Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Invisible idiot!

Sometimes it is fun to play with techy toys and a friend showed me one recently that seemed like fun.

It arrived yesterday, costing just under £16 including free delivery, from one of my favorite on-line merchants, Amazon. 

I got it out of the packet and since it only has one button and a number of functions, I decided that perhaps it was worth skimming through the instructions.  What a treat I had in store for me.  It was like going back 20 years to the time when you often bought products from the far-east that had instructions written in very odd English.  Only it was worse . . . and yet better if you have a good sense of humour and don't mind having wasted time on it!

Try a few of these and see whether you can even work out what the product might be.  As far as possible I have faithfully reproduced the exact text and punctuation for your amusement!  Note that their spelling check works very well.  I didn't see a single spelling error.

The built-in high capacity polymer lithium battery, no memory effect, can be used with the charge, but the initial use of the first five, and then charge the battery to run out of saturation, in order to activate the battery maximum capacity, access to standard working time; In order to maximise the battery storage capacity, each charge, in the light long after the light to continue charging 30-1 minutes.

My understanding of lithium polymer batteries has not been greatly enhanced by that!

Turning the camera on removable disk - "In the space below the root directory of the camera right-click-" Move the mouse over pop-up menu of the "New" option at the top - " Select "Text Document" - "to the text document named" time", it should be noted that the extension".txt "-" Time to set file completion; you can follow the steps above on your desktop, the other disk partition, and then built another folder copy to a removable disk root directory.

That was something about how to set the clock on the device . . . obviously!

In the boot state, the long bright blue light, press the button for each bit, the blue light flashes once, and store the complete camera, take pictures back to standby mode.

That's how to make it work!  Actually having Googled the product and found Youtube videos which explained a variety of similar products including a variant on this one, I still couldn't make it do what I wanted.  Yes it succeeded in each function at some point, but you could never tell which function you were going to get when you pressed the one-and-only button.  I never did seen the green light that it claimed to exist.

So its all perfectly clear now, and the product is packaged and ready to go back in the post to Amazon.  I don't blame Amazon at all.  However, I do wonder whether the product complies with any EU directives at all.  One of the requirements of the directives is that the instructions are clear.

It reminds me of that old story about a well-known phrase that was translated from English to Japanese, and then back to English by a different translator.

"Out of Sight, out of mind" became "Invisible idiot"!

You can see how it happened!

Small note:  A "long blue light" is not physically long.  It is not even a long flash.  It is simply a blue light that is "on".  Once you understand the product, the instructions (almost) make perfect sense!


Alex B said...

What was it?

Plasma Engineer said...

It was a camera built into a pen. One of these:


Don't bother buying one - it was intractable! :) But great fun to read the instructions.

Derby Sceptic said...

Having read the Amazon reviews, I think I would have stopped before placing an order. As someone suggested, perhaps the instructions should have been left in Chinese and then Google Translate would have helped you out.
Trouble is, many of these things are generics so there may be multiple models of pen-camera all being sold under the same heading, so you take pot luck.
How is your friend getting on with theirs?

Plasma Engineer said...

Yes - my pot luck was backed up by the guarantee of Amazon being a reputable conduit to to an unknown supplier.

The friend who gave me the idea has a different type of camera and he showed my some video from it. He had fixed it the the front of a model locomotive and prduced some amazing driver's-eye footage of the journey around his railway. It made N gauge look very realistic.

One application that I had in mind was to film the contents of a magpie's nest in our garden without disturbing it. I think there must be chicks in it. The only way to see would be to put a camera on the end of a very long pole, and point and hope.