Thursday, January 07, 2010

New Technology: Now or Later?

When I worked in corporate America, I had access to assistance with IT department and other co-workers to help me figure things out.  Now I'm on my own whenever I get new software or hardware.  Yes, there are plenty of online sites offering video tutorials or FAQs, but they can be frustrating because you can't ask questions or have someone show you the specific things you want to know.  I guess I'm old school in that I prefer a printed manual to scrolling back and forth onscreen, but at the same time am not willing to use up my toner and paper to print them out.

 I have two graduate and two undergraduate degrees but still find aspects of Facebook, Twitter and iTunes confusing.  Windows 7 is upon us.  Do I really need the upgrade or will I regret the money and time spent?  I've used Broderbund Print Shop, which now offers a new version.  I went for the prerelease sale price.  Soon I 'll know if it lives up to the hype.  Recently I was prompted to download Internet Explorer 8.  I did, much to my dismay. 

For one thing, to me it's not intuitive.  What's all this InPrivate stuff?  Compatibility view?  For another, why do I get a pop up security box when I go to many sites, and why isn't there an easy option to turn it off? 

Some tout other browsers, such as Safari or Mozilla Firefox.  A friend helped me download that, but I find the interface too busy and don't see why it's supposedly better than IE.  Early adapters get excited by each piece of new software/hardware. When the benefits are easy to see and use, I do, too.  I got a new BlackBerry last year.  After investing the time to travel the learning curve, I like many of the new features.  I still prefer the old scroll wheel on the side to the new track ball in the middle.  Is there an easier way to learn more about all of the neat things our technology can do?  Fellow BBers, did you know pressing B takes you to the bottom of whatever you're viewing and T takes you to the top?

Unfortunately the new thing is not always better than the old...Windows Vista, anyone?  And often it's better not to run out and buy, say, the first e-book reader on the market...because improvements will soon make that hot off the press thing out of date.  A friend bought me a Nook, which won't even ship until Februrary because of the demand.  Barnes & Noble has already announced enhancements which better work with the Nook I haven't even received.  I'm not the only one concerned about new technology being replaced by even newer technology in a heartbeat; yesterday's The Huffington Post discusses this topic.

I guess I'll have to make the time to learn about these new IE8 "features."  Off to find some tutorials.  Sigh.

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