Letters to Redmond

Playing Catch-Up

One reader thinks it's worth it to give Vista a little more time. Plus, readers tell us about their technology pet peeves.

Here's a news flash: Vista works fine ["Windows Vista: Learning to Play Nice," October 2007]. So did all of the flavors of XP, 2000, 98, 95, 3.X, 2.0 and MS-DOS! The recurring issue seems to be vendor software, hardware manufacturers and home-grown application designers that lag behind in developing applications and hardware drivers that are compatible with each new release of their respective products, yet somehow expect their products to miraculously perform to specifications in a new OS environment.

As Keith Ward stated in his article, Vista was in a very lengthy development cycle, perhaps longer than any previous OS release from Microsoft. Now, 10 months into Vista's introduction phase, I still encounter many hard-headed developers who believe it's Microsoft's responsibility to provide an OS with capabilities to run their "legacy" products. The question becomes: What were these developers doing while Vista was in a five-year development phase? Microsoft went through great pains to release beta versions of Vista to many of these corporate developers through channels such as MSDN and TechNet memberships. Was there a lack of feedback to Microsoft from these beta- and early-release recipients that justifies why the OS is problematic at the corporate level?

Before we kick Vista to the curb, (once again) give these hardware/software/firmware laggards a chance to catch up and join the program.
Cliff Brown
Raleigh, N.C.

Lots of Buggin' Around
I just read Doug Barney's column ["Stop Bugging Me," Barney's Rubble, October 2007]. Don't get me started on DSL. Those jerks at Verizon knocked out my voice service twice while troubleshooting a data problem. After the first go-around, I practically begged and pleaded with tech support not to perform the same remote test on the second go-around. But guess what? They did. The result? No voice service again for a day or so.
Richard J. Tester
New York, N.Y.

I support both PCs and Macs (and a few Linux options as well) and I can say that the power cord thing is just the tip of the iceberg with Macs. Solution: Don't use them. There are very few things that make Macs "the better option" and most users don't use them. "They do graphics better" -- so? If you're not a graphics professional, you'll never miss the so-called advantage.

If you're not paying close to a thousand dollars for the application that processes those "better graphics," you're wasting your breath talking about them. I've had a lot of trouble getting replacement parts for Macs. Jumping through hoops doesn't make me a better technician, but having several sources for hardware does. So I'm already learning to not like supporting Macs.

Yep, I've been "raised on" Windows boxes. Most people who prefer Macs have been "raised on" Macs. So if Mac hardware gives you heartburn, it's inherent in the beast and the only way around it is to step onto another platform.

I do have to agree with Barney on the formatting in Word. It's hyperactive and over-attentive. To that end, Word Perfect (WP) got it exactly right, and to make it even better, WP has this tool called Reveal Codes that will allow you to remove a formatting command you can't see on the page. Wonder why Microsoft never tried to get a license for that for Word? It's a wonderful tool. Absent that, though, you can use the paragraph symbol to figure out which formatting commands are stuck in there and get rid of them. Or you can just not worry about any of it, type the paper, reformat the whole thing with no formatting and format the whole thing as you want it.
Nancy Jones
Mobile, Ala.

Here's what bugs me:

  1. Toner. Not only the mess, but the cost is outrageous.
  2. Adobe Acrobat Installation. Why is it 30MB, and thank you, no, I don't want Google Desktop!
  3. SPAM
  4. CALs. They're problematic to track and not efficient. When I buy Exchange and slap it on a 10k server, I should be able to host as many people as my hardware will allow.

I'm sure there are many more, but that's a good start.
Alan Lantz
City of Rogers, Ark.

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