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Automobile Accessories vs Computer Accessories

Written by Gordon Fecyk, 8/11/2005

LET'S SUPPOSE A CAR STEREO was designed like a computer accessory, say, a multi-function printer-scanner-fax accessory.

A motorist drives his car to his favorite car audio store and talks to a sales person. After finding a stereo that he likes, the sales person assures him that his choice will work in his car. Our motorist pays for the stereo and installation cost, and drives to the installation bays at the back of the store.

Imagine our motorist's surprise to find his car's hood completely detached from his beloved car.

Where's my hood?
We had to remove it to work with your stereo.
Excuse me? I asked you to install the stereo, not to tear my car apart!
Well, we had to remove the hood to make sure the stereo would stay cool. If it overheats it might melt and damage your car.
And driving with the hood removed won't damage my car?
Only if you don't drive in the rain.
What about people wrecking the engine?
You can buy an anti-theft cover that will keep most of them out.
A cover? You mean those covers that need replacing every day?
Every day? Not anymore. Those car parts thieves are getting so clever that you'd need to replace it every hour now.
I'd rather have my hood back, thank-you. And take that insecure stereo out and replace it with something that works properly in my car.

I won't even get into the typical return policies of these kinds of places.

Computer accessories won't be designed with safety in mind until you start demanding accessories designed for safety.

Until then, computer sales people will continue to recommend driving with your hood off.


AVERAGE COMPUTER USERS WON'T ARGUE when sales people recommend products that won't work with their computer's built-in safety features. They'd rather drive their computers around the "information highway" with their hoods open, vulnerable to a minor rain storm or some idiot who needs some spare car parts.

Computer accessories won't be designed with safety in mind until you start demanding accessories designed for safety. Until then, computer sales people will continue to recommend driving with your hood off.

Okay, so it was an absurd comparison. Car accessory sales people and installers are not this stupid when it comes to automobile safety. Now, if only I could tell their co-workers in the computer accessory department...

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