Archive for October, 2006

My army of Jack O’Lanterns

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Here's my army of [tag]Jack O'Lanterns[/tag] ...

Pumpkins 2006

Maybe after [tag]Halloween[/tag] I should send them to Redmond and see if they can get Microsoft to back down over the Windows Vista EULA issue.  What do you think?

Halloween prep!

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Whole lotta [tag]pumpkin carving[/tag] ahead (which means a whole lotta [tag]pumpkin[/tag] pie later ).

Pumpkins 2006

If you want to know more about what I do at [tag]Halloween[/tag], check out some of last year's posts!

Reframing is the new tech “get out of jail free” card

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Every salesperson, no matter how good or bad they are, seems to know about reframing.  This is a trick where you take a customer objection (it's better if you can anticipate these in advance) and change the focus so the problem doesn't seem so bad.  Don't want to live next to a fat rendering plant?  Why not?  It could be worse, it could be a dynamite factory run by careless people.  That's reframing.

But it's not just in sales that you see reframing in action.  It's very common in the tech industry, especially amongst apologists.  I see it in action all the time.  OK, there might be a small problem but it's nowhere near as bad as this other problem over here!  Look at this instead!!!

The other day I wrote a on my ZDNet blog about Firefox 2.0.  It wasn't a particularly flattering post about [tag]Firefox[/tag], but then again, my experience with [tag]Firefox 2.0[/tag] has hardly been all that great either.  Some of the problems I reported were problems that I'd seen myself, others were based on what I'd read on the web.  I made it pretty clear in the post which issues I'd experienced myself and which were ones I'd seen reported by others (although you can never make anything so plain that everyone reads it properly - some people read the title and maybe a line or two, and then the information them goes through some kind of weird filtering process where they completely misinterpret what was said). 

I knew that I was making a point that would be unpopular so I expected some negative feedback, people hate having their viewpoint challenged (and I love challenging viewpoints!), especially if it's something close to their heart (to be honest, I find it hard to get emotional over a browser, no matter how good it is, but that's me). 

Anyway, back to reframing.  What surprised me was the sheer number of people who commented who used reframing as a way to minimize the Firefox problems.  The target of much of this reframing was, as you might expect, IE7.  Now some of the points made were indeed valid ([tag]IE7[/tag] is far from perfect), but that doesn't change the fact that reframing is nothing more than a trick and doesn't make Firefox itself any better.  Maybe it makes the apologist feel better, and maybe it deflects the accusation, but the browser is still buggy.

Now sloppy thinking like this from someone posting a comment is one thing, but you see reframing everywhere in tech journalism nowadays, even from the great Dwight Silverman!

Poor antiphishing technology? I don't think much of it is good, on any browser, including IE7.

Please, no one send me links of places where I've done exactly the same thing in the past!

Reframing is easy to do, but in the end it doesn't solve anything.  People who experience problems still have have them, no matter how much reframing goes on.  Some problems only seem to get fixed if you shout about them and the people who would benefit here would include the Firefox apologists.

While some might look at this reframing trick as a "get out of jail free" card whenever a problem comes their way, I'm not letting them get away with it!

Windows Vista and Office 2007 packaging

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Microsoft has released details of the [tag]Windows Vista[/tag] and [tag]Office 2007[/tag] packaging.  They look pretty smart, but at the same time, Microsoft is taking another step in the direction of massive packaging that won't fit in my fireproof data safe, so either the box (complete with disc) stay out of the safe and get consumed by flames in the event of a fire, or the disc goes into a more sensible case and the box becomes landfill.

Here, take a look:

Windows Vista Business

Windows Vista Home Basic

Windows Vista Home Premium

Windows Vista Ultimate

Office Professional 2007

Office Home and Student 2007

Windows Media Player 11 for XP is available for download

Monday, October 30th, 2006

[tag]Windows Media Player 11[/tag] for XP is available for download.

Windows Media Player 11 offers great new ways to store and enjoy all of your digital media. It's easier than ever to access all of your music, video, pictures, and recorded TV on your computer. Play it, view it, organize it, and sync it to a portable device for enjoying on the go, or share with devices around your home - all from one place. Windows Media Player 11 is designed to work with all versions of Windows XP with Service Pack 2, including Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional N.

Download size: 24.6MB.  This download requires that youa re running a genuine copy of Windows and that it passes validation.