user unfriendly consumer struggles with personal technologies from clocks and sewing machines to cars and computers

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User Unfriendly

Author : Joseph J. Corn
ISBN : 9781421401928
Genre : Science
File Size : 46. 61 MB
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We've all been there. Seduced by the sleek designs and smart capabilities of the newest gadgets, we end up stumped by their complicated set-up instructions and exasperating error messages. In this fascinating history, Joseph J. Corn maps two centuries of consumer frustration and struggle with personal technologies. Aggravation with the new machines people adopt and live with is as old as the industrial revolution. Clocks, sewing machines, cameras, lawn mowers, bicycles, electric lights, cars, and computers: all can empower and exhilarate, but they can also exact a form of servitude. Adopters puzzle over which type and model to buy and then how to operate the device, diagnose its troubles, and meet its insatiable appetite for accessories, replacement parts, or upgrades. It intrigues Corn that we put up with the frustrations our technology thrusts upon us, battling with the unfamiliar and climbing the steep learning curves. It is this ongoing struggle, more than the uses to which we ultimately put our machines, that animates this quizzical study. Having extensively researched owner's manuals, computer user-group newsletters, and how-to literature, Corn brings a fresh, consumer-oriented approach to the history of technology. User Unfriendly will be valuable to historians of technology, students of American culture, and anyone interested in our modern dependency on machines and gadgets.

Faxed

Author : Jonathan Coopersmith
ISBN : 9781421415918
Genre : Science
File Size : 79. 18 MB
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Faxed is the first history of the facsimile machine—the most famous recent example of a tool made obsolete by relentless technological innovation. Jonathan Coopersmith recounts the multigenerational, multinational history of that device from its origins to its workplace glory days, in the process revealing how it helped create the accelerated communications, information flow, and vibrant visual culture that characterize our contemporary world. Most people assume that the fax machine originated in the computer and electronics revolution of the late twentieth century, but it was actually invented in 1843. Almost 150 years passed between the fax’s invention in England and its widespread adoption in tech-savvy Japan, where it still enjoys a surprising popularity. Over and over again, faxing’s promise to deliver messages instantaneously paled before easier, less expensive modes of communication: first telegraphy, then radio and television, and finally digitalization in the form of email, the World Wide Web, and cell phones. By 2010, faxing had largely disappeared, having fallen victim to the same technological and economic processes that had created it. Based on archival research and interviews spanning two centuries and three continents, Coopersmith’s book recovers the lost history of a once-ubiquitous technology. Written in accessible language that should appeal to engineers and policymakers as well as historians, Faxed explores themes of technology push and market pull, user-based innovation, and "blackboxing" (the packaging of complex skills and technologies into packages designed for novices) while revealing the inventions inspired by the fax, how the demand for fax machines eventually caught up with their availability, and why subsequent shifts in user preferences rendered them mostly passé.

The Digital Flood

Author : James W. Cortada
ISBN : 9780199921553
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 29. 39 MB
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The history of how computers spread to over 20 nations globally in less than six decades, exploring economic, political, social and technological reasons and consequences. It is based on extensive research into primary and secondary sources, and concludes with a discussion of implications for key players in the globalized economy.

Technical Support

Author : Rachel King
ISBN : 9781502601148
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 47. 45 MB
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Think you want to go into the technology industry? Many technology professionals jump-start their careers in technical support. Whether you’re looking to join a big company or a small start-up, learn exactly what it takes to get that perfect job!

Into The Blue American Writing On Aviation And Spaceflight

Author : Joseph J. Corn
ISBN : 9781598531855
Genre : Transportation
File Size : 31. 85 MB
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Into the Blue revisits the remarkable trajectory of Americans in air and space, gathering sixty of the best eyewitness and participant narratives from Benjamin Franklin's letters on the first hot air balloons to Chris Jones's account of being marooned on the International Space Station. Here are those who made flight happen: Orville and Wilbur Wright, self-taught pioneers whose homespun invention stunned the world; World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker, whose memoirs (excerpted here for the first time in unedited form) describe the frightening novelties of aerial combat; and daredevils like Texas barnstormer Slats Rodgers and test pilot Jimmy Collins. Ernest Hemingway offers a vivid dispatch on a 1922 flight over France, and Gertrude Stein muses on the look of America from the air; Charles A. Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart narrate their groundbreaking transatlantic flights; Ralph Ellison reflects on the experience of African American airmen at Tuskegee; William F. Buckley Jr. recounts his mishaps as an amateur pilot; Wernher von Braun envisions a space station of the future, while astronauts John Glenn, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin provide firsthand recollections of the conquest of space. Here too, among many other subjects, are scenes and episodes in the development of commercial aviation, from the hiring of the first stewardesses and the high stress lives of air traffic controllers to the new ubiquity of what Walter Kirn calls "Airworld." A thirty-two-page insert offers photographs, some previously unpublished, of the writers and their crafts.

User Unfriendly

Author : Vivian Vande Velde
ISBN : 0547351593
Genre : Juvenile Fiction
File Size : 27. 89 MB
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It’s the most advanced computer role-playing game ever: When you play you’re really there—in a dark dream teeming with evil creatures, danger-filled fortresses, and malevolent sorceries. The game plugs directly into your brain—no keyboard, no modem, no monitor. And for game hacker Arvin Rizalli and his friends, no cash up front, no questions asked . . . and no hope of rescue when the game goes horribly, deathly wrong.

Entangled Geographies

Author : Gabrielle Hecht
ISBN : 9780262515788
Genre : History
File Size : 48. 12 MB
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Investigations into how technologies became peculiar forms of politics in an expanded geography of the Cold War.

Yesterday S Tomorrows

Author : Joseph J. Corn
ISBN : 0801853990
Genre : History
File Size : 64. 22 MB
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Corn and Horrigan explore the future as Americans earlier in the last century expected it to happen. Filled with vivid color images and lively text, the book is eloquent testimony to the confidence -- and, at times, the naive faith -- Americans have had in science and technology.

The Winged Gospel

Author : Joseph J. Corn
ISBN : 0801869625
Genre : History
File Size : 27. 4 MB
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Exploring these early years of aviation, Joseph Corn describes the fascinating, and often bizarre, plans for the future of manned flight and brings back to life the famous and lesser-known aviators who became American heroes.

Ingenium

Author : Mark Denny
ISBN : 9780801898464
Genre : Science
File Size : 20. 77 MB
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Whether you dream of making a better mousetrap or launching pumpkins into the stratosphere, Ingenium will tickle your fancy.

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