Thanks to the excellent http://www.woot.com, I upgraded to a new MP3 player – this one, the Sansa e250 from SanDisk, has a little screen and shows video at an almost completely unacceptably small resolution. But I don’t mind that, I didn’t really buy it for the video. I don’t mind the big fat “REFURB” label stuck on the back, nor do I really mind all that much that it’s already lost a screw from the back.
What I do mind is that the developers of the software accompanying this player haven’t figured out that I might want to use it as a consumer device, rather than an Information Technology Administration Tool. Quite honestly, I can’t see how a media player – even if you count its ability to do video the size of my thumb – can be used to administer my system, but clearly that’s the intent of the designers, because the software all insists on running as administrator.
The software at fault is at least the following:
It almost makes me want to wipe the firmware in the device and replace it with the Open Source software “Rock Box“. Maybe then I can use ordinary tools to move my media onto the device, as an ordinary user.
We developers clearly have a loooong way to go before we grasp this concept that “administrator means the guy who makes changes to the configuration of the operating system”, and “standard user means the guy who spends his life actually using the operating system”.
I would love to be able to sort this out with technical support, but they insist on not talking to me in email, but requiring me to log on to a third party “eBox” from “customernation.com” – which sends out exhortations to visit your eBox as soon as Sansa’s support has put a message in it. These invites come with your user name and password – over unencrypted email. Nice.
I’d tell you what’s in my eBox, and what Sansa’s support said, but I haven’t been able to keep a connection up long enough for the painfully slow customernation.com web site to actually display anything. This is not a pleasant customer experience.