The Tactile Beauty of Buttons, Meters, Knobs and Dials
June 6, 2021 12:31 PM   Subscribe

What has been lost? The materiality of control panels, and the peculiar layouts of their buttons, potentiometers, etc., have always made an aesthetic statement as well as a tactile experience, a gym for the fingers, exercise in tailoring precision movements to the variable surface tension of painted alloys and plastics. The satisfying resistance of a well-designed knob, the almost imperceptible click of the needle in a VU meter, the tapping of keys, the gentle whirring of reels and discs… simple pleasures. from The Control Panel Archive: The Tactile Beauty of Buttons, Meters, Knobs and Dials posted by chavenet (118 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
 
It’s an expensive hobby, but mechanical keyboards - particularly building your own - are how you get back to a place where interacting with a computer becomes a tactile, physical joy. Once you’ve wired up undo and redo to a big clicky rotary encoder, you will never be happy without one. Once you’ve found the switches that are just right for you, OEM keyboards feel like mushy rubberized misery.
posted by mhoye at 12:44 PM on June 6 [12 favorites]


Years back I bought in to a crowdfunded project for a fancy radial-knob with Bluetooth and rough touch-controls & hidden LEDs and a whole bunch of other stuff (twice, actually, it was a heady time, before the realities of crowdfunding sank in). It had a lot of features promised, but the highlight was the knob & knobfeel. And, overengineered as this thing was, it felt buttery smooth. The sort of thing that you just wanted to play with in your hands. It was meant to be an additional general-purpose control for your computer, so you could set it up to scrobble through audio or video; dial things up or down in Photoshop; all sorts of things.

Sadly, the software ended up the weak point (as many hardware/software crowdfunded projects end up being), and while it's technically *functional* they never did end up doing the Windows release, and the Mac control is kinda-there, and I think they're now focusing on a stripped-down version of it being an upscale Sonos/Hue control (and pivoted the company in general that way). And since it's got a battery in it, it's got a ticking lifespan like anything wireless.

But oh boy, they delivered on the tactile joy of interacting with it, and it was a compelling enough vision to get me to shell out. I think that's still something I want out of computing. Alternate control schemes. A knob I can use for knob-things. Or things like the Playdate boutique-console, with the physical crank. Or the Blink(1), which I still love even if I never quite settled on how best to use it (and I hope they someday do a USB-C version).

Give me interfaces which can be good for a specific mode of interaction, low-information channels where I can glance off to a side and know something without inviting in the deluge, ways to make my physical & virtual spaces bleed into each other (but on my own terms).
posted by CrystalDave at 12:53 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


i so don't look forward to ever having a 'modern' car. the screen control panel is bunk (rentals, natch). i want to reach for a knob or button or switch, keeping my eyes on the road, and have physical feedback. navigating a fucking touch menu while driving is just an incredibly bad idea. imho.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:10 PM on June 6 [59 favorites]


> navigating a fucking touch menu while
> driving is just an incredibly bad idea. imho.

Same, in my professional opinion. But here we are :(
posted by merlynkline at 1:15 PM on June 6 [13 favorites]


Remember the Nexus Q? It was the worst product I've ever seen, with one caveat: that knob. The entire device was one giant glorious overproduced knob.
posted by phooky at 1:17 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


i want to reach for a knob or button or switch, keeping my eyes on the road, and have physical feedback. navigating a fucking touch menu while driving is just an incredibly bad idea. imho.

I think the touch screen on my Mazda disables while moving, and the primary control is then a big knob behind the shifter that's easy to reach without moving otherwise. The knob is also a joystick and button.
posted by LionIndex at 1:25 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Physical controls aren’t just an aesthetic pleasure, they’re also accessible to blind people.

Fetishizing smooth touch interfaces with no compensating software to voice the controls means that trying to buy a modern appliance is a hell I’d never wish on my enemies.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 1:25 PM on June 6 [43 favorites]


5U analog modular synthesizer.
posted by njohnson23 at 1:25 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


If you can stand a wire, Contour Shuttle Pro v2 & Express.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:26 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


(Touch screens are on everything because they're super cheap, they don't generally break down after too many touches, you can ship identical product for any language, and you get to kick the can down the road as far as user interface goes, which is why the UI is so awful on most products. That said, we have an *oven* with a touch screen, which is just a whole new frontier in awful ideas.)
posted by phooky at 1:26 PM on June 6 [20 favorites]


5U analog modular synthesizer.
I’d say more than half of music instrument design is actually physical UI design. Some significantly more (eg monome). Musicians are very picky about their knobs, buttons and sliders (and keys, and strings, and mouthpieces, and screens, and capacitive touchplates). I’ve never understood why, despite this, the “standard” digital interfaces in DAWs seem like usability nightmares- tiny controls, arbitrary layouts, miniature text.
posted by q*ben at 1:35 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


In Istanbul there’s a disused power station that was redeveloped into a cultural complex called SantralIstanbul, kind of like Tate Modern. Except in this case they preserved the main turbine hall and control room as an energy museum, complete with all the original instrument panels, dials, buttons, knobs, levers, and switches.

