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The Atomic Chef: And Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Although each chapter stands solidly on its own, a few stand prominent in my own mind due to personal interests. "Rhymes and Reasons" is a beautifully written story of musician John Denver's fatal flight in a new aircraft. Although an accomplished pilot, Denver's piloting skills were no match for a confusing set of aircraft controls and displays in his just-purchased home-built plane. The story makes the clearest case possible for the importance of good user interface design and ergonomics, and like all the stories in the book this one is thoroughly researched and referenced.
In addition to aviation and aerospace settings, the stories address transportation, maritime, medical, and various everyday events in contemporary life. Particularly poignant is "Event Horizon," a disturbing accident involving a child and an MRI machine in a New York hospital. In hindsight, the reader understands the procedures and barriers that must be in place when dealing with powerful new technologies like this.
Casey throws some truly hilarious stories in the mix to break up the pattern of predictability inherent in a book on error and disaster, and this approach works well. But, overall, be forewarned: the author is skilled at putting the reader in the "pilot's seat" to experience the confusion, shock, and terror that can occur when technology and human behavior conflict. I highly recommended this book.
This is an absolute must read if you are in any way involved with the development of new products or services. Sometimes things don't go as planned despite everyone's best efforts. Like the bumper sticker says, "stuff" happens. This book gets into the stuff to reveal what really happened. The author painstakingly researches and recounts the real story behind mismatches in people and technology.
If you like fairy tale endings this may not be the book for you. However, if you are interested in learning the true details behind real world events, I highly recommend the Atomic Chef. In contrast to more traditional Human Factors books or case studies, the Atomic Chef presents enjoyable and eminently readable accounts of actual events.
Little things can make a big difference, I'd recommend The Atomic Chef's cautionary tales to any student or professional interested in learning more about the relationship between people and technology.
I really commend the author for bringing these stories to print and hope that it may save some lives.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great pop culture book on human factors issues. Spoiler alert: You may think twice about getting an MRI or flying after reading this!Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
I tossed the cheap plastic cover immediately in favor of the faux leather binding. It's classy!
I had to buy this book for a human factors class, and I didn't hate it. Read more
Excellent "real world" examples of human factors and technology clashes--I use it in my HF class as supplementary reading, but it's quite readable for pleasure.Published on April 5, 2013 by Cass D. Howell
I strongly recommend this book. I read "set phasers on stun" and thought it was very good. The author has done even better this time.Published on February 13, 2008 by Niall F. Macalevey
This product was in perfect shape and I received it in no time! I was very happy with this transaction!Published on September 15, 2007 by Natalie B. Steinhauser
Dr. Casey has done it again! Each story in "The Atomic Chef" keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Read morePublished on June 28, 2006 by Lynn M.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Steven Casey (author of Set Phasers on Stun) had written another compilation of short stories. Read morePublished on June 23, 2006 by Cate Poole