Sluggish response in our Home Electronics

The Sony Mini-stereo on my desk has excellent sound, which is the main thing I suppose; but it has some annoying misfeatures. Take this one: what do you think happens when you hit the “Open CD Tray” button? If you said “The CD tray opens”, think again. Eventually it does, but first, the display switches to say “OPEN” and this word blinks a few times. Then, after 2-3 seconds of deliberation, the tray opens – making the display totally redundant (we can see that the tray is opening, Can’t we?!)

Sony mini-stereo display

Or take what happens when you hit the power off button. The same display now says “STANDBY”, and blinks this unsolicited information for maybe 6 seconds – then changes to “- – : – – “, its standby indication. So why didn’t it make this switch instantly? It isn’t as if it had to shut down a nuclear reactor core…

This behavior, where our electronic creations take their time before obeying, is seen in many devices around the house. I’d much rather have them do as they’re told and shut down (and up!) instantly.

2 Responses to “Sluggish response in our Home Electronics”


  1. 1 charlie

    it needs time to park the laser, if needed, and just probably waits the maximum time it should take, whether or not the laser is at the maximum away-from-home position.

    this is probably because of some feared lawsuit about blindness caused by a laser beam. i’d blame it on a US lawyer if i were you…

  2. 2 Nathan Zeldes

    Could be, Charlie, I certainly believe lawyers could do it.

    However, the laser is merely a semiconductor diode, and I’m sure if you switched off its electricity it would stop emitting light in a matter of microseconds. You could do that before the laser is parked physically…

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