OT - Globalization - Computer Migration - Software Upgrading - Nightmare

Page 1 of 2  
WARNING: THIS ONE'S L O N G
Thanks to the rapid development of technology, specifically computer hardware and software, I'm forced to (kicking and screaming) "upgrade" both my hardware AND software, in order to maintain three web sites which I intentionally built to be as simple, and therefore compatible with even 10 year old computers and web browsers, as possible.
Now I'll grant you that the hardware upgrade was a no brainer - an order of maginitude or more improvement in power and speed with a corresponding size reduction relative to my previous computer. Oh - and the price is about 75 percent of the cost of my previous computer - not even adjusting for inflation.
The software, on the other hand, is where the nightmares begin.
Let's begin with the Operating System - and from a user's perspective, the far more important User Interface. Seems that if you skip a few "upgrades" to the OS - and it's User Interface - the transition from version to version suddenly becomes significant. The "Look and Feel" can change from familiar with a few changes to adapt to, to HUH!? The Learning Curve slope doesn't quite go vertical, but the increased slope one faces can seem as though a vigorous cardio-vascular work out will be required.
But that's minor compared to the fun and games of "upgrading" software I've been using since version 1.0 (ok so some of the stuff I use I started with version 3.0 - though I still have Mosaic, which was Netscape version 0.1).
So I need to upgrade a simple CAD/"paint" application from the one I've been using since 1989 - it's LAST update was 1993. That company, Aldus, was bought out by Adobe and the product was shelved and therefore no longer available. Still haven't found the NEW product that'll do what I "could" do with the OLD product, but I've found a few that sort of MIGHT do the job.
And I need an image processing application that does what PhotoShop does. And since I've been upgrading Adobe PhotoShop from version 3.0 to version 7.0, and since the NEWEST version of PhotoShop is actually V 9.0, though, just to muddy the waters, Adobe switched to calling it Adobe PhotoShop CS3 (apparently the CS does not stand for Chicken Shit, but Creative Suite, which implies more than one "room" / graphics application - but in fact is only ONE application - the application "formerly known as" PhotoShop. Are you noticing how muddied the waters have become?). SO - there is no "upgrade" available. If I want The Real PhotoShop, the one I'm familiar with, I have to pay the Full List Price someone who hasn't been using PhotoShop, and upgrading for the last 10+ years must pay. So much for the value of "customer loyalty".
BUT - for ONLY $299, I CAN get PhotoShop-Lite. I'm hoping "Lite" as I've come to know it from other products doesn't mean "Won't Do What You Have Been Doing - BUT - It's Low In Saturated Fats and Carbohydrates - AND - Good For Your Heart").
Now the third leg of my Triad is a website building and maintaining application. Because I was a loyal Adobe PhotoShop customer, I of course bought Adobe GoLive and bought the intervening "upgrades". So I WAS intending to get the Newest Upgrade that IS compatible with my NEW computer's NEW Operating System.
SURPRISE! Adobe discontinued GoLive.
BUT - just as they did earlier with Aldus, they bought the competition - and this time saw that their product (MacroMedia's Dreamweaver) was BETTER than GoLive so they kept it and IT is compatible with my New Computer's Operating System! Oh Joy! and another AH SH*T! Here comes another Learning Curve and a month or more just to get back to what I already CAN do on my Old Computer. The plus side is that it only cost me another $200 and not $599.99.
Now here's where the Globalization thing comes in.
I live in Silcon Valley - the heart of technology and the headquarters for both Apple, Intel, AMD - and Adobe Systems and a TON of other "hi-tech" companies. Surely the software I need is available anywhere computers and software are sold - right?
WRONG!
But I live about 5 miles from Adobe Systems World Headquarters. Surely I can just drive over there, hand them my debit card, get my software and come home and start climbing The Learning Curve.
WRONG!
OK - so why not just go to Adobe's website, get a phone number and phone in my order? Simple right?
WRONG!
IF you have the latest and greatest version of the latest and greatest web browsers it's probably easy as can be. BUT - IF YOU DON'T - well their site probably is wonderful and easy to navigate - but not with the web browsers I HAVE.
So I "retroed" and got out the Yellow Pages to find Adobe's phone number. A half an hour of "If you'd like to _____, please press ONE - or say ONE - now" phone tree climbing and I EVENTUALLY get to a human being - in Bremerton Washington. He patiently explained - that I was SCREWED. However, they had a Special Deal for previous owners of GoLive which meant I could get the GoLive successor DreamWeaver - for ONLY $199.99! PhotoShop on the other hand would run me $699.99 since I only had version 7.0 and not version 8.0. HOWEVER, they did have a product called LightRoom 1 - for ONLY $299.99!
Now if you've been playing with computers for very long, you know that any Version 1.0 of ANYTHING usually means you're getting what should be called Beta - as in "we think this will work - and we need YOU, as a Beta Tester, to tell US what's wrong with this thing - and maybe even suggest a solution.". Bells and Whistles and Klaxtons are going off in my head and a little voice is SHOUTING - DON'T DO IT!
But hey - he told me I was screwed early on in our conversation.
So I Bite The Bullet, give him my debit card number and place an order - which the guy in Bremerton - that's Washington State - tells me might be delivered by Friday -4 days later - and he sends me an e-mail confirming my order. Of course the e-mail is actually an Attachment - a PDF version of my confirmation. IT doesn't contain a Fed Ex Tracking Number though.
