Trick or treat!
Several dozen kids yelled that at my front door this Halloween evening, but for most of the night I felt like my new IBM T42 ThinkPad was also shouting the same thing. Why? Because I spent over two hours trying to get this brand new computer to stop:
1) Crashing every 5 minutes
2) Losing its connection to my home wireless network every 30 seconds
IBM Trick No. 1: As of last week I used another ThinkPad with the same operating system (XP), and it had no problems working with my network
IBM Trick No. 2: When I called IBM ThinkPad support, they said, and I quote this verbatim: "We only make the computer part, we can’t help you with the software stuff." What an incredibly poor response, one that betrays a lack of understanding of the business they’re in. What I need from from IBM is a total solution — if I wanted to spend a perfectly beautiful California evening hacking on a crappy PC, I would have bought some no-name brand, and not spent a premium for a ThinkPad. IBM seems to be competing with Handspring for the worst customer service on the planet, but that’s a story for another time.
Treat: this week’s Economist has a special section on IT complexity, which made me feel feel better about the fact that my new PC has worse manners than a new puppy — everyone has the same problems with this horribly complex technology.
What I want is simple: simplicity that works. A few months ago in this blog I touched on the theme of simplicity; I’m looking forward to revisiting it over the next week.