Friday, January 18, 2008

MacWorld Expo: Final Thoughts

First off here are the Day 2 pictures

Now that the show is over officially, I'll give my overall review of the show. Brian will give his review here

My overall impression. Apple was accurate with it's theme of the show: Something in the Air



Something in the Air tonight indeed. It's called vaporware, or as another person put it...Engineering by Powerpoint (or in this case keynote). Some were Betas, meaning they are actually programs, but the vendors expect users to find the bugs. So many vendors were showing off product and then said "This isn't out yet...but we expect to ship in...March...December...next Macworld." That's usually followed with "Buy our product now and we'll give you the next version when it ships." Here are some of the guilty:

Equinox: Tubestick (viewing HD TV on your Mac) and iSale 5. However, they are forgiven for having a great press pack...more on that later.

Neat Receipts for Mac: they expect to be fully compatible with the Mac...by December '08.

Intuit: No new version of Quickbooks (does anyone trust it?) and replacing Quicken with another money managment program called Quicken financial life: "some time in the third quarter 2008 we'll have a beta"

Retrospect X: they gave out cool glasses known as "Retrospecs" to pacify the fact they still don't have a Intel native version. Public Beta available. Gee...I'd trust a Beta of backup software...not

Avery: they will have design software for the Mac. Sign up for the Beta, but if you do, you have to agree for us to Spam you.

Thus I passed on this.

Now Software: Nighthawk. It was in beta at Macworld 2007 and still is beta in 2008. Yawn. Give up already!

iBank 3: Supports downloads from banks, just like Quicken. Will be released "in the next few weeks."

Garmin: Beta Software to access your GPS from the Mac (have I mentioned how upset I am mine was stolen!!!)

Micromat TechTool: All they could say is if you buy version 4.0 now, you get a free upgrade to 5.0 which will ship on DVD "some time in the future"



Google Picassa: great booth, great products...still waiting.

The other theme that continued and expanded was iPod and iPhone cases. Every Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane, Sally and on and on had a take on the same basic theme of a wrap around silicone case. If you've seen one, you've seen them all. Some differentiated themselves with features like "feet" or " easy access slider", but still the same. Mike just got a Nano and wanted a good case, I really had no clue. They all looked the same to me. Rough estimate is about 30% the show is cases for your iPhone/iPod cases, with another 10-15% cases for your laptop. Pratically every non case vendor I spoke with were annoyed that this is the "iShow" with the ocassional Mac product thrown in. At this point, I'm not sure if I'll go next year, and IDG (the company that puts on Macworld) will have to make some changes and either limit the amount of case vendors, or have seperate shows. This is after all MacWorld, not AppleWorld, and while these products have value to Mac users, they don't help promote Mac Products...which is a key goal of Macworld.

MacWorld tradition at the end of the show is to flicker the lights, applaud, and then begin the teardown. Macworld was split between two different buildings this year (Moscone South and Moscone West), but teardown began at about 30 minutes before the end of show and there was no applause...just security guards at 4:15 kicking out people who shouldn't be there.

In sum, there wasn't "much there" this year. If you factor out the companies merely announcing their intention to sell a product at some later date, and the companies selling the same basic iPod silicone case and zipper bag, not much to report on.

So as was last year's tradtion, I'll give my "Best of Show" along with some other commentary

Best Program:
Busysync: it won one of the "Best of Show" awards. It allows you to sync *and* edit iCal info without buying .mac. The next version (more vaporware...but he's forgiven because the product is cool right now), will sync with Google Calenders.
(runner up) SereneSaver: it gets a strong mention because it was the first program I installed on my laptop. Serene Saver is an active background that helps you relax. I always look for ways to relax! Check it out.

Best Swag (swag is free stuff):
Drivesavers: to be fair, I was given access to their VIP room as a vendor, but apparently they gave this out on the showroom floor as well: bag, luggage tag, buttons, coffee cups, mouse

Best Press Kit:
Equinox: These were the guys a few years back that had no press kit, refused to give out a review copy and were generally rude. This time I got a Macbook case, a free copy of their Leopard Mail Templates, a USB massager, printed information, and apparently demos on a 1 gig USB flash drive. Only problem...image was corrupt on the flash drive. Oh well.


Best Booth in terms of information:
Dr. Bott: because they showed my company logo.
Serious answer: Parallels. Great demos, fun swag (stress balls), lots of knowledgable people

Best Booth as far as cool factor
Belkin: they used this same booth last year, but the created an entire house on the showroom floor. Wow.