Friday I check the mail. Nothing, zip, nada. And Saturday again, nothing, zip nada.
This morning I consider taking a Valium before picking up the phone but foolishly didn't.
I dial The Number and get "Welcome to Adobe Systems - and the equivalent of my Family Tree list of Phone Tree options. When I hear one that sounds like it might work I press that number. Two chirps, a beep and a click later - I've got Muzak and eventually - a dial tone!
I hit the Redial Button, listen to "Welcome to Adobe Systems" - and I press "1", hoping to eventually get to a human being. Two chirps, a beep and a click later - I've got Muzak and eventually - a dial tone!
OK - let's try What's Behind Door Number Two!
Two chirps, a beep and a click later - I've got Muzak and eventually - a dial tone!
How about What's Behind Door Number Four! (I already knew what was behind Door Number Three).
Two chirps, a beep and a click later - I've got - a human being! Hu-Phreakin-Ray! BOB listens to my saga and then says - "I don't know why someone would create the expectation you'd get your product by Friday - we FedEX "5 to 7 BUSINESS DAYS" (read Slow Boat To China) - unless the customer wants Two Day Delivery - which is significantly more money than "5 to 7 BUSINESS Day". Could you please give me your Account Number, Order Number, Date of Order (your paternal grandmother's birthdate, maiden name and color of eyes) - and I'll get a FedEx Tracking Number for you. I open the PDF file with the info I got from Adobe when I ordered the "products" - but only after closing one of the applications I was working in (I have four applications open when I'm working on one of my websites - two if which are Adobe "products").
"I'm gonna put you on hold - for just a second - while I get you your FedEx Tracking Number".
Two chirps, a beep and a click later - I've got Muzak - again!
Five minutes later the Muzak stops - there's a moment of silence - then - a DIAL TONE!
Where the hell is the VALIUM!?
Son- of-a-BIT<H! - I'm out of VALIUM!
I resort to breathing deeply - in through the nose - out through pursed lips while I mentally do my OMMMMMM thing trying desperately to get to My Happy Place. I would've gone out to the shop and gotten In The Zone - but anger and frustration should never be mixed with power tools and sharp spinning carbide.
When the knot in my stomach began to loosen, and I'd restored the top of my skull to its proper place - Once More Into The Breech (or is it breach?).
When I get to Adobe's Phone Tree I wait semi-patiently for them to get to "please press FOUR.".
I press the "4" button on my portable touchtone phone and cross my fingers, while trying to unlock my clenched teeth.
Two chirps, a beep and a click later - I've got Muzak - again! Thankfully it wasn't one of Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits.
And then - a voice - a human voice! I almost shouted with joy.
Then I tried to understand the language the voice was speaking.
I was listening to a guy - in INDIA! - Mumbai (I think that's what the city formerly known as Bombay is now called)! I was to discover. We both agreed to speak VERY SLOWLY and eventually this kind and patient soul was prepared to give me the FedEX Tracking Number and walk me through going to the FedEx.com site to find the status of my order. After I asked that he just give me the phreakin' FedEx Tracking Number he finally relented and gave it to me. I thanked him very much and asked to speak to his supervisor.
Two chirps, a beep and a click later - I've got a pleasant sounding lady - who asked for my name, home address and e-mail address - before she could answer ANY questions - or hear anything else I wanted to say to her.
There HAS TO BE some VALIUM around here somewhere! Where's my BONG?
"If you'd like to e-mail your Customer Feed Back (apparently nobody has a Complaint Department anymore) please go to www.adobe.com ...
I jump in RIGHT THERE. I've tried getting to Adobe's website and I CAN'T do anything there - with EITHER of my web browsers - which is WHY I CALLED YOU FOLKS!
"Well did YOU try _________?"
Lady - GIVE ME A REAL WORLD STREET, CITY, STATE AND ZIP CODE ADDRESS! AND IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT'S HOLY - D O N O T PUT ME ON HOLD!
(puff - toke - puff - blow smoke rings for their calming effect)
Wisely, she gave me the mailing address - which is ONE zip code away from MY zip code.
Having the FedEx Tracking Number I find that the order I placed with a guy in Bremerton Washington before Noon on Tuesday May 27th was prepared for sending to FedEX at 12:47 pm on May 28th - from Kennesaw, GEORGIA! It arrived at the FedEx location - in GEORGIA a bit over 7 hours later, but didn't leave there 'til 6:14 AM the next day - May 29th, arriving in Salt Lake City - UTAH the next afternoon, May 30th. I was told to expect delivery of my "products" on Wednesady - which will be June 4th.
Now I've ordered a 125 pound electric potters wheel and gotten it in TWO days. And my son's company - with HQ in FRANCE - can put an expensive road bicycle on my doorstep in a day, two days tops. But TWO CDs - from a company with its World Headquarters "just up the road"?
Nitro glycerin tablets - where the hell did I put them . . .
"I'm going to wake up now because this nightmare has gone on way to long and has gotten too insane."
Two chirps, a beep and a click -THUD -----------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Aldus Intellidraw was fabulous, if that's the Aldus product you refer to.
I'd stick with the Adobe products only if compatibility with other organizations is your priority (e.g., sending files to a printer.)
You need a good friend with experience in open source products. They lag commercial products in features and polish. But since your learning curve will be so large, I'd suggest you'll have no worse a time in the end.
The suggestion of a friend: you could benefit from experience in selecting and getting started with them.
Send the CDs back and go make some new friends.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
charlieb wrote: ...

