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Legendary Reader Feedback

By now, you all know that the Boston Celtics have won the NBA championship -- sometimes called the NBA "World" Championship, so take that, Europe -- for the first time in 22 years. To celebrate the return of the legendary franchise to greatness, and because your editor was out a bit late last night celebrating, we're going to bring back Reader Feedback and feature messages from some of RCPU's legendary e-mailers.

We love all of the reader feedback you send us, but some folks have shouted out to us often enough to become bona fide RCPU legends. We have thoughts from two of them today, along with a funny e-mail from a less prolific but no less loved reader. So, we're pretty close to having a Paul Pierce-Ray Allen-Kevin Garnett-style trio.

Anyway, to start us off, we have an e-mail from Jon, who actually signed his message thusly: "The serial e-mailer, using my personal address this time." Yes, Jon, we know you well. And now, here are some of your thoughts on Windows 7's touch screen interface (yes, we're going a bit retro here):

"Touch would be great for moving windows. But at this resolution, a lot of buttons are pretty tiny, and I'm not sure how accurately I could click with a touch screen. And I am NOT willing to give up a single pixel for giant buttons! Office 2007 has already begun the migration away from menus to a dazzling array of screen-consuming buttons -- which would really use a lot of pixels if they were all enlarged. (And frankly, I'm having trouble adjusting to the loss of menus as it is.)

"Monitor prices have been dropping. But do I really want to replace two perfectly good 1600 x 1200 monitors, one of which has lived long enough to have been attached to four or five generations of computers? Or even if I just had one monitor? If this takes off, it's an e-waste disaster waiting to happen. Just like all those analog TVs that are going to get tossed next February by folks who don't want to be bothered with a government-subsidized converter box. I hope that some sort of recycling program can be set up to harvest the screens from all those discarded monitors so that they can be reprocessed into new touch screens."

If those two paragraphs seem a little disjointed, it's because we plucked them from different places out of Jon's, uh, thorough e-mail. But we like both of these points -- and, really, we don't like the idea of a touch screen for the same reasons that Jon mentions. Besides, touch screens to us just seem like a greasy screen waiting to happen, and the thought of that is kind of nasty.

Our next RCPU legend to weigh in is Mike, who gets a few shots in at our favorite punching bag, Vista:

"I think part of the problem is Microsoft did a poor (marginal, at best) job of convincing people that they needed Vista. You have a solidly functioning OS with XP and then they come along basically saying, 'New and Improved.' That may work for a $2 bottle of dish soap, but not so much for a several-hundred-dollar OS.

"Then folks start hearing about upgrade issues, which is the category most business users fall into because who the heck wants to buy a new PC (or hundreds or thousands depending on the size of your business)? The company I work for has about 23,000 employees across the country; many of the machines (clients and servers) we use are leased. These leases are on a rolling three-year basis. So then you start introducing compatibility issues (potential or real) if some were Vista and others were XP. We also have a number of employees who remote in, so then there are issues with supporting that.

"XP is working -- and just fine, at that -- so why risk Vista for a marginal net gain? If we lose functionality or have downtime due to these issues, then we start dramatically affecting our ability to work, which hits the company in the pocket a second time (first being the cost for the upgrade or replacement machines, etc.). We're in the service industry, and if customers can't be served by us, then they'll go elsewhere. Who can afford that?"

Nobody, Mike, or at least not many people, as yet another study has confirmed. You might as well get your fingers limbered up for that Windows 7 touch screen. Oh, and lay off the potato chips.

Our third contributor, Doug, has only e-mailed us a couple of times, so he technically shouldn't have "legend" status. But we'll let it go this time, as we really enjoyed his timely contribution about Europe being a Microsoft shop despite Neelie Kroes crying in her Heineken about Microsoft's market dominance:

"That story about the EU using Microsoft products reminds me of when I worked at UUnet from 1999 to 2002. The UNIX SAs talked trash about Microsoft all the time. Joe Blow staff person got a SendMail mailbox. Senior management got Exchange mailboxes because they liked shared calendaring and OWA. Of course, since my team was the Microsoft tier 3 support group, we got Exchange mailboxes also. We also ran several multimillion dollar applications on Windows servers."

We love it, Doug. We like our irony thick and fat like a Red Auerbach cigar (although we don't actually smoke). Good stuff.

Got anything else to add? Want to step up to RCPU legend status? Want to celebrate the Celtics or grieve for the Lakers? Send your thoughts to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on June 19, 2008 at 11:54 AM


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