K.I.S.S. or “keep it simple stupid” was a term coined by Kelly Johnson, a naval engineer in the early sixties. Supposedly Johnson handed his team of engineers a few basic tools and told them to design and build a plane that could be repaired using these very same tools, by an “average” mechanic in the field. In other words, if you keep it simple you will keep it flying.
Today unfortunately KISS is a thing of the past. Yes I know I am older, and yes I know I constantly bemoan the complexity of so many things, but I do it because I think so much of it is a gimmick. Add this, add that, take it to the extreme and people will “have to have it”.
I was reminded of this just recently when Fay and I went appliance shopping and discovered that you can now buy a refrigerator that allows you to see what is stored inside via your smart phone. Nice to have when you are grocery shopping, but how many eggs are in that carton? If that’s not enough the frig also comes with a large 20 inch touch screen, wi fi and your choice of music.
Another example… The house we recently moved into had a “Nest” thermostat, which I understand is a highly sought after and very cool item (no pun intended). Well for some maybe, but not for us. We had to print out and read through an owner’s manual to figure out how it worked, and all we really want is basic thermostat that has a heat and cool switch, and a way to adjust the temperature.
Of course, like so many things today, what happens when that feature (gimmick) goes bad or stops working? Those of you who have had power windows failures in your car know what I am talking about, and have you recently had to have a new car key made? I did….. a 2000 VW Beetle key set me back $100. Used to be able to go into a hardware store and have one made for $2.
Someone please tell me why we continue to buy items loaded with complicated, unnecessary features? Is it because you want to be part of the “in crowd”, not left in the dust, or is it because you really see the need for all the extras?
The old Compass “Yukon”….photo courtesy of Doug Moore
What prompted me to bring all this up? It was when I saw Doug Moore’s photo (Vintage Detectors/Facebook page) of the old Compass “Yukon”. A one knob, entry level model that sold for $79.95 back in the late 70’s/early 80’s.
Why not a one knob detector today, and it doesn’t have to be a low-end inexpensive machine. Think about it…all we “really” need is an “all metal” detector that has auto tracking, and that automatically adjusts for the best depth without chatter. We don’t really need an LD or metered readout, nor do we need discrimination. It would have Tonal ID (Low – trash, Hi – Good stuff). Trigger switch for depth. As for GPS, don’t have one in my car, and don’t need it on my detector. I have trouble remembering things but if I found a productive site you can bet your ass I’d remember how to find it again.
Yup, this is the “Stout Detector” (“Dick Detector” just didn’t sound right for some reason). What do you think? Is it possible? Did I leave out something? Would you buy one?
For years I’ve heard “when are they going to build a detector that actually shows you what’s beneath the coil?” Well careful what you wish for. If such a detector were available how many people would buy it, how many holes would they dig and how long before our pastime was outlawed? It would be disastrous, and honestly it wouldn’t be much fun anymore!
Okay, laugh, criticize, shoot me down, call me crazy and attention manufacturers….I want 5% of every “Stout Detector” you sell. Just keep it simple stupid.