I suppose you tried the recourse of trying to install current versions you're used to on the new boxen?
Other than the new broswer (I would recommend Mozilla/Thunderbird) if they were doing the job before, I'd try that route firstest.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Perhaps you mean Mozilla/Firefox. Thunderbird is an email program and newsreader.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Weisgram wrote:

No, I meant both Firefox and Thunderbird, actually (hence the slash) but inadvertently left one out...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

Also, if you are doing web site design, you might look at SeaMonkey. I don't know if it is sufficiently powerful for your desires, but the price is right and it does work.
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
charlieb wrote:

Did you say that you have Photoshop 7.0? If so, whoever at Adobe told you you couldn't upgrade it lied. It says right on the order page that you can upgrade from 7.0, CS, or CS2 for $199.00. Further, if you go through the Web site you can download it instead of having to pay shipping and wait for FedEx.
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Aaaahhh! Like the rest of us, you're an old fart with too much time on your hands. Suggest you give up the computer toys, open a beer and reminisce about the good old days when the closest thing to a computer was a 120v, fifteen button calculator and the miniskirt was at the height of popularity.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ahhhhh!!! Those were the days!! (or is that daze!)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"charlieb" ranted and raved
<snip a wonderful rant>
Charlie, I hear ya. I go through stuff like this on a semi regular basis.
Just last week I had to do an upgrade for my AVG antivirus software and they hid it from me on the website. It took me three hours to find it and install it on two comnputers. They wanted me to upgrade to a product that was very poorly reviewed. But the free product worked just fine and it was just what I wanted. SO THEY HID IT! My poor wife was completely bewildered by their lies and bullshit. I knew what was happening. I just didn't think it would be so complicated. Boy, was I wrong.
Hope ya feel better Charlie. Sometimes when you rant and rave, I feel better. Thank you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

