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Subject: RE: High tech shock absorber dreams
From: Gvillo, Mike (MXG_at_dolby.com)
Date: 2003-09-25


LOL! As if Archos EVER optimized anything! We've already seen how
stupidly slow the boot loader is, and the stock software is bad enough
the Rockbox team hacks on it. In the REAL world it's all about profit
margins, manufacturability, time to market, low overhead and in the case
of Archos, riding the backs of the Rockbox team to make the Archos
players successful. In the real world, good ideas have to fulfill a lot
more criteria than just sounding like a cool idea. Archos' products are
designed to the minimum spec to be low cost, high volume toys. MP3
players are simple to design, the value of the Archos players is not the
IP (intellectual property), there's nothing new to the design, anyone
can make a player, it's how cheaply they can manufacture them and keep
customer returns to a minimum. Besides, you're only providing the users
ammunition when you brag how much abuse your box can take.

-----Original Message-----
From: LoveLearn [mailto:LoveLearn_at_iw.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 10:50 AM
To: rockbox_at_cool.haxx.se
Subject: High tech shock absorber dreams

Archos products have four deformable plastic wrap-around corner bumpers
apparently present for mechanical impact protection. I'm sure they
increase impact measurements necessary to damage both spinning hard
drives and comparatively less elastic outer cases. While their
appearance causes a few negative aesthetic opinions, even Archos seems
quiet about their shock protecting capabilities. That makes me think
their design and material selection were never optimized.

I'm sure lots of us have seen TV demonstrations showing an egg dropped
onto a hard surface and breaking, then another egg dropped from the same
height onto a little blob of super shock absorbing material lying on
that same surface without breaking. As I understand it, this material
flows very slowly from it's own weight, but when subjected to fast
impacts, has a very unusual break away and recovery resistance curve
that limits peak accelerations, converting impact energy into heat. When
I first saw photos of an Archos product so obviously featuring their
bumpers, my hopes rose. For some reason I put these two complementary
bits of information together, hoping this high tech product was the
first to use really high tech bumpers. The fact that Archos bumpers so
dominate their appearance reinforced these happy suspicions. I hoped
Archos bumpers contained this remarkable shock absorbing blob material
inside an elastic, puncture resistant outer skin that would slowly
restore any impacted bumper to it's original shape after it saved the
device from potentially catastrophic impact acceleration. That describes
how I think truly high tech shock absorbers should be designed.

I admit that I had no reason to think Archos had done this other than my
thought that this is the obvious way to create really effective high
tech bumpers for devices like Archos products. I'm just sharing my
recurrent feelings of disappointment that the Archos design team created
ordinary bumpers rather than extraordinary ones. I think new personal
electronic packages should be protected with bumpers using the design I
just explained.

Current competing product makers just ignore Archos bumpers. But if they
had my bumper design, I think comparative drop tests showing I-Pods et.
al breaking in their own equivelant ways to those eggs in the TV demo,
while a high tech bumper protected product survived over and over from
the same drop, bumpers could no longer be ignored as a competitive
feature. Thoughts? John LoveLearn

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