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Late Adopters Prefer the Tried and True 383

Posted by Zonk
from the little-flexibility-never-hurt-too dept.
smooth wombat writes "There is a fairly significant portion of the population which does not go out and grab the newest OS, gadget, web browser or any other technology related product. Why? It's not because they're luddites but rather, they are comfortable with what they know. Take the case of John Uribe, a 56-year old real estate agent who still uses AOL dial-up and only recently switched to Firefox after being prodded for weeks by an AOL message telling him that on March 1st, AOL would no longer support Netscape. Why did it take him so long to stop using Netscape and make the switch? From the article: 'It worked for me, so I stuck with it. Until there is really some reason to totally abandon it, I won't.'"
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Late Adopters Prefer the Tried and True

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  • Why fix it... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NetDanzr (619387) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @08:54AM (#22737920)
    ...when it ain't broken? I count myself as one of the schizophrenics who mix new and old. At work, I'm forced to use WinXP and Office 2003 (so far, I refused to switch to Vista and Office 2007, arguing the training time and costs it would take me to learn the new interfaces), but at home I still use Win98SE and Office 97. So far, the only upgrade I was forced to make was to switch from Eudora 3.0 to Thunderbird, as my Eudora didn't support outgoing mail authentication, which became required with my ISP. There are several reasons why I don't feel it's necessary for me to upgrade:

    • It works. My computer does all I need, so there's no reason to uprade
    • Interface. My main problem with any upgrade is new interface I need to get used to. Not only different button layout, but also the way the new technology behaves, reacts to my inputs.
    • New features. I still don't use all the features available in the software I'm using; why should I feel the need for more features I wouldn't be using?

    All this doesn't mean I don't like new technology. However, all the years of work in IT and high-tech startups have taught me that the best innovation one can achieve is a more simplified interface. Technology with more features and thus more complex interface is thus not truly innovative in my book.

  • Re:What?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:01AM (#22737968)

    Netscape should have died years ago.
    I.d be willing to bet that there are WAY more users of IE 5.x than there are users of Netscape.
  • by Sir_Kurt (92864) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:09AM (#22738032)
    I Got my first computer in 1985, running DOS. Went from Dos to OS/2 1.3 then 2.0 then Warp. I run an architecture business. (buildings, not programing) We Now use a mix of Linux based workstations and OS/2. We still use Dos programs under OS/2 because of the fabulous DOS support/multitasking. It works great blindingly fast very very functional, no bullshi*, no virusus, nothing crashes, networking, backups, everything works. So we are way way behind the curve on some things, and right on the curve on ohthers.

    I have saved a fantastic amount of dollars with this strategy over the years. I attibute this mainly to completely skipping the windows thing, and all the forced upgrades. You know, it's like a hammer, I still use the first one I ever bought 35 years ago.


  • Re:Set in their ways (Score:3, Interesting)

    by line-bundle (235965) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:11AM (#22738056) Homepage Journal
    No they are not stubborn. Maybe you think keeping up with technology is a good proxy for intellectual growth. A car geek would probably say the same for his favourite hobby.

    As people grow older they find other ways to grow intellectually. And a lot of these other ways have nothing to do with technology (un)fortunately. Volunteering at schools and hospitals does not need technology.
  • Re:Set in their ways (Score:4, Interesting)

    by plague3106 (71849) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @09:25AM (#22738208)
    No, I realize all those things would be good, and I would like to rebuild the house to include them.

    Except that I don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Oh, and its nothing like a new browser, which is free and should take minimal time to "learn." If I could rebuild my house with all that stuff for such a minimal cost, I certainly would.
  • Re:Why fix it... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dissy (172727) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:13AM (#22738722)
    I was hoping to read that your win98 system was not on the network/internet at all, as then you would have a solid case for it being the correct answer. But then read the email client bit...

    I am honestly curious.

    How do you prevent malware/trojan/virus infections on that?

