The incompatibility of DVDs and CDs to burners/drives is outrageous.

Talk about jamokes…the consumer electronic and computer technology companies that make CDs and DVDs are ALL jamokes. They should all be reported to the BBB. I wonder when someone will sue for negligence. Think of the money that gets wasted when people buy the wrong ‘R whatever’. And, millions of homes throughout the world have spindles of useless CDs or DVDs on their desks…all because the spindles contains discs of a different brand than the burner drive.

This isn’t about the -R, +R, -RW, /R, %R, #R, @R, *R, R&R baloney, though. I WAS smart enough to figure that out. Granted, it took some time, but I learned the secret code. I worry for those that aren’t as willing to learn as I was.

This isn’t about trying to break copy protection codes on Blockbuster movies and sell copies over the internet. I’m talking about blank discs here…for my computer…and I have the receipts.

This isn’t about buying some no-name cheap plastic fly-by-night don’t speak the language fell off the truck last night product. I went to a major big box retailer that just happens to have the Swedish flag colors on their store.

And, this isn’t about the looming HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray DVD format dispute. You don’t even want me to get started on that. Why is it necessary to have ‘vhs vs. beta’ battles every five years?

No, this is a rant about companies protecting turf and trying to win the game…at the expense of the consumer.

I just want to burn something I own to a disc. Why is that so freakin hard?

Imagine if every automaker produced gas along with their vehicles. Imagine if the automakers made it such that the fuel would ONLY work in the vehicles they made. Imagine the uproar…

Buy a vehicle and be obligated to that manufacturer for life (sounds like servitude).
Fill up a gas tank and THEN find out it was the wrong kind of gas.
Drive for days trying to find the correct type of fuel.
Maybe not even be aware in the first place that different vehicles use different brands of fuel.

At least, diesel vehicles have the little reminder sticker (although I do know someone that messed up the engines on three different vehicles because he used unleaded when he was supposed to use diesel).

Thankfully car manufacturers don’t produce the fuel.

But, this is exactly what we have with the consumer electronics and computer technology companies. They create burner drives and discs (or software) that are NOT compatible with the exact same products from the other companies.

You say, ‘well sure, they have a right to do that. it’s their product. they don’t have to play nice.”

To which I say, ‘bullocks’! They could play nice and still sell their products and reward their shareholders. The choose not to do so. They choose to make their widgets the way they do. They choose the incompatibility in order to lock consumers into a brand.

But, discs and burners are not brands. They are commodities. Check the saturday or sunday papers for the deals if you don’t believe me. VERY FEW products achieve BRAND status. The rest are just commodities…bought and sold at the lowest price.

Go to a Home Depot or Lowe’s. Water pipes are water pipes are water pipes…regardless of the manufacturer. Dishwashers from Maytag use the same electricity/detergent/water that the dishwashers from Whirlpool use. A 2×4 is a 2×4 is a 2×4, even if it is really only 1.75 x 3.75. Standards exist everywhere you look within the store. But, in technology circles, standards are hard to find.

And, to go with the appaling lack of ‘standards’, there’s a serious amount of non-communication. On none of the packaging, store aisle displays, or ‘click here for more info’ you would see as a consumer do the manufacturers ever state that their products won’t work with a competing brand…er, I mean commodity. The little secret is not publicized. In the absence of this information, I think the companies are committing collective fraud.

USB? The first letter stands for ‘Universal’. That means it is widely used and compatible. That little ‘USB’ logo is everywhere you look. The disc companies, however, choose to be incompatible. And, they don’t want the incompatibility known.

Where are the Trial Lawyers? I hear class-action lawsuit.

Anybody need some really shiny coasters?

The next time some idealist computer nerd talks about how things could be better, I’m going to point to the wall outlet and suggest they keep previous engineering and design successes in mind.

File Under: AND AND AND
Copyright (c) 2005 The Jamoker. All rights reserved.