If you look at photos on the Wikipedia page for Silahtarağa Power Station you’ll see lots of school kids delighted by the opportunity to play with these controls, as you would expect. And if you look at photos from when I visited some friends in Turkey a few years ago, you’ll see a grown-ass adult delighted by the opportunity to play with these controls, as you would expect.
posted by theory at 1:39 PM on June 6 [28 favorites]


I do not miss carbon track potentiometers. Volume controls that gradually deteriorate to the point where you can pick a reasonable volume OR listen in stereo, because there are so few places on the tracks that haven't work out.
posted by pipeski at 1:46 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]


Oh! Another source of surprisingly good knobfeel: modern washing machine control panels! They're usually just quadrature encoders with really nice detents.
posted by phooky at 2:02 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


There was a fascinating discussion on a CDC podcast last year about redesigning cities for populations including growing numbers of people with cognitive and memory issues.
One idea: replace touchscreens in public spaces with tangible, old school knobs, buttons, and dials. They would be more familiar to some.
posted by doctornemo at 2:03 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


I still have the Pioneer SX-650 I bought at the end of high school. That big tuning knob (still!) has such a smooth, silky feel.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:04 PM on June 6 [9 favorites]


For those of you interested in revisiting knobs, dials and buttons as interface, get yourself an Arduino kit posthaste. It is absolutely joyful to create interfaces that respond exactly the way you want them to. And then you hook them up to synthesizers, and you've re-created the spaceship control console of your teenage sci-fi nerd dreams.
posted by MrVisible at 2:05 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


The thing I miss the most on automobiles is when they do away with the volume control/power knob and replace it with a touch panel and/or up/down buttons. The knob is tactile and practically instantaneous without needing any visual cue, easily manipulated with almost not effort or distraction. It doesn't have to be an actual potentiometer, a nicely implemented encoder will do. It just has to be as fast as a analog control potentiometer. Eliminating the rotary knob seems like such a bone headed step backward.

This isn't so much a desire for old old fashioned aesthetics. But a matter of practicality, simplicity and function.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:09 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


I still use mechanical keyboards (unicomp, under $100), and I have a volume knob for the sound on my computer (via a PreSonus headphone amp). There's no better way to adjust the volume than an audio taper pot.
posted by mikelieman at 2:12 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of something from the old Neal Stephenson essay about computer interfaces, "In the Beginning was the Command Line":
If the VCR had been invented a hundred years ago, it would have come with a thumbwheel to adjust the tracking and a gearshift to change between forward and reverse and a big cast-iron handle to load or to eject the cassettes. It would have had a big analog clock on the front of it, and you would have set the time by moving the hands around on the dial. But because the VCR was invented when it was--during a sort of awkward transitional period between the era of mechanical interfaces and GUIs--it just had a bunch of pushbuttons on the front, and in order to set the time you had to push the buttons in just the right way. This must have seemed reasonable enough to the engineers responsible for it, but to many users it was simply impossible. Thus the famous blinking 12:00 that appears on so many VCRs. Computer people call this "the blinking twelve problem". When they talk about it, though, they usually aren't talking about VCRs.
Of course, VCRs are all but extinct, but the point remains. Also, on Star Trek: Voyager, pilot Tom Paris--who was a big fan of retro space opera--deliberately put mechanical controls in the new shuttle that he designed, the Delta Flyer.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:17 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]


I'll see your tactile beauty of analogue things, and raise you parallax error, potentiometer crackle, meter stiction, control backlash/hysteresis and contact wear. There are usually solutions to these, but they're fiddly and some aren't made any more. Then you've got the size, weight, power consumption and heat dissipation problems of old electronics. If you get into electromechanical stuff (teletypes, anyone?), so much motor noise and light machine oil smell. Then there's leaked caps, and if you're dealing with portable equipment, unobtainium batteries for things like the iconic AVO Model 8 multimeter.

… that said, I'm building a frankly ridiculous 8-bit computer based on an obscure CPU that uses a switch and LED front panel. Because it's clicky.

… but I also found my Weston Master V light meter. No batteries. All brushed stainless. Just works, still, more than 50 years after it was made.

… and a shout out to MeFi's Own™ todbot for designing the QTPy-knob, a twisty/clicky media control button.
posted by scruss at 2:38 PM on June 6 [12 favorites]


Driving a car with touch screens is bad enough. How about a ship? USNI News:

"The Navy will begin reverting destroyers back to a physical throttle and traditional helm control system... after the fleet overwhelmingly said they prefer mechanical controls to touchscreen systems in the aftermath of the fatal USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) collision."
posted by evilmomlady at 2:38 PM on June 6 [19 favorites]


My first car was a VW Beetle (1971) and it had a Blaupunkt FM radio. I want that radio back.
posted by Pembquist at 2:44 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Just googled that radio, Pembquist. Lovely, I can hear the music just looking at it, and feel the “thunk” of those buttons.
posted by q*ben at 2:53 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Awesome, I do appreciate the feel of a nice knob.

If we are sharing cool rotary encoder setups I have an older wooden version of the ‘PC Panel’ that I really like.
posted by soy bean at 2:53 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


And for an added plus, this shit actually works.
posted by villard at 2:55 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


See also boxypixel, which feels like an oblique sandbenders reference to me…
posted by q*ben at 2:57 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Last month I got a Das Keyboard for the first time.
It is awesome. Crunch crunch crunch crunch.
posted by doctornemo at 3:05 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


As a guitar player, I've spent over two thousand dollars on a few dozen little metal boxes with 3-5 knobs and switches I can play around with to get different sounds when I could just pipe my guitar through my macbook and some software and have instant access to basically every sound effect imaginable for little to no cost. (I already have an interface and the software to do this).
I prefer the little boxes because tweaking a slider or button on a screen is an intellectual and discrete decision; tweaking a physical knob is an emotional and continuous one, same as playing music.
posted by signal at 3:13 PM on June 6 [14 favorites]


The thing I miss the most on automobiles is when they do away with the volume control/power knob and replace it with a touch panel and/or up/down buttons.

User interface designers have had a decade or two now to digest the touchscreen paradigm and thankfully the pendulum is starting to swing the other way.

A good new example is the IVI on the new Ford F-150 Lightning BEV. Ooooooh, there's a big bad touchscreen in the middle of the dash! But look again: the volume knob in the lower quarter is an actual knob. From early view this is apparently a mechanism epoxied directly to the glass and manipulates the screen control somehow.

(educated guess: the knob is conductive and touching it with your hand connects to a 'finger' underneath that is swiping the glass at the right place).
posted by JoeZydeco at 3:19 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]




Many moons ago when I was in Los Alamos for a week for an, ehrm, thing I was doing, I would spend many of my off hours wandering through a decrepit surplus yard called The Black Hole, which alas, shut down in 2017, I believe.

