More on new meters . . .
I must confess my outburst on the new parking meters was somewhat the result of encountering one of the “beasts” while under time pressure a few days ago.
So, in case I had to eat my words, I returned to town to do some more checking, and did a little hunting around on the internet.
Typically, the council has not put any comprehensive instructions on its website on how to use the new meters. Useless.
There are two varieties of the Metro line of meters — a boxy pillar and a slimline model with a tilted “head”.
I checked a different pillar to the first, and found the screen still hard to read, the lettering very small, and the whole process more long-winded than the old drop-a-coin-in, wind-the-knob and walk away.
Everything too small for older eyes and hands.
The LCD greyscale screen is not backlit and the plastic window will only get harder to see through as it ages through weathering and wear and tear.
Typing is difficult with small buttons, and plenty of opportunity for mistakes — but at my second encounter — SUCCESS with my donation to the city coffers!
I then found the slimline model, and am pleased to say the screen is easier to read with being angled and light falling on it.
However, while they are undoubtedly a piece of technical wizardry, they are over-complicated with too many choices and functions. I firmly believe in the KISS principle — Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Made in New Zealand they say — assembled here? Ultimately the tech comes from the USA, as one part of a conglomerate — Linfox Armaguard, through the Armaguard Cash Management wing.
I don’t know what was involved selecting these meters — but perhaps they were influenced by the fact that Auckland, Tauranga, Christchurch, Nelson and others use them, and that the supplier is a big multinational.
There are claimed savings on maintenance and so on — and other cities’ testimonials read as if they were written by the company itself.
I still say they are over-complex
. . . and I still don’t like ’em!