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Late Adopters Prefer the Tried and True

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | 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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Thanks, Captain Obvious. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22737806)

This might be the most obvious headline I've seen on Slashdot. In other new and interesting news, early adopters prefer new technology.


Re:Thanks, Captain Obvious. (5, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737974)

Obvious, perhaps, but inaccurate. Some of us adopt some tech early and some tech late, depending on the tech. If there's a tool that's shown to be better in some way (smoother, faster, more comfortable) we'll adopt it. Some tech goes backwards [] . For instance, why would anyone trade a car stereo with a big fat volume knob for one with teeny buttons? Thankfully the volume knob has made a comeback, as has the flat shoelace.

Some tech is just too damned expensive new. I'd like an iPhone but they're just too damned pricey. Some tech comes from companies I'd rather spit dead rats than buy from - Sony and ATT come to mind.

Some tech is obviously not ready for use yet - any Mixrosoft x.0 release, for instance. I'll bet there aren't many early Windows adopters here, because everyone knows you don't buy a new Windows until at LEAST the SP1 service pack comes out fixing its most glaring errors.

Finally, there's a reason they call it "bleeding edge technology".


PS Now get off my lawn you damned kids and no, you can't have your burlout back.

Re:Thanks, Captain Obvious. (1)

vil3nr0b (930195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738106)

Well said mcgrew... if they based this on companies they will realize most do not adopt "bleeding edge technology". What software company wouldn't benefit from a 1024 node linux cluster? The iphone took almost a year to release a corporate version of their phone. On the consumer side, i build and support the computers my family uses and their is no reason for me to go over there and say the magic phrase, "This just came out and we should install it." The common users I know in small towns with no high speed access install the browser that came with their disk. Don't even get me started on updating windows for these people. Of course they won't adopt the latest and greatest, they can't even download it half the time.

Enterprises & Browser Stats (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737808)

Ok, so I tried to go to OneStat [] which was the site mentioned in the article. The article referenced an "internet population" statistic from OneStat:

Netscape users accounted for 0.14 percent of the Internet population in February, according to, which offers Web monitoring services. That is a tiny fraction of the market, but still represents more than a million users, many who use aging versions of Netscape.
But when I went to OneStat, I found it was merely a paid service offered to monitor statistics on your website. I would really like to see that report. Who's website (or group of websites) did they choose? How did they compile this information? The article shows stats grouping all IEs into one and all Firefoxes into one but what are their statistics for IE6, IE7, Lynx, Firefox 2 & Firefox 3? Surely early adopter rates are just as interesting as late adopter rates and surely obscure browsers are what this story is interested in. Why aren't you asking Lynx users why they stick with a text interface?

Which leads me to a motive I did not find in the article, the motive of the company I work for that employs several hundred thousand employees. There is no push to go to Vista or IE7 so they don't do it. They're late adopters in almost the same sense as no one's asking for it, Microsoft has not yet found a way to force the enterprise community into this pigeonhole and so none of them will do it. On an enterprise level, there's no such thing as 'early adopter' as companies are too busy taking financial and strategic risks to welcome technological risks or 1/10 of their employees failing to have a computer for a couple days.

Re:Enterprises & Browser Stats (0, Troll)

GeneralPayne (1252500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738128)

True stats according to W3Schools [] Enjoy

Re:Enterprises & Browser Stats (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738274)

There have been a few times that I've used 'links' when I'm ssh'ed into a headless box and I can't wget a file I need because it requires me to hit an 'I agree' radio button. For instance, when getting a new java JDK.

I use elinks for the same reason as the guy in the summary; it just works when I need it. Sure, I could download to my desktop and scp it over, but why go through the trouble when elinks just works and firewalls aren't an issue when connecting to a web server? The box may not be on a network where I can get a cvs/git/svn connection, but I've always got a hole in the firewall for connecting to web servers.

Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22737812)

Goatse down your throat! Goatse up your bum! []

You nerds love it.

Re:Goatse (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22737874)

We do love it. Please post more.

Obligatory first comment. I win! (-1, Offtopic)

JacquesDemien (995045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737814)

Obligatory first comment. I win!

Re:Obligatory first comment. I win! (-1, Offtopic)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737834)

No, you didn't. Yours is the fouth post! ;-)

Re:Obligatory first comment. I win! (1)

JacquesDemien (995045) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738100)

Sadly, I see that now. :-) Stupid proxy!

The same John Uribe? (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737816)

A quick John Uribe search on Google turns up a man divorced twice.

So much for sticking with it, eh?

Re:The same John Uribe? (1, Insightful)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737888)

So much for sticking with it, eh?

You take his statement out of context: "It worked for me, so I stuck with it." From this statement one could deduce that neither of his wifes "worked for him". Which is usually why a divorce is done, in the first place.

You can have a sloppy, niphomanic, epensive wife and still it could "work for you". Doesn't mean there aren't better possible wives out there....

