Tag Archives: instructions for use

What does the FU in IFU really stand for?*

I really had to wonder this a few days ago as I removed a new smoke alarm out of the box because I was replacing the roof on the house. (yes, California is a funny place)

Replacing a smoke alarm seemed easy enough. What could it take? Just a couple screws, a battery, and I’d be In Like Flint.


Here’s the trick question of the day: “Which comes with more instructions: a $9 smoke alarm or a $400 iPhone?” Right– it’s the smoke alarm. Feast your eyes on this:

On the left are in the instructions for the smoke alarm (all in English), and on the right, the iPhone’s. Okay, yes, I admit that I didn’t unfold the iPhone instruction packet, but there’s not much there even if I did.

My question is, “WHY?!”

Really. Do we really need this many instructions for a smoke alarm? Well, my guess is that the lawyers say, “Yes.” Every possible misuse had to be accounted for and warned against. Every accident that ever occured where a smoke alarm might not have done its job perfectly resulted in another sentence, another picture, another set of guidelines to achieve a successful smoke alarm experience.

And the iPhone? Actually, I’ve never read that little booklet, and my experience is incredible. I’m scared to think how good it might be if I actually read the instructions.

* [Feel Useless]

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