a computer screen or even a TV set? What happened to matte displays? I know those shiny displays may look better in dark rooms and showroom floors but in the real world, glare on a screen can be very annoying.
No DVD Extras on Streaming Movies
Am I the only one who likes to watch the "making of" documentaries or the director's commentary for a movie I just watched? Extras have always been a big attraction for me but when you stream movies from the services all you get is the movie. Why don't any services offer the extras with the stream?
Hard to Tell Which Side of the USB Connector is Up

Connecting an RJ-45 connector is easy, there's a little tab that goes into a space that is very apparent and most of the time that tab faces down. Why is it so difficult to figure out which why to insert a regular USB connector or a micro one? The micro USB connector is especially difficult since it's not really apparent which side is longer.
OLED Display Colors Are Unnatural
As long as we're on the subject of displays, all you hear about OLED screens is how great they look. Am I the only one who thinks the colors are overly saturated and too rich with redder reds and bluer blues? They just don't look natural to me. I'm not saying bring back CRTs although phosphors do produce pretty accurate colors as evidenced by plasma displays. My favorite displays at the moment are LG's  HD-IPS LCD displays for TVs, tablets and smartphones. I hear quantum dots might someday soon make the ultimate display.
Backup is Still a Hassle
As far as I'm concerned I've never seen a super simple, one button backup program. Every program I've tried to use has required lots of confusing setup and then who knows if you can ever really restore everything to a new hard drive. Microsoft certainly doesn't make it easy; I'm constantly asked by Outlook if I want to "archive" my email, I never have taken Outlook up on its offer probably because I wasn't sure what it did. Who knows maybe the cloud will make it easy but probably not for my 1TB worth of data on my hard drive.
Gmail Can Be Hard to Use
Sure if all you want to do is read emails, Gmail is as good as the next one but if you want to organize your emails in folders it gets a little tricky and whose idea was it to hide the reply and forward buttons at the bottom of the message in faint lettering or off the right as a small icon?
E-Ink Displays Are Not Black and White
Try holding up a book next to an E-book reader like Amazon's Kindle and tell me the E-Reader's display doesn't look more dark gray on light gray than black on white. Even in bright light I find E-Readers still look a little muddy. I hope they find a way to increase the contrast on E-Ink displays someday.
Try Deleting Tunes on iTunes Without a Computer
Here's the scenario; I'm out walking and listening to podcasts on my iPod or iPhone. I'm done listening with something so why can't I delete it then and there? I have to wait until I go home and remember all the things I'm done with, delete them in iTunes, and then synch my device.
Slide Shows on Web Sites Are Annoying
I suspect lots of online publications discovered they could get a lot more ad impressions if they made readers load a new page to see the next item in a list. I appreciate the need to make money to support an otherwise free publication but that doesn't mean I can't complain about the time it takes to go from item to item.
Anyone Agree?
I would love to hear if I'm off-base on any of these or missing something. Also would love to hear about your most annoying tech peeves.

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You are right on the button

You are right on the button about the issues. The approach could do with a turn-down tweak though. Why? Because technology is in such a volcanic state: competitive posturing; market demographics; product shelf-life... When I reflect on how many improvements have been made to long-standing products, the most effective route seems to be through suggestion rather than apparent hostility...

Oh, Yeah! I'd agree with these complaints.

Oh, Boy! I could go on for hours on this blog post. Ticked off all of my pet peeves.

Matte vs. glossy screens - I've got a 2009 HP Pavilion home laptop with 2.25 GHz i5 CPU, 320 GB hard drive, fast integrated HD video and a glossy 1280x800 screen running Windows 7 Professional, and my business laptop is a 2006 HP/Compaq with a 1.83 GHz single core CPU, 40 GB hard drive, Vista-only video card and a matte 1024x768 screen running Vista Home Premium - and do you know which PC I'm using more?

The older HP/Compaq, because of the combination of its' near-perfect keyboard design (it's almost better than a ThinkPad's keyboard) and the matte screen. I'd replace the glossy screen of the HP Pavilion, but I can't find a matte replacement screen.

USB cables - which is top or bottom? If the cable is yours, take a Sharpie marker and mark the top of the Flash drive or cable with a vertical line down the top of the metal connector.

Backup programs - I've been using Acronis True Image for a long time, but recently I've had two of my recent restores be non-functional, even though they have both been verified. Now I am using O&O DiskImage 6. We'll see how that program fares over time.

Slide shows - at least now I know WHY I hate them. If you don't have good content on a web site, will anyone look at your ads?

Gmail - User interface is too washed out, the buttons aren't distinct from the background, so that one cannnot see them if you are a older person, or are getting there. However, due to Gmail's support of IMAP, one can use an email client that is a distinct program from the browser and get all of the benefits of Gmail, and none of the headaches. I'm using Postbox right now. Best $30 I ever spent.

firewire ports

Is firewire dead? I am not seeing any firewire ports on any of the new laptops. I have some multi-track equipment that is firewire only. If my laptop dies, I am done with recording. I would love to keep going and recording bands. Does anybody have any ideas? Thanks!


