August 1st, 2020


single buttons that cycle through too many modes

I realize the world has much bigger problems right now, but let me take a break to mention that I hate today's flashlights.

I have too many lights... flashlights, bike lights, keychain lights, where somebody thought it'd be a good idea to use a single pushbutton to cycle through 87 different exciting modes of what a flashlight can do.

In the old days, you'd press a button and the light turned on. Then you'd press the button again and the light turned off.

Now, you press a button and the light turns on. But if you want to turn it off you're screwed.

You press the button and it goes to dim mode.
Press it again, it flashes.
Press it again, it turns on each LED sequentially like knight rider (this is a mode on my bike light, not kidding)
Press it again, thinking surely this will be OFF, but no then it's left side right side alternating...

With every press you hope you're near the end and you start pressing faster and faster, and that's when the worst thing happens, you get it OFF finally but you don't notice and press the button again and then you're right back around to ON because you MISSED IT and now you have to do it all again.

I have a cheap little flashlight from harbor freight that has a red glowy light on the back, so its modes are main white light on, then red light, then both, then flashing, then it calls for a pizza, then it sings the star spangled banner, then it asks for a glass of water... to this day I'm not sure how I left it or what it's doing.

I'm an electrical engineer so I SHOULD be thankful for LEDs and microchips and smart components, and usually I am, but someone used their power for evil. Some intern thought he'd get paid per flashlight mode or something, and just dreamed up a million. But he only had room for one button.

Who knows what it's going to do?