The majority of items were decommissioned nuclear research equipment from the 50s and 60s. So MUCH equipment: bombs, oscilloscopes, detonator cables, and 20 gazillion dials, knobs & gauges.

It was all for sale, and while I did buy a few things and bring them home, I regret not buying more.

One of the insights I picked up is that when it comes to nuclear-related equipment, you generally do not want to fuck around with unclear or confusing labels and controls. Despite having a military origin (an institution not known for minimalist tendencies) much of this equipment did feature very clear and purposeful design (and so much Futura, sigh, my heart be still).
posted by jeremias at 3:41 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]


There's a huge time differential in using physical controls - it can be a lot faster when you aren't having to shift your eyes' focus, or wait for multitasking software to switch screens. Multiply that over all the times you use all your devices over a week, and you're probably losing a decent amount of sleep, creative time, and human connecting time to companies' "it's easier to do it this way" decisions.
posted by amtho at 3:45 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I miss on/off switches.
posted by SoberHighland at 4:08 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


One of the insights I picked up is that when it comes to nuclear-related equipment, you generally do not want to fuck around with unclear or confusing labels and controls.

One of the examples that Don Norman uses (in The Psychology of Everyday Things, if I'm not mistaken) is that of nuclear power plant operators replacing some knobs with beer tap pulls, because they're more distinctive and therefore not likely to be mistaken with one another. That sounds like a joke from The Simpsons, but it's not.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:08 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


i so don't look forward to ever having a 'modern' car. the screen control panel is bunk

I own a 2017 Subaru that is in every respect a miracle of modern engineering in terms of quality and reliability, and the touchscreen system is such a garbage experience that I think about selling it every time I turn on the ignition.
posted by mhoye at 4:09 PM on June 6 [13 favorites]


I was tickled when Star Trek: Discovery (chronologically set before TOS) had buttons, and knobs, and sliders that resembled those seen on high end audiophile equipment.

ST: Enterprise might also have features some, also.
posted by porpoise at 4:14 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Pedals are just Instagram filters for your guitar.

I want my old Griffin PowerMate USB knob back.

Honorable mention: physical interface for electronic displays (multi option menus, etc) = the 5-way D-pad.
Up down left right, center button to Select. Intuitive and universal.
posted by bartleby at 4:27 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Just chiming in to share the loathing for touchscreen controls on cars (in my case, 2014 Volt). I bought the car in some haste and without really comprehending that every time I needed to change anything with heating or A/C, or anything with the audio system, I would have to take my eyes off the road and visually search around the dash. Like mhoye, I've often thought of trading mine in just for that reason, though I do like it in some other respects, so it's disheartening to hear that it's so common on current cars. (Wish wish wish I had my old '04 Honda Civic dashboard back...)
posted by Kat Allison at 4:33 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Pedals are just Instagram filters for your guitar.

True, I can’t stand hearing the pure tone of my telecaster ruined by all of that electronic gibberish. Why do they even have sockets for cords? *plink plink plink* /s
posted by q*ben at 4:42 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


On the modern car theme: I hate the move to flappy paddle gear changers. With a gearshift, I can just put my hand on it to feel where it is and instantly know what gear I'm in. But with paddles... ¯\_(°_o)_/¯
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:46 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


Aw, now I wanna use some arduino hardware controllers and a raspberry pi full of music to turn the coffee table into something resembling a giant clickwheel iPod in function. Do I have a lazy susan somewhere?
posted by bartleby at 4:53 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


I really miss the feel of my old Blackberry phone. The buttons were so SATISFYING. If they would bring back that, I would much rather have a keyboard like that than a big screen...
posted by The otter lady at 4:55 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Knobs are nice, but again, if they're multifunction knobs, you still need to know what mode they're in, typically by looking at a screen and not the road. When each control has a limited purpose, the entire system can be operated by feel.
posted by pykrete jungle at 5:05 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


mhoye, I feel your pain. The touchscreen interface in my 2017 Crosstrek is unintuitive, unresponsive, and just generally a piece of garbage. I have to say, though, it's not as bad as a car I once rented that used a knob for a shifter. That was weird.
posted by mollweide at 5:11 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


One of the best things about physical knobs is the ability to adjust more than one parameter simultaneously. This is important because, often, the parameters are interrelated with each affecting the other. On a touch screen or skeuomorphic representation of that knob-based control panel, one usually can only adjust one parameter at a time, leading to a tedious back-and-forth game of changing one parameter and then changing another to compensate for the change of the first, and then going back to adjust for the second, and so on.
posted by bz at 5:16 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Another place that physical knobs and buttons are particularly helpful is on cameras.

The top end SLRs are bristling in buttons and thumbwheels for very good reason - they're designed such that while holding the camera ready to shoot, while looking through the viewfinder to compose and time your shot, everything you might need to adjust is on a button, switch, wheel or knob that's right at your fingertips. You don't need to look away or disturb your hold on the camera.

It's one of the things that contributes to the price differential of the higher end models: each of those controls adds more small parts that need to be manufactured, installed, wired up and tested on each unit. And that, at the end of the day, is the issue with all physical interfaces: they're costly to design and manufacture.

It's entertaining, if somewhat tragic, that "touch screen interface!" is still treated as some sort of advanced-technology selling point on products. Touchscreens are cheap. Aside from that they're inferior to physical controls in almost every way, except on general purpose computing devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops) that need the complete flexibility of interface that they provide.
posted by automatronic at 5:16 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


Pedals are just Instagram filters for your guitar.

All of metal would like a word.
posted by mhoye at 5:25 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


I want my old Griffin PowerMate USB knob back.

Very relatable. I still use mine, but had to write my own "driver" since the official software doesn't work on anything newer than Vista. Its just a volume knob in the end, but I'd gotten so used to having it.
posted by wordless reply at 5:45 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


We recently bought an oven/range and we purposely spent more on it partly because the particular model has physical knobs. Even so—functions like the light, the clock and timer rely on a small touch screen. I do not want touch screens on my appliances, period.

