Gadgets

All The Broke-Ass Tech We Still Use Every Day

All The Broke-Arse Tech We Still Use Every Day

Not long ago, I asked you all to vent your rage about the most garbage why-the-hell-doesn’t-it-actually-work-worth-a-damn technology that you still find yourself having to use every day. Here’s our collective tech crap list.

Web browsers

A popular one. Which browser in particular depends on who you’re talking to:

For me it was Google Chrome:

For a while, I thought it was my ageing Macbook Air with its 90 per cent full hard drive (and to some extent it is), but I’ve discovered that whenever things get mind-bendingly, rip-my-hair-out, swear-at-the-computer, “my coworkers must think I have serious anger issues” slow, all I have to do is force quit Chrome and load it back up again to start our relationship fresh. Then, I’ve got like another two or three hours before everything descends into chaos again.

I’m not sure exactly how much this problem afflicts everyone else. I know my co-workers complain about similar issues but I routinely see screens with like 20+ Chrome tabs open, and I never feel comfortable going past 10 or 12. Maybe one of my several extensions leaks memory. Or maybe Chrome just hates me specifically. Still, I put up with this shit every god damn day. I think I’m pretty close to switching back to Firefox, but I’ve been saying that for like a month now.

But I’ve since jumped ship.

But for Legless Legolas’ LEGO Lass, it’s Firefox that’s the problem:

Firefox. My tabs goof up a few times a day so I can’t close them, and sometimes it just closes the whole thing if I close two tabs in rapid succession. I probably should switch over to chrome, but I’m too lazy to install my addons.

And for “mnerd” it’s old faithful(ly obnoxious): Internet Explorer 8:

Because I work in a clinic. Thankfully our hospital IT is moving us all towards virtual desktops using CITRIX, so I can have a modern browser and still use our legacy web apps.


Fax Machines

Yes, fax machines are still around and kicking. Per “Shirosake”:

This is actually something im TRYING to rid the world of . As a person in the IT and telecommunications industry and any of my IT compatriots will agree…

F**KING FAX MACHINES. LET THEM DIE DAMNIT.

“LordFancypantsicus” is also pissed:

Fax machines. I do business with a lot of doctors’ offices, and they ALL use fax, with its cruddy image quality, propensity to miss pages, and the tendency for the person faxing to put forms in upside down or accidentally cut off parts of the page. All this hassle, when they could literally just take a picture of the form with their smartphones and email it. The fax machine needs to die.

And according to “bourgeoismiddleman”:

In order to talk to some local governments, you still need to send a fax. Sometimes (City of Oakland permit desk) the recipient’s fax machine is broken, but they get all bitchy when you try to email them a document!

This is paraphrased but not much:

Me: It still didn’t go through, can I just email you a pdf?

Oakland: You have to fax it.

M: But I can’t fax you right now.

O: Fax it.

M: Is there another fax machine I can send it to?

O: I’m not authorised to tell you that.

M: So, am I going to have to drive there and give you this piece of paper?

O: You could wait until we fix the fax machine…


Printers

No surprise here. Who needs paper anyway? Idiots, that’s who. Geekymitch puts it righteously:

Any #$US%(*^ printer I use. Ever. They all suck. Drivers suck. Hardware sucks. Fucking ink cartridges suck. They all suck.

Fuck printers, man…fuck them in their eyeballs.

I use a laserjet 7520 and it’s a really solid machine for what it does…but if I forget to turn it off when I’m done it tends to decide 3 AM is the time to clean print heads. And since the printer is in my bedroom not only does it wake me, but I get to listen to it waste all that freakin ink.

But that’s ok since if I don’t print enough HP will just tell me the ink has expired.

UGH

And jbatubara:

Printers. Office Space really nailed it.

Complete with obligatory GIF:

All The Broke-Arse Tech We Still Use Every Day

Bluetooth

Nothing worse than a dropped connection. According to Ramius:

Bluetooth. Believe it or not.

When Im in my car, my Iphone is connected to both my GPS and my stereo. And its impossible to tell it what to use each device for. So even though I want to use my stereo for music only, theres no such option. So when I get an incoming call when driving, the stereo will pick it up. Which has no microphone. And using siri in my car is damn near impossible.

I want to tell my iPhone that “The stereo is for music only” “Always use Siri via the iPhone” and “always direct calls to my gps when in the car”

[Sometimes] I experience total bluetooth meltdown. When switching sources it sometimes crashes completely. If Im connected to my stereo, and try to use Siri, it will first go through my stereo, but when I switch source to iPhone, instead of just working, it instead crashes.

I want to simply do this:

  • Blutooth device settings:
  • Car stereo: Music only
  • Tom Tom GPS: Phone call only
  • Siri: Always via iPhone.

And Eric (a different Eric; not me):

The Bluetooth connection between my phone and LG Tones. Drops and lags at random, done it with three different phones, but they’re all Samsung, so still not sure who to blame. But the LG Tones are wireless and have better sound than most earbuds, and there’s no better alternative (that I know of).

Ditto Homerjay:

For me it’s the bluetooth connection between my iPhone 6 and my Honda. Works great for music, but transmitting phone it drops out pretty regularly. It’s a known issue that Apple has yet to address.

And matt975321:

Bluetooth integration with my car. It connects just fine, but unless you have the music set to play through the car the phones audio alerts and navigation are not able to be heard while connected to bluetooth. On the other hand telephone calls work fine. The phone’s should be able to play navigation via the phone speaker while connected to bluetooth or to somehow use the same bluetooth connection as the phone part to play the navigation.

Can’t wait for android auto and car play to become prevalent as I think they will be better suited to dealing with this type of issue, in addition to overall better integrating phones into the car, rather than the mess it is now.


iTunes

A perennial shittacular shitfest you can’t help but have to use. Stubbornidealist puts it the simplest:

iTunes. Nuff said.

Peter jacques elaborates:

EXACTLY. Every time I have to use iTunes, I cuss. And I’m a musician, so I use it a lot. I resisted upgrading to iTunes 10 for a long time, but then had to because my iPhone (4, ahem) was on iOS 7… I don’t know how they have so made such completely broken media organiser. It’s Byzantine.

As does RidgeR5:

The last update just fucked the GUI over so bad. It pisses me off that they went from a nice long sidebar with everything on it to a top menu that still only shows half the file categories, even on 1080 resolution. Fucking massive empty spaces all over the place.

And TrackPeanuts:

I don’t know about broken, but bloated, annoying, insufferable? My money is with iTunes. You’d think after 10+ years of being the go-to software for syncing your Apple devices, they’d somehow, somewhere got it right, but nooooooo.

AND Snow Dog:

iTunes. Just returned to the Apple world, as was shocked that it’s still as crappy as it was the last time I used it, back in 2004.


Twitter

Our own Annalee Newitz offers up Twitter, a drum we’ve beaten before:

My answer has to be Twitter. It’s broken in every possible way — Tweetdeck for desktop sucks, Twitter app on my phone doesn’t work half the time, AND my stream is full of crazy drama. And yet, I lurve it so. Is there deprogramming therapy for social media? Maybe I need it


The human brain

But zmanbarzell cuts to the core of it all:

All The Broke-Arse Tech We Still Use Every Day

This troublemaker.


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