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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Sunday November 02 2008

So anyway, yes, here are some snaps of that computerised restaurant that I mentioned earlier, which is called Inamo, that I and three mates went to last Monday night:

imageimageimageimageimageimage

That’s Patrick looking happy there.  Indoor snaps by me usually don’t work, because there’s usually not enough light, but here there is light, shone on the tables from the ceiling.  Even so, things were still a bit blurry.  A picture on a table is harder for my camera’s auto-focus to auto-focus on, but you get the pictures.  And yes I did ask about photo-iong before doing it.  No problem.

My immediate reaction was positive.  What a laugh!  More to the point, I soon worked it out, and if I can do that with a piece of tech then there is no problem with it on the user-friendliness front.  But, while Michael J (who had arrived late from sorting out the World Economy) was in the middle of placing his order, the entire system stopped working and said That’s It, No More Ordering.  It was if our waiter had suddenly just fainted, taking our order with him.  Or maybe not.  If we ordered it all again, would it then appear twice?  Not good.  As it was Michael found himself with two beers.  He didn’t seem to mind.

My opinion is that for an ever so slightly up-market place like this, where they take some actual pride in the quality of the food they serve and charge accordingly, all this computerisation is a bit of a gimmick.  It’s fun at first, if you like that sort of thing, but after a bit ... so what?

It would really come into its own in one of those great soup-kitchen places where the prices are rock bottom, the waiting is done by exhausted androidesque wage sub-minimum-wage-slaves and people come night after night.  That way, people would benefit from knowing how to place their order quite substantial fractions of a minute quicker.  In Inamo, frankly, it didn’t seem to make that much difference.  Those of us who ordered small bits of asparagus rolled up in small slices of meat still had to wait until the cook who does the small bits of asparagus rolled up in small slices of meat got around to making another batch of small bits of asparagus rolled up in small slices of meat.

If, in a large soup-kitchen type place, they also had a computerised model railway along the middle of the tables sending the food to you, a bit like the railways they have in some sushi bars, where you just grab whatever you fancy that comes along, that might work. Although the railway would have to have some way of shoving the stuff at you, rather than you just grabbing it.  Small cattle trucks which stop at your table and open their doors automatically when they have something for you, and explain themselves.  Something along those lines.  Ho ho.