Hell, I' a guy who dislikes keyless entry and ignition in cars! I liked putting my key in the locks and in the ignition. Turning it to start. Because "where are my keys?" happens to me all the time now when I run errands, especially in winter when I have about 17 pockets. My keys HAVE to be in my right front pocket. They BELONG there. It's tricky to tuck a wad of keys into your jeans pocket while you're sitting behind the wheel of a car—but I do it. Except for the times I don't do it and throw them in a jacket pocket or my backpack and then cannot find my bloody keys!

OK, rant over.
posted by SoberHighland at 6:30 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Physical controls aren’t just an aesthetic pleasure, they’re also accessible to blind people.

Truly well-designed touchscreens can be (iPhones with a lo of accessibility features turned on can be great - Android possibly too but I don't work with Android users as much) but 99% of touch screens, probably more, have terrible accessibility, and they're often terrible for sighted users as well. I don't like to overly fetishize older stuff just because it's older and/or cool looking but I have been keeping a little list of things I am happy I have in things-with-knobs-and-dials

- my microwave which will just re-start when I re-close the door after opening it to stir something, rather than have me have to press a button again
- my dehumidifier that, after years in a super humid environment had all the touchscreens and buttons just die while all the mechanics worked just fine (remote worked so I used it to turn the thing on off when i was right next to it, so stupid). Next dehumidifier I bought had knobs.
- thermostat which doesn't require batteries at random-ish intervals to not plunge my house into freezingness if I am not in it every second of the winter (anyone considering giving me battery-changing advice, save it).
- humidifier which will restart right up after a power failure because the knobs are all set to ON and so it goes ON
posted by jessamyn at 6:31 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


I still have the Pioneer SX-650 I bought at the end of high school. That big tuning knob (still!) has such a smooth, silky feel.

I have tactile memory of every knob I've ever turned, every slider I've ever slid, and every button I've ever pushed in the last 50 years.

I'm not making this up.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:33 PM on June 6 [11 favorites]


Several hot takes here:

Keyboards are accurate, or at least as accurate as what you're typing. If you type 1279.43, well, that's the number. (Hopefully the correct one.) The fictional "Minority Report" interface can't replicate that, unless you create some simulacrum of a keyboard to aim at.

Or to put it another way, when you say someone's statistics are "handwavy", it's usually not a compliment.

There's a "right to repair" aspect to knobs versus touchscreens, too. Break a knob.....there's a good chance there's a replacement knob. Or, like the TVs or ovens in some of our childhoods -- use a pair of pliers. Break a touchscreen, there's a good chance you're dependent on the original manufacturer for a replacement. Not only that, but a broken touchscreen might even mean that you've lost access to all the controls at once.

I'm still astounded that the manufacturer-supplied car stereo in my current vehicle doesn't have a "mute" button on the control view where it shows the current track metadata. Need to turn the sound down for some reason? Fumble around until you find it--and the only safe way to do that, really, is pull over. There's something about the culture of touchscreen design that has led us to the acceptance of complete crap, above and beyond the limitations inherent to the format.

I just bought a new range. Thankfully, the burners themselves are still proper knobs, but the oven itself? Yep, a touchscreen, which will have to deal with my greasy, buttery fingers, not to mention the environmental stresses of being a few inches from a 450 F. metal box.
posted by gimonca at 6:34 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I passed on buying a Subaru Outback this year because of the monster touch screen and no real knobs. Got a Jeep with a touch screen and knobs.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 6:40 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I had to have an iPhone SE because I want a button dammit
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:58 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


I want my old Griffin PowerMate USB knob back.

Make Magazine had a write up years ago on how to make a clone of it (direct pdf link) called the powerfake. Hackaday has a couple listed in their archives too. Non-diy alternatives exist too. There appear to be some pretty close clones out there.

Little Bento is a nice mini-controller that I've been eyeing for quite a few different tasks too; I believe that little design is completely open source and can't really be purchased right out (you have to build one). Leafcutter labs, however, has a small controller that is very well built. Honestly, there's a bunch of custom little controllers on etsy that look really interesting. Hard to vouch for quality and all, but C'mon, how cool is some of this shit?

I'm happy to see Monome mentioned upthread; I'm obsessed with their entire philosophy and all their designs, even though I have no real use for their products.

I love love love single use physical controls. But only nice ones. There is nothing more frustrating than bad knobs or sliders.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:00 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]




If you like monome maybe try faderbank too. Need more? 60 knobs may work. Or if those tiny pots look like murder maybe just go with Control.
posted by q*ben at 7:17 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I am making a noise kinda like a wiggly whining anticipatory happy puppy because this makes me think of Boston's Museum of Science when I was a kid, as well as the Children's Museum, which had computers, too! The Museum of science had an amazing 20-30-foot-tall satellite photograph of the Metro Boston area (way early on) which had a large panel of buttons, and if you press one, the location next to the button lit up.

But I do not miss buttons or panels or lights or knobs because I still see them everywhere. My motto is, "If you see a button, press it. If you see many buttons, press ALL THE BUTTONS." Even those keychains they sold in convenience stores in the late 80's that made the sound effects. PRESS ALL OF THEM WHILE I AM DRIVING? WHY YES. I wouldn't do that with an iPhone, pfah.
posted by not_on_display at 7:18 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


I think the touch screen on my Mazda disables while moving, and the primary control is then a big knob behind the shifter that's easy to reach without moving otherwise. The knob is also a joystick and button.

This is my wife's Mazda also. Since the knob has no inertia, it makes going between radio stations tedious, since your hand can't do multiple 360 degree rotations. Can't say my Mitsubishi touchscreen is any better though.
posted by jabah at 7:18 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


In high school, my hobby was shortwave radio. Nowadays, everything is all digital, but back then, there was something magical about carefully and oh so slowly fiddling with the frequency knob on this bad boy to bring in some tiny station on some odd tropical-band frequency in the Amazon basin or the plains of Colombia.
posted by adamg at 7:20 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


bartleby: "Pedals are just Instagram filters for your guitar."