Re:The same John Uribe? (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737924)

It still leaves one wondering how the steaming pile of garbage that is Netscape worked for him. I mean, it was OK in the 90s but it's terrible compared to other modern browsers. This is just a stupid mindset; if there are better options then the old one's not "working for you" as it should. Unless he really doesn't care, in which case I don't sympathize with him at all.. you should be aware of the state of technology and what your options are, even if you're not "good with computers" (a phrase I'm sure we've all scowled at).

Re:The same John Uribe? (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738138)

Well, how did he know it was still "working for him" if he never even tried a newer browser? Maybe if he tried a newer one, he'd find that it offers more benefits than his current one. Growing all my own food would "work for me" too, but not as well as going to the grocery store.

It's interesting to note that every single example in the article is over the age of 50. So why don't want just say what it is; old people are scared of change.

Re:The same John Uribe? (2, Insightful)

hoppo (254995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738354)

I don't understand why you can't accept that someone is satisfied with what he has. The choice of one web browser over another is hardly comparable to the choice of growing food for personal consumption versus purchasing it. Mentioned in this article is a gentleman whose simple web browsing needs are fully met, as hard as it is to believe, with the Netscape browser. This creates cognitive dissonance on our part because we place such a high value on internet usage (perhaps too much).

Re:The same John Uribe? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738200)

you should be aware of the state of technology and what your options are, even if you're "not good with computers"

I disagree. Let's go for the bad analogy: A "not good with computers" person uses Dial-Up @ 28.8kbps. That person, is happy with it because it allows her to do her email and that's all she does. Does this person really need to inform herself about "better options" like Cable, DSL, FiOS? Frankly? It suits that persons needs, and as such there is no need to change. It also makes no sense to this person to know about the better (Better in your world, not in that persons world) alternatives.

Don't fix it if it ain't broken.. Ever heard of that? (You could argue that Netscape was "broken", but not in his eyes!)

Knowing "what are better options in technology" are by default only important to people like you and me, which entirely excludes "not good with computers" people. However, even I am inclined to stick to what I have. I pay quite a lot for my DSL. There are cheaper options around, but asking the salespeople if they have a dedicated SMTP server (I absolutely need that), drew only blank stares. So, sure, I pay more, but at least I know that I'm not going to lose out on what I have.

Re:The same John Uribe? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738268)

I had to do a bunch of web crap that had to be Netscape compatible a few years back; as far as basic HTML, you're fine, but forget javascript and don't rely on fancy CSS either. Even the very newest version of Netscape was idiosyncratic there.

I still deal with a lot of similar crap. Geographically I'm not exactly in early-adopter central, and I've basically ended up moving to the point where I either do a modern page with modern javascript, and post a nasty message to anyone who doesn't have a modern browser that they need to upgrade...Or I just do simple HTML with all the dynamic code server side.

I think a lot of the problem is that big, professional shops will still keep a guy on staff to program in compatibility for every browser that has any kind of market share. As long as they keep doing that, guys like the article guy can get away without ever having to upgrade.

Re:The same John Uribe? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738010)

He's a piker. I met a man in a bar (where else?) who had been married twelve times, and he was under 40. Apparently he has a hard time getting along with women?

Re:The same John Uribe? (4, Funny)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738060)

He's a piker. I met a man in a bar (where else?)
What kind of bar?

who had been married twelve times, and he was under 40. Apparently he has a hard time getting along with women?
Maybe that's why we was hanging out in that kind of bar...

Re:The same John Uribe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738258)

Could that dude be a Slashdot reader?

* he was under 40
Statistically yes

* hard time getting along with women

* married twelve times

Based on that simple analysis, I think he was not a Slashdot reader.

Re:The same John Uribe? (0, Redundant)

Aaron32 (891463) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738048)

Maybe his wives divorced him because he wouldn't try anything new... in the bedroom.

Link to th eactual patent (-1, Offtopic)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737818)

This [] might allow some intelligent discussion about the actual topic, rather than a flamefest about whether or not patents should exists.

Since INL I have no idea WTF the link is saying. So I'll just STFU for now.


Re:Link to th eactual patent... OOPS (-1, Offtopic)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737832)

OOPS! Sorry, wrong story. Please mod my original comment offtopic, thx

Silly old cunt (-1, Flamebait)

Rotund Prickpull (818980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737820)

"Why did it take him so long to stop using Netscape and make the switch?"

A) He's silly
B) He's old
C) He's a cunt.

And he's a realtor, which is as cloe to "D) all of the above" as makes a hoot of difference.

What?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22737822)

Netscape should have died years ago. People like this man should not breed and be removed from the gene pool to ensure the survival of our species.

Re:What?! (2, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:What?! (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738292)

Well the stats at W3Schools [] delisted Netscape in 2007, but they're still showing a percent and a half for Netscape.

So it's a good bet.

Re:What?! (0, Offtopic)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738104)

People like this man should not breed and be removed from the gene pool to ensure the survival of our species.

