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Bad software is annoying because it's in your face. Bad hardware is more subtle in its evil: annoyances that seem trivial at first can build over time like a pebble in your shoe into an eternal shaft of dismal misery. You'd hope that after quarter of a century of PC design, the worst excesses of thoughtless engineering would be behind us. You'd hope wrong. Here are just some of the mishaps that continue to take the shine off the technology that changes our lives.
Notebook input devices
Good notebooks have some of the finest, most aesthetically pleasing engineering to be found anywhere. So why do makers keep messing up the bits that really matter? Keyboards are crammed in too tight with oversized keys you never use and tiny, shifted ones you need but can't find. Spacebars are the size of cocktail sticks. Mouse buttons are placed where only a six-fingered mutant could reach them. Touchpads migrate to the side of the screen. The list of sins goes on and on — and with the advent of MIDs, UMPCs and other bizarre perversions, it can only get nastier. The people who perpetrate such nonsense should be forced to use nothing else for a month — or until they go nuts.