That's the kind of dismissive, mean spirited comment I'd expect on twitter, facebook or some other juvenile social network, not here.
Do better.
posted by signal at 7:21 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


If you get into electromechanical stuff (teletypes, anyone?), so much motor noise and light machine oil smell.

You say that like you think it's a bad thing.

zzzzzzUCK tiktiktiktiktiktiktiktiktiktik
posted by flabdablet at 7:22 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I have tactile memory of every knob I've ever turned, every slider I've ever slid, and every button I've ever pushed in the last 50 years.

A Rule 34-worthy skill if I ever heard one.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:40 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


metafilter: one giant glorious overproduced knob.
posted by pelvicsorcery at 7:53 PM on June 6 [7 favorites]


Since the knob has no inertia, it makes going between radio stations tedious, since your hand can't do multiple 360 degree rotations.

Up until about 2007, I had a Sherwood S-7100. I'd inherited it in high school when my father bought a new receiver. It was his originally, early 70s purchase.

The neat thing about it was the tuning knob had serious inertia if you gave it a good spin. With a light flick of your hand, you could get it halfway across the FM dial.

As that S-7100 link indicates, there was a high probability that the on/off switch would eventually break, and around the year 2000 it did so (it was built into the volume pot), and it did it in the "off" position. Dang. So I took it into a mom and pop A/V repair place. The guy's eyes lit up when I set it on the counter. I explained the problem to him, and he said he'd see if he could find a replacement part, etc.

I went back a week later and he said he couldn't find one, but he had jumped the power, and so now it was always "on." So the workaround was just plugging it into a power bar and using that as an on/off switch. He had also cleaned it out, blew out a bunch of dust and did a little capacitor work to fix a scratchy pot, and all-in the repair cost me fifty bucks.

A Rule 34-worthy skill if I ever heard one.

I'm kind of kicking myself for letting that Sherwood go, because that was one sexy receiver/amp.

A little wood, a little chrome.

All knobs. All the time.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:10 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


I was going to buy a PowerMate way back when, but then decent HTPC cases with VFDs and knobs came out so I just bought one of those instead. I loved that it looked like a piece of retro HiFi gear.

There was a time a little under a decade ago that automakers had the right idea with their in car interfaces. They still had knobs and switches for all the frequently used stuff, but the screen could also be used for those functions and more besides. Sadly, too many of them had frustratingly slow touch interfaces. Not all of them, but a lot of them.

That was nice, as it prevented the whole "wall of tiny, indistinguishable buttons" effect that so many cars had previously suffered with while allowing you to safely adjust things like volume or temperature or whatever and still having a sufficiently large list of radio presets, rewind function, etc that could be used by the passenger or at a time when it was safe for the driver to look down for a moment.

I guess they expect drivers to use voice control for everything that doesn't have a steering wheel button. Maybe that would be reasonable if the voice recognition weren't mediocre at best. (Maybe they do better now, it's been over three years since I last drove a car)
posted by wierdo at 8:13 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


VCRs actually did used to have manual tracking buttons on them. It sucked because you had to adjust picture clearness at arms length, not viewing distance. Thoughtful interfaces really do matter. Putting it on the remote was a good idea. Auto tracking was even better.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:23 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


While I have about a billion takes to give, I have one specific question: do any of you knowledgeable folks know of any devices that are, say, rotary knobs or linear sliders with a touchscreen-sensitive material embedded so as to actuate simulated knobs and sliders when applied to a touchscreen?
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 8:26 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


That's more or less what the Microsoft Surface Dial is sold as, though I can't say I've ever seen one in the wild.

I want my old Griffin PowerMate USB knob back.
I'm a bit startled that the wired model isn't readily available on eBay.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 8:34 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


What is the item being used in the F-150, for instance?
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 8:37 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Neat. I have a very personal fondness for well designed emergency power off buttons. (I photographed all the ones I could find one evening. Got well above 100, in a big, shared facility. One had a protective barrier that was very clearly hand-machined with totally uneccessary knurls and looked like what Star Trek would have done if they had money to make the self-destruct buttons out of real metal. I suspect some individual person in Eastern Europe in the '70s spent a truly unreasonable amount of time making sure the safety cover was covered with symmetric notches.

Both screen buttons and smart joggers that speed up if you hold them longer infuriate me. Perhaps that means I'm growing old. The big digitally-coupled knobs that have lead weights in them so they spin with momentum - like they put on the really expensive ham radio gear in the '90s - strike me as the apex of interface design. Not everything is worth spending that amount of effort on. But, it's intuitive in the same way scissors and steering wheels are.
posted by eotvos at 8:45 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Break a knob.....there's a good chance there's a replacement knob. Or, like the TVs or ovens in some of our childhoods -- use a pair of pliers. Break a touchscreen, there's a good chance you're dependent on the original manufacturer for a replacement.

I have been using a smartphone for a decade now. My previous one to the current model, at the end of its life, lost any response on the rightmost quarter of the screen, so any essages that m ght wa t t ty e ca e ut e th s. t was very frustrat g t have t wr te w th ut ab ut a q arter f the etters abse t.

It really is an aspect of the analog/digital divide. For twenty years I took pictures with a Pentax SP-1000 about as old as gen-X me. The clunk of the shutter, the feel of the lens screwing on or off, the solid chunk of the camera back locking into place, the click of the film advance lever: these things are satisfying and comforting and while not intuitive on day one, grow to be things you feel familiar with. I took a lot of good pictures with that camera, and some lousy ones, but when I took lousy ones I could work out the problem and usually fix it on my own.

For the last fifteen years I have had a series of digital cameras. I can see instantly the results and retake a picture that isn’t up to scratch. Sometimes I still take lousy pictures and I largely have no idea how to rectify the problems.