You don't understand evolution very well, do you? My friend Linda's not the sharpest knife in the drawer but she's had fourteen kids and so far only one of then has died. I only have two (that I know of) and they're both thriving, but Linda beats me in the evolution game 13-2.

It's not about intelligence, it's about procreation. You only have to stay alive long anough to breed. Didn't TFA say the guy was 56? If he hasn't bred yet he's not likely to, and if he has then killing him won't change anything.

So by your own logic you should put a bullet in your own head to ensure the survival of the species. You're probably still a virgin, considering your apparent personality.

BTW, most mental retardation isn't hereditary but is usually caused by brain injury. But go ahead and kill yourself anyway and rid the species of the "hatefulness" gene.

Difference in attitudes (4, Insightful)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737824)

I'm sure his viewpoint will be thoroughly panned in these comments, but honestly, the computer and tech industries as a whole could do with more of this. Too often we're sold progress just for the sake of progress, without enough benefits to outweigh the cost of transition to a new [platform|framework|device|etc].

Re:Difference in attitudes (1, Offtopic)

elwinc (663074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737868)

Absolutely! When I look at the difference between windows 2000 (which offers real improvements over win98) and windows vista, I see alot of change purely for the sake of change. Win XP is kind of a big bug fix on Win2K. I would have preferred it if they had just fixed Win2K, but I'll accept a bug fix. Vista isn't even a bug fix - just change for the sake of change. I'm avoiding it and all the people I advise are avoiding it too.

Re:Difference in attitudes (1)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737958)

I'm sure his viewpoint will be thoroughly panned in these comments

Oh, so that's why the article is here. So Slashdot readers can learn why folks like me in our fifties are just so technologically incompetent and laugh at or feel sorry for us?

I couldn't really figure out why this story was considered newsworthy at either the Times or Slashdot. At least I can understand Slashdot's motivation now, but why does the Times think it's news that not everybody wants to ride the latest technological wave? I suspect there are a number of people at the Times itself whose level of technological modernity isn't a whole lot different from that of Messrs. Uribe and Gropp.

Re:Difference in attitudes (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738126)

There are several very good reasons that this idea is news. First because tech companies continuously fail to recognize that there are ALWAYS people that don't want the latest and greatest crap, no matter how bleeding edge it is. Second, those that bought iWhatevers and then the price dropped never even got a reach-around, so to speak. Third, there is now a special cellular service that specializes in doing all the tech stuff for you and the phone has BIG number buttons on it. Fourth there are a LOT of cheap talk-only phones and plans out there for a reason yet all we hear about is the new stuff with all the bells and whistles on it.

The basis of the story is that we are being sold a lot of hype. Any particular age group or group of people is only being used to say that it's not just one person, or one town. It's happening all over the place. Technology is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

Eventually the MS vs. GNU/Linux vs. Mac story will sort itself out, and fanbois will stop telling the other side's fanbois that they are wrong. What works for some doesn't work for all. That would be why there are so many types of personal vehicles on the road, to bring the car analogy into it.

This idea will be news until tech manufacturers get it. some day you'll walk into a technology store and the phones will be separated into groups where one is the simple function group, next is a nice mix, and then some high end stuff... each with ranges of pricing. Sure, they kind of do that now but you need assistance to figure out what is easy to operate, or what has features in the plan that you don't want. Eventually tech sales will be comoditized. Today we are still treated as though we are buying a custom made suit, or a piece of art.

Vendor lock-in is to blame. There really is no lock-in deal with low end, low functionality equipment, so they always try to sell you the latest, greatest, steaming pile of tech. Cash is supposed to be king, but no one really cares unless they can get you locked in to a 3 year contract and $15/month insurance. It's all about money still as they really don't care what you want to buy so long as you buy something with a three year contract and insurance premiums.

Re:Difference in attitudes (1)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738008)

The question is the balance between progress and stability. To say that it's not worth fixing something that isn't broken is true to a point, but when the setup (eg 10 year old browser on dialup) is so outdated, it becomes functionally identical to broken.

That's not to say he's got a good point - I normally restrain myself from upgrades (OS, browser, office suite, whatever) for at least a few points after a major release, unless there is good reason to push an upgrade. However, this is such an extreme example that it is verging on being stuck in the mud and proud of it.

A sensible discussion would focus on, eg, IE6 on WinXP/2k or FF 2.0 on Ubuntu 5.10/6.10, instead of something this outdated. After all, there are good arguments that say referencing the Encyclopaedia Britannica [] in your local library is more reliable than Wikipedia - but I know which is faster and more convenient.