    I assume you have a hardware firewall, or at least a NAT gateway, and would hope you don't use IE.
    I know for a fact that a win98 box fully updated, placed naked directly on the internet, will be infected in at most 10 minutes.

    How stable is it? I assume you perform a decent amount of work on it, and not just bring it out for specific needs once or twice a year. How long does the install last? Or do you reinstall frequently, just with win98 each time?

    I too have one machine with 98 on it, however it never goes on the internet, and rarely ever is connected to my lan even. It's an old tablet pc that only has a 233mhz Pentium, 96mb ram, and I believe a 6gb hd (Fujitsu stylistic 2300 in case you're interested.) There are some electronics apps I use that speak with hardware on the parallel and serial ports, which does not run under NT or newer. However as i mentioned, it is never on the internet, rarely on the network, i take files to it over usb flash or on rare occasion via cdrom on a scsi pcmcia card. It gets used maybe once every 3-4 months, and only for i'm guessing an hour each time or less.

    I simply can't imagine using that as my main system.

    I'm not trying to troll or anything here, I really would like to know how you pull that off without massive headaches and bitterness towards the entire computing industry at best, and at worst not waking up every morning wanting to go to the nearest living thing, and simply kill it. ;}
  • Re:Set in their ways (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zwei2stein (782480) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:33AM (#22738958) Homepage
    What is your point? That people ignorant to one thing don't care about it and people schooled in it overestimate its importance? Guess that succeeded. If not here is my take:

    There is problem with buying "DualMegaCore 10GHZ" equivalent of housing. Or pretty much anything other important.

    If you buy new tech toy (they are that, just toys) and it gets broke, you replace it with newer toy and it hardly effects your life.

    If go into new house technology, you have to stick with with for 40+ years. If you chose brand new tech you risk greatly running into problems. Its definitely not great thing to find out that you floor heating system gets broken and that you spend several times worth value of conventional system replacing/fixing it. Considering that house building leaves ordinary person short of funds, they would have to live with broken technology for some time. That is not really that great. If you chose wrong structual elements you wont even be able to inhabit it.

    There is just no telling what happens in 5, 10, 20 years, unless you see example of it that old or believe marketer (which is not smart). And you need to know that.

    Great example is heating: With conventional radiators, you can plug anything that produces heat and it will work. New technological gizmo that does same thing will force you to dedicate yourself to it, and thats not worth it.

    Computers don't need to last that long, ofc, but upgrading to new version just for sake of having new version is wrong, deeply wrong. If nothing, it is waste of money and can cause serious business problems. Why waste money on something that can only produce problems?
  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <> on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:48AM (#22739138) Homepage Journal

    Tell that to the 1-2 MILLION people annually in the U.S. who use guns for defensive purposes

    I would love to know where that number comes from. I could certainly believe that 1-2 million people in the US carry guns for defensive purposes. But I would be shocked to see evidence supporting that 1-2 million actually used their guns defensively.

    Carrying a gun and using a gun are two very, very, different things. Just because you have it doesn't mean that you are inherently safer because of it.
  • by muellerr1 (868578) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @10:50AM (#22739168) Homepage
    OS X is used by most design professionals because of the way it handles color profiles and color spaces. Windows has yet to come anywhere close to the Mac in this area, and is unlikely to as it is a niche they gave over to Apple long ago. I'm sure your point is still valid and lots of designers choose to use it because most other designers have to, but it actually IS better for design.
  • Re:Set in their ways (Score:4, Interesting)

    by plague3106 (71849) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @11:10AM (#22739366)
    I bill $130 an hour. How many hours would it take to be as proficient in Open Office as I am in Word, or better yet Excel, I wonder? I would suggest that to be as proficient in either would likely take between 60 and 100 hours. Just a couple of weeks of training, which is far less than a single college course, but even if the training were free, it has an opportunity cost of around $10,000. For a "free" upgrade.