The feel of the machinery is totally different. It’s like switching from a ‘58 Plymouth Fury to a little Miata.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:00 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


How I miss well designed buttons, knobs and dials. I had a pretty decent collection, to someday use in a project, that got lost during a move.

My father's audio amplifier had a massive machined aluminum volume dial that combined almost no static friction at the start of the turn with a good feeling of mass and inertia while turning, almost subliminal détentes, and it got just warm enough that it was a joy to touch during cold nights. One could make tiny adjustments with a feather touch of a fingertip or give it a violent flick with three fingers and the momentum would take it to 11 in an instant. I have no idea what technology it used, it was built in the 70s, but it had three full turns of range and was definitely non linear.

Now I am stuck with a not cheap TV with digital volume control where 1 to 12 are inaudible, 13 can be heard in a quiet room, 14 is loud enough to wake up the people upstairs, and 15 to 40 sound equally loud, just more compressed as you go up.
posted by Dr. Curare at 9:04 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


I was tickled when Star Trek: Discovery (chronologically set before TOS) had buttons, and knobs, and sliders that resembled those seen on high end audiophile equipment.
There's also the Red Dwarf approach - buy actual studio mixing gear and spray paint over all the labels. Which is probably largely driven by budget, but also fun. The TNG/DS9/Voy approach - thousands of unlabeled touch screen button that all look the same and constantly beep - has always made me giggle. Even in Data's private, high-speed, custom computer interface station in his quarters, everything beeps. Why? I'm less sold on physical knobs you have to turn to make the elevators go, though.
posted by eotvos at 9:05 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Two more thoughts -
1. I’m very impressed at the cardboard-and-reflective tape interfaces Nintendo has designed for Labo. They work with the accelerometers and built-in cameras on the joy-cons and are far more responsive than anything made with cardboard has the right to be.

2. BeetTweek, a force-feedback knob, presented for your comments.
posted by q*ben at 9:09 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


The neat thing about it was the tuning knob had serious inertia if you gave it a good spin. With a light flick of your hand, you could get it halfway across the FM dial.

George Carlin knows the joys of the inertial tuning knob (starting at 1:30)
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:19 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


those who like Fiji-film cameras will understand how their cameras appeal with a fetish like emphasis on tactile controls.

I love my X-T30
posted by djseafood at 9:29 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


My Jeep, about 2 years old, is like WalkerWestridge's. A touch screen for most stuff, but knobs for radio and climate control while driving. Only thing is, I have to set some stuff up with the touchscreen before driving. And heated seat and steering wheel is automatic (cold climate).

Fun stuff for me was seeing "IBM 360 Mainframe and check reading system, 1964" in the article. It pre-dates my IBM experience by a bit, but we have an intern and teaching him how physical devices are now virtualized will be fun. Last week I showed him a punched card and he got taught about that means. Now for buttons and dials :)

1970s IBM 1419 check sorting machines were a pain, probably the next gen of the one in that photo. IBM eventually said their kick panels were being damaged so much they might have to charge the bank I worked for damages (frustration when a high speed check sorter jammed hundreds of checks). A 1419 is not the IBM check sorter in the photo.
posted by baegucb at 9:40 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


tuners: 1971 Kenwood. heavy dial. incredible. just finished a full refurbish.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:55 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Greg_Ace: George Carlin knows the joys of the inertial tuning knob (starting at 1:30)

Hah. Thanks for that. The first time I heard George Carlin was the Toledo Window Box LP I found in my parents' record collection. I would have listened to it on a turntable hooked up to that Sherwood amp.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:56 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


For the meta-tactile: some video, of cgi simulations, of props, for a 1960's TV show, about an imaginary 23rd century starship.
But such satisfyingly beep-boop click-clack buttons and switches!
Transporter Room Console
Type F Shuttlecraft
posted by bartleby at 10:50 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Fun stuff for me was seeing "IBM 360 Mainframe and check reading system, 1964" in the article. It pre-dates my IBM experience by a bit

I never dealt with the mainframes, but IBM's minis delighted me with the way they still gave you the option of handling data as records that corresponded to individual punch cards. I may be the only person in the world who actually liked old school pre-ILE RPG and its direct correspondence to punch cards and their processing workflow. I even liked the editor on the AS/400.
posted by wierdo at 11:33 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]


i so don't look forward to ever having a 'modern' car. the screen control panel is bunk (rentals, natch). i want to reach for a knob or button or switch, keeping my eyes on the road, and have physical feedback. navigating a fucking touch menu while driving is just an incredibly bad idea. imho.

I'm still upset about the decline of the stick shift car. Not always fun*, but mostly a lot of fun.

*Stopping at the top of a hill with traffic behind you was always nerve-wracking with a stick.
posted by zardoz at 11:47 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Not for my kids, all of whom I taught to do handbrake starts before even letting on that there was any other way to take off from a standstill. It's muscle memory for them now and totally unremarkable, just as it is for me.

As a result, I find the hill start assist built into ms. flabdablet's Subaru really fucking annoying because the only time it actually does anything, it's doing it unexpectedly.

Machines that try to help me when I didn't ask them to are the bane of my existence. It's like having Clippy in amongst the pedals.
posted by flabdablet at 12:41 AM on June 7 [8 favorites]


You and me both, zardoz. Unless it's got an unnecessarily heavy clutch and you have to deal with a bunch of stop and go traffic below whatever speed the car goes at idle or have a physical ailment, a manual transmission is preferable (for me). I always got better real world mileage than was on the sticker in mine, so I don't really buy that automatics are better for fuel economy on anything but the EPA test.

Sticks do kinda suck if your shifting arm gets injured, though. Constantly reaching across to shift is a real hassle and you may well need that hand to hold the steering wheel. Practicing how to steer with my knee when I was young and stupid paid off that week.