Best Booth to annoy the daylights out of you
Skullcandy: they were blasting their music non stop--right next to the pzizz booth and annoying all the people in Moscone West.

Best booth to theoricetically take a nap in:
Pzizz, which is a program to "program" you to relax or be energized, used these cool Metronap pods, but IDG in it's brillance placed them next to Skullcap. According to multiple vendors, skullcap told people to go away when asked to turn down the music.



Best surprise no show to the show:
BareBones software: These guys have been there as long as I can remember. Really great T-Shirts. Heck, they even had a product to announce. Personally, I chalk it up to a bad PR firm: Pearce Communication I spoke with the Naomi once...very pushy and over the top. Bad decision not to show this year BareBones!!! You and your T-shirts were missed. If she tells you to give away iPod cases instead, please fire her on the spot.

Best thing about the show:
The contacts I made. I got about 75 business cards this time of not just PR people, but engineers and tech support people. This helps me with my clients, because I can wade through the phones trees and outsourced call centers to get to the right person to get me the information I need for my clients.

Best booth that I wish I saw a few weeks ago:
Gadgettrak: helps you recover stolen laptops, iPods and GPS. Unfortunately not an easy thing to test.


Best time for the show:
I was done in about six hours. I established contact with every booth that 1) didn't have an iPod case, 2) had something that would interest myself or my clients and 3) I understood what they were talking about. I was still exhausted.

BestMacs?:
Despite us being in the same place many times, we couldn't hook up to actually see each other in person. The fact that AT&T's network near the Moscone was overwhelmed with iPhones meant we couldn't easily call or text each other.

Watch this space for more reviews of all the great products I'll be getting in the mail

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Greetings from Macworld: Day 1 Review

Hello Everyone. As always, I had less time then I thought to do a detailed post. Expect that later today. I did about 75% of the show on Thursday and arrived home dead tired after a great meal at a local restaurant.

Here are my photos so far. Why is it version 5.?. Well, it's my fifth Macworld and it's day one.

Brian's been blogging quite a bit about Macworld: Check out his thoughts as well.

I'm writing this from the Media Center at the show, starting day 2. In general, I was unimpressed with the show so far. The fact I was able to see most everything in about six hours is evidence there wasn't anything to write home about, figuratively and literally. I'll reserve final judgement until I finish the show. My initial thoughts is "evolutionary" not "revolutionary". I have a term for stuff like this: "with sprinkles". It refers to that episode of the Simpsons in which Homer gets enticed to eat donuts because it now has sprinkles. Most of the items I saw added a few bells and whistles and called it a new product. Many vendors said "Now we are compatible with Leopard" or "Now for iPhone". Yawn. We kind of except that, it's been out for a while.

More later!

Note: this item is cross-posted from the Lawrence Apple Users' Group:

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Midwest Complaint: Final Resolution and lessons all around

Our story draws to a close and has a very happy ending. I'm satisifed
with Midwest's resolution to my problems on my recent flight. While
they couldn't comment on human resource issues, I suspect the 28,000
people who read my complaint put some gentle pressure on Midwest to
fix a personnel issue that they knew was a problem.

What about that "free voucher?" Good question. I didn't get that,
but I didn't necessarily want it. It was a way of negotiating. I was
a bit disappointed at the lack of creativity shown by Midwest to come
up with an interesting solution. Per their request, I'm letting
everyone know that they didn't offically revoke that $25 voucher.
However, since they didn't mention it when denying my free voucher
request, and based on past behavior, I assumed it was off the table.

I've been on both sides of customer service situations, and the key is
to figure out what the customer wants rather than offer a boilerplate
solution. It's about listening and asking questions. When your meal
comes out wrong at a restaurant, being offered dessert when you are on
a diet adds insult to injury. My father taught me a lesson early on
in my life on how to handle any complaint, personal or professional:
"What can I do to make this right?" Let the customer come up with the
idea.

I was never asked that question, so I proposed it. Just give me the
exit row on the next flight. Though it's reserved for elite flyers of
Midwest, I think it's fair compensation since I came early to that
flight and was denied. I suspect that was even cheaper to Midwest
than any kind of voucher and it made me very happy. I don't have to
arrive three hours early for my next flight and can keep my knees from
banging the person in front. Sometimes, the simpliest solutions are
most elegant and are directly tied into the problem. My complaint
wasn't about the cost of the flight, so why give me a discount?

