Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I hate push buttons. Let me have controls I can feel in the dark

New car can be annoying that way.  The radio, black push buttons on a black panel is a prime example.  The markings on the push buttons are faint, don't glow bright enough in the dark,  and many of 'em lead to menus going a couple of levels deep.  Which are unreadable in the dark.  Working the radio is so difficult that Buick installed a complete second set of radio controls on the steering wheel.  The steering wheel buttons have larger legends than the on ones on the radio.
   In real cars, headlamps were controled by a real knob on the dash, a knob you could feel for in the dark.  Pull it full out and headlamps came on.  Push it halfway in and parking lamps come one.  Twist it to adjust the brightness of the dash board indicators. 
   In this car, they give you two small buttons next to each other.  No legends, just some obscure icons, a gear wheel is headlamps, a wispy looking P with branches growing out of it is parking lamps.  You can't feel for them, you have to take your eyes off the road and look at the dash should you want to turn headlamps on.  Dash board brightness is a slider, next to another slider, which looks just the same as the first slider.  Quick, is it the left hand or the right hand slider that dims the dash?
   This car has four real gauges that are perfectly readable.  Tach (you really need a tach on a slush box car) speedo, gas, and temperature.  Everything else, oil pressure, battery voltage, regular odometer, two trip odometers, gas mileage, oil life, tire pressure, all comes up on ONE dim LED display.  You get a set of four push buttons to select which parameter gets shown on the single hard to read digital display. 

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