See also: Real Networks, Real Player.
Puckdropper
--
If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...
[snippage]
Oh gods, yessss. The corporate juggernauts. Mission: Buy up any small inventive companies that do a better job with the spare change and shut them down. Then make our customers Eat Crap.
Symantec has gone down that road, Adobe has gone down that road, (and of course Mickeysoft er, sorry, Microsoft.) There was something on ZDnet recently about the 10 most annoying bits of software, and guess who was very high on the list? (add Real Player to the above)
My teleco no longer has humans answering the phone when you want to talk to a business manager (to buy another service, or to complain about a service or get help sorting a question about your bill - whatever). The damn computer they put there has everybody reaching for the Librium. Oh, that's no longer available either. LOL, an elderly fellow in the valley has come up with an ingenious scheme: he just talks gibberish until that computer decides that it's "voice recognition" isn't, and switches him through to a human. Apparently that works :-P
And those damn voip lines to India & the Phillipines, oh, yeah, right. Ordering a Dell monitor was relatively easy, although it took two calls to get a line quality good enough for both of us to be able to understand the other. But trying to get an RMA to return the freaking (faulty) thing - I had to be put through to another person 5 times I think, just jumping through their convoluted management flowchart hoops. OMFG. Took me nearly two hours. Well, at least I got all my money back (yes, I didn't want to run the risk of having to do that all over)! On the strength of that experience alone, this will be the last time I ever buy anything off them. Foot, meet bullet, bullet, meet foot!
Sometimes I get the impression that some of the people in management these days graduated from Pratchett's Guild of Clowns. Thank you Dr. Whiteface. Thank you.
-P.
========================================firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well it seems as though my mini-Saga of The Absurd served three purposes
1. I now can see the warped humor (humour - for the Brits) in this insane situation 2. Got a few folks feeling much better, or at least not as bad, about their ordeal 3. learned about Open Source options which I will look into.
I'm on a Mac and because ALL the new Macs are Duo Core CPUs and OS 10.5 aka Leopard is now UNIX behind the Apple GUI, earlier Mac applications CANNOT run on the new machine and latest OS. Apple earlier had a "Classic Mode" which allowed new machines and OS to emulate the "classic" systems. Alas, they've decided to go with a Clean Break - No Looking Back approach. I'm hoping that at some point someone will come out with an "old system" emulator that'll let me continue to cling to applications I know like the back of my hand and can get it to do things I'm sure the original developer hadn't even thought of.
Oh - the basic easy to use CAD application is SuperPaint 3.0.
As for downloading software - I DO NOT provide my debit card number over the internet - period. So far I haven't found a way to pay for the software over the phone - to a known phone number I can verify via a net search - and get a code to "unlock" downloaded software.
Anyway - thanks for the suggestions and commiseration. NOW I'm calm enough to go play with wood.
charlie b
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
*snip*

*snip*
Microsoft has it right with all they do for backwards compatibility. I can still run my old programs 10 years later, with no emulator or simulator... and if your new program doesn't use any new features, I can run it on older versions of Windows.
You might want to do a search for "Mac emulator" and see if you can get some free emulation software. It's out there for the Windows platform, but I'm not sure about Mac.
Puckdropper
--
If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
charlieb wrote:

If you still have your old machine and if it's a PowerMac, you could try sheepshaver--you'll need to use your old OS and burn a copy of its ROMs though. Sheepshaver hasn't been updated since 2006 so no guarantees that it will run on your machine.

