Many years ago, there was this fantastic bit that they did on the Carol Burnett show.
The scene: two men wearing suits sitting in an office. Blueprints sit on the desk in front of them
Owner: I have to thank you again for doing such a great job on this building. 64 stories tall, and you built it faster than expected and well under budget. And you got more office space inside this building that we originally thought you could! You are a genius!
Architect: [looking visibly nervous and disturbed] Yes well, I’m glad that you like it. I’m just… Yes well, we did a very good job. I’m very… happy… Well you know, this building isn’t without its flaws.
Owner: Yes but, everything is looking really good. We can clean up any small flaws that were made with the money that we saved in the construction and the increased rents that I’ll be be getting.
Architect: [starting to look despondent] Yes I’m sure you’re right. We can work this out.
Owner: We can discuss these problems after lunch. But first I have to go to the bathroom. Where is it? I think I saw it on the way in. Is it down the hall and on the left?
Owner: Where is it then? Is it on the other side of the building?
Architect: [putting his hand into his hands] No.
Owner: [looking quizzical, and then with the look of happy realization] Ah, I see, you only put bathrooms on every other floor to save money. That’s how you did it! So is the men’s bathroom one floor up?
Architect: [starting to pull his hair, and speaking with a whimper] No.
Owner: [starting to realize that something is up] Then is it one floor down?
Architect: [he looks up at the owner and silently nods “no”]
Owner: Two floors up?
Architect: [he stares into the owner’s eyes and doesn’t flinch]
Owner: Two floors down? Seven floors up? Ten floors down?!!
Architect: Just a few… small flaws. I only forgot that one thing. [He sets his head down on the desk and puts his hands over it]
That brings us to today’s fatal flaw.
Since the tape deck in my car broke several months ago, I’ve been looking for a replacement, a way to play recorded media. I tried using my Pocket PC and a radio transmitter as a poor man’s iPod but the user interface isn’t all that good for automobile use. I came across a really groovy 20 gigabyte MP3 player the the car. The Omnifimedia DMP1 Mobile Digital Media Player. It sells in some places for $600, but I came across it for $149. (I later found that it sells in many places for under $200) So I looked into it. It looks like a fantastic device. Rugged, reliable, attractive, and an all around great marriage of technologies. You can even download your music from your home network using WiFi, pretty cool.
I came across a review on Amazon.com that mentioned that the device has no fast-forward button. That sounded ridiculous. I considered how I would probably be listening to very long MP3s, things like four hour long concerts, hourlong radio programs, 30 minute long pod casts and the like. I found the manual online and gosh darn it, it’s true. Tape decks and CD players have fast-forward. You can skip forward with vinyl on a turntable. But not this device. The last device I’ve heard of it didn’t have a fast-forward button was an 8-track tape player.
What’s old is new again.