Saturday, 19 May 2012

Detecting Under the Microscope: Knob Twiddling Monkeys


A metal detector dealer's blurb presents a product in the following terms:
The CTX 3030 has ten separate search modes. Each search mode has eight separate functions that can be adjusted individually, by the user. Two of those functions are individual Patterns, with each Pattern allowing the user to adjust the parameters of discrimination, individually [...]. The CTX 3030 allows the user to simultaneously identify multiple targets under the coil, both visually and audibly. With the implementation of Target Trace, we now see real time “color coded” animation, based on the target’s signal strength and metallic content.” 
According to tapes which recently turned up by mysterious means in the offices of the Daily Maul, it would seem that this is all the result of a Minelab Product Development meeting a couple of years ago...
Unidentified executive A- “We need a killer product that appeals to the typical buyer”
B [Unidentified voice] - “Sure, but what will appeal to the typical buyer?”
C [female] - “That’s easy. It's mostly men who do this, so we need to keep it simple; we need something simple enough that a chimp could use it".
A - "I disagree Helga, it must have loads of knobs to twiddle so users can kid themselves that they’re doing something clever and scientific. We’ll call it “The Grab-All" and tell them they’ll need to cleverly and scientifically select from about, say, 80 different grab modes, that some monkeys couldn't manage. They’ll love that!”
B - “Agreed. But give it a nerdy-technical-sounding name, ASB 101, GBH 007 or something like that"
C - "Agreed, Let’s do it!"


Anonymous said...

ASB 101, GBH 007 .....


Or, since another model is marketed as providing "Advantage" maybe this could be called "Benefits" !

I wonder how long it'll be until UKDFD extends it's database details beyond "Make of detector" to include "knob setting"? And will PAS follow suit to compete? Partnership, eh? So hard, when two camps have zero beliefs or aims or standards in common. Haven't heard much about Liaisonville for a few years.

Paul Barford said...

Perhaps now they are so hugs-and-kisses partners the train has got to Liaisonville. I've not been there myself, I hear it is a town singularly devoid of culture.

[And the rest of my readers who never had the opportunity to see the Forum the PAS used to run to interact with the public, are wondering what on earth we are talking about.]

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