Seems to me that you're going out of your way to make things hard for yourself.
Most face to face purchases these days involve having your card number sent over the Internet you know. If you find that phone number and talk to a person the first thing he's going to do is punch your card number into a computer and send it to Verifone or one of the other online credit/debit card transaction processing services.
The notion that credit card numbers get stolen by sniffing packets between you and Adobe or whoever is based on out of date information--https closed tht gap years ago--yeah, https can be cracked but there's so much https traffic that doesn't have credit card numbers that you can't get enough that way to pay for the computer power necessary to do the cracking. When credit card numbers get stolen they get stolen by cracking the system that is storing them--if someone cracks Adobe's accounting system then they're going to get your number no matter if it was entered by you online or by some functionary in Mumbai sitting at his keyboard.

--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
charlieb wrote:

Some credit card providers give you the ability to create a 'single use' credit card number for use online. I just go to the discover card site, and it lets me generate a single use number, with a preset limit, to use for a single online purchase. You get to buy from an online vendor with a number that works for that transaction only.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Peter Huebner" wrote:

Magic word "AGENT"!!!
No matter what course the puter takes, YELL, "AGENT".
Be amazed how quick a real people answers.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Peter Huebner wrote:
... snip

Nope, they all read the same Harvard Business Review papers. That used to be pretty good, but lately seems to be dispensing more the "management process paradigm de' jour". This results in an amazing amount of uniformity among corporations (same Titanic, different deck chairs). Whatever happened to innovation and processes and methods that differentiated a company from its competition? Walmart didn't get to where it is today by following the same processes that Sears and Penney's were using. Now, it almost doesn't matter, scratch off the company logo and it's all the same "green initiative", or "6s" or "7s" process whereever you go.
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mark & Juanita wrote: ...

That's nothing new at all. Even in the 60's and 70s there were an unending stream of "revolutionary paradigms" under such names as "Management By Objectives" etc., etc, etc., ...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
GoLive 5 will NOT run on Mac OS 1.5 (aka Leopard) - whch will ONLY run on the new Intel Duo-Core cpus. Nor will GoLive 6 or 7, 7 being the LAST version of GoLive apparently, DreamWeave becoming the replacement for what would've been GoLive 8 & 9. So GoLive is a dead end on the new Mac Mini - replaced by DreamWeaver CS3.
I did download and install ThunderBird on the new Mac Mini - and it appears to only deal with e-mail - but doesn't get me to UseNet. I suspect there's an Outlook Express version that will work on the new Mac Mini - and will provide access to Usenet News Group - like rec.woodworking. But my experience with OE wasn't very good - can't jump around following a thread - some initiated weeks earlier.
BUT - I did get the Adobe Software I ordered on May 27th - this afternoon, June 3rd.
I started with DreamWeaver - inserted the CD and read the ReadMe.html file - which told me to skip installing DreamWeaver 1.0 on the disk and go download and install the upgrade - DreamWeaver 1.1. Installed the "upgrade" and got zapped in the "registration". THEN I noticed that the CD I got in the mail was already DreamWeaver 1.1. So I tried installing off the CD. And after slogging through "the install Wizard" I get to the "enter your Serial Number" - and find out that Adobe GoLive 5.0, which the guy in Bremerton who took my original order, assured me qualified for the brand new DreamWeaver Upgrade, IS NOT eligible for the "special upgrade" package - and price.
Of course, by the time that discovery was made - it was too late to call Adobe Customer Support.
So I open up the Adobe LightRoom box, pop the CD in the new Mac Mini - install it - open it, register it and start playing with it. In a half an hour I see a lot of possibilities - and a LOT of screen space taken up my menus. I also haven't found the image processing stuff I use a lot - curves, layers and text - along with "unsharp". And it's not clear if I can cut a graphic created in say SketchUp and paste it into a new, blank LightRoom image file.
So tomorrow - I'll play The Phone Tree Game - AGAIN - and supect that it'll be an hour or so before I'm informed that they want Mo' Money to be able to actually get a version of DreamWeaver that I can actually use.
Boy am I really looking foreward to the next few days, or weeks - just to get to the foot of the learning curve.
Sigh.
charlie b
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.