I've been using electric shavers for over a decade, going through
three separate shavers, and I've had a pretty stable shaving habits in
that time. But my new electric shaver has changed everything.
I'd usually shave every other day or so though with major variations
-- sometimes maintaining my unshaved Mountain Man look for months,
sometimes shaving every day. It just depended, though my default state
was a bit stubbly.
I recently bought a new Philips 7240 XL shaver, and everything's changed --
suddenly I'm shaving every day now.
Every electric shaver I owned before was slow, but effective; they
would take several minutes to neatly clean off a day's growth, or tens
of minutes to work through weeks of growth. It always took a while to
shave, but when I did, my shaver performed admirably.
I find it next to impossible to get my new shaver to shave multiple
days of growth; it seems anemic and underpowered. But boy, is it
fast. I just rub it over my face for less than a minute, and a single
day's growth disappears. My new shaver rewards daily shaving because
it's so quick, and punishes occasional shaving, because it does such a
poor job of taking off many days of growth.
I like to think of capacity to remove large quantities of facial hair
as analogous to high bandwidth, and startup speed as latency. My old
shavers had high bandwidth (they removed a lot), but took a while to
start (low latency). My new shaver removes little hair (low
bandwidth), but gets started fast (low latency).
This is a bit like switching from desktop email client software like
Eudora or Outlook to an AJAX-based system like Gmail. The desktop
client tools work great when you can sync large quantities of data,
and are set up to reward latency-insensitive batch operations. Gmail,
on the other hand, transfers only small to medium quantities of data
at a time, but demands high latency.
When dealing with hardware, designers' choices tend to get deeply
embedded into the system. Software tools can be more flexibly adapted
(e.g. Gmail's non-AJAX mode, which allows for use on lower-latency
connections; or its IMAP interface, allowing for use with desktop
clients.) As a software guy, I have a lot of respect for hardware
folks, who are boxed into final unalterable decicions, and yet can
still go ahead and make bold decisions. If it were me, I wouldn't have
had the guts to design a
somewhat-ineffective-but-really-fast shaver; I'm glad Philips did.