Letters from Readers
Reader Letters May 2010: Telephone Woes
In his May 2010 Barney's Rubble column, "Communication Breakdown," Editor in Chief Doug Barney asked readers: "Do you miss the telephone, or is electronic communication where it's at?" Here, readers respond.
No, I do not miss the telephone. The nice thing about e-mail -- and even Office Communications Server -- is that you can ignore it when you're in the middle of something. If you don't care about it, you can even hit Delete.
Most of the time, you have to decide which e-mail to deal with first, and sometimes there are just too many to deal with, but all-in-all, it's infinitely better to deal with e-mail at your own pace than it is to face constant interruptions answering the phone or even responding to voicemail -- which can now be delivered as an e-mail attachment to play from your local media player.
C. Marc Wagner Bloomington, Ind.
Do I miss the phone? Absolutely. But the reality is that e-mail is far more effective for reaching a mobile
workforce. I can include much more meaningful detail in an e-mail, and it creates a record of contact. I'm far more likely to receive a timely reply from a BlackBerry or plain old e-mail account than a voicemail. I'm also more likely to trade follow up e-mails to correct misunderstandings.
Scott Mackie Cleveland, Ohio
Change Is Good
In response to Brien Posey's May 2010 article, "IT Cloud Survival Skills":
This article is spot-on when it comes to how the role of the IT professional will evolve due to cloud computing -- but this change should actually be looked at as freedom for IT administrators. It will allow them to get back to the core roots of the profession: creating new capabilities and benefits to help grow the business. This is preferable to the daily headache of managing an internal e-mail system or SharePoint site.
It's mostly the rote tasks that will be sent to the cloud. Anything requiring specialization will still -- for the most part -- be handled in-house, at least from my perspective.
Posted online by Chris D.
Watch Out, Windows Phone 7
In response to Jeffrey Schwartz's March 22, 2010, news story, "Top 7 Windows Phone 7 Highlights from MIX10":
Five years ago, I got a Motorola phone with Windows Mobile and thought it was great. But I recognized its many shortcomings -- lack of customization, lack of apps, overpriced apps, poor browsing and so on. I tried Symbian and found it to be poor, as well, so I finally drank the Kool-Aid and tried an iPhone. I found it basically does it all, and does it well.
It's no longer a three-legged race between Apple, Google and Microsoft. Research In Motion has far surpassed Microsoft unless Windows Phone 7 has some magic up its sleeve.
Posted online by Mike D.
In response to Greg Shields' May 2010 Windows Insider column, "Windows PowerShell Is Not a Scripting Language":
Greg Shields says he's "amazed at how many IT professionals still avoid the command line." Well, here's why:
PowerShell doesn't run on Windows XP.
Most shops are still running XP and are not able to push out the add-on to allow PowerShell to run. Microsoft should have added this to service pack 3 for XP. The company never brings this fact up in the sales hype.
PowerShell will not be taken seriously until Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 are the dominant versions.
Posted online by Anonymous
There are a number of reasons why admins aren't running to PowerShell. In small and midsize businesses, the time saved by using PowerShell is often less than the time required to learn what is essentially another language. In the last decade, I could count on one hand the number of times I had to add more than two users to Active Directory at once, and even then, the users belonged to different groups.
Another reason is that most admins already have a number of scripts for tasks that are worth automating in their environment. If it ain't broke ...
The last reason is most IT people have enough new things to learn every day and PowerShell just doesn't make the cut in the priority list. I've wanted to learn PowerShell for a number of years, but when you're a generalist you not only have to learn new features for a multitude of programs and technologies, you also have to re-learn all of the old stuff that has changed.
I think change is great when there's a benefit. When change is made solely for marketing purposes, that's another story. Unfortunately, most changes fall under the latter category.
Posted online by Anonymous
This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.