ANY moons ago I mentioned the fact that, after a sudden rush of blood to her head, The Lady Bartie presented me with a digital radio.

I criticised the complexity of setting up the device and was widely excoriated for my views and accused of Luddite tendencies.

Now, with the benefit of extensive experience I am able to revise my opinion of this technological marvel.

It used to be that, when one wished to listen to the wireless, one simply turned it on. Usually, this required little more than the press of a button or rotation of a knob.

When one wanted to turn off the wireless, one simply pressed the button again or rotated the knob in the opposite direction and, ‘hey presto’, it was off.

For reasons best known to themselves, the designers of digital radios did not adhere to these simple protocols so now, when one wishes to turn the damn thing on, one must press the power button to get the message: ‘Tap OK to switch on’.

Similarly, when turning off, one again presses the power button to get the message: ‘Do you want to turn off?’ Thus the first experience of this technological wizardry finds that what used to be achieved at one stroke now requires two.

I could live with this inconvenience were it not for the fact that switching on doesn’t actually mean what it implies because, rather than the dulcet tones of a racing commentator announcing the winner of the three-thirty at Newbury, all one gets is another message that says ‘Resuming from low power standby’.

Then, in a further series of messages, one is informed that the ‘IP is being configured’, it is ‘tuning’ and, finally, ‘buffering’ which itself builds from 1 to 100% – as if I cared!

Let’s ignore the fact that, like Radio Luxemburg, the signal frequently disappears, usually at the most critical moment as my nag is neck and neck with a rank outsider.

In the months that have elapsed since the installation debacle, I have revised my opinion of digital radio.

My initial thought that it complicated what was hitherto a simple procedure has been replaced by utter disdain for the technologically-inspired imbeciles who consider complexity as something to be cherished.

It is time for new batteries in my long wave transistor.

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