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Tony Karakashian tonyk at rochestermidland.com
Thu Oct 3 14:26:53 PDT 2002


>> That's very good to hear.

Been sayin' it all along, Bob. :)

>> incompetence or because of legal arrangements, never support
>> anything else than the current version of Windows. 

Are you referring to in-house support, such as my department?  If
so, I agree.  Most of that, I believe is due to the push for
"more and more" in the corporate world.  Corporations have 
caused themselves to be innudated with more information they
could ever use.  Since they can't get a complete grasp of it, they
blame the "systems" for failing to present it to them.  Most of the
time, IME, the problem is they simply don't know the right 
questions to ask.  That's why, when a manager-type is looking for
a solution to a problem, I try to get a grasp of what they want, 
and refuse to discuss technology until I'm positive I know that
they know what they want.  We live in an age where pretty much
anything is possible with technology, so that should never be
the limiting factor.

>> Lock-in occurs when for whatever reason you start using a product
>> and you can not switch easily to something else.

Unfortunately, that isn't always 100% possible.  ERP is one field,
for example, where it is almost impossible to get locked in.  It's
just such an immense "thing", no matter what you choose, it's a 
lot of effort to get out  of.  Even if you create a complete
solution from scratch, after a few years of kluges and patches,
moving away is a process (as is the case with our current Oracle
systems).

>> When you use Windows you have to be very careful not to get locked
>> in. Some of it is because of "the features", I am sure, but most of
>> it is just plain ridiculous.

Yes, and no.  Remember, Word, for example, is such a feature-laden
product because it's driven by the marketplace.  I still, to this
day, find WordPerfect users who complain of the ONE feature they
miss most in using Word.  And, the amazing thing is, it's always
something different.  Now, in a lot of cases, there are ways to do
what they want to, but in some, the feature just ain't there.  I still
have the example on my wall of a page a user wanted to duplicate in
Word.  It was done in WP, and is impossible to duplicate with Word.
WP had a feature where you could have a column down the side of the 
page that appeared on every page.  To this day, I still have no idea
if it can even be done in Word, which is the main reason I keep it.
I keep it to remind me that what the users want comes first.

>> From what you tell me, this won't happen to you. But consider a
>> normal user who bought a certain device that only works under say
>> Win98. 

I hear what you're saying loud and clear.  My wife had a photo scanner
she got from Kodak.  They only ever made 98 drivers for it (not even
95!).  But, we moved on.  And, I hear about it every time I find the
damn thing when cleaning out my parts closet... :)

>> I can make a backup of everything that is currently in /home and
>> take it to just about any system in the world and go on with my
>> stuff. Why, after all these years of innovation, is this not
>> possible with a Microsoft OS?

Why not?  All of my stuff is stored on my file servers, here and at
the office.  I can use it on my Linux boxen, my Mac or my Windows
PCs.  

>> It will never be exactly like the desktop you currently use.

No, but it does need to do exactly everything it does, it doesn't
matter to me if it does it differently.  

-T
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