    First off, I was talking about a web browser, not office software. Second, your point is obsurd; 100% of the hours available to you you're not going to make billable. You're likely going to take 1/3 of those for sleeping, and probably another 1/3 live your life, and that's assuming you work every Saturday and Sunday. So those hours you wouldn't normally bill anyway are not part of your opportunity cost. Also, since you probably use those programs on the job, you'll likely be paying yourself to learn something new. Finally, I would think that no matter what field you are in, if you stop learning, you're going to become obsolete. So you'll need to take some time, whether billable or not, to learn.

    Besides, not all construction is replacement. If you add a deck or a sunroom, or remodel the basement, you're looking at new things. Of course, like all analogies - mine is nowhere near 1:1. The point is that new things take time and effort (and often money), and we all can't be abreast of the latest (or even recent) developments in all fields. There aren't enough hours in the day. To think everyone will find interest in _your_ field or hobby is a bit vain.

    I realize not all construction is replacement; if its new, there's less cost than replacing something existing. But we're not talking about construction, we're talking about people using older browsers. The cost there is minimal, since even modern browsers have Back, Forward, Stop and Refersh, and some way to track favorite sites. Not exactly a huge learning curve, and you can decide to look at the new features at any time.

    I never said people can or should keep up with the latest everything, but they should be on the look out for something new and at least look into it a little. As in construction, sometime cost up front saves you more down the line. Like when the cost of maintaining my old car outweighed the cost of just getting a new one.
  • by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday March 13, 2008 @12:17PM (#22740160) Journal
    Bleeding edge tech! Hasn't even been invented yet!

    OK, you got me. It's from the Dead Milkmen song "Stuart" on their "Death Rides A Pale Cow" CD. And it wasn't really "burlout" but that's what it sounds like in the song so I thought it would make a good name for new (uninvented) tech. At least as good as "TWAIN" and far less retarded than "WiFi". What they actually said in "Stuart" was "burrow owl".

    You know what Stuart? I like you. You're not like the other people here in the trailer park. Oh no, don't get me wrong, they're fine people, good Americans. But they're content to sit back, maybe watch a little Mork and Mindy on channel 57. Maybe kick back a cool Coors 16-ouncer. They're good fine people, Stuart. But they don't know what the queers are doing to the soil.

    You know that Johnny Werzner kid - the kid who delivers papers in the neighborhood? He's a fine kid. Some of the neighbors say he smokes crack, but I don't believe it. Anyway, for his 10th birthday, all he wanted was a burrow owl, just like his old man. "Dad, get me a burrow owl. I'll never ask for anything else as long as I live". So the guy breaks down and buys him a burrow owl. Anyway at 10:30 the other night I go out into my yard and there's the Werzner kid looking up in the tree. I said, "What are you looking for?" He said, "I'm looking for my burrow owl." I say, "Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! Everybody knows that a burrow owl lives in a hole in the ground! Why the hell do you think they call it a burrow owl, anyway?!" Now Stuart, do you think a kid like that is gonna know what the queers are doing to the soil?

    I first became aware of this, about 10 years ago, the summer my oldest boy Bill Jr. died. You know that carnival that comes to town every year? Well this year it came with a ride called the Mixer. The man said "Keep your head and arms inside the mixer at all times." But Bill Jr., he was a daredevil, just like his old man. He was leaning out saying, "Hey everybody! Look at me, look at me!" POW! He was decapitated. They found his head over by the snowcone concession. A few days after that, I open up the mail and there's a pamphlet in there, from Pueblo, Colorado. And it's addressed to Bill Jr. And it's entitled, "Do you know what the queers are doing to our soil?"

    Now Stuart, if you look at the soil around any large U.S. city with a big underground homosexual population - Des Moines, Iowa, perfect example. Look at the soil around Des Moines, Stuart. You can't build on it, you can't grow anything in it. The government says it's due to poor farming. But I know what's really going on, Stuart. I know it's the queers. They're in it with the aliens. They're building landing strips for gay Martians. I swear to God.

    You know what Stuart, I like you. You're not like the other people, here in the trailer park.
    "Death Rides A Pale Cow" is a fine piecs of art, right up there with Stravinski and Cash.

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.