Jamie's Blog

Monday, May 14, 2007

Do our gadgets have too many status lights?

ComputerWorld has an interesting article about the large numbers of status lights on our devices. Our computer towers, monitors, printers, keyboards, mice, and even speakers have status lights. On many of those devices the status lights cannot be turned off. Even if the device is turned off! I have a monitor, that has a small status light that turns on when you plug it into a power outlet. The monitor is turned off, but the status light stays on. Turning the monitor on, brightens the already on status light. Most of our electronic devices have status lights that are on if the device is on. No options are given to turn them off. On some devices, the status lights are there to let you know the device is on, or connected, or processing some task. On others, they are there only to make the device look cooler or more futuristic.

At home, my computer, router, and DSL modem never get turned off. All of the status lights on them generate a nice glow in the room where they are set up. This doesn't usually bother me, since I don't sleep in that room. Since that room also doubles as a guest room, it does make a big difference when people stay over. I don't mind turning the computer in that room off for my guests, but I don't really want to power down the router and DSL modem. So I guess the questions is, do we really need as many status lights as our gadgets have?

Via ComputerWorld: We the people demand a Gadget Bill of Lights

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