Thursday, October 24, 2013
Behind the scenes: NEO strikes!
HALLIE EPHRON: Software updates are painful. I updated my iPhone and for weeks I couldn't find my apps. I'd rather be stabbed with an ice pick than update my computer's operating system. Well, stabbed with a toothpick, anyway...
Deloitte & Touche, that august computer consulting company, is much in the news these days with their over budget and nonfunctional systems. I imagine they are overjoyed at the problems of the Affordable Care Act web site... taking spotlight off D&T's egregious rollout of unemployment web site for the state of Massachusetts. It replaced a phone system on which callers spent hours waiting only to be cut off, with a web site that seems to have virtually the same functionality.
We've been having our own little drama here at Jungle Red over the rollout (though perhaps "roll" is too kind a verb) of Yahoo's NEO.
Of course it's all about redesigning to generate more ad revenue (like this ad on today's login page -- the turtle seems a bit ironic given how problematic the site has been). Because why else would they roll out out something in which NOTHING worked, to replace a system which more or less did what you needed it to. Most of the time.
Since we started out blog, we've used Yahoo! files to stage group blogs (like this one.) Right now I am writing this blog stem in NEO and it seems at long last to be working. We are not clapping for Yahoo!, but rather breathing a sigh of relief. Because the only thing worse than living through an "upgrade" is having to start over with a new system.
So now I'm going to save this file and hope it works. And invite my fellow Reds to pile on. Have we been having fun or what?
RHYS BOWEN: One of the most dreaded words in the English language for me is UPDATE. When my iPhone tells me that updates are available for my apps or worse still, for the operating system, I find myself with palpitations and dry mouth. It seems every app I update suddenly loses everything I've done with it, notes I've stored, even the fish in my virtual aquarium (okay, yes, I have a virtual aquarium and I do feed the fish. Nobody's perfect). (The photo is from http://www.dreamaquarium.com)
I have to confess to being a coward in this recent Yahoo fiasco. I let someone else try to post, edit a file first and when they come back with **!!#%!** I stay away until someone else claims it is working now. And it does..... seem..... to..... be working..... now (she said very cautiously)
ROSEMARY HARRIS: Ugh. I am a late adapter to most things remotely techy. (I am, after all, the one who still writes with a pencil.) Updates? Every time I've been foolish enough to click on one it's been hell.
Yesterday I clicked on one and it was some outfit PRETENDING to be from Google Chrome. They had a similar logo - what did I know? Thank goodness computer id'ed it as Malacious.
Then - also yesterday - I tried to catch up on the few remaining episodes of Breaking Bad - which I came late to and absolutely am addicted to. On the AMC.com website, there's something that says DOWNLOAD. Guess what - it's an ad.
So, I'm gun shy of new things. Oh wait...this was about Yahoo. Doesn't play nice with AOL browser. So I can't see what my JR sisters are yakking about unless I use Chrome, which better not need to be updated soon because I'll probably be too scared to do it.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Maybe we should have asked my dear hubby to join in:-)
He could tell you more than you ever wanted to know about software updates rolled out before they're ready, and we NEVER use the first version of anything! At the moment, Windows 8 is a very bad word around our house...
I feel for all of you with your nightmare iPhone updates. Dear hubby has an iPad so he's had to deal with those, too. I, on the other hand, am your Android poster girl, and so far phone updates have been a breeze. (Knock wood. Fingers crossed.)
In the meantime, I'm so happy NEO is living up to it's Keanu Reeves incarnation. I hope.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: We are very late adapters at our house, so much so that we all still have dumb phones (although to be fair, it's mostly the thought of paying for data plans for FIVE people that's kept me away from upgrading.) I understand the need to fix and tweak and patch and make things run smoother. (Everyone who's been following the rollout of the ACA can understand that.)
What drives me batty are the changes that seem to have been engineered for no other purpose than to keep programmers busy - like the Yahoo NEO. Or, to take another program that's been burned by too much updating, Word. MS Word circa '97 and 2000 were wonderfully functional workhorses. Word 2003 was possibly the best writer's tool ever - it had just what you needed, arranged in a logical way, without a lot of useless bells and whistles cluttering up the interface. MS could have stopped there, but apparently Word is some sort of full employment act for software designers.
They kept 'updating' and 'improving' it until it has become the horror that is Word 2010. I hung on to Word 2003 as long as I could; when it couldn't be crowbarred into my OS updates anymore, I switched to Open Office, which I highly recommend to you all.
Don't even get me started on Windows 8, which I got because I was in such a tearing hurry to replace my broken laptop I didn't take time to shop around for someone who would sell me bootleg XP. Ugh. I installed Classic Shell and pretend it's 2003. I listen to a lot of Matchbox Twenty and 3 Doors Down.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I have no idea what any of you guys are talking about. I am howling with laughter reading this!
I too never change anything or sync anything and I'm sure someday my computer is gong to blow up as a result. However--I got a new cover for my iPhone, waterproof and etc. and then--I had to buy ALL NEW CHARGERS because the plugs from the unsafe phone would not fit into the safe phone. That is just--nasty. It would have been just as easy to keep the chargers the same. But why do that, when you can force customers to spend money?
HALLIE: Is your computer torturing you, too. Misery loves company so please, share.