Toyota's hill start assist worked pretty well for me since it took a really hard press on the brake pedal to activate and was very clear about having been activated what with the beeps and the light.
posted by wierdo at 12:49 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


And another thing while we're still doing car derailing: digital speedometers. I want to find the designer who first put a digital speedo in a car and slap them. Fucking things are in every other car I drive now, doing their best to yank me off the road by the eyeballs every time the speed changes by 1km/h. It's hard to think of a stupider change to the car's standard UI.

And what on earth would possess anybody to design in a stupid-large analog tacho right next to the slightly smaller digital speedo in an automatic? Fuxache.

And and and! Central locking that needs to be unlocked twice because the first try only unlocks the driver's door? Had no idea that this was even a thing until I found myself feeling very old and very stupid the first time I took ms. flabdablet's new-to-us Barina to the stupormarket and tried to pop the hatch to get the groceries in.

Eventually found out how to turn that off by accident while trying to find the fader control in the car radio. Which at least still has a knob, even if it does overload it with every conceivable control function. The MacBook Wheel was supposed to be satire, goddammit, not a design guide.
posted by flabdablet at 1:21 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


Voyager addressed this a bit when Tom Paris built the Delta Flyer he put in analog controls because he liked 1930's flash gordon sci fi and didn't feel like standard lcars touch screens provided a good enough tactile experience.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:48 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]



TUVOK: And if we do, I suppose these useless design elements from your Captain Proton scenario will compensate for the problem.
PARIS: Hey, every one of these knobs and levers is fully functional.
TUVOK: And completely superfluous.
PARIS: Maybe to you. I am tired of tapping panels. For once, I want controls that let me actually feel the ship I'm piloting.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:49 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


If touch screen interfaces were actually as configurable as LCARS is supposed to be, I wouldn't mind them nearly as much.
posted by wierdo at 3:09 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]


I had to have an iPhone SE because I want a button dammit

Me too, and it's surprisingly convincing given that it's a sensor with haptic feedback rather than a genuine clicky mechanical switch. That the sensor is slightly recessed and surrounded by a crisp edge that's easy to feel goes a long way.

navigating a fucking touch menu while driving is just an incredibly bad idea.

This is why self-driving cars are the future; they'll finally liberate us to pay full attention to the screens. Which will of course be full of advertisements.
posted by jon1270 at 3:54 AM on June 7 [6 favorites]


Something something this will be The Year of LCARS on the Desktop.
I mean, fully functional and commercially viable Linux based touchscreen tablet!
posted by bartleby at 3:57 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


Universal Studios in Orlando has a bunch of busy boxes in the queue for Transformers. They are literally just a bunch of buttons, knobs and switches to keep people occupied while in line. They all had the the right amount of resistance and and made satisfying click noises when used. Theme parks know people American guests are grabby, and make a point of moving things out of reach of queues to protect them or engineer them to be interactive and hopefully stand up to the punishment of thousands of people touching them every day.

They were put in for the ride opening in 2013, but I haven't been on the ride for a while, so I have no idea how they fared, especially during Covid when touchpoints became a big issue.
posted by Badgermann at 6:31 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


Pedals are just Instagram filters for your guitar.

and pigment is just an instagram filter for your brush.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:07 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


I’ve been around computers since the late ‘70’s and I can deal with computers screwing up. Hey, it’s software. Software has bugs. BUT! Driving a car with a touch screen and experiencing loads of software bugs there… No thanks. That does not make me feel safe since I now worry about all the other computer systems in the car. At least it has a knob for the volume…
posted by njohnson23 at 8:23 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


In Star Trek, the reason that they have the tactile buttons and switches is explained as being because they had fancy touch screen UIs like we do until the first Romulan war, when they hacked their touch screens and completely took control of the ships so they went back to older tech in a panic. I always thought that was a remarkably realistic story for the setting. Can't wait for this to happen for a destroyer.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:01 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]


In Star Trek, the reason that they have the tactile buttons and switches is explained as being because they had fancy touch screen UIs like we do until the first Romulan war, when they hacked their touch screens and completely took control of the ships so they went back to older tech in a panic.
Not a coincidence that so many Trek people worked on the new Battlestar Galactica, which went to great lentghs to make that clear in a way I found very satisfying. (Why Starfleet routed major power conduits through their switchboards, instead of using optically-isolated and low-voltage interfaces with like the stuff in any modern hospital or wet chem lab, is unclear. But, like seat belts, that technology was probably lost in the Eugenics wars.)
posted by eotvos at 10:59 AM on June 7 [3 favorites]


I passed on buying a Subaru Outback this year because of the monster touch screen and no real knobs. Got a Jeep with a touch screen and knobs.

It's worth noting that virtually all modern supercar and luxury car designs have decisively abandoned touchscreens.
posted by mhoye at 12:09 PM on June 7 [6 favorites]


I'm currently using my eighth (I think) digital camera, and while it's a technical marvel in many ways, the camera maker is completely unable to make a simple thing like a big, clicky, satisfying button. The buttons are ridiculously small, almost flush with the camera body. It's a mystery.
posted by Termite at 12:37 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]


I want my old Griffin PowerMate USB knob back.

That's what the QTPy-knob is that I linked to upstream. It needs a little heft added to the base to made it stay put, but it's a quick build and programmable.

I have to say though, I don't know how Leafcutter Labs do their controllers for those prices. They must be adding a tiny markup.
posted by scruss at 1:03 PM on June 7


I'm currently using my eighth (I think) digital camera, and while it's a technical marvel in many ways, the camera maker is completely unable to make a simple thing like a big, clicky, satisfying button. The buttons are ridiculously small, almost flush with the camera body. It's a mystery.