The happiest part of the ending is obviously the Internet. That
customer you treat poorly could start a virtual frenzy. If you are in
customer service, then provide service to your customers. Plain.
Simple. Elegant.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Over 20,000 Webhits: My response to Midwest

Hi visitors from Consumerist and BoingBoing among other great websites, I wanted to share with you the letter I received back from Midwest and my response to them.  I took ALL your comments into consideration.  My only classification is that I never actually complained to Roger.  Once I realized that I wasn't getting the exit row, I simply told a FA I was told I received the exit row in check in and would like to find out what went wrong...that is when Roger came on the plane.  I didn't pester, raise my voice, or badger anyone.  The only person I argued with was Ramone who refused to check me in early and then refused to give me the available exit row seat because I wouldn't like it.  Midwest was concerned I wasn't sharing their side, so I'm posting my response to them along with Mr. Vanderbeck response.  I'm amazed at the power of the Internet to hold companies accountable.  Personally, I try to treat everyone with respect, but after this incident, I realize that no customer service incident should be ignored. You never know when a customer brush-off can be spread over the world.  Regardless of Mr. Vanderbeck response, I know the flight staff at LaGuardia has been reprimanded and will probably not treat a customer like this again!
*****

Mr. Vanderbeck,

As an FYI, this has also showed up on BoingBoing: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/01/07/midwest-airlines-to.html. You already know about the Consumerist. I'll let you know if my complaint posts on any other sites. I'm posted this letter in it's entirety on my blog.

I've gotten over twenty thousand hits to my blog. I'm amazed at how many people are interested in this subject. WOW. I wanted to avoid posting it on the Internet for just this reason. I like Midwest, but again, I fear the culture has changed since AirTran's takeover bid. Cutbacks have been slow and steady. After reading comments on our conversation, I apologized for the harsh tone. I tried the "nice" route and got nowhere, unfortunately. I believe we can come to a fair resolution on this issue. Because I didn't get a response to my letter, that is why I went on the Internet.

To address the specific points in your letter....

"I am very appreciative of your feedback regarding the service you
received at LaGuardia. As I mentioned before, we take our customers
feedback very seriously and I can assure you it is being used to ensure
Midwest Airlines continually delivers the service standards we expect. "


This isn't "feedback" but a "complaint". Feedback is "it would be nice to have signature seating on all flights" or "I miss real silverware on flights" while a complaint is a problem a customer had that needs resolution. If you are perceiving this as merely feedback, that might explain the lack of responsiveness. Because this is a complaint, I expected a response that would indicate some kind of understanding of the real problems at LaGuardia. I've flown Midwest out of many cities and this is the only problem I have encountered in any way, shape, or form. Generally Midwest employees go out of their way to accommodate passenger needs above and beyond the call of duty. Because I was told by your CSR that you've had not only complaints about your LGA crew, but in particular Roger (and based on responses to the internet postings, many other customers have been bullied by Roger as well), I am stil concerned this complaint is being brushed off and others flying out of LGA will have problems. Originally I was told thatRoger was "British". I'm not sure how his cultural heritage is relevant to the situation. I was disappointed that you didn't check up on the issue and appeared to be merely going with what Ramone/Roger reported to you. As I said, blocking my seat and holding my boarding pass prevents me from getting to my assigned seat. I consider that a threat.



As I indicated before, I can not honor your request for a complimentary
ticket for this situation. It would be unfair to our employees that
deliver customer service every day to implement such a practice. Once
word got out that a report of poor or rude customer service earned you a
free trip on Midwest Airlines, we would have an impossible time sorting
through what feedback we may trust, and what feedback is self serving to
receive compensation. Our promise to customers has always been that we
will use their feedback to make Midwest Airlines a better airline.



I completely agree that if you give a free flight to everyone that complained...you go out of business quickly. Of course it would be a strong incentive to reduce complaints, that's for sure. I'm disappointed by your wording of "earning" a free flight. I certainly don't think I "earned" anything. This isn't payment for what I went through, but a good will gesture saying..."Yes, we made a mistake." This is the first time you have indicated anything was wrong. What happened was "Poor or Rude" customer service, rather than a misunderstanding. I haven't had Midwest acknowledge what was done to me was rude our outside the norm. Simply a "misunderstanding. However, your CSR indicated that there have been numerous complaints about Roger and the LGA crew in particular. When I was on the phone with her I asked if that was a Midwest crew or one that was outsourced. WIth my knowledge of Midwest, I know some gates are "serviced" by other airlines and the flight agents are not Midwest employees. She confirmed they are in fact Midwest employes and problem ones at that. Keepinga crew around that consistently gets complaints contradicts "Best Care in the Air."

