Sunday, August 21, 2005

Gluttons for Punishment

Instapundit had a post about Dell's customer relations problems as experienced by Jeff Jarvis, and lists some responses to Jeff's posts on the subject. My question is, why are you satisfied with hardware (and an OS, for that matter) that has so many problems that you're required to deal with customer relations with any frequency at all? Sure I'm a Mac zombie, have been since the 512 in 1985. But I've spent a ton of time on PCs and with people who use nothing else, and it's been the same story ever since then. I guess I'm just not willing to spend any time dealing with customer service, which is why I don't own a PC and only have once.

And yet some of the smartest people I know are rabid Microsoft disciples. One guy used to call my computer a "Macintoy." Then he'd try to install a peripheral and spend the next six hours on the phone with a customer service guy, while I'd just plug and play. I never did figure out what he was doing that required the cutting-edge technology he was so proud of being able to use if he wanted to, him not being a programmer or gamer or anything but a word processor/email/AOL user, but I guess some people like the idea of performance they're never going to use and derive satisfaction from tinkering with things that should work without the tinkering but don't.

I'm a realtor, and it's a PC world mostly, but I've gotten away with doing almost everything on a Mac now. And thank God for that: look at the Austin Board of Realtors homepage, on which I connect to the thoroughly essential local Multiple Listing Service:

The computer worm that began attacking computer systems using Microsoft operating systems on Tuesday has also affected WyldFyre. Users can log into WyldFyre and search for listings entered/updated on or before Tuesday, Aug. 16. Hot Sheet reports will work for listing updates made Aug. 16th or prior. However, all picture file downloads are suspended. This service will resume once WyldFyre restores servers to a functioning level.

Wyldfyre is what my office uses every day in case the MLS goes down and we can't hook up to see what's on the market. So tech people have either already had to innoculate the network against this and other worms and viruses, or are going to have to later, or have stopped using Wyldfyre (I have no fear of this worm so I don't use Wyldfyre). I know that they've already forbidden Windows 98 and 2000 users from connecting to said network for fear of infection. Insanity.

What's the benefit of using Windows, exactly?

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