Outdated Software and Support

September 27th, 2012

I run outdated software on my home computer. I know it to be outdated (OS X 10.5). I have an old computer (going on 5 years) and though I could probably run the next two iterations of the OS, I just haven’t bothered. Yesterday, a problem came up in my browser and it got me off my duff to fix the problem.

While I was working on that though, I started browsing the support forums for the browser. I was reminded why I stopped working in support. People have a great sense of entitlement, it is one of our true American traits. I feel for the Chrome support team right now. Leopard is from 2007, but there are people on the support forums genuinely raging and accusing the Chrome team of being lazy. It brought back memories of the guy who got mad at me for not supporting Windows ME (a 2000 release) in 2007. That support call was over dial-up networking. That’s right. I got yelled at in 2007 for not helping a guy set up dial-up on his Windows ME box. Just like these Chrome users, the ME guy used the language of crowds. What did I mean I wouldn’t support this outdated software? “Millions” of people still used Windows ME and dial-up connections (despite not living in the country, which doesn’t [didn’t?] always have broadband available). Customer please. I could see from the account info he lived in a major metro area. He had no reason to expect that his software and connectivity situation would be fully supported. The same applies for OS 10.5 users. And how many of them actually use Chrome?

All of these people post on the support forums rage quitting Chrome. It’s sad really. I’d tell them on Google’s behalf what I told that customer. Software goes out of date, if you have out of date software, don’t expect it to be supported. A good rule of thumb is that 4-5 years after release of the software, the company will feel comfortable ignoring your cries for support. This is natural, most of their customer base will have moved to the new software in that time frame. The entire industry moves along and keeping everything working with setups that are 6+ years old leads to software bloat. It’s just not feasible.

Oh, and Google is a huge company while 10.5 users are a small base at this point. I don’t have solid numbers, but six months after 10.7 was released, it was estimated that 10.5 was 14% of the installed user base. We’re several months past the release of 10.8. What does that tell you. Apple’s laptop/desktop market is somewhere under 30% of the national user base. I don’t have the exact numbers, so I’ll aim low. If you’re less than 14% of 30% of the market, do the math. Even using really generous numbers, that still puts you at 4% of the total user base. (you aren’t) Don’t expect a lot of kowtowing from support. Being angry does not magically inflate the size of your software demographic, and unlike it would be with social demographics, it’s not bigotry if they run right over you.

Subtle

January 5th, 2009

I just found out that the song that Apple used for iPhone 3G ads was an instrumental version of “You, Me, and The Bourgeoisie.” The lyric “love can free us from the deepest debt” in the version with vocals is especially choice to me, given what phones with data plans cost on a monthly basis.

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=bYvt0boSRXQ&#8221;">http://youtube.com/watch?v=bYvt0boSRXQ&#8221;</a>

This is, of course, old news.

The Computer Lives

June 18th, 2008

And the computer is back. I didn’t really have to pay much of anything to get it back. There’s a stain on the monitor now, where some of the coffee got into the LCD under the protective layer. Aside from that little annoyance, and the fact that I have now voided the hell out of my warranty, things return largely to normal.

And soon there will be reunion, with the big project on temporary hold. I hope to have it done next week, but I only give even odds.

Some Bright Sides

June 17th, 2008

Well… with the computer out of commission, I found myself unable to get much work done on the big project. That was frustrating, as this week was supposed to be the big push to finish it, I should have been able to do that by the end of the month.

So I wanted to be able to get something done on that front while I waited to get my computer back, and was busy grousing to myself that the other computer was the one with all the software licenses. This gave me a chance to use Google Docs. I’d never done so before, and I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s not going to get me to abandon what I normally use, but it’s fine in the short term.

It also reminds me that I’m a little crazy for having a program just to do outlines. And despite that program, I’d let my outline of the text fall off in the past few chapters and I was flying blind. Without the main text though, I’m outlining the last eight chapters finally, which should speed things up if it is anything like when I was last working with an outline. Not my most efficient use of time, these past few weeks, if loosing my primary computer forces me to get cracking.

Also, as a PSA for the few people who read this in Minneapolis: (and some who may be coming into town for the wedding) Dreamhaven is moving. What does this mean? They’re not looking forward to having to haul all their stuff, so for this month there is a big sale. Used paperbacks are 75% off original cover price, with a minimum of 75¢. That means most books are under a dollar in their used section. A lot of the comics are 10¢. The other day I walked out with a pile I could barely carry for just over $15. You should check it out if you are in town.

The Need to Buy Stuff

March 6th, 2008

Over the past few days, I have been seized by the desire to buy stuff. Some of it is stuff I feel I need, some of it is stuff that would be cool to have, and some of it is stuff that I just can’t really bring myself to fully justify.

Do I need a new computer? I don’t know that I really do, but I’m about to lay out a bunch of money to buy one. I don’t plan on playing games with it, and apart from the fact that I tend to run a lot of programs at once, I don’t really tax my current system all that much. Sure, it takes some time to load this or that program, but not by the standards I grew up with. Things used to damn well take time to load, and I’m not just saying that because modern society makes me feel like an old man in my mid twenties. I’m used to a little load time. I like to think that I have a rich enough inner life to keep myself going for the few seconds it takes to load a damn program. So that leaves me with screen brightness, memory, and… you know… the fact that new computers are cool.

I already have a use for the old one, the one I’m typing this on, so it’s not a total waste, but it seems like a bit of one. New computers aren’t cheap and there’s nothing else on the list besides hiking books that tops $100. In fact, computer stuff aside, I could get everything else for less than the computer.

I generally try to stay out of the big ass TV race. Why is it the computer race always pulls me back? (Though I’m not getting top of the line here.) Over the past several years, the way we use computers has not generally been that much harder on the computer, unless you play video games, which have trended at their usual pace.

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