Is there anybody left on earth who doesn’t have a cellphone with a camera? If you are one of those people, stop reading this now and go buy a smartphone.Continue reading
Customer Service ‘Post-Covid’
Covid changed our approach to customer service by forcing us to think about how important it was to physically visit a client and to get better at talking clients through solutions to their problems.Continue reading
Inside the World of Updates
Facetime updates got a lot of face time recently with all the reports about how a 14-year-old discovered a bug that left a mic open even if a recipient didn’t answer a group Facetime call. It was shocking but not surprising, based on how updates are developed and implemented.
Apple, Microsoft, Google and other technology companies are huge corporations and, as such, are highly compartmentalized. When I visit trade shows and conferences and can find an engineer or software developer to discuss very specific issues related to hardware, firmware or software, the conversations very technical and very tightly focused. They are brilliant people, but they operate in silos.
So, when a problem like the Facetime issue surfaces, it’s likely to involve a piece of code that only one person or a small team worked on – based on instructions that may have come down through several layers of command. That person or team didn’t talk the public or get any feedback based on a personal interaction. Further, the amount of code needed to implement a feature such as a group Facetime session is massive. It’s written in sections and assembled in sections, and even though they are tested, errors can occur each time lines of code from various teams are put together. The people involved do a great job, and the percentage of errors to lines of code written is practically microscopic.
The bottom line is that bugs will show up in the real world, and they need to be found and fixed before any catastrophic consequences show up. But code is not the only factor in updating software for use on a computer or device. We see a lot of old computers and devices with old operating systems that simply cannot handle updates.
We were reminded of the technology gap that opens up when working with older systems. It involved a family business, and technical challenges arose as some family members wanted capabilities that were requested by others. The challenges came as we had to work with computers and devices with a wide range of ages and with differences between Windows 7 and Windows 10. We had to be mindful that Windows 7 is 12 years old and that we are six versions into Windows 10.
Our common thread in the solution had to be sealing up security breaks. We can’t emphasize enough that security patches are the biggest improvements in upgrades and updates, although we all get excited about new features and capabilities. And the problem is that an older system can only handle a limited number of security and feature updates.
At some point, it doesn’t pay for a software or hardware provider to support older systems. Their developers have to jump from one issue to another like playing Whac-A-Mole, and then there is a smaller universe of real-world users to provide feedback on the new code and then use it.
One of our missions is to make the most efficient use of your money. We’ll always do our best to avoid having you buy new equipment or software by trying to find a good workaround. But sometimes, buying new technology can give you a better return on your investment, and one of the reasons to do so is to take advantages of upgrades and updates that are used by a larger universe of people and businesses. That can be especially beneficial based on the how the update world lives.
We can help you install, configure and test updates, and we can advise you on whether to upgrade or keep your current technology. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us for a consultation.
Holiday Greetings and Connections
We all get holiday greetings – electronically. Sometimes, they’re cards available from any number of websites, and sometimes they’re emails and Facebook posts. I appreciate them all. But as much as I’m connected, I do miss a card in a stamped, hand-addressed envelope.
Technology has improved our lives in so many ways and made it so easy to stay connected. With email, it’s so easy to keep up with family and friends across the country and around the world. You don’t need to write a letter, address and stamp an envelope and take it to the post office. You just need to write it and click “send.” You can share pictures, videos, news items – anything that you can attach to a message. And why restrict yourself to sending it to one friend or family member? You can send it to everyone you know.
With Facebook and other social media, it’s even easier to reach out and have “conversations” of a sort with everyone you know and who-knows-how-many people you don’t know. You can stay connected with people with whom you have all levels of relationships, and it’s exciting.
But sometimes, it seems so impersonal, too. We’ve lost something by reducing relationships to keystrokes. It’s great to hear from somebody at holiday time, and it’s gratifying to get a bunch of birthday wishes on Facebook or LinkedIn. Any of those messages can restart a relationship.
Still, there’s nothing like talking to family and friends – to hear a voice over the telephone. We need to make more of an effort to pick up the phone, as the old telephone commercials implored us to reach out and touch someone.
But wait, technology can help us with that, too. The same company that invited you to reach out is one of many internet and cellular providers making it possible for you to use Skype, Facetime and other programs to see and talk to people anywhere in the world.
Yes, that hand-addressed card is really great. The ability to talk to people and see their faces is even better. And in the world of business, seeing a face and hearing a voice can convey so much more than an exchange of keystrokes.
Let’s resolve to use our connectivity to strengthen our connections. And if you need some help in setting up your computers or devices to run any videoconferencing applications, give us a call – 973-433-6676 – and we’ll walk through it – and test it out. And of course, you can email to set up an appointment.