Continuing Resolutions

Well, I’m back again, but at least I left you with something to chew over the last time we were together. (unlike Congress and the White House). So, have any of the first few resolutions made their way into your consciousness yet? Have any of you been there before? Let’s see what else is left in the Resolution grab bag!

Resolution #6 – I will not buy every software update that comes out.

Technology changes faster then we can keep up with, or so it seems. Case in point, the software on your Mac. You have finally mastered the ins and outs, the secret bells and whistles of the application that you use the most and what happens? The next “improved” version of that application has just been released and your version is only 6 months old. Do you run out and update or do you read through some of the E-zines or a paper magazine and discover that this version only adds one more bell or whistle or it’s an update for those with Power PC’s or it corrects a problem that has no impact what-so-ever on you. If you wait another 5 or 6 months, or maybe a year, the next version will probably be the one that you should upgrade your application to.

Resolution #7 – I will not yell or curse at the computer generated voice mail options used by most of the computer industry for “Customer Service.”

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve had my fill! When a problem arises, be it hardware or software, I’m usually not in a good mood when I can’t find a solution to the problem in the “list of 6 problems you may encounter while…”, which is part of the manual or the on line help system. My mood usually gets worse when I discover that there is no 800 number to call and it’s a long distance call to the other side of the country during “peak telephone usage hours.” When the telephone is answered, it turns out to be a voice mail option system that has probably been developed by someone with an accounting background because it immediately begins throwing numbers and options at you at a high rate of speed. You finally press a number that roughly corresponds to what you’re seeking information on, and immediately you enter the second level of your mysterious travels through voice mail options. By this time, you’ve begun to talk back to the computer voice – “Look stupid, if I wanted information on updates and new versions, you should have sent it to me because I mailed the registration and warranty card back to you.” —- “No, I don’t want info faxed to me. That’s why I’m calling you, the fax setup doesn’t work.” This journey of many levels continues until you finally reach the highest level – human contact. Now, you’re really worked up and you’re not willing to put up with any bull, but you’re trying to remain calm because the “HUMAN” sounds so cheerful and helpful. You explain the problem and what do you get? PUT ON HOLD while the “HUMAN” checks with a supervisor and CANNED MUSIC blaring at you like you’re at the front of the stage during a heavy metal concert. And during all of this time your long distance telephone bill is also playing its journey of many levels. PROGRESS?!

Resolution #8 – I will try and be understanding of those who consider me a “LOW END USER.”

And why are we “Low End Users?” Because the outlay for our systems cost less that $2,000. Don’t believe it? Look at the latest MAC catalog and you’ll discover that if you pay less then $2,000. you’re low end, $2,500 and you’re mid-level and $4,000. up you’re a high end user. Why do reviewers and discount services, to include catalogs, consider items costing $2,500 affordable for Mac users. Sure not for most Mac users I know, or even myself. Why does Apple sell so many Performa’s? Because people are looking for value and more bang for their buck. What’s wrong with someone buying a complete system for less that $2,000.? Us low end users are the ones buying the systems, the peripherals, the software that keep the reviewers reviewing and the discounters discounting. It’s also a lot of “low end users” who wind up developing the freeware/shareware products that keep systems up and running, expanding and developing. HELL, IF IT WASN’T FOR US, THEY’D BE OUT OF A JOB!

Resolution #9 – I will remember that my Mac is just a tool.

Meaning that your Mac will do what you want it to do, based upon what you’re capable of doing. If you go out and buy yourself the most expensive Mac out there (don’t ask me which one, Apple comes out with a new model just about every week now), you will only be able to use it to the extent that you are capable of. If your Mac comes with the latest and greatest capabilities, bells and whistles, hopefully you can use them, or more importantly, you have a need for them. Do you need the latest AV model if your intention for use does not include using the AV capabilities? Gauge your purchases upon your immediate needs, but also take the time to try and forecast what you will want to do in the future and what your needs will likely be, but don’t go overboard. Above all, ENJOY YOURSELF.

Resolution #10 – I will try and spread a little of my pleasure in using the Mac system to those around me.

Now, don’t go running off into the closest city wearing a robe, carrying a sign and yelling that the end of Windows is near. And don’t go set up a house of MAC repute. Simple little things will suffice, like, when somebody starts talking about what their PC can do, just keep saying “My Mac Can Do That!”, or “My Mac’s been able to do that for years!” Even better, “You mean that your PC can’t do that? My Mac can!” Simple things like telling someone at work when they talk about buying a computer what you’re able to do with your Mac. Ease of Use. Doesn’t require learning a foreign language. Above all, just keep smiling when you talk about it.

I probably could go on but this is a good enough start. After all, it’s only the beginning of the year.


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