Alert! This is more or less a guy-girl thing. And before I go any further, in defense of my wonderful husband and males in general, I know this is puzzling to you, I do. With that said, however, why on earth would a cable be designed so it almost fits going in the incorrect way? Here was the situation. My computer is connected to two printers. (We tried wireless and there were constant issues.) Anyway, one of the cables goes in the back. Back – that means I don’t pay a whole lot of attention and plug it in by feel. So, yesterday, after having taken the laptop downstairs for something, I come up, plug everything in. Then, I need to do a scan and the computer tells me that printer isn’t connected. Okay, I didn’t get the plug all the way in – easy to do. Disconnect, replug, feels like a solid fit. Now comes the “blue air” moment that my husband has become all too familiar with. In some cases, it is my recognition of the computer having done something that I told it to do rather than what I wanted it to do. This was one of those cases though where I was not to blame – ergo, needed husband intervention.
Husband comes up, temporarily forgetting the first rule when I am involved. He did check the connections in the sense of unplugging and replugging as I had. No good. Hmmm, hit a few buttons, ask a few questions. Puzzle over what the problem could be. Okay, standard next step – shut printer and computer off and turn back on. No luck. Aha!, he suddenly remembers, folds the top of the computer down and looks to see that sure enough I had plugged the cable in upside down. That meant it felt like a good connection and yet it wasn’t because the cable is desgined to only plug in correctly if the side with the raised symbol is “up”.
Now, seriously, I ask again, why do a design this way? He patiently explains that he has told me this before. Yeah, okay, got it, but that doesn’t address my point. To a guy – yes, I’m generalizing – there’s a symbol and so you just remember that. But wouldn’t it be easier to have it not matter? The symbol is hard to see, although it is raised so you can feel it, if you remember to do so. Let this be a plea to all you would-be techie designers – try and make all things that plug in without this annoying characteristic. Actually, that reminds me of how we came to have touch-tone telephones, but that is the subject of another post.