Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dear Computer Guy - U.S. version

An occasional consumer advice column for those in need of computer assistance:

Dear Computer Guy:

I live in Washington, D. C. and for the last seven years I’ve been using Bush II as my operating system. Despite experiencing a number of problems, I’ve still been pleased with this OS due primarily to the generous ongoing rebates and tax refunds. Should I stick with Bush II for the next few years?

Wondering in Washington

Dear Wondering:

Consider yourself lucky; you’re one of the few Bush II users who hasn’t been burned. What started out as a promising new OS back in 2001 has turned into a bug-filled, error-prone system. The Afghan patch released in 2002 initially appeared to fix some of the problems. However, the hastily-planned and ill-fated Iraqi version has proved to be disastrous for most non-corporate users.

Recent defections from the company that makes this product suggest that it is definitely in decline. Both their top marketing strategist and senior in-house counsel recently resigned and rumor has it that more bodies are looking to jump ship.

If you can squeeze another year of useful life out of Bush II, hang on for now. But if you see a new operating system on sale next fall, I’d go for it.

The Computer Guy

Dear Computer Guy:

Some years ago, I purchased the Clinton word processing software package. It gave me reliable service for most of the 90s but I haven’t used it now in more than six years. I hear there’s a new Clinton 2.0 version coming out. Is it as good as the original?

Wordless in Seattle

Dear Wordless:

That’s a tough question. First of all, let’s be clear. Clinton 2.0 is a completely different product from version 1.0. Basically, only the name is the same. Whereas, for its time, Clinton 1.0 had all the bells and whistles and lots of marketing pizzaz, version 2.0 is definitely not as flashy although undoubtedly more stable.

Some beta testers in New York said they liked the trial version of Clinton 2.0 that was offered only in their state for the last few years. But others have questioned the reliability of its technical support. Some users have reported a repeated failure by the company to admit past programming errors and rectify clearly faulty positions.

On the other hand, it appears that purchasers of Clinton 2.0 will still have access to version 1.0 as well. However, since it’s still not clear whether the two versions are even compatible, it may be wise to hold off and check for the availability of the new Obama product or the redesigned Edwards package.

The Computer Guy

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