Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

April 12, 2010

Fun with Car Dealers

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 7:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I got a new toy the other day. It’s an 09 Nissan 370Z, in “write me a ticket now” blue.

It’s got all the extras, Sat radio, Nav, Bluetooth, etc. While reading the user’s manual I found out that it has the ability to control my iPod directly from the nav system. Very cool. I listen to a lot of audio books while driving back and forth to work, so this should be very useful.

I find the connector for the iPod controller in the center console buried under a cup holder thingy. I search the entire car for a cable to hook up my iPod, but apparently it doesn’t come with one. (Cheap bastards) Anyway I start calling dealers to figure out how much one is going to cost. I figure given the price of the car they are going to soak me for at least $200.

I call the first dealer, and describe what I’m looking for. He searches through his manual for a moment, then says he has to put me on hold. OK, whatever, I didn’t realize that hooking an iPod up was such a complicated task. I mean, I hook mine to my computer all the time. After 5 minutes or so he finally comes back and says, “We don’t got one”. OK, when can you get one? “Five days”. OK then, how much? “38 bucks”. Hmmm, I can live with that.

Just for fun I called another dealer in the neighborhood to see if they might have one in stock. I get the parts gal this time, and she proceeds to tell me that no such cable exists. She also tells me that she has no idea how to hook up an iPod to the system even though it clearly says in my owners manual that not only is it possible, it charges the iPod, displays the songs, etc. That’s interesting..

I finally decide to call the dealer that I got the car from. I didn’t do that at the beginning because I was working in another part of the bay area, 30 miles away, and thought I’d try there first. At first I get the same response from this parts guy. Nope, there is no cable from Nissan. He even checked the accessory lists and everything. Now I’m beginning to wonder who knows what the heck is going on? However this guy says he is going to talk with Nissan directly. OK, cool.

He gives me a call back 10 minutes later, and tells me it’s easy. Turns out the center console connector is a USB connector, and that my Apple iPod cable that came with the player should plug right in. Jeez, why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?

I can’t believe that the cars are so technically advanced, yet the infrastructure around them seems to still be in the dark ages.


April 7, 2010

How to get people on eReaders

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 12:22 am
Tags: , , , , ,

*I changed the name of this post to more reflect the subject matter*

I’ve heard a lot of complaining from people who don’t want to jump on the e-reader bandwagon, that they like the experience of reading with paper better. It’s true that browsing a newspaper is easier by flipping through giant sheets of paper, but for me, it’s also a pain in the butt. I hate trying to get the newspaper folded just right, so that you don’t elbow your seatmate on the plane when turning pages, or trying to find the rest of the article when it’s way in the back.

So for me, I actually like the large e-reader experience.

However, that being said, there is still one sensory experience missing. So much of our world is experienced through our nose. Smells can trigger strong emtions. Certain smells can trigger fond memories. Smells can make or break a situation. Think about it, you are out on a first date and the other person has breath that peels paint from the wall, no matter how great the conversation was, you’re probably not going out again.

So that’s what’s missing from the e-reader experience, the smell of fresh newsprint. The smell that solid paper from a good book emits.

So Apple, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, if you’re listening, maybe you should add a device to your e-readers that emits the proper smell depending on what your reading. That just might be the thing to get more people hooked.

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