Our own little focus group

I know a lot of us kibbuz on movies and tv shows and whatnot but I’d like to get another type of opinion.

Tell me about a product you like (not a movie or a TV show or a book) but a product. Anything… food, electronics, garden implement, marital aid, game, what have you. But we’;re talking actual products not plot points.

Now, what would you change to make that great thing stellar?

My first go to get the ball rolling:

iPod - I recently got the 20 GB model. I must say Apple did a great job on the product. One thing I would have liked though? A faster way to turn off the shuffle feature. A single button somewhere to turn it off or on would be great. Sometimes I am listening to a shuffled list of my 7000 most favorite songs, and I want to listen to a whole artist. Now, if I were not driving, I could pause it and navigate to play that artist, or even take the 4 steps to navigate to turn off shuffle but a single button would make is so much nicer.

Microsoft Excel - I use this a lot at work and one feature I always wished it had was the ability to place more than one lock at a time. You can lock either the vertical or the horizontal cells so they stay in one place while you scroll to somewhere in a large document but not both. What the hell?

So tell me, what are your focus group changes to products you like?

OK, i love, love, love my iPod, and I hate, hate, hate, the battery life…somewhere in iTunes there should be something to condition the batteries.

I need a decent pair of headphones that are large enough for both my ears and my head, and that also accurately reproduce the sound that comes from my iPod, oh, and I need to be able to wear them whilst I work out.

that’s all i can think of right now…

Maybe I misunderstood you here, but doesn’t Window Freeze Panes do this? It locks everything to the left and above the active cell, which, to my mind, accomplishes what you are describing here.

What I want in Excel is an easy point-and-click interface to build interactive web page forms.

a) Eudora —ditch the “two-parameter rule” for matching filters to email in favor of an unlimited number of parameters [body contains “sbmd” or body contains “straight dope” or subject contains “sdmb” or subject contains “straight dope” or ((body contains “straight” or body contains “dope”) and body contains “board”) --> transfer to “In”, label as “SDMB”, skip rest]; and add some kind of “Count of” function, i.e., [Body contains Count of >2 of any of “v-i-a-g”/“vi-a-”/“v1a”/“v|a”/“v i a g”/“v-ia”/“v iag”/“vi@”/“v1@”/“v 1@”/"/ia"/"/|a"/"/1a" --> transfer to “Trash”, label as “Health spam”, skip rest]

b) Cellphone/iPod/PalmPilot/DigitalCamera/Microcomputer — I only want one, thank you. It should consist of a 60 gig HD capable of booting my Mac in an emergency, and mountable on the Desktop via WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, or FireWire cable; it should be able to send and receive phone calls and should have its own intrinsic answering machine sw to record incoming calls I choose not to answer / have ringer turned off, as well as voice recognition sw to let me dictate outbound emails and convert inbound phone calls to text; should take good quality 4-megapixel still shots; should run Palm and Windows CE sw; should be able to run Windows and Mac OS environments in emulation at tolerable speeds; screen should be able to display at 640 x 480 at 24 dpi; should record sound directly via condenser mike or sound-in port; and should have effortlessly simple software for transfer of files to/from any Windows, MacOS, or common Unix platforms; and should have long-life battery that recharges itself on-the-fly via solar cells or from AC adapter or auto ciglighter adapter.