these things don't work out of the box because there was no box

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from The Man Who Made You Put Away Your Pen

Quotation: Well, everybody asks that, and of course, I don't remember every single word of it. The main thing is there were lots of test messages. You know, these things don't work out of the box because there was no box. Every time you test, you have to generate some kind of a message, and you might drag your fingers across the keyboard or just type the opening phrase from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address or something else.
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Hi everyone! Does the bold part mean "these things don't work on existing models because there was no existing model"?
 
  • DaylightDelight

    Senior Member
    Japanese - Tokyo
    A thing that "works out of the box" is something that you can just buy, open the box, and just start to use (or figurative equivalents, like a computer program you can install and just start to use without much hustle).
    For example most Windows or Macintosh computers "work out of the box" these days, including web browsers and e-mail programs installed on them.
    So "these things don't work out of the box because there was no box" means that "these things (=e-mail system he was in the progress of creating)" was not finished yet and not something they were able to "just use".
     
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