July 23, 2006
It's hard to imagine someone who others claim is 'plugged into the Bay Area tech scene,' cannot find tech support help for some of the most basic things when she needs it. And trust me, I need it often.
At any given moment, there are at least three or four things that are not 'working smoothly.'
C'mon Silicon Valley - give a girl a hand, or send me to people who can. It's a Valley full of geeks I'm told - it shouldn't be this hard to get answers.
Currently, my laundry list includes: (and the list could grow moments after I post)...
1. Skype won't work because it apparently doesn't "play nicely" with Zone Alarms. I'm told by Skype insiders that this was a known issue but was fixed awhile ago. Zone is still asking me questions but this kind of tech support could go on for weeks. Eventually, you end up giving up because its just too hard.
So for now, although people beg me to start using it, I'm still at square one. When we launched Teleo, it was easy. It worked, the quality was high and did I say it just worked?
2. What's the best charger for my ipod, for traveling in the U.S. and abroad? Small, inexpensive and flexible, meaning I don't want to travel with two or three connectors for each device I own. Have you been to Apple's website lately? I found myself shaking my head over and over - could they make it any harder to find what I need?
3. Treo 700. There are lots of 650 users out there, but not enough 700 users yet to help me troubleshoot some of the most basic things, like setting up email. Mail still doesn't work and I've fished around for help. And what's up with NOTES synchronization? Mine remain on my desktop but are nowhere to be found on the Treo. This is the main reason I moved from a Palm to an iPaq but had heard that this synch issue was fixed many moons ago. What happened?
I have this cool device, which btw, works well with Sharpcast Photos and while I'm having a blast testing it out, I still can't send or receive email. And is it too much to ask to have my data synch every time -- all of it, including my NOTES?
I guessed that the IP address may be the issue, but hell, would a mainstream user have a clue? Think about it. Their first guess would likely be that its faulty or broken. It would not be: a 'machine' decided to change numbers for some unknown reason which will cause all communication to stop. Nor would they automatically know that once this happens, its up to them, "Joe Smith average consumer" to realize what the problem is and then to know how to reset the IP address. IP what?
I could go on about light switches, gas grills not turning on, cable boxes sometimes working, sometimes not, my TV volume control flaking more often than not, so it works for one mode (VCR for example), but not for another. (TV).
But I won't.
You get the point. Technical life isn't easy even for those baked in or around it and even though I'm not an engineer, trust me, I'm in it. Imagine the real world.
We need to make things more seamless, less complicated and bottom line: intuitive to use. Run the grandparent test and if it works there, then let me try it out. At that point, its bound to be something that will 'serve' me rather than strangle me.
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