If you know me at all, you know I like technology. It’s a wonderful means to make things easier.

The thing is though, not all technology is effective in providing any advantage over the earlier non-technological means of completing the same task.

A perfect example is a device I saw in a Canadian Tire ad recently. It’s billed as a laser parking guide.

It’s basically a glorified laser pointer. You mount it on the ceiling of your garage, aimed so the laser will indicate when you’re in far enough to close the door, but not so far that you’ve crushed the front of the car against the back wall. It’s motion activated. On the face of it, it seems an ingenious idea.

The problem is, it’s far more complex than it needs to be. What we did in the old days was simply tie a small rubber ball to the end of a string, and attached the other end to the garage ceiling so the car was properly positioned when the ball touched the windshield. Granted you might not want a ball hanging in the middle of the garage if you use the space for anything else. In this case, lengthen the string so it’ll touch the front bumper. This will have the string very close to the back wall and out of the way.

So does this $25 laser device offer any advantage over my ball/string/nail combo? And attaching it to the ceiling with two-sided tape seems like a very bad idea. Don’t even bother claiming it’s a good idea if you don’t have an AC outlet up there. The need to change batteries makes the idea ridiculous. I’ll take the ball and string, thanks. No batteries required, it won’t fall and land on my hood, and it works during a power failure when I’m cranky enough because I had to manually raise the garage door.