Camera makers are able to do this, but they only do it for things like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, although I think the most satisfying thing about a film SLR was advancing the film to the next frame. Something was lost when that got motorized even though it was a welcome change at the time.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:46 PM on June 7


Me too, and it's surprisingly convincing given that it's a sensor with haptic feedback

The original SEs have an actual button, the new ones have the haptic sensor things. I got a pal to do a battery replacement in my old SE and he managed to somehow munge up the tiny cable that connects the button to the rest of the unit, rendering it useless. I had an on-screen "button" thanks to the iPhone's accessibility options while I got a new button from iFixit. My friend installed it. However, it's only the OEM buttons in the phones that can do the fingerprint sensing, so it's a button that does the things I wanted the button to do and doesn't do the things I didn't love about it anyhow. Plus I could choose whatever color I wanted, so now my old black SE has a shiny new white button.
posted by jessamyn at 1:53 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]


My first decent job after grad school was as tech support in a research institute. We had a computer room with a fairly sizeable PDP11, a PDP8, a couple of other machines, plus card reader, tape drives, paper tape reader, line printers and drum plotters. The PDPs had front panel switches, and I used to love playing with those, as well as mounting magtapes. The plotters were fun as well, but keeping the Rotring pens working was a pain. All in all, getting my code to run was a surprisingly physical thing for me in those days.

I rather miss all that, tbh, and have taken to building some mech keyboards to get a bit of that hands-on feeling again.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 2:28 PM on June 7


All in all, getting my code to run was a surprisingly physical thing for me in those days.

Then you'll love toggling machine instructions into this MITS Altair 8800
posted by mikelieman at 3:05 PM on June 7



I have tactile memory of every knob I've ever turned, every slider I've ever slid, and every button I've ever pushed in the last 50 years.


From the Francois Villon
mais oú sont les Knobs d'antan? files, interfaces lost to time:
the little swinging coin return door on payphones
the massive steel coarse / fine adjustment dial on the coffee grinder at the A&P
the grasp and pull straight out knob on a cigarette vending machine
Auto-Reverse
the pushbutton, sealed beneath a rubber blister, that would start the heat sanitizing process for your contact lenses
the Frappé button on an avocado green Osterizer kitchen blender
the spring loaded internal catch that held NES cartridges down
going one click too far on a lamp's incandescent lightbulb three-way switch, and mildly blinding yourself cycling it around again
- Add Your Own!
posted by bartleby at 4:18 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]


the little swinging coin return door on payphones
the grasp and pull straight out knob on a cigarette vending machine


I instantaneously heard those sounds in my head as I read them.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:36 PM on June 7 [9 favorites]


I think Fisher-Price owns the tactile-button-and-slider trophy, for conditioning most of us to expect fun discovery when you turn this or pull that. I'm wondering what today's children will come away with when viewing a curation of knobs and switches thirty years from now. I'm not saying that in a "kids these days" way, but I am truly curious. Because, imagine if Fisher-Price and Mattel and Hasbro and all those Electronic Handheld Games and Plastic (or wooden!!) Colorful Infant Toys employed touch-sensitive visual interfaces to operate them?

Well, anachronism would break out for starters, splintering the timelines...
posted by not_on_display at 6:16 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]


Battle of the Planets, the cartoon from the 70s, which reused animation more than anything else that ever crossed a kids eyes, had a missile launching sequence that completely fascinated me. The way that button pressed, the size of it, everything about it made me a fetishist before I knew that was a thing.

This whole thread is filled with backsliding dangers to me.
posted by DigDoug at 5:21 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


One lockdown project for me has been studying for a HAM license, which I obtained a couple of weeks ago. There's still a lot of buttons and knobs to be had on HAM equipment, even the ones also equipped with touch screens. Behold, the Kenwood TS-890S, with 8 knobs to twiddle and, IDK, about three dozen physical buttons to mash.
posted by Harald74 at 1:44 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


analog oscilloscopes: the pinnacle of knob-arrific. dialing in a lissajous pattern on one of these was a super cool part of engineering school.
posted by j_curiouser at 12:08 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


One lockdown project for me has been studying for a HAM license

Psst, it's just 'ham.'

Nice rig.

73 DE SNUFFY
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:19 PM on June 9


Around here it's 'radioamatørlisens'...

Anyways, I've discovered that my new hobby isn't talking to actual people on a radio, it's reading reviews about radios and watching YouTube about radios and searching the classifieds for radios and making lists of pros and cons of different models of radio. So far it's been a refreshingly cheap hobby.
posted by Harald74 at 11:54 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


start building antennas. you'll never have another free weekend.
posted by j_curiouser at 5:57 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


I suspect you're right. And the barrier to entry is really low - just string up a piece of wire of the correct length and configuration. It may be a trap...
posted by Harald74 at 9:27 AM on June 10


Anyways, I've discovered that my new hobby isn't talking to actual people on a radio, it's reading reviews about radios and watching YouTube about radios and searching the classifieds for radios and making lists of pros and cons of different models of radio. So far it's been a refreshingly cheap hobby.
For me, it was mostly about building related hardware and antennas and struggling to learn code. One can spend a truly stupid amount of time experimenting with homebrew antennas made from $15 of parts from the hardware store. Even more so if you go in for T-hunting.

Talking to people from different places was often neat, especially before I had a computer. But, talking to people at random - well, not entirely, as there's some self-selection - was never really my bag. The "what kind of rig do you have" conversation gets old pretty quickly, especially at 20 wpm. And the contest thing isn't really exciting except as an excuse to go camping. Cheers to those who love both.

Also, welcome to the hobby. And, as knobs on things go, ham gear is satisfying. I spent many field days (a 24 hour US contest, often spent using portable stuff in the woods and emergency power) playing with someone else's tricked out Yaesu FT-1000D. Those were some really nice knobs. I don't use the radios I have and certainly don't need another. But, I'm now wondering if you can buy just the knobs.
posted by eotvos at 9:48 AM on June 10


Okay Hams, bringing it back to buttons and knobs and switches;
paddles, straight key, or cootie?
posted by bartleby at 11:27 AM on June 10


bartleby, it has to be a bug.
posted by scruss at 10:08 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]




« Older patron records and circulation privacy in...   |   Indie bundle for Palestinian Aid Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.