67+ Years Pondering and Pontificating

What do you get after all these years have passed by, and you start looking back ? For me, lots of great memories, an amazing wife, a quad of great kids, a baker's dozen of grandkids, and several tons of experience. Of course, it also brings some entrenched opinions, thoughtful ideas, and perhaps some insight that will help others on their journey through life. Hopefully the posts on these pages will be useful and interesting.

Should you upgrade to Windows 10 on 7/29/15 ?

thI’ve been a fan of Microsoft since the original MS-DOS days.  I’ve also been a software developer since then.  I do love all of the latest technology, and I’m happy to experiment with all of the new ideas.  I’m the rally guy … I like to whip up enthusiasm for the new products.

So I was quite willing to jump into the Insiders program, download Windows 10 Preview,  and do testing on a desktop, tablet, and phone.  The desktop is doing OK, the phone is delayed, and the tablet was not a good experience.  However I’m a techie and all of these things are OK for me during the preview stage.  Bugs will get worked out and I’m good with that.

HOWEVER, it is my belief that releasing Windows 10 on July 29th could be a disaster for many computer owners, and  Microsoft.   There are bugs in the current release, and in some cases, the software is having serious problems on some computers.  All of the diversity in devices simply has not been addressed yet.   This is technology, designed and tested by people who roll with the punches.  Fine.  But not so in the real world.

Windows 10 will have problems, people will need help, and that is where the tsunami comes in.  Microsoft Support is just not able to handle the need, and the result will be very irate and frustrated users, the non-techies who want to use their computers productively in business, and communications.  To them this is far more than a toy or entertainment center.  Their livelihood depends on it.

I’m particularly sensitive to this because I’ve encountered some issues that really need simple answers.  No one can give them.  Hours on the phone get answers without meaning, or “appointments” for 15 minute time slots where the needs will simply not be resolved.  I’ve walked this road, wasted hours, and if I were not tech savy, the responses I’ve seen would drive me nuts.  Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be on 1 Billion computers and yet it is not error free on the comparatively small numbers of test machines.

Look at the Microsoft Answers  community.  Far too many scripted answers are being provided by contractors to answer questions that were not asked.  The faithful will try following that advice and find themselves in a true disaster.  They will also get angry when some support person tells them to buy some software they know they don’t need, or pay for a service to fix something that was not their fault.  The cautious will ask questions, get no ( or incorrect ) answers, move ahead, and have problems.  People will turn to the manufacturer of the computer who will tell them “We only support Windows 10 on those computers where it was installed here in our factory before the sale.”   However, most people will be upgrading computers, and their current configurations may have problems that need help.

How can I say this ?  Because it is going on today, and no one is fixing the problem.  We need good press for Windows 10, not an outcry of anger and frustration.  Before Microsoft releases this product, they need to take an aggressive look at their support services and fix the massive problems.  They also need more testing, and should be having daily focus groups with real world ( non-techie) users.  Consumers and small business owners do not depend on IT professionals.  Quality help is just not available to most of them.  If  Microsoft can’t provide quality, accurate, and fast support, Win 10 will be DOA, not because of the product, but because people can’t get past the issues that arise.  The complaints will surface on social media and then be reported on all of the broadcast and print venues.   As this talk emerges,, others will not upgrade, and the  Win 10 reputation will be sealed.  That would be unfortunate because it really is a fine product.

The question asked in the Title is, should you upgrade on July 29th ?  If you are a techie, and your computer is not mission critical, and your analysis is 100% clean, then you may be OK.  Just be prepared for hiccups.  They are there, and they may be specific to your system configuration.  You may have to do some workarounds, or wait for fixes to come in the stream of automatic updates.  If this does not describe you, then you need to wait for the dust to settle.  Eventually you will want Windows 10 for all its benefits, but the initial release may be more than  you bargained for in your daily work. 

Frankly, I think Microsoft would have been far wiser to go with an October release date.  I realize the marketing department has their sales season ( before people return to school, and before the holiday shopping season ), but if this release fails, it may strike  a  blow that severely diminishes Microsoft in the coming years.  The ideas are good, the technology promises to be amazing, in some controlled situations the product already works well, but that is not sufficient in the real world, outside the development labs of Redmond.   Those of us who rabidly support Microsoft want Windows 10 to be an all out success.  That means smaller steps, with ample quality support, driven by wise leadership and not a marketing department focused on selling a dream that is not yet ready.  Extending the release date  might be the most difficult decision facing Satya Nadella today, but Insiders have some strong agreement that it might be very wise to do so.  

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“Yesterday is over — and we’re never going back.” : Marco Rubio

DSC00983This statement made me into a “grumpy old man” !  Who is this young whippersnapper, and what does he have to contribute ?  Some of my Facebook Friends already really like him, and see him as a savior for this country.  I had no clue who he is, so it was time to do some research.  To do this, I relied on the source, his own campaign website, and the materials he posts to share his plans for our future.

Mr. Rubio, you admit you’ve been impatient all of your life, but I will have to join the chorus of those who say “step back, sit down, do your homework, and wait.”  Nothing in your resume, or your litany of ideas, says you are ready to handle the most complex job in the world: the United States Presidency.

Young fella, you need to take the time to actually study “yesterday”.  Look around.  Everything you see is the result of what your predecessors have actually produced.  It’s real, not in your dreams.  Some is not as good as we might like, but most is pretty awesome, and it was delivered for the most part by we baby boomers who you want to now discard.  We built “yesterday”, and we are not finished !

A couple of years ago I was with a group of young men who set their sites on acquiring enough money to retire by 35, because no one beyond that age could possibly be productive.  I’m nearly double that age, and my clients still depend on me daily to assist them when problems arise that those rising stars can’t resolve.

The “folks of yesterday” are not ready for disposal.  We focused on needs, did quality work, were driven by the needs of others and our country, and continue to do so to this day.  We have a work ethic you don’t understand, are driven by facts not poll driven media sound bytes, and have patience to study a problem, consider options, plan a strategy, embark on a solution, evaluate results, and modify the course as necessary.

Sunny boy, you still have some learning to do, and the first lesson is this.  DO NOT DISRESPECT YOUR ELDERS.  If it wasn’t for us, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. We created all that you see around you, and if you want to be a leader, you’ll learn we are a valuable and important resource.

And for those who disagree, here is a small experiment.  Remove from your life everything created by the Baby Boomer generation.  Take away all media, all transportation, those comfortable homes you live in, the stores, the roads you travel on, vacations, all communication devices, entertainment centers, sports … all of it. Also remove anything you created which is a derivative of those items.  If that idea doesn’t appeal to you, then perhaps you should be respectful to those who brought you this far … and realize we still have a lot to contribute.

As for the soapbox upon which I’m standing … I built that myself during a lifetime of patient observations, study, and work.  After nearly 69 full years on this planet, and a diversity of experiences, it’s a pretty big box and I own it !

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