Re:Difference in attitudes (3, Interesting)

Sir_Kurt (92864) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Difference in attitudes (2, Insightful)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738072)

The way I see it, there are three cases:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is what the article is talking about.
  2. Change for the sake of change. I can't see too many people going along with this unless they're morons and/or fanboys.
  3. Change when the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. I assume most people fit into this category. What I never thought about before reading comment is that there's a further distinction in this case. I'll speak for myself, though I assume a lot of people are like me, will switch to something better even if it takes a long time to learn the new thing. I.e., when I'm weighing the benefits vs. drawbacks of switching to something new, I don't consider the cost of retraining myself. Maybe it's because I'm a geek (aka Slashdot reader) and retraining myself is fun.

Anyway I think I'll stick to my (ironically) old ways of switching to new things. After all, isn't the joy of life to be constantly learning new things?

Re:Difference in attitudes (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738134)

On the other hand, the tech industry is full of crusty legacy systems and protocols which were never that great to start with but it would be too much effort to change now. There are good trusty old workhorses - but there is plenty of old crap too.

Often you get the worst of both worlds. New versions of Windows have dubious new features to justify upgrading, but still lug along all the nasty DOS / Win16 / Win32 APIs as well for backwards compatibility.

Re:Difference in attitudes (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738156)

Huh? The "cost" is clicking a button and waiting a few minutes. Not exactly a high cost.. browser layouts haven't changed that much since NS 4.

Burned (3, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737842)

As someone who has been burned by new technology multiple times, I can certainly appreciate this approach. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Re:Burned (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737902)

Yeah, I get burned each time I get 'shiny object syndrome'. I just HAVE to have this new motherboard and pay top dollar for it, only to find out my revision won't support technology X because there is a bug. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Actually, we live and die by the clock :)
Well, for my own part, mostly die. Speaking of which, I have to leave for work; I'm already going to be 5 minutes late.

Re:Burned (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738046)

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

So that's why you're sticking with the sword? They have guns now, you know :)

Re:Burned (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738330)

As someone who has been burned by new technology multiple times, I can certainly appreciate this approach. [...] Live by the sword, die by the sword.
We've moved way past the musquet, it's much harder to get burned now.

I think it's time for you to move "the gun" out of your "new technology" list.

Re:Burned (1)

Guerilla* Napalm (762317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738362)

If it ain't broke don't fix it - that's words to live by.... but Nutscrape was the redheaded bastard stepchild of browsers from the day it started. I still wake up in cold-sweats from having to get sites display properly in it.

If it ain't broke.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22737848)

I'm not a late adopter (I read this site, at 5am, for example) but I have a hard time arguing against this position. Technology, for most people, (ie, most people who don't read slashdot) is a tool, not a cool toy

Set in their ways (0, Flamebait)

Veritas1980 (1008679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737854)

Many people are just so stubborn, so set in their ways, that they are blind to innovation and practical change. It is this kind of purposeful ignorance that keeps people from learning, from growing intellectually. In my line of work, doing tech support, I run into this every single day. The older generations, 40+ have no concept of technology and most of them don't want to. There are people in this day and age who still do not own a computer. Not because they cannot afford it or do not have a use for it, but because they fear it or because they are too lazy to learn how to use it. This is often the case with new tech also. If it requires any sort of effort to learn, people try to pretend its not there and stick with what they have until it is no longer a viable option. This saddens me greatly.

Re:Set in their ways (5, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737922)

Interesting. So, what is your take on the recent developments in moment and portal frames in engineered wood construction? I find many people woefully ignorant of even the most simple principles of home construction, and yet practically everyone owns a home. Flashing? EIFS? That's not even getting into energy recovery ventilators and the latest developments in composite lumber products. Nearly every computer tech I know still lives in a house with a common furnace or heat pump, and *gasp* an unreinforced concrete masonry foundation, even though there are far more modern and superior systems which do so much more.

What was that? You just use your house to live in and it works just fine? Oh...

Re:Set in their ways (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737956)

Bravo, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Re:Set in their ways (1)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737992)

*applause* That was the best analogy I have ever heard on /. Bravo.


BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738124)

Quality thinking is rare enough that it should be rewarded.

Re:Set in their ways (2, Informative)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738186)

I applaud your brilliant analogy, but I think you missed the GP's point to an extent. He didn't say it (which is probably why it could be missed) but I think his implication (from his gripe about being in tech support) was that these people who know nothing about the tech still ASK about it, and that's a problem.

Clearly, you know at least a bit about home construction. Now imagine if all day every day people who "just own homes and live in them" came to ask you stupid questions about construction instead of going off and learning on their own. Then, when you politely suggest they learn something about it, they act as if they don't need to or just blatantly don't want to.

The person in the article is probably not one of these people from the looks of it, so if my reading of the GP's post is correct, he's offtopic anyway, but I just thought I'd try to defend his viewpoint a little!

Re:Set in their ways (3, Insightful)

_14k4 (5085) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738372)

I agree, but I have to ask... since I am a (relatively) new home owner.

How does one learn the "tricks of the trade" without asking? I can read a million books on sill repair, but I can get a lot more information from the friends I have, and people I work with who have gone through this in the past... to realize that yeah, using the lollie columns in my basement may jack the house up and I only really need to move it up 3/8ths of an inch and repair the rotted section... but still, talking to someone who's -done- it is worth a lot, too.

