Wednesday, 30 July, 2003
Microsoft versus the Nanny State
I bought a Microsoft Notebook Optical Mouse today so that I can more easily use the laptop on a day-to-day basis. The laptop has a single mouse/keyboard connector (i.e. you can plug in one or the other), but it has two USB ports. So I bought a USB mouse and I'll use the old Microsoft Natural keyboard that I've been using at the office for years.
The mouse came with a "Getting Started" guide: a 20-page (including cover) 4" by 4" stapled pamphlet. Of those 20 pages, three contain instructions for connecting, using, and cleaning the mouse. Three are blank (due to the way it's stapled), and five cover regulatory notices, support, and warranty. The remaining seven pages—41% of the printed pages—contain health warnings and a "Healthy Computing Guide" that has all kinds of tips on how to use the mouse "safely". In addition to the expected blurbs about proper postures and taking frequent breaks, this helpful guide also urges us to "Be Healthy:" eat a balanced diet, get adequate rest, exercise, learn to manage stress, etc. It's absurd. The Nanny State has gotten completely out of hand.