I was hoping for some kind of counter offer. "I can't give you a free flight, but what I'd like to do is...." According to your CSR, a $25 voucher is given to any customer that calls in a complaint--even the one that didn't get 2 lumps sugar with their coffee.

You indicate in your latest email that you feel I don't believe the
employees did anything wrong. Anytime our staff does not effectively
communicate with a customer or makes them feel that they are not valued;
I feel they did something wrong.


That's the language that concerns me. You are lumping this into the same category as a FA that forgot to give me sugar with my coffee. This was poor customer service and not a misunderstanding, in my opinion. Blocking a seat and holding a boarding pass is a serious offense. Compounding it was Roger staying on the plane and the gate door remaining open until he left the plane. That's why I had my cell phone out--I was fully convinced I was being taken off the flight. Note that I never actually complained to Roger. I said to the FA I'd like to be re-seated because I requested exit row at the gate and thought I was getting it.

In fairness, I must point out that two of your comments on the
consumerist are misleading. First you state, "And Midwest's response?
Nothing until I did an email "carpet bomb" of their entire executive
staff". Our records indicate a member of the customer relations staff
spoke with you on the phone regarding this issue on November 19th. At
that point you were offered a $25 discount certificate as an apology and
the LaGuardia manager was immediately contacted with your complaint.


You may be "out of the loop" on this. *I* called your CR staff to complain. I was very polite and said a $25 voucher was not acceptable and she gave me your CEO's information. She said only your CEO could offer alternative compensation and her hands were tied. I sent the CEO a letter return receipt and didn't hear any reply back. That letter had my phone number and street address, but not my email. That was deliberate.

However, you responded via my email and first asked for my phone number. That shows that you weren't responding to my letter or in response to my complaint of 11/19, but to my group email to the Midwest executive staff. Thus my dissatisfaction with CSR response nor my letter was acting upon...only my email to the entire exec board got a response.

I'm delighted the LGA manager was contacted, however that was only to get their side of it. Again, your CSR said she simply couldn't understand Ramone's broken English and Roger comes across strong because he's British.

Oh and thanks for acknowledging this was a complaint and not feedback!

In addition, you indicate that you received a form response letter
regarding this complaint. This simply is not true as I personally typed
you an apology addressing your concerns. I can assure you your
situation is very unique, and we do not have form letters for this type
of situation. Rather than prepare form letters, we prefer to focus on
fixing the issues that they would be designed to address.


I'll agree this seems unique as Midwest has been stellar in the past. I believe while your email was personally typed and was not a "Dear Customer" letter, it however failed to address any of my concerns, just that there was a misunderstanding and you sincerely apologized for the misunderstanding. That did not address Roger's aggressive behavior nor Ramone's inability to communicate with customers. That concerned me that they have done this in the past and will do this again.

Our transaction with TPG Capital is currently not scheduled to close
until the end of January. I can assure nothing has changed with our
management structure or with our customer service philosophy. In
addition, our customer service philosophy will not be changing once the
deal with TPG Capital is complete. Midwest was acquired because of our
unique approach to customer service, not to change it.


As I'm sure you know that while it isn't until the end of January, it has been in the works for a while. Already Signature Seating on some flights costs extra and other amenities appear to be dwindling. AirTran's takeover bid did hurt the airline in my opinion and TPG's relationship with Northwest (not a well-respected airline) is of further concern. In other words, I believed my incident was insight into what was to become of Midwest under TPG and I received no assurances otherwise. This was chalked up to a "misunderstanding" rather than dealing with the actual problem of poor service out of LGA. This is a key time for Midwest and customers and former investors need to know things won't change. This is the first time you are addressing this issue and I thank you for that. I posted this to my technology blog because while *you* might think that TPG won't change things..companies say that all the time. The only person I know who doesn't change things after a buyout is Warren Buffett. To think that TPG won't change things is heroic, but probably unrealistic. Midwest no longer answers to public shareholders anymore, which I think is always key to treating the public well.

Mr. Greenbaum, thank you again for your feedback and your past support
of Midwest Airlines on savethecookie.com. I again sincerely apologize
for your dissatisfaction. Our intent has never been to "revoke" the
offer of a $25 discount voucher that was provided to you back in
November. I apologize if you implied differently because we stated we
could not honor your request for a free ticket. The offer of a $25
discount certificate remains.


