Thursday, August 13, 2015

I just don't understand some folks

I guess I should expect this. I know my folks kept a hard wired phone in their house for about 15 years until we finally embarrassed them out of it. They had been paying "rent" on it each month, so $1x12x15 means that in that time, they paid $180 for a basic desk phone, which could have been purchased for about $35. But, it was easy, and they already had it, and they knew how it worked, and if they ever had any problems, they knew who to call. And everyone else in their peer group had the same phone in their den, bedroom, and hallway. The wall phone in the kitchen was identical to their peers' as well.

So, now let's switch the thought to computers. Once the idea of a computer became obvious, everyone bought the same one their office had, and that their friends used - unless they had some radical artist friend with a Mac. But now, 15 years and three PCs later, why are they still going through the horror and irritation of software update and viruses to just surf, email, and play some games? 

I do phone support, and the new problem I'm having is people calling with upgrade issues with Windows 10. They all hated Windows 8, so either bypassed it, or couldn't get it off their computers fast enough. But now, they can't run apps they used to, their email is broken, they are getting security and privacy messages. Soon, I'm sure, they'll just go out and get a new PC, instead of using the updated one, and it'll work OK until the next major update. But there is a better way, and we do a disservice to anyone we don't encourage in this direction: they should move to an iPad-only world.

Forget the desktop or laptop experience, and use your iPad for everything! What do they do that needs a computer? This guy I just talked with has been working on his Windows 10 update for five days, and has already lost all his data, since he trusted the Windows 7 backup would be usable. In 2015. So I asked what he was using it for, other than syncing contacts and calendars to his iPhone. It's the list of usual suspects:

 • Email
 • Web surfing
 • Solitaire
 • Looking at photos
 • Watching streaming video (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.)
 • Write the occasional letter
 • Connect to bank/credit card companies

I do all of this on my iPad, all the time. I never have downtime due to viruses, and almost never have upgrade problems. On the rare occasions when the update is too large, I can either use a friend's computer, go to an Apple Store, or delete the largest of my apps until the install is done, then I can re-download them.

Of course, the other thing that I do is purchase online storage and devices that are appropriately sized for my usage. I don't have a 16 GB iPad, or an 8 or 16 GB iPhone. (See related post "Of Storage and Stupidity") This would be silly for me, because I like to have more stuff on my devices. But when I tell folks this, they act surprised, like I called up Tim Cook and Joni Ive and had them make a special one just for me. The iPhone I have currently I bought at Best Buy, for crying out loud!

I guess eventually (maybe after workplaces have moved to iPads fully) people will stop getting far more complicated machines than they need. Like those old rented landlines, they will become museum pieces. Can't wait.

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