Opinions / Which devices baffle you?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
JONATHAN COLEMAN, Virgin 1215 DJ: I'm terrible with those electric irons. I never know when to put in the water and make it spray out. I end up burning holes in my shirts. But the worst is the baby's stuff. We've got one of those things that looks like a wine cooler - you know, a steriliser. I always manage to drop boiling hot water everywhere. These things are designed to burn men.

ROSEMARY DINNAGE, writer: Anything with a tape in it is bad news. My answerphone says: 'Please leave a message and if I don't get back to you, it's because this thing isn't working.'

TIM HUNKIN, inventor: Machines can often make you feel stupid, mostly because they are badly designed. My house isn't very hi-tech, but I have a rather sophisticated video recorder which I use very infrequently. I always find that I've forgotten how to work it. Reading the manual is always a bit of a last resort for me.

FRANCES BRIERLEY, journalist: I regularly have to donate all my clothes to a 10- year-old because I keep shrinking them in the tumble dryer. It's costing me a fortune.

DAVID STEVENS, builder: I have great problems with those automatic toilets.

KEITH BRACE, author: I am unable to record television shows on video, set up dish- washer and washing-machine programmes, speak coherently into answerphones, rewind tapes that have escaped from their cassettes, or remember cash-dispenser numbers when there's a queue.

JOEL SEGAL, antiquarian bookseller: I can't set the clock on the microwave, because my wife won't let me. Once I stuck a knife in the toaster and electrocuted myself.

PROF LEWIS WOLPERT, chairman, Royal Society's Committee on Public Understanding of Science: I am technologically weak, but I cope. I have just got my Macintosh computer going, after some trouble. My video recorder is so basic that even an idiot could use it.

SOPHIA CRESWELL, art gallery assistant: Light bulbs cause me pain and anguish, because when I screw them in, I am always terrified that they'll go on in my hand and I'll fry myself.

SIMON WILSON-HUGHES, waiter: As long as things have got a button on them saying On or Off I'm all right.

SALLY MEREDITH, trainee midwife: Anything with buttons on, forget it.

(Photograph omitted)

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