I think that "thought process" or attitude is where the same technology questions come from.

Just my two cents.

(Oh and do you know how I can stop the sill rot without having to replace it? The house is 130+ years old, etc...) :P

Re:Set in their ways (3, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Set in their ways (1)

Methuselah2 (1173677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738214)

Superbly stated! It can be difficult for those of us who love computers and electronics to understand, but MANY people just use a computer as a tool. I confess, I still use an old, rusty, shovel. I've resisted the ads to upgrade to the shiny, slimmer bladed new ones. For me, they aren't worth the time it would take to buy one. And then I'd have to recycle the old one. Now that I think of it, I bought the old rusty one at a tag sale...and it was old and rusty then.

Re:Set in their ways (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738402)

Well, interestingly enough... before I'd even gotten to your comment I had visualized my father in the GP's post.

He's a home-inspector and a caricature of this comment exchange. He's well aware of the details to take into account when inspecting a home, when he wanted renovation or construction done in the house he did it himself.

In front of the computer, where he communicates the results of his inspections I had to teach him how to left click, right click, and double click. How to manage windows(minimize/maximize/close). How to open files, save files. He originally hand-loaded the printer 5-10 pages at a time(It was an ancient and slightly broken printer, but this was as recent as 2002). He would then fax them to the customer, again, 5-10 pages at a time(also ancient). So I had to teach him how to send an e-mail, scan notes and diagrams into .pdfs and attach them.

Now the other home inspectors are using template documents to speed up their reports instead of starting with a blank form for every house. Now he needs to compete with other home inspectors who are taking pictures of homes with digital cameras and including them in the reports.

He taught himself home inspection through self-study until he could pass license exams. After which he was required to take classes to get 6 credits of inspection courses a year as part of the license requirement.

But I teach him everything he knows about computers. He doesn't want to explore. I taught him how to open a file in MS Word, but he doesn't know how to open a file in the .pdf program. I didn't know how either, but I did it anyway because I knew how to open files in MS Word and just took a shot at the same method in the .pdf program. File -> Open. However, my father had to call me up to teach him how. I'm not saying I'm better, I'm in the same situation reversed. I know jack-squat about homes and had to ask him for help when I do any work around the home. As a result of the informaion I got from him I was able to renovate the basement without paying for someone else to do it.

These unknown fields are scary, but there was valuable payoff for both of us in the end for exploring these things.

Re:Set in their ways (2, Insightful)

MrMacman2u (831102) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737940)

...but because they fear it or because they are too lazy to learn how to use it.

These people do not bother me... It's the ones that are too incompetent to learn how to use one and try anyway.

Part of the reason Spam and malware still exists is because of these kinds of people.

Re:Set in their ways (1)

lurcher (88082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737944)

In my line of work, doing tech support, I run into this every single day. The older generations, 40+ have no concept of technology and most of them don't want to.

Ignoring the fact that much of the basic technology you speak of was invented by folk who are now over 40, how many time a day do you run into people who think they know what they are doing and install a beta of something which bites back and screws them over?

Re:Set in their ways (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737972)

This saddens me greatly.

I think you're taking it a little too personally.

Re:Set in their ways (2, Interesting)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738056)

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 (2, Insightful)

Carik (205890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738058)

Certainly this is sometimes true. My father, for instance, spent three or four years complaining that Win98 didn't work before I finally convinced him to upgrade to XP.

On the other hand, a lot of people really don't have a need to upgrade. "But the new version of [whatever software] has so many more features!" I hear you cry. (Well, someone's yelling it, anyway.) But they don't need the new features. And in order to run the new version, they'd need a new computer, a new operating system, and time to learn to use both. I know a few people who are still running Photoshop 5. Why? Well, because it suits their needs, and they already know how to use it. Why spend time and money on a new product when the old one does what they want? Sure, the new one has some neat new gadgets, and some things might get easier, but for them, the time spent learning it is more valuable than those new features.

Change for the sake of change isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's also not necessarily a good thing. And not seeing a need to upgrade doesn't always mean they're simply being stubborn; sometimes it just means that they're happy with what they have.

Re:Set in their ways (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738108)

Many people are just so stubborn, so set in their ways, that they are blind to innovation and practical change.

Yes, there are many, many stubborn people out there. Like the ones who still drive ten year old cars rather than the newest, shinier ones with all the bells and whistles they will never use like GPS, an iPod plug, tv screens and so on. Or maybe the ones who still use a vcr to record their tv shows because they don't have to leave it on whatever channel they want to record without having to pay extra for a service to pull down their shows.

These are horrible people who are devastating the American economy because they refuse to go along with the marketing mindset that if it's new, it must be better, and so you must go and spend, spend, spend.

The older generations, 40+ have no concept of technology and most of them don't want to.

