Just had to post this. Would like to hear the reaction of others…
Last year, I got my hands on a pretty good UPS for my home computer network. It’s from APC. The model # is the XS1200. And while it is a slightly different model than the one shown, it looks almost exactly like the image on the right.
It’s a good UPS. It’s can take 8 devices plugged into it. Six are managed, two are surge protected only. I’ve got all my critical devices plugged into it including my desktop computer, monitor, cable modem, router, some kind of phone/cable switching device (I get my home phone service through my cable provider), and a couple of other things.
Now, this is a great device except for one fatal flaw. The round circle on the front is the on/off switch for the UPS. It’s also a very sensitive switch. It doesn’t take more than the soft fingers of a 2 year old child to turn it off. Yes, to turn the whole darn UPS and all 8 devices connected to it off!!!!!
I’m sure you can picture what has happened more than once.
Here’s Dad in his home office working away. And 2 year old mini-me is playing innocently nearby. But then mini-me gets bored playing with his toys and sees this nice round circle just under some neat lights. And so, before I can turn my head from the screen and see what he’s up to, he presses it. And virtually instantly, EVERYTHING on my desk shuts down abruptly.
No chance to save my work, nothing. The device doesn’t wait a few seconds before shutting down. It doesn’t beep to give a warning. It doesn’t require a second push of the button to confirm that the person wants to SHUT DOWN THE UPS. Nope. Nothing.
My laptop, my desktop speakers, even my monitor have power buttons on them that require A LOT MORE PRESSURE to make electrical contact. But for some reason, the folks at APC decided to put a power button on a mission-critical device that can be turned off by the index-finger of a curious 2 year old. [Actually he’s technically 1. He will be two later this summer!]
From their website, APC talks about their mission: [emphasis is mine]
APC is working diligently to achieve its corporate mission of creating delighted customers by improving the manageability, availability and performance of information and communication systems through the rapid delivery of innovative solutions to real customer problems.
Hey boys and girls at APC, here’s a rather undelighted customer and a real customer problem. Curious toddlers can turn off your devices in the blink of an eye! Your home/office solutions team needs to take that into account in their next generation product.
OK, enough with the rant, but I’m just wondering here: Why is there such a prominent on/off button on this device? How often would I want to turn it off/on? I want it ON all the time. Otherwise, what’s the point of it?
I guess the guys at APC need to take a lesson from Intuit and conduct a “Follow me home” project with customers to understand what happens in the home environment.
Read the next part of this saga:
How NOT to communicate with customers