Designed in 2 Minutes?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

alarm clocks

  Life isn't too difficult for the average alarm clock. Their job description is pretty simple - make a loud noise when you asked them to. You would have thought that, given that telling them when to make that noise is rather important, there would be an easy way to do it, but no. My alarm clock requires you to hold down a button for two seconds, and press the "hour" and "minute" buttons to cycle forward around the clock. If you overshoot by one minute, you have to press the minute button 59 times to get to the desired time, or hold down the button and wait for the minutes to slowly cycle on their own. Most of the time it's actually quicker to jab wildly and repeatedly at the button. Why is there no way of cycling backwards? A "backwards" modifier button would have been acceptable, although not the best option. Also, if you think too long about the time you want to set it to, it leaves the alarm set mode, meaning you have to hold the button down for another two seconds. Minor annoyance, but an annoyance, and an avoidable one at that.

  Having said all of this, I have seen some nice designs - rotating knobs instead of buttons to set the time gets a thumbs up from me. You have control over both the direction and the speed of advance (or retreat, if such a word can be used for time). I quite like the clocks where you hold down the "set" button to set the alarm, as well. There is no waiting around, and you can't accidentally leave it on the alarm set mode, because once you remove your finger, it goes back to the current time display.

  There are some nice clocks out there. I don't think mine is one of them. Having said that, it doubles as a radio, and a pretty nice one at that, and it's nice and loud, so I think I'll let it off.


  • If you think that is bad try the clock in my fiat punto it has one button for moving on the hands minute by minute! Really though how many times do you change the time in a year its not digital so it doesn't reset and the battery has never died...yet its a punto so im pesimistic... answer when the clocks change!!! Is this an easy task... depends if the clocks go forward then you just cycle trough 60 times but if the go back what an absolute pain the the ... you have to cycle through 11 hours which is 11 times 60 cycles! Which is why im not bothering to change it and i just remember its forward also saving me time and hassle when the clocks go forward!

    By Blogger Natalie Cryan, at 11 November 2004 at 10:55  

  • They're designed to do one thing and one thing only - tell the correct time. You would think they could come up with an easier way to correct it!

    By Blogger Paul Dann, at 16 November 2004 at 10:03  

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