Hey dipwad, I just turned 41 and I can tell you, I have more of a grasp of technology than the vast majority of 20 somethings wandering around my building acting as consultants for an ERP project. The fact that I choose not to have a cell phone, iPod, Blackberry and other electronic gizmos does not mean I have no concept of technology. It means I don't care about that stuff. Having any of those items will not enrich my life in any way, except maybe the iPod.

For the record, while there are people older than I who do not care about computers, I can tell you I have encountered quite a few, including my mother, who want to learn. In fact, the reason my mother uses a computer, other than keeping in touch with people, is, in her words, to keep her skills sharp. She retired ten years ago and still wants to learn. How about that?

If it requires any sort of effort to learn, people try to pretend its not there and stick with what they have until it is no longer a viable option.

You mean like driving a manual transmission, right? Because it's so difficult to learn how to push in a pedal and move a lever.

This saddens me greatly.

What saddens me is people like you on their high horse who think that everyone must always be on the cutting edge. That the latest and greatest is the only way to go. If you don't own what the marketing droids tell you to own, you're not worth the time or effort.

I work with people like you and let me tell, in the time it takes them to find the piece of information they want, or perform whatever task they want to accomplish, I generally have time to go get a drink or take a shit before they're finished, it takes them that long. These are generally the same people who constantly complain they have no time for a life, relationship or anything else because their Blackberry is constantly buzzing or they have to answer an IM.

If that's the kind of life you want to lead, be my guest. Most people don't give a shit about gadgets and do-dads but instead, want something to work well and last a long time.

Why fix it... (4, Interesting)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:Why fix it... (1)

budcub (92165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738272)

I'm with you in spirit, but I have to say that when I switched from Win98 to Windows 2000 Professional, I got much better graphics performance. Maybe it was the all 32-bit OS, maybe it was better OpenGL, or maybe it was better drivers for the video card or a combination of all three. Not having to reboot all the time was a big help too. I even waited until Service Pack 2 was out for XP before I switched to that.

Re:Why fix it... (1)

kilgortrout (674919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738356)

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.
You must be a gnome developer.

Re:Why fix it... (1)

jne_oioioi (890078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738440)

I count myself as one of the schizophrenics

but at home I still use Win98SE and Office 97
so how's that masochist diagnosis coming up ?

Late adopter? Hell yeah (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737936)

I work in an industrial environment and one thing you want is stability. Being an early adopter is the antithesis of this. So I may not work on the latest and greatest, but I know that what I do work on is rock solid and will keep running for an extended period of time.

Typical for Real Estate (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737938)

Real Estate people and offices are KNOWN for being incredibly out-dated. Also Realtors tend to not be technologically savvy. The BEST Agent I ever met not only adopted technology with a furvor but took her time to learn it. She is selling homes at a good rate even now when you are insane to try and sell.

But the office there where I support them. It's a nightmare. W95 machines still in use! Old 14" monitors that are dark and almost yellow now running on Pentium 133 processors. They refuse to spend the money to upgrade because "these work, why replace it?"

The one machine I did convince them to replace with new I at least gave them XP and several people complained about it.

I also found that this is common in Lawyers offices and accounting offices as well. Incredibly outdated gear and software still in use. It's like they are afraid to spend money.

Re:Typical for Real Estate (3, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737996)

But the office there where I support them. It's a nightmare. W95 machines still in use! Old 14" monitors that are dark and almost yellow now running on Pentium 133 processors. They refuse to spend the money to upgrade because "these work, why replace it?"
Sounds legitimate to me, except perhaps the ergonomics of a dim yellowed screen. What is there, in the Real Estate business, that needs the latest Intel Duo Quad Duo Core Duo Octaplex II Duo processor? They look at MLS websites, they type a few fields with new data, and then they hop in the car to be away from the office for a couple hours. Everything they need to archive is on paper. Lots of folks hated XP when it was forced on them, simply because it's different and it takes time to learn the differences. Just because YOU are a fan of the latest, doesn't mean it makes sense for them.

Re:Typical for Real Estate (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738166)

XP *looked* different. As far as functionality was concerned, very little changed between 98, 2000, and XP.

Once you accepted the fact that it was blue, there wasn't a whole lot different, apart from the start menu (and both of those things could easily be disabled, and frequently were).

That said, I still maintain a Xenix (now SCO OpenServer) installation for a small business. For what they do, it suits them fine, and the cost of implementing a new Windows-based system would be quite high, and wouldn't provide any tangible benefits. A few years ago, we replaced their Amber-screeen serial terminals with XP machines running terminal-emulation software to improve ergonomics, and allow them to run other applications required for the business.

Nevertheless, the ancient Unix system continues to operate flawlessly. We try to keep the hardware relatively "fresh," although there's certainly not much point meddling with a system that works.

