Balancing the Tech In Your Home and the Ones You Love

Jun 24 2013

For many techies that have been doing electronics or HTPC’s (Home Theater PC’s) for a while, you have definitely seen this phrase in forums and blogs. So what is the WAF or GAF? If you’re a bit new to the HTPC world, the acronym stands for “Wife Acceptance Factor” or “Girlfriend Acceptance Factor”. Ah, rings a bell now doesn’t it? Basically with all of the technical things that comes with an HTPC or other electronic projects in your house, the female genre in particular want to just have it work without fiddling around. Now in fairness, I am not trying to gender bash in anyway, so please hold your remarks in your e-mails and responses until you finish reading the article.Smile There are many men in this category as well, and I have seen many women far more apt and accomplished at handling the technical nuances of these projects, hence the GAF can be called the “Guy Acceptance Factor.”- Hopefully that will smooth out any ill feelings. J

The significance is, if your other half is not able to use an HTPC or other project that you have in your household with minimal trouble, it can make your life miserable as well as theirs, and your project won’t be accepted. That can cause all of your hard work to go down the drain, and you won’t have those cool advantages of an HTPC or other projects to enjoy and show off. Here are some tips to help your significant others..

  • Keep your connections, and inputs to your receivers, TV’s and other consoles as simple and as minimal as you can. This is a great example of less is more.
  • Put a stable product to the main entertainment area. Any new plugin, software or feature that you may be testing should not be rolled out to the family unless you like headaches and complaining. Do all of your testing, tweaking and troubleshooting on a separate unit or when everyone else is not home (or asleep).
  • Get a universal remote that will control all your equipment and functions properly. This means that it will automatically turn on the right units and consoles, select the correct inputs to receiver and TV and be usable for the features selected. I use a Logitech Harmony 650 remote and I highly recommend them! For about 70 bucks, it stops a lot of headaches before they start. Program it, test it correctly and show your family how to use it. If you already have a Samsung S2 Tablet, you can make that a Universal Remote. Tutorial to come. J
  • Show your other half how to fix it before it goes wrong. No matter how well we build and test it, the occasional issue does rear it’s ugly head—and we usually know what they will be. Show them how to fix potential buggy issues before they happen.
  • Use an extender for an HTPC. You lose some features and flexibility, but you will still have the majority of what you like and have a unit that functions a lot like a console. An example as to why you would use it instead of an HTPC is an HDMI handshake issue in your HTPC that is not resolvable.

I hope this eases the tension around your house and allows you and your family to enjoy your HTPC or special project. Again, the WAF or the GAF is key on you having what you want as well. If they’re not happy, you’re not happy.

Comments

Use an extender for an HTPC. You lose some features and flexibility, but you will still have the majority of what you like and have a unit that functions a lot like a console. An example as to why you would use it instead of an HTPC is an HDMI handshake issue in your HTPC that is not resolvable.

I had lots of nightmares trying to deal with HDCP hankshake issues before I got my Gefen HDMI dectective.  Turning the receiver vs TV on/off in the wrong order used the freak my HTPC out.  Using an extender does have some appeal, but with the HDMI dectective, I know that if Windows 9 is released and breaks older extenders, I can still upgrade without having to deal with HDCP issues again.

Heheh I need a new one added to the list of "other" people who fall under WAF... besides the tech-clueless boyfriend, I've also had a clueless female roommate. Unlike the boyfriend however (which was years ago when some of this htpc stuff wasn't so friendly), more recently I'd implemented a lot of the suggesstions in this article for the roommate. Harmony universal remote with xbox extender. She got the hang of it pretty easily, and it rarely caused any grief.

jennyfur wrote:

Heheh I need a new one added to the list of "other" people who fall under WAF... besides the tech-clueless boyfriend, I've also had a clueless female roommate. Unlike the boyfriend however (which was years ago when some of this htpc stuff wasn't so friendly), more recently I'd implemented a lot of the suggesstions in this article for the roommate. Harmony universal remote with xbox extender. She got the hang of it pretty easily, and it rarely caused any grief.

HAHHAHA, and what about parents?? This has to be a times 100 scenario, especially because you don't live with them, so then if anything breaks, your phone blows up. Although this taught me to always avoid HTPC's for parents  after my last failed experiment Smile

Mike Garcen wrote:

HAHHAHA, and what about parents?? This has to be a times 100 scenario, especially because you don't live with them, so then if anything breaks, your phone blows up. Although this taught me to always avoid HTPC's for parents  after my last failed experiment Smile

I built my mother-in-law a really nice system about 5 years ago, it was a nightmare to support it.  The worst was when she'd be cleaning around the TV and decide to unplug everything and then try and it plug stuff back in herself.  It was funny some of the places she'd try to put cables...

This was too funny to not add to this discussion. Although I'm not sure billing your spouse would work quite as "cute" as Daughter to father: http://gizmodo.com/adorable-daughter-bills-dad-for-home-tech-support-576935269

 

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