Let's talk specifics here. What would be fair and right? I learned early on in customer service that when I customer complains the *best* phrase you can respond with is "What can I do to make this right?" Giving someone something they aren't interested in doesn't help. This simply isn't about money, as they say it's about the principle. I only asked for the acknowledgment of my concerns, assurances it wouldn't happen again to others or to me, and a feel good token to know that my complaint was serious and you want my continued business. I thought offering miles would be an interesting idea because it costs you less. I was disappointed you never looked at my Midwest Miles account because that would have given you my full contact information and you would have seen my flight history. If you would have looked, I'm a few thousand miles away from a free trip anyways and I expected you to respond "While we can't give you a free flight, how about I top off your miles so that way you can get a free trip if you wish." Early on I mentioned I have an upcoming flight to SF in two weeks which is why I wanted resolution on this issue.

You can tell by the letter, my willingness to arrive extremely early for my flight and my polite complaint to the FA when I didn't get the exit row, I like the exit row. I have back and leg problems and being able to keep my knees elevated makes the flight more tolerable. I can move them around to keep the circulation going and preventing my feet from numbing. Yes I could fly other airlines and get first class, but I'm not rich and can't afford it. However, I like Midwest. I always fly Midwest when I can. I believe in Midwest. It's the only airline in my portfolio. I like the fact it started as an offshoot of Kimberly Clark often doing charitable flights for sick children. Much better than bar and strip club approach of a certain other airlines that flies out of Love Field.

To me, the solution seems very obvious. Mr. Greenbaum was told by Ramone he would have an exit row, he was blocked from his seat by Roger...by golly why don't we make sure Mr. Greenbaum gets an exit row on his next flight. Only Elite Frequent Flyers on Midwest get to request those before the date of flight. You could easily check my reservation and put me in the exit row (if available) to put me in the same position I'd be if Ramone and Roger hadn't treated me poorly.


It is my sincere hope that you will have the opportunity to fly with
Midwest Airlines again and enjoy the customer service that you were
previously accustomed to. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.


I apologize for not being direct with my request. Midwest used to bend over backwards to treat their customers like royality (as I understand you started initially as a airlines for Kimberly Clark executives), so I was reaching for the stars figuratively and literally with my request hoping we'd meet somewhere in the middle. I can understand how my request seemed extreme, but I believed with so many problems with customers being denied boarding for silly reasons, I assumed you'd want to go overboard to assure me that isn't Midwest under TPG's approach. When I couldn't get a response, I needed to yell louder on the Internet to be heard.

It was not my goal to put Midwest in a poor light, my goal was to improve Midwest for myself and others. Sure I could fly another airlines, but I *want* to fly Midwest. I want assurances that asking about an exit row isn't "failing to follow crewmember instructions". It is nice to be welcomed aboard rather than blown off. I hope that your LGA crew also welcomes people aboard and when they request a certain seat aren't tricked into believing they have that seat and then blocked from taking their seat when they complain about it.

Fact is, whether you say it or not, the fact that as of this writing my page has gotten over 12,679 hits about this issue, I suspect there will be changes at LGA regardless of whether you can confirm it or not. Of course, this was the long way around the issue.

So in sum, I'd simply like the exit row on my next flight if it isn't already taken. Frankly, I'd rather have that than the free ticket. That to me is more important. A $200 free ticket won't make or break me, however seating in the exit row saves me hours of discomfort and a chiropractor bill. That to me is priceless. Whether you do it or not, I'll probably still fly Midwest because while I believe the cookie has crumbled..cookie crumbs are better than pretzels any day.

Sincerely,

David Greenbaum

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Book Review: iPhone: The Missing Manual

iPhone: The Missing manual

iPhone:  The Missing Manual

The "Missing Manual", in case you didn't already know, is the gold standard of technical publications. Heck, it's the platinum standard at this point. Any book that has the "Missing Manual" in the title is sure to be a must have. I've never been disappointed and "iPhone: The Missing Manual" carries the torch for the series yet again. Some books are only edited by David Pogue, but this one was written exclusively by hi, most likely because the iPhone was a hard find for anyone.

While Pogue expertly covered all the features of the iPhone, he also helped readers work around some of the limitations such as the lack of a word processor or a instant messaging program. I learned quite a few tips even for my mere mortal Treo 650. He helps you save money on text messaging, much to the chagrin of AT&T's accountants. I had very high hopes for the book, and Pogue exceeded every one.