Has anyone brought this up? Well! I am sick of it. Just about every site I visit,that is an exageration really
but it adds something, to continue, every site wants you to fill in a survey. If I don`t like something I
write and tell them and if it is Tesco I also go to Sainsburys. Don`t ever fill them in and in time,probably about
2078 the next Diamond thingy,they will get the massage. Greetings to all people who dislike what this world
is coming to.

Glossy Screens, etc.

Glossy Screens: I had an HP 17" Entertainment laptop with a glossy screen and I hated it. When it got stolen, I replaced it with a 15.6" HP ProBook and a 22.5" Hannspree Monitor. Both are anti-glare (matte) displays and I couldn't be happier.

USB cables: I also have problems with these cables. My solution is to look for the USB symbol and put my thumb on it. Then I know which way it's oriented. Of course, if the device manufacturer isn't very bright, they will install the socket upside down.

Don't even get me started on Captcha's. I know they are required to keep spammers down, but they are still the most annoying thing anyone could have come up with!

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Glossy Screens, etc.

Glossy Screens: I use a laptop in my job daily out in direct sunlight installing equipment. I have yet to find a laptop you can see clearly in sunlight. most of the time I have to string extra cable to a small shady spot (if I can find one) to even see the screen and is very annoying.
Will somebody PLEZ come up with a laptop easy to read in sunlight.

USB cables: "My solution is to look for the USB symbol and put my thumb on it" Alot of the new USB cables dont even have the symbol on them anymore.

Captcha's: It usually takes 2-3 tries for me to get by these little demonds. I think half of them the answer does not even match the picture!


Backing up

Try a "Cardinal", for instant back-up. I am no tech-head, and this $99 gadget is awesome. Simple quick, too. 'Loved your article! Oh, BTW: what about those annoying, hard-to-read "characters" one has to retype in order to submit a screen? :)

DVD/Blu-ray Extras

I am in complete agreement with your complaint-I will order the DVD from Netflix rather than stream if it has extras and is available both ways, and the only discs I buy are the ones loaded with extras: I just got the Coppola restoration set of the Godfather films, and spent 2 sessions watching extras before even starting to view the films themselves. Another peeve though-I recently clicked on "Special Features" on the menu of a DVD, and got trailers for other movies, absolutely nothing about the movie on the disc. Those are NOT special features, they are ads-of a sort I will probably watch, but let's get real here.

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Tech Annoyances

One thing that really infuriates me is when they say "Download our free . . . " and after you have downloaded and set-up the program, then you find out there is a cost, or they will do a free scan but won't go any further until they get their graft (or worse)! I think this is VERY unethical and shows me that this company really doesn't have many principles.



Agree 333%

Right on and there are a lot of them. I use WOT (Web of Trust) and it (almost) always flags these sites as "red" - sometimes I go to them (in a virtual machine) out of curiosity as they seem to be reasonably legitimate and find out exactly what you posted. So if you are not using WOT, try it.

T-Mobile & HTC Wildfire S

I bought two Wildfire S last year, and the programs that came with the phone cannot be deleted... There is a such of big programs I don't use neither my partner. And due to the lack of space to install a new one I need to delete the one I already install. That's not a good investment! I won't recommend neither T-Mobile or HTC Wildfire S.

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Shiny screens

I sooo agree with you. In the "good ole days", not all that many years ago. Laptops and pc's had non-glare screens. Then the pc industry came out with an option of the new and improved "Brite Screen". Oh yeah, it looked sharper inside, and since laptop batteries didn't last long at Ll, we never really took them outside. So, what's the problem of going back to the old screen? I'll bet it all comes down to the almighty dollar......


Easy Backup (brainless almost) re: your complaints column

Clickfree backup is the way to go (with auto backup remeinders reminders). But the funny thing is you need to click at least once to get her going so its still sort of a misnomer. But as dummyproof as dummyproof gets!


I never backed up until ClickFree entered my life. So easy, when you see the reminder, plug it in. It's so easy, I don't remember if I have to click or not, to start it.


I never backed up until ClickFree entered my life. So easy, when you see the reminder, plug it in. It's so easy, I don't remember if I have to click or not, to start it.


Smartphone batteries last four hours, work day is eight hours, duh...

Google plus synchronized with my Phone addresses, now my brothers email addresses and
phone numbers are all mixed together.

When you upgrade an App on your phone, its a crap shoot, it may or may not be better.

I purchased a monthly maintenance aagreement for my phone,
it doesn't pay if your phone is stolen/lost.

My new unlimited data plan had a covenant I didn't know, if you go past
a certain usage, it slows down your internet speed.


Why do those CAPTCHA letters have to be so hard to read?

Why Doesn't Anyone Complain?

You can add under iTunes, you can't view an e-book in iTunes if you get it on iTouch. Nor can you see your apps.
Plus iPlayer (BBC) can be view on most game machines as streaming, but can you get it on APPLE TV NO!

Why is it when you get a download from McAfee whoever. It installs then something else won't work. Do they not test these upgrades?

I agree about backups!

