This evening on my way home, I stopped in at CompUSA and bought a standalone numeric keypad and a USB hub. Like just about everything these days, each of my two new devices came enclosed in an almost-impenetrable bubble of very tough plastic. I am accident prone (that’s the PC way of saying “I pay the price for being clumsy and often impatient”) so hacking my way into this packaging is not something I approach with confidence.
I started with the USB hub. It took scissors and an Exacto knife, and I cut myself on the plastic container. Then there was an interior plastic enclosure that had to be pried apart. That done, I figured I deserved a break, a BAND-AID, and a glass of wine, after which, I attacked the keypad package. That one was easier (just as well, given the glass of wine). I could insinuate the scissors around the edge of the bubble and it opened. Out came the keypad, a cable, a battery, and a user guide.
“Remove the battery cover from the back of the keypad,” says the user guide, giving no further hints as to how this is to be accomplished. I’ve tried every which way, and I can’t do it. I’ve pressed the front of the battery cover and tried to slide it backwards, pressed the back and tried to slide it forwards, tried to open it with my fingernails, and tried to pry it up with a knife.
Tomorrow I’ll go back to CompUSA and ask them to show me how to open it.
Technology transfer and partnerships with industry are big in the federal government these days, so I have a suggestion for the Department of Homeland Security: Get together with the manufacturers of consumer electronics and between you I am sure you can come up with a foolproof way to keep terrorists out of the country. It will undoubtedly involve plastic bubble packs.