Car features and other gadgets: was: my fixie doesn't need improvement
On Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:36:53 -0400, Joy Beeson
On Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:27:28 -0800, Joerg
IMO there is stuff that mankind doesn't need so badly. Power windows,
power locks, automatic transmissions in cars. Or electric shifters on
bikes. I've got none of that and I don't want any of it.
Power seats are a deal-killer for me: I'm so fat that I have to slide
the seat all the way back to get in, and so short that I have slide it
all the way forward to reach the pedals. A power seat that could do
that in a reasonable length of time would be outlawed and the designer
would be sued.
But for people who drive all day every day, not having power seats
would kill the deal.
Power windows were a deal killer for my late mother-in-law. She
frequently had to wait in a parked car, and wanted to be able to open
a window without starting the engine.
I love power windows, because I always drive alone and hate air
conditioning. Being able to open or close a window on the other side
of the car without taking my mind off my driving is *very* convenient.
Power locks are a safety device. A fellow who had just retired from a
career that included helping to clean up bodies spattered on the
roadway assured me that a car is safer with the doors locked because
they are less likely to pop open in a crash. But who is going to lock
up every single time if you have to crawl all over the car to do it?
(I *am* a bit concerned that the doors can be *un*locked as easily.)
(I particularly don't like the way the car helpfully unlocks
everything the moment I put it in "park".)
I used to drive a stick shift. When I was learning to drive it,
people assured me that I'd have automatic shifting pretty soon, and it
was true. I got so accustomed to manual shifting that I found it
difficult to drive an automatic when we had to get rid of the stick
shift. But syncromesh was really, really worth having.
If our current car doesn't outlive me, I won't consider stick shift as
a replacement It takes a long time to adjust, and we'd have to change
both motor vehicles at once because I'm not at all good at switching
protocols in life-and-death situations. Trying to use word-processor
commands while typing a Usenet post does no harm; using the wrong
protocol on the highway could lead to headlines.
Can you still walk into a car dealer and buy a car with a manual
transmission? Here I was told that an auto transmission would have to
be special ordered.
Electric shifters for bikes sound like something that has to be hauled
around, and an Ed Kearny lighting system was as far as I ever went in
the way of electrifying the bike. When it fell apart -- the
decades-old motorcycle bulb, as far as I know, is *still* working
fine, but it fell out of the housing -- I didn't replace it, but I did
keep my in-case-the-taillight-fails blinkie. I suppose I should go
out and turn it on to make sure the batteries are still good. It's
been a long time since I went out after dark in *any* vehicle, if you
don't count driving to the emergency room. (Argonne Road is weird at
three in the morning.)
Went out to check the blinkie, and remembered that I had to unscrew it
for some reason, and instead of putting it back, I dropped it into the
bag I was taking to Goodwill. I still have two red reflectors bolted
to my panniers, just in case.
Electric can openers are gadgets for making it awkward to open cans --
but there are lots of people for whom "awkward" is an improvement.
I can't see the appeal of electric carving knives. They chew up the
meat, and aren't as fast as a well-honed knife.
I suspect that the guys who use them like the noise they make.