'

Friday Rant - Packaging!!!!

I have this sneaking suspicion that most of the packaging that surrounds, protects and prevents the theft of consumer electronics that we buy has been designed by sociopaths and masochists.

I have this sneaking suspicion that most of the packaging that surrounds, protects and prevents the theft of consumer electronics that we buy has been designed by sociopaths and masochists.

Let's me just give you a few examples from the past few days.

First, a microSD card (a tiny thing) that came in a chunk of blown plastic the size, shape and weight of a Boeing 787 wing. Not only was there a lot of plastic surrounding the tiny cards, it was tough stuff, the kind of thing that needed serious hardware to in order to be able to free the microSD card. To make the job harder, putting the packaging under any form of stress ran the risk of causing parts of it to shatter, giving off copious amounts of nasty flint-like shrapnel.

Then, once all the cutting and extraction was over, I was left with a huge mound of rubbish to get rid of ...

All that hassle to extract a microSD card that cost less than $10.

Then there was a USB flash drive, which also came embedded in voluminous quantities of plastic. This time, to make matters even worse, this plastic seemed designed to resist cutting with scissors, and so I had to resort to sharp implements. Rather than go all Freddy Kruger on the packaging, I decided that the best course of action was to make a small incision and get the USB flash drive out that way. Good idea ... in theory. In practice, the idea left me with a larger, nastier incision on my finger.

This again left me with a second 787 wing's worth of plastic to get rid of. Cost of USB flash drive, $10.

I also needed a few HDMI cables. I wasn't moved to hand over large quantities of cash for some super-duper cable that seemed like it belonged on the USS Enterprise, and so turned to Amazon for the cheap stuff, which works just as well as cables that cost more than ten times the price. Also, because I'd already had more than my fair share of packaging hassles I opted for the AmazonBasics cables that came in "Frustration-Free" packaging.

OK, so I ordered two lengths of 6ft cables. They arrived next day. The outer box had to me a good 3ft by 3ft by 1ft, and inside that was a load of paper padding and two further boxes measuring maybe 6in by 6in by 1in. Yes, two tiny boxes shipped inside a giant cardboard cathedral. Inside those boxes were the cables that I ordered, and no blood was spilled extracting them. The only downside was the mountain of dead trees I needed to get rid of.

Cost of two HDMI cables, $12. Environmental damage, priceless.

Oh well, I guess I get to make a trip to the tip ... oh joy of joys!

I'm glad it's a Friday ... roll on weekend!