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hillariously bad product design

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  • hillariously bad product design

    so i just had a small head-scratching experience with a hardware product and figured i'd share it. either you will join me in a few laughs or you'll all say that i'm the stupid person for not just grasping something off the bat.

    i have a SATA to IDE adapter that we just ordered recently in order to drop SATA disks into a workstation that we use for ghost imaging, data recovery, etc. that system only has IDE controllers right now. i figured that grabbing a small adapter (which can be just stuck in the removable disk bay) would be easier than opening up the case, installing a new card, etc etc. i was a bit wrong.

    first i'll mention that the adapter is bi-directional. thus, you can put a new drive in an older box (like we're doing) or use an old ATA/ATAPI drive in a new system. the adapter device has switching components... but in some bizzare choice they are one set of jumper and one throw switch. there are only two modes of operation... in one you flip the switch one way and set a jumper, for the other you flip the switch the other way and set the jumper to the other pins. why they didn't just use a throw switch that controlled two circuits as opposed to this setup (or just save money with a pair of jumpers... if you're making people go to the trouble of fussing with tiny tweezers, save the fabrication costs and just go with two jumpers) is beyond me.

    but the really head-scratching part (at least as far as i'm concerned, you may disagree and feel free to call me names if you do) pertains to how the two modes are labeled... the two modes printed on the unit are:

    1. SATA to IDE
    2. IDE to SATA

    understand my confusion yet? you guessed it... nowhere (either on the unit itself or on the packaging) does it say what that means! does position number one mean a SATA drive going to an IDE motherboard? does it mean a SATA motherboard connecting to an IDE drive? keep in mind, the adapter itself has a female 40-pin connector... thus in our case (SATA drive, IDE controller) the adapter is plugged all the way down on the motherboard. does this change the "syntax" as it were?

    i feel like Bart Simpson in front of the Smokey the Bear exhibit in the mountain lodge...
    "Only who can prevent forest fires?"
    <Bart presses the top button, labeled "YOU">
    "You pressed YOU, referring to me... that is incorrect. The correct answer is you."
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: hillariously bad product design

    It's bidirectional? Wouldn't the connectors need to be opposite gender?

    Otherwise this is hilarious, heh
    45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
    45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
    [ redacted ]


    • #3
      Re: hillariously bad product design

      I posed this same exact question at the local store where they sell a similar product. The employees hadnt even thought about reversing it, plugging the adapter into the motherboard to create SATA.

      They were only thinking about plugging it into a SATA drive to convert it to IDE.

      I've seen jumperless ones used both ways, I've never seen the jumpered or
      switched time your talking about.

      Anyways, all the packaging on all of these type adapters seems to be vague about how it can be used. I don't own any myself.