Sunday, October 26, 2008

Defective product lines

I decided to compile a list of products and companies that seem to keep selling, but the products either don't actually do anything or they break constantly. I'm not complaining about random products that I've had that have broken, but instead about entire classes of products that never work so matter who seems to have created them.

The XBOX 360 is kind of on the right track, since virtually every 360 was defective. It counts for this, though I am thinking more along the lines of "diet pills" or other things that inexplicably sell time and again despite doing absolutely nothing, no matter who you bought them from.

Cindy bought a Belkin 7 port usb hub (F5U307) for her desk, and within a week it didn't work anymore. After calling support, she found out that she wasn't actually supposed to use all 7 ports because it'll fry the board, and that it also can't handle devices powered over USB being plugged into it. They sent her a new one, and by not actually using it it hasn't caused any more problems.

Let's have a big "fuck you Belkin, you peddlers of worthless shit" for this fine corporation.

Next up on the list is too extensive a list to do justice, but I want to call out about 90% of the manufacturers of wireless routers. They just do not actually do anything. They lock up constantly, require hourly/daily/weekly restarts, and this is after putting new firmware into them to get them to do anything at all. The best success I've had so far has been with Apple's Time Capsules and Airport Extremes, but every "more pricey" Netgear or Linksys router that I've attempted to make use of has left me bitterly disappointed and without a wireless network in operation. Power cycling like this is similar to buying a car that randomly just stops and needs to be restarted every so often for no good reason.

So, fuck you wireless networking device manufacturers. I hope that you all go out of business and that everyone responsible for these absurdly poor products becomes homeless. Belkin also makes and sells wireless routers, and are one of the biggest offenders here as well.

Lastly (for now) I want to offer up every single company that makes one of those USB connectors that can wind up into a spiral. If you don't know what I'm talking about, there's a spring loaded reel in the middle of a plastic case, and it holds a flat usb cable. This seems like a solid idea because when you're using it you extend the cable as needed, and afterward, it'll spring back like a seat belt after a little tug. This would be fine and dandy if it actually worked. I have never been able to have one last for more than a few days, and then there would be disk read errors or transfer errors from cameras.

The 2 companies that I've seen with this product that never actually works are Dynex (the Best Buy brand, I guess) and Belkin. I do not think it's even possible to get a working version of this thing. I hate USB as much as the next guy, and think that the current state we're in with most every device employing it is a terrible thing, but for fuck's sake can we please at least get some connectors that actually work?

What has this taught me? Well, if Belkin sells a certain type of product, there is a decent chance that not only will it not work if bought from them, but that if you buy a similar product from another manufacturer it probably won't work either. I suppose it's almost like saying that everything they touch turns to shit.

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