Ideally, the iPhone should be straightforward and obvious for most people, but occasionally you aren't quite sure about a feature or how to combine features together to do what you want. For example, how does one avoid SPAM on the iPhone...yuck. This is more than the typical Missing Manual in my opinion. This includes those handy tips and tricks most companies write a separate book on. The list of websites that will simulate desktop apps is worth the price of admission alone.

As always, the Mac and PC platforms are covered equally and with respect. He explains how to sync contacts on a PC and a Mac. Most important, Pogue covers all the troubleshooting steps you need to know when your iPhone stops doing what it wants. Because the iPhone is so new, there aren't many guides to fixing problems and I've had to google way too much in order to fix problems. Now I've got all I need in one guide.

No features of the iPhone is left undiscussed! Even experts with the iPhone (can you say you are an expert when it's been out less than a year?), will find something in this Missing Manual. I think that anyone who has a smart phone will get ideas from this guide. If you can't have an iPhone, get the next best thing.

Of course, if the manual were hard to understand or disorganized it wouldn't do anyone much assistance. Fortunately, Pogue's easy to understand writing style explains things in such a way novices can understand without talking down to them or boring expert users. The index and table of contents are very easy to use to hone in the particular features you are interested in. Extensive use of full color photos helps make sure you can follow along with the book.

Pros: Amazing guide to the iPhone. I suspect Steve Jobs secretly keeps a copy on his desk.
Cons: Besides the fact it doesn't come with an iPhone, absolutely no cons.

Five out of Five Dogcows

dogcowdogcowdogcowdogcowdogcow

Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right

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Book Review: Switching to a Mac for Dummies

Swtiching to a Mac for Dummies


Switching to a Mac For Dummies

I have a traditional love/hate relationship with Dummies books. When I am truly a dummy in the subject, I like their broad overviews. "Switching to the Mac for Dummies" is a new title for the Dummies series and is the first Dummies book by author Arnold Renhold. Generally Dummies books are designed to give you the information you need in a lighthearted way so that the reader doesn't feel intimidated or overwhelmed.

I'm not sure what mark Reinhold was shooting for but he clearly missed it. The book is overwhelming yet inadequate and in some places just wrong! As an example, Reinhold said you can't run Appleworks on newer Macs. That is simply untrue. But why would someone switching to the Mac ever care about older version of Appleworks? Based on the contents of the book, it was more akin to "New Macs for Dummies". Reinhold covered PC to Mac issues as well as Mac to Mac issues. While that's nice, why would a PC user need that info? It creates an information overflow that makes the book harder to read and confusing for new Mac users.

While I realized Reinhold did not intend the book to be funny, I had to laugh at some of the topics he covered. Few users switching to the Mac need to know that back in the 1980s some PCs used MicroChannel Architectures (MCA) and Macs used NuBus. This minutae reminds me of the sketch on Airplane when the air traffic controller is asked how we got into this crisis, and he starts talking about dinosaurs creating oil and people buying expensive cars. Funny on a big screen, but not for a dummies book. That's just an example of the massive overkill of useless information. Is the author prepping people for an appearance on a trivia show?

Too much information isn't that bad so long as critical information is included and Reinhold simply failed to deliver on critical information. In particular I am comparing his book to the Missing Manual series of the same title and the Dummies version seems like a really poor rough draft of the Missing Manual. When people switch computers from either Mac to PC or PC to Mac they are most concerned about their data (including pictures and music), their emails and address book, and their favorites. Reinhold comes up with rather elaborate Rube Goldbergesque style ways of moving the information, but way beyond the skills (or budgets) of the average switcher. He also fails to cover how to convert email from PC to Mac, which is a top question for switchers.

Those topics Reinhold covers well are horribly disorganized and hard to follow with few, if any, illustrations or screen shots. You simply have to take his word for what he's saying and use your imagination. I asked typical "How do I?" question on the Mac and none were covered. A new PC user might be calling Microsoft after reading this book asking for reconciliation.

Sorry for such a harsh review. I'm sure Reinhold knows his stuff and was simply trying to be helpful. Switching is a relatively new topic. Apple had to make a Newton before it could make the iPhone and I'm sure version 2.0 of this book will be much better. Skip this one though.


Pros: Interesting for trivia buffs, might increase Windows sales and Apple returns.
Cons: Disorganized, inconsistent coverage. Hard to read and follow.

Two out of Five DogCows


Two DogCows
dogcowdogcow


Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right

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