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Stupid design choices: Wi-Fi switch

A while back my cousin told me the wi-fi on her laptop stopped working. I looked all over the control panel, network settings, and I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. Eventually, she figured it out herself: There was a wireless networking on/off switch on the bottom of her computer, next to the battery release.

W.

T.

F.

I had failed to diagnose the problem because I had no idea such a thing existed.

Today, a friend had trouble with getting wireless working, and again it turned out to be the wi-fi switch again, this time on the front of the computer at least.

What on Earth is the purpose of this switch? So you have an easy way of disabling your wireless for airplanes I guess? Or to save battery? As far as I can tell, the only purpose is to confound people whose wireless suddenly stops working.

(Perhaps my indignation is misplaced. Perhaps the switch is necessary because of the poorly chosen system tray icon that Windows uses for wireless? There's just a generic networking icon consisting of two computers. Maybe the laptop manufacturers had no faith in the ability of users to find the setting to disable wi-fi?)

Comments (2)

DUDE I TOTALLY AGREE... I spent 4 hours setting up my uncle's laptop because i couldn't find that stupid ass physical switch!

Ooh, I have to strongly disagree. I really like having the switch on my new laptop (although it is in an obvious location -- having it on the bottom does seem poor), for one simple reason: disabling/enabling wi-fi in Windows is slooooow. And I turn my wi-fi on and off enough that having to wait that 30 seconds every time is really annoying, so having that switch is really nice (except, of course, when I forget that I've flipped it and spend a couple of minutes trying to figure out why I can't connect to the Internet).

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LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 5, 2009.

The previous post in this blog was Doom and Gloom! (A rambly review of Dino Run).

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