Profile of Barbara Krasnoff
News & Commentary Posts: 139
Articles by Barbara Krasnoff
posted in April 2007
This first day of the month of May, popularly known as May Day, can mean different things to different people. For many, it heralds the beginning of spring, when you can finally stop running to weather.com to see if there's yet another late snowstorm coming and can start googling phrases like "weed killer" and "swimsuit sales." For others, especially if they live in some other country, or have certain political views, it means a
Popular myth -- those tidbits of received wisdom that epitomize the phrase, "Of course it's true, everyone says so!" -- is as evident in the technology community as it is in any other society. The only difference is that this particular community isn't divided by geographical location, but by language -- namely, the language that their favorite computer speaks.
Anybody who has ever worked with computers knows the old adage "garbage in, garbage out." Besides the most obvious interpretation, this phrase also expresses the truth that, in the end, it's the human element that determines the value of a computer's output. However, taking the human element out of your processes completely can also result in some very embarrassing, and costly, mistakes.
Whatever else Windows Vista does for your PC, it's not going to make the numbers on your budgetary spreadsheet any lower. Several software vendors have decided not to upgrade existing versions of their products to be Vista-compatible -- instead, they're going to reshape upcoming versions. So if you buy a Vista PC, you don't get to reinstall your existing application onto your new machine. Instead, prepare to fork out some additional cash to get the next iteration.
The UserFriendly.Org comic strip, which I've followed on and off for years, recently had a series in which a hapless user's computer dies, and he, of course, hasn't bothered to use the tape backup drive that the tech supplied him with. The tech simmers with righteous fury -- until his own hard drive fries, and he realizes that he hasn't backed up either.
When you plan an "executive" version of a product -- such as, say, the DocuPen Executive Pack -- you really should make sure that it includes enough support materials so that that the executive in question can assemble and use your product. Unfortunately, while the DocuPen -- a mobile scanner about six inches long and half an inch wide -- is a nifty and worthy product, the emphasis in its packaging is more on style than substance.
I couldn't resist testing Google's new Google Voice Local Search (GVLS), although it doesn't involve either booting up my PC or connecting to the Internet. As a result, it feels a bit strange, since Google is a name one normally associates with bits and bytes.
Last week, our old 19-inch tube TV became very ill -- it starting painting everything a weird shade of green -- and so we went out and bought a snazzy new 27-inch flat screen display. We were really happy with our new purchase -- until we realized that we now had to figure out how to get rid of the old TV.