I, too, have tried various programs - and simply copying files and burning them to disk. I've never felt secure that the various programs will work when time comes to restore data.

The problem is, there is no practice, so everything about these programs is simple faith.

DVD Extra

WOW! I thought I was the only one! I hate dowloads for that reason and if I can help it, never get rid of my bluray player. Wihle we're at it though. I hate blurays that don't include extras and yet have BD Live only to show more trailers. Give me extras, "The making of!"

>1000 years ago fingers were deemed wrong for writing...

My biggest peeve is the abandonement of the stylus on cell phones. Typing on these things is a throwback to a time way before dial-up, slow, slow, annoyingly error-prone. Samsung Note comes with a pen and they are making a big advertising splash, but guess what: it does not do handwriting recognition. I had to tell the friendly young man who was demoing the Note to me, and was camouflaging as much as he could the lack of handwriting recognition ("you know they blocked some apps for us"): "Thanks, changing colors on hand-drawn lines impressed me when the first Mac Color came out in late 1980s. Not so much today". Even Windows Mobile, which used to offer like 3 different handwriting algortithms, seem to have abandoned all of that in Win 7 mobile. Am I the only one missing the stylus? Am I the only one who enjoyed writing on the Palm? And my fingers aren't even that big, but my eyesight is not what it used to be.

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Two things

First, why do keyboards all have numeric keypads on them? Are the majority of computer buyers accountants? I'm convinced that the number one cause of RSI injuries using a computer mouse are due to having to keep the mouse so $!#!@ far to the right of where your body midline is, all because of that stupid numeric keypad. I personally use a keyboard without a numeric keypad, but they're hard to find and generally much more expensive. Why should that be, they have fewer keys!

Second, as displays get shorter and wider, why do software programs keep adding toolbars and ribbons and status bars along the top and bottom (the long edge) of the window? It's getting so that there's no room for content anymore, especially on a laptop screen.

Ain't it sooo true. Just

Ain't it sooo true. Just like TV - - more and more commercials on the top, on the bottom plus regular commercial time and less and less content and less and less viewing area. I guess that is why we need 100" screens now - - so we get 27" viewing area.


You have choices

Most keyboard manufacturers now offer keyboards without numeric keypads. On some Apple models, this is actually the default. Personally, I like the keypad, and since I'm left-handed, I never thought about the added distance. But you're right -- that extra distance probably IS annoying. Second, many software programs now offer the option to shift toolbars from the top to the side (or anywhere you want, really). Adobe's creative suite of graphics programs allows this, as done the Apple OS.

I don't think Microsoft has caught on yet, but give them another few years and they'll figure it out.


Ohmigod, Gmail drives me nuts. Have to use it for work. It is one of the most annoying interfaces to look at. Why are there no sort buttons? Argh!

google spam emails

you have to check every one of the 100+ spam in my gmail to delete them.



Google spam emails

What do you mean by "check"? I can tell from the sender and pre-read whether they are wanted or not, weed them out back to my inbox or wherever, then 'select all' and hit delete for the rest. Not too difficult. Better than never seeing them at all!

No DVD Extras on Streaming Movies

I agree. Along with no extras in streaming movies - many rental DVD's are also blocking the extras. Some have the extras on the DVD, but when you click on it, it says you can't watch it on the rental DVD - they are forcing you to purchase - or borrow from a friend. It is a pain and I hate it!

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USB Cables

I didn't realize there was a problem plugging in a USB. I've always looked at the metal part and if there was a seam it was upside down. Plus there is a USB ICON on the top of the rubber part.

I'm sorry, maybe I didn't realize that ya'll just needed something to complain about.

USB Cables

I agree with the respondent, the top of USB plugs are are usually marked with the USB symbol. However. USB ports, especially on the front of a case or on a laptop, are not always oriented the same.

Also, thumb drive orientation is not always intuitive.


One of the things that annoys me are the constant references to "Like me on Facebook" and "Follow me on Twitter". I use Facebook to keep up with friends and I dropped twitter as it was not useful to me...It aggrevates me to no end when too much garbage clutters up my facebook page as well as it cluttering up sites I go to.

why doesn't...

...So, things aren't confusing enough? The industry might want to standardize markings on a USB cable so that Joe Average could know what format the cable is oriented to. No - wait, let's make a bunch of different Micro USB connectors, too. A bunch!
Regardless, life remains interesting, albeit challenging.

Non-Standard USB charger

While the Nook Color uses the mini-USB connector for charging the device, it is not a standard connector. It was explained to me that the Nook needs more current than other typical devices, so while it has what looks like a "standard mini-USB" connector, it is actually a bit longer than a generic cable. One must use the USB adapter and cable that came with the Nook to charge it. Only their unique cable is long enough to make the contacts for charging the device. I expect a standard USB will just be short of making contact. I am concerned about what could happen if I accidentally plug the Nook charging cable into some other device. Am I going to burn it out with too much power?

USB cables

And while we're at it, let's make the camera-end of every USB cable different.

I agree... it's a total

I agree... it's a total waste to have so many versions of the small camera end of the USB cables.
The industry needs to standardize this.