Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dear Computer Guy

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

Dear Computer Guy:

I bought the Canada’s New Government software package a year and a half ago and already I’ve had to pay extra for version 2.0. Now they’ve just released version 3.0. Do I have to upgrade again?

A Concerned Canadian

Dear Concerned Canadian:

Although the chief designer of this software is touting the latest release as having a whole new look and feel, from what I can see it’s just a minor reshuffling of a few directories. While it’s true that the defense registry has been replaced, the underlying problem still remains. Until the designer decides to include a "mission aborted" error routine, version 3.0 will still be using way too many resources for little or no performance enhancement.

The addition of the new "Maximemizer" feature may attract a few more French-speaking customers in Quebec. However, the absence of a long term programming strategy will likely keep Canada’s New Government in a minority sales position.

Unless the design chief decides to yield some creative control to the members of his team, don’t look for any dramatic improvements in this product any time soon. In fact, there’s no longer much new in Canada’s New Government. Hold on to your money and wait for a new release of that old standby software package Liberal Majority. Once they unload their current CEO, the next version could be a winner.

The Computer Guy

Dear Computer Guy:

A year and a half ago I bought a new anti-virus protection service from an Ottawa-based company. They guaranteed me that no matter how big and profitable my enterprise grew, I wouldn’t have to pay anything extra for the protection of my resources. Now they’re telling me that I can’t have both. What recourse do I have?

Jinxed in St. John’s

Dear Jinxed:

I’m sorry to report that you’re out of luck. You’re just the latest customer to be taken in by this unscrupulous outfit. For years now, this federally-based operation has promised anything to get customers to sign on. Once they do, however, all bets are off. The company then starts asking for what they call "equalization payments." And the better you do or the more resources you find, the more you pay. Check the fine print in your license agreement. Sadly, it’s all there in black and white.

The Computer Guy

Dear Computer Guy:

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?

Nervous in New York

Dear Nervous:

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

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