Re:Typical for Real Estate (1)

TechHSV (864317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738022)

Why would they need to update their computers? Most of the uses for computers for both the Real Estate industry and lawyers are e-mail and document processing. These people aren't compiling code or playing video games. Why would they need more then enough horsepower, plus have to take the time to learn something new?

Re:Typical for Real Estate (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738422)

because it take 15-20 minutes to pull up any information most of the time is spent waiting.

Even buying a $200.00 dell cheapie will increase productivity by eliminating waiting for software to load or for the pc to render the page.

That's the problem, and I havent even touched the licensing nightmare that exists.. No licenses are accounted for anywhere, and this is incredibly typical at most realestate offices or legal offices.

Re:Typical for Real Estate (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738172)

It's like they are afraid to spend money.

Spending money unnecessarily is incredibly foolish. If you spend a thousand dollars on a new computer when the old one works fine and serves its purpose, that's a thousand dollars you can't spend on a true investment, say, advertising.

Like they say, a fool and his money are soon parted.

Re:Typical for Real Estate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738182)

I also found that this is common in Lawyers offices and accounting offices as well. Incredibly outdated gear and software still in use. It's like they are afraid to spend money.
It's not that they are afraid to spend money, it's that for legal and accounting offices (and to a lesser extent real estate offices) time is money. If you're training on new systems or recovering from issues caused by the "new shiny thing", you're not billing time to a client.

To win these users over, you must demonstrate that the improvements will let them work more efficiently.

They work why replace it is a great answer. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738394)

Most people update computers when they stop working usually from malware or Windows dieing. It is easier and some times cheaper to buy a new PC than to do a nuke and pave. A PIII is really good enough for a lot of what people do. In your example a Pentium 133 is good enough for them to do what they need to do.
Changing Accounting systems is a HUGE pain. If your current system is still supported and works why change? If your old PC is still running why change? I can see the logic of getting a new LCD screen for the power savings but in businesses it often is wise to keep what works until there is a benefit to changing.
Heck for the average office worker keeping them on a PIII and skipping the hyper hot and power hungry P4 probably would have been a brilliant move.

maybe the example is particularly extreme... (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737962)

In my experience with Realtors, they are very set in their ways computer wise. Of the four houses I've bought and sold in the last 15 years, I never cease to be amazed at all the pointless faxing rather than emailing. Sure there is almost a verifiable paper trail, but after the contract has been faxed 5 times, I could be signing a document to have my colon invaded weekly instead of my house sold.


Re:maybe the example is particularly extreme... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738084)

I could be signing a document to have my colon invaded weekly instead of my house sold.
Well if you're satisfied with having sex that rarely, more power to you!

WordPerfect for DOS (1)

jensend (71114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738000)

It's certainly true that the "latest and greatest" often isn't really any better and even when it is may not be worth the transition costs. I know someone who had a thorough understanding of WordPerfect for DOS- every key combination, how to wizard things with Reveal Codes, some understanding of macros, etc- but have never gotten as comfortable with anything since then. Is he more productive because his department has spent money on every word processor upgrade since Word 97? Heck no.

Re:WordPerfect for DOS (2, Insightful)

tomandlu (977230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738266)

God, I loved WP for DOS (was it 5.1? Ah, distant memories...)

Last f***ing word processor that actually did what I wanted it to, when I wanted it to.

This is why Windows persists (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738012)

I have opined for quite some time that this is the primary reason most people are inclined to stay with Windows. Other reasons include mission critical apps and what I refer to as tail-wind. Tail-wind would be the other users that get dragged into using a particular application and/or OS simply because associated or other users in the same field or industry use it. (For example, Apple and Mac OS X is used by graphics and design professionals NOT because it's better [the same hardware is used by PC clones] but because that's what everyone else uses.)

Evidence of the "because I'm used to it" mentality can be shown in much public resistance I have witnessed from Office 2007. I have users that have tried it and hate the user interface. They would fight me if, for some reason, I wanted to switch to Office 2007.

So all those "this is the year of Linux on the Desktop" people (do people still say that?), this is what has to be over-come and it's just not something anyone but government and big business can actually take on. The change has to be forced on people.

Re:This is why Windows persists (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738234)

I agree. And THAT is exactly why people should NEVER, I repeat NEVER advocate blindly for some product.

Let people use what they want and are used to. It's really annoying when you are in some newsgroup and some poor soul comes asking for help for "how can I convert a jpg to bmp?" and some idiot just jumps "just install Linuzzz" or "you should buy a Mak"... it was funny from the beginning but for Bowser's sake, just use your energy to help that person and pur your own preferences aside!

Remember, what you like is hated by someone else, so preferences are just that: preferences. Use the tool you like and down with all religious (software and literal ones)

That's all well and good (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738018)

Just stop expecting support from developers. If your old, non-compliant browser doesn't render new sites well, blame it on yourself for not upgrading. I've had this situation with people and their cars. I've known older people who think I'm insane for buying a new car and driving it till it's got 150K miles, and then dumping it. All they focus on is the depreciation when it rolls off the dealer's lot. But then, these same people will drive an older, used car that they can afford to replace until crazy things like the key won't flip on the ignition because the teeth are all worn down to the point of being useless. So I say it's nice that you're not an early adopter. Just be rational about replacing what you use.

