Feb 14 2009

Occam’s razor

Adel Gabot

Been trying out the Networked Media Tank called the Popcorn Hour the past few days, and I’m enamored (I’m saving the full review for another day), but one of the few niggles for me is the cheesy name and logo. The fact that this is one of the major irritants is an indication of how wonderful the gadget actually is.


In brief, the PCH is basically an Apple TV equivalent for half the cost and three times the functionality. It’s a capable media storage device, HD video player and streamer, and best of all, a great standalone, unattended torrenter that runs at just 20W. [Insert cricket sounds here.]

Anyway, let’s get back to the cheesy logo. It’s emblazoned on the top of the device, large and loud, and I felt removing the brand would make the gadget more pro-looking and more serious. I’ve been wondering how to remove it without damaging the surface of the case the past couple of days, and I thought of carefully scraping it off, or maybe use duct tape to lift it from the metal, but felt the finish might come off with it. I thought of finding some solvent or fluid to dissolve it, but there was the same concern.

Then it just occurred to me to just… flip the lid!


The top is attached by four simple thumbscrews, and when I installed the server-grade hard drive in it a couple of days ago, I remembered seeing that the bottom of the lid had the same finish as the top side – with no logo. It was the same shape and had the holes in the same places. Just reverse it, and voila!

Occam’s Razor—the principle that the simplest, most obvious solution is the often the right one—worked, and I kicked myself that I hadn’t thought of it first. Then it occured to me how Occam’s Razor might also be best applied to our problems in life, and solve them in short order, without fuss or French horns. Simple, direct, obvious solutions to complicated, difficult problems. Problems with work, with the government, with society.

With relationships.

Hmm. A Valentine’s Day reflection, if there ever was one. (Borne of geekery, yet. Who’da thunk it?)

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!