Stargrave shared my audio kill switch post on Hacker News yesterday. In short I discussed the latency between hitting the mute button and some overly-loud audio being cut. I argued that regardless of technical considerations in defence of it, this was still poor ergonomics.

There were a lot of great discussions, the biggest of which involved analogue dials and physical buttons in general. I agree; fly-by-wire audio control we do now feels less precise, but also just isn’t as much fun. There’s a reason people are moving back to mechanical keyboards; in part we want to feel more connected with the tech we’re using.

JD557 had a point I hadn’t considered:

Since the user is complaining about the way Mac OS handles the audio buttons, I’m surprised that he doesn’t mention the problems with HDMI.

Absolutely; this is equally frustrating. I rarely use HDMI on my Macs anymore, but audio controls going dead after plugging in an HDMI display was highly frustrating. mrkwse claims this is in line with the HDMI specification; perhaps because they intended the cable to be used for televisions and amplifiers. Regardless, it’s still not great for computer ergonomics.

Several of the other comments indicated the post hadn’t been read, such as making excuses for the hardware that I already addressed in the original post. But overall, for someone dealing with anxiety and social awkwardness, the majority of it was civil and interesting. Thanks :)