When one needs a new light bulb it is an easy job to find one that fits – it’s either a screw-in or bayonet fitting, the old incandescent or the new long-lasting fluorescent type. A wall plug is pretty much a universal fitting too – two-prong or three-prong. The adaptor sockets available reflect this uniformity.

Doorways too are pretty much of a standard width and height. Windows come in a standard mix of sizes even amongst different manufacturers so when you go out shopping for one you can make comparisons and then are assured of a good fit. Lumber comes with the same peace of mind. Like the international standard measurements of paper, worked around 1m², you are assured of a uniform sheet size, and cuts to make shelves. Bracket manufacturers are happy about this.

Bricks and blocks generally are of a uniform size so Mr. Builder has a fair chance of estimating for a job. The accepted use of the metric measurement has made life so much easier in much of the world – weight, distance, volume etc.

While I can understand the reasoning for manufacturers wishing the public to buy their product and no-one else’s, it does become a little complicated when various accessories come in more than one size – Wheels, tyres, carburetors, vacuum cleaner bags, fridge gaskets, oven seals, door locks, keys, oh, the list is long and frustrating.

You know what I’m coming to, don’t you ? Batteries. For cellphones and cameras.

If the standard of memory cards for cameras can be accepted, why, oh why not batteries for cameras ? Even within one manufacturer there will be a dozen different sized batteries for the various model cameras within their stable. On the very odd occasion a battery might reappear somewhere down the line, but that’s only after you have bought a new camera with a different battery, to find the next new model has the same battery of your previous camera.

Perhaps the camera manufacturers should take the one-size-fits-all route. You remember those revolting pairs of socks (or stockings, I imagine) that were really made for Hobbits with their elongated foot portion – one could fold it over and it became an extra sole.

Batteries are a lot more precise things and can be engineered to exact measurements and tolerances, and then the camera is designed around it.

Simple, one would have thought.


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