Re:That's all well and good (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738206)

I'm 22 and my cars got all those wacky problems older cars get eventually (97 lumina, about 140k miles). I acutally kind of like it because I wouldn't have been bothered to learn anything about how that thing works if it wasn't for problems that needed to be fixed. I've heard the argument (they're making cars different now anyway so it's pointless to learn that) but funny enough thats always from people who pay 40 dollars to get their oil changed and fluids checked.

Re:That's all well and good (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738436)

I've known older people who think I'm insane for buying a new car and driving it till it's got 150K miles, and then dumping it.

I'm only 30, and I think that's an insane thing to do. You replace your car when the repair costs exceed the value of the car.... and even *then* you have to make a decision on how much more time you think to get out of your car by actually doing the repair, versus buying a new car (or a young second-hand car)

Assuming 10k miles/year, that car is 15 years old. One of my first cars 14 years old and in prime condition... when I had an accident (and thus had to be replaced) I'm sure, it would have done another 5 years easily.

If you want to save a maximum on a car, you buy a younger second-hand car, and drive it down. That's the financially most sane option.

New tech is YMMV (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738054)

In my youth, I jumped on new stuff more quickly, and I often regretted it. Often the only thing good about a new product is the marketing. It's often easier to use something that's outdated than to use something buggy. And even if my outdated product is also buggy, at least I know where the bugs are.

Guns and other stuff, too (5, Insightful)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738064)

Firearms are an area where this dynamic is often seen. There are lots of gee-whiz techno toys in that arena - caseless ammo, (that fucking stupid overhyped) MetalStorm (shit), etc. But when you really need reliability, like when you're relying on a piece of hardware to save your life, you tend to want the tried and true.

The best example I can think of? The Colt model of 1911 is still considered by lots of people to be the finest fighting sidearm ever. It certainly was in its day. That day lasted until the mid-1980s when the Glock came along. It's taken 20 years, but if you attend a *serious* personal defense class (not one of those "get your carry license in a day" things) where the students select and bring their own sidearm, you'll generally find something close to an even split between 1911s and Glocks. It's taken more than 20 years for a superior design to achieve acceptance by the cognescenti.

Old and obsolete often means tried and true. When I'm betting my life, I like the idea of tried and true. That attitude is often displayed by thoughtful folks in all areas of their life; we like what works and will change only when something demonstrably better is available and the inconvenience of using the old tech becomes sufficiently painful.

In other news, I'm considering switching to a digital camera any day now. :-)

No suprise here. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738070)

If there is no motive to change people wont change. The degree of the motives are different for each person.

Beta Adopters (Not really beta testers they just use Beta software and don't report bugs) their motive are normally based on being able to use a product when it is released without having to learn it, So by the time it comes out it is already the tride and true. So their motive to change is the fact that things are changing and they want to be start off running. Also they can honestly fill out on their resumes that they have 5 years of Vista Experience. (making them look like experts)

Early Adopters much like the beta adopters but they want to reduce the risk of blowing up their systems. But still once it moves from Fad to Normal they want to be the group who says I have it. And those people who apply for Jobs and actually say they do Have over 2 years experience with Vista.

Normal Adopters The technology came in the kinks have been worked out and all points show this is way things are going to be. So lets jump into the bandwagon and get back to work. Failure to change will cause them to get behind and become undesirable.

Late Adopters... This article.

Old Phogies... These people are not nessarly old in age but so resistant to change that they will come with any excuse to defend their position. USB Is Too Complex for a keyboard and mouse. Serial Connections are easier to program, also you can really bolt the device onto the system so it wont go anywhere. If the program can't run on 640k of RAM that it is unessarly bloated. The old system had components largeenough so you can replace a broken part where now you need to buy a new card. And Ignoring things like USB can handle many devices without having to internally expand you computer, The lack of thumb screws makes it easier to move the system and set it back up. The Time saved by making programs memory hogs allowed for cheaper software to be developed (today any CS Grad can program a program like Lotus 123 within a few weeks and its selling price if comerical would be like $10.00 vs Hundreds of Dollars back when Lotus was new.) The fact that the old parts would fail an average of once a year vs. an integrated card will run for years on end being a better value dollar wize... But that wont stop those guys. You can take my PDP 11 from my cold dead hands.

Contrariwise (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738082)

From the fine article:

It's not because they're luddites but rather, they are comfortable with what they know. (emphasis added)

Actually, I suspect it may be more that "they are UNcomfortable with what they DO NOT know." People have a certain range of stimulation with which they feel comfortable. Below that, they feel bored. Above that, they feel overwhelmed. (Shut the *%&^* up!) And, that range of stimulