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9Feb/160

Everyday life without electricity and dead battery disasters

Posted by Nate

From horse's mouth

From horse's mouth

Silly dependencies.

Story with Mazda Tribute

The battery died in my daughters' car, a Mazda Tribute 2004, and she asked me to help install a new battery

Sure. Not a big deal. My wife and I came to our daughters' garage.

Living in the city, my daughter always locks the car. So I took the key and tried to unlock the door. No such luck. The door would not open. So I thought that the lock might be bad. And we could not find another door lock on any other door! So we called our car mechanic. He suggested for me to clean my glasses and look again. Just try another door, there's got to be a lock he said. Nope. So we decided to call the Mazda dealership. As we found out from the dealership the lock does not work if the car battery is dead. And yes we are not blind - there are no other doors with locks. So we have the key, there is a key hole on the door but you cannot open the door if the car battery is dead.

We checked the gate- no lock there. Tried to open the hood – it opens from the inside of course.

You see I thought that if we opened the hood and installed the battery we would be able to unlock the door.

But car designers knew better than that. They would not allow an easy way out (sorry “in”). So what should we do, we asked the person at the dealership? Call the locksmith they told us. So we did and that cost us $75 to open the stupid car!

And for the life of me I cannot understand the reasoning for this design.

Stupid dependencies

No key!

Story about the car without the keyhole to start it

My friends' car (Hyundai) has another story to tell. My friend would usually start his car remotely by pushing the button on his car key. But one day he pushed the button and nothing happened. He figured that a little battery in the remote was dead. So he decided to start the car the hard way, by inserting the key (yes there is a key) and turning the key. Just like we used to do in the old days. The guy could not find the key hole! So being an older gentlemen unsure of his eyesight, he called his son asking what to do. And the son thought that pops is probably losing it. There's got to be a key hole if there is a key, he said. But poor daddy, for the life of him, cannot find the hole! So the son calls the dealership and was told there is no key hole.

So let me get this straight. If you are on the road and have stopped to eat or do the opposite and a little key battery died, you are out of luck. Cannot start you car. Period.

So can somebody explain to me what the hell is going on with today's cars!?

And where are the people who did this to a car?

Hi tech toilets

Who is smarter?

Hi-tech pooping

Another mystery to me are toilets and faucets in public places that don't have a manual override.

Without electricity toilets will stop working in many public places. And so the faucets will stop working. Also, we will not need to wash our hands because we didn't accomplish what we came for.

I wonder if we were able to go into the past and tell people that we in the 21st century cannot poop without electricity, they would feel sorry for future generations.

It is a long list but the idea is that over-dependence on new gadgets and cool technology will backfire and make us look silly.

One safe assumption I learned as an engineer is that whatever you are designing will fail and there is a need for an override or a “back door” like a hand-crank engine start or nearby bush that does not need a flush. Or a car key that actually is a key and not a fricking switch.

So, my friends, good luck with “connected” devices. Maybe I am getting old but why in the world do I need a smart toilet or a smart door lock? So these two can talk to each other when nobody is home? And discuss politics with the fridge?

   

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