Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Leopard's spotty upgrade

Okay, I'll admit it. Reading Eric Zorn's column in the Chicago Tribune is time well spent but it doesn't always make me giddy. Yesterday, 11/20/07, his column "Father knows high-tech hype when he sees it," pleased me. Not because Eric had computer trouble - I take no joy in that for anyone, but because for once, we read something honest, and negative, about the Mac "experience" and the new Leopard operating system.

I consult only on PC's and 2007 is the first year I've heard of so many PC users bailing out and moving to a Mac. Then, they often call and have the same problems with the Mac they had with the PC.... can't print, can't open an email attachment, can't find their files. My premise all along, is that you can have the same problems with a new computer as an old one. Switching doesn't always make it better.

You can read Eric Zorn's article for free on the Chicago Tribune web site. Sign up if you're not already a reader there. Basically, he purchased the new Leopard operating system, only to find the upgrade would wipe out his hard drive -- all data would have to be backed up. So he took it to the Apple store, and paid them to do the upgrade. They also found some faulty memory and restored some of his files but not all. Not a completely happy experience for someone enticed by the promise of an upgrade that costs much more than expected.

There is no panacea with computer, nor with anything else that requires effort. I see the same experience with people who upgrade to Vista on a PC, thinking it will be better. Sadly, it's better for Microsoft, but doesn't do much to enhance a user's productivity. And isn't that why we use technology?

Let me know what you think,
Helen Gallagher