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Journal of No. 118


July 20th, 2004

It puts the lotion in the bag... @ 02:22 pm

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...it does this whenever it's told.

I just used a U-Scan terminal at the Ralph's. It's a nicely set-up system, but some parts of it are weird. After you scan something, you have to put it in the bag... the machine is waiting for the weight to increase before you can scan something else. It has a certain inexorably robotic logic about it.
Similarly, when you pay by cash, it wants you to stick coins in first. That's because (I assume) it's programmed to give change as soon as the money you've stuck in is greater than the total. So if the total were $19.01, and you stick a $20 in, it'll spit out the .99 before you can put the penny in. You'd think it'd be easy to add a button that says "Ok, now I've stuck in all the money I want to. Gimme my change." But that would require an extra button push. And it wouldn't protect the machine from situations where Mr. Magoo keeps feeding in $20's ad infinitum. Again, I can appreciate the precise logic behind this design element. But it's still alien.
Lastly, as a totally hypothetical example, if you run a bottle of tequila past the scanner, you need the inattentive drone manning the station to check your ID.

I was a bit slow this time around, but I feel ready to U-Scan again. We're getting closer to my perfect world, where I won't have to interact with anyone at all, unless I want to. The best part was that the machine didn't notice that I had three bottles of scotch under my shirt.
 
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From:therrin
Date:July 20th, 2004 03:52 pm (UTC)

Wow

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I really have to salute your use of Silence of the Lambs here. Just a creepy analogy. The double imagery there is great. Now every time I'm using one of those machines I'm going to be thinking about creepy serial killers. :)
From:stevenkaye
Date:July 20th, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC)
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And God help you if you want to double-bag a heavy item. Oh, the wickedness of self-scanning!
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From:toren_atkinson
Date:July 23rd, 2004 03:36 am (UTC)
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What the fart is a U-scan?
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:July 23rd, 2004 07:25 am (UTC)
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Click the link on U-Scan, you frankenberry!

It's a self-serve checkout station at the grocery store, where you scan and bag your own groceries. (BTW, you may not have Ralph's up there in the great white north, so the context might have been missing, but you should recognize Ralph's as the grocery store where The Dude shops.)
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From:toren_atkinson
Date:July 23rd, 2004 12:08 pm (UTC)
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Pff! I didn't come ALL THE WAY to your website just to go to some OTHER website.

Journal of No. 118