Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How Not to Sell Things to Me

I'm in a public computer center. All computers have annoying timers that log everything off after one hour. When I logged back on 45 minutes ago, I saw an urgent message to the effect that "Your Browser Is Out Of Date." It's not my browser, actually--it's the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's browser. Anyway, now everything is running ve-e-e-e-r-r-r-r-y-y-y s-s-s-l-l-l-o-o-o-o-o-w-w-l-l-y. Most of the web sites haven't changed but some service provider wants to make everyone very much aware that an "update" is on the market.

If it were my browser, this would not prompt me to buy something new from whoever's trying to "update" it; it would prompt me to BOOT the computer system--literally--and not have a computer in my house...which is why I'm using a public computer center. I don't buy more stuff from the same manufacturer if the first thing I bought doesn't last for...well...if it cost over $100, a lot longer than these computers have existed.

Maybe, if my public computer experience showed me that computer manufacturers were being very careful to make sure that every new component worked with the old ones for year after year after year, I might feel that I use computers enough to justify having one at home.

Maybe, if computer manufacturers were being careful to integrate new products into existing systems that were still working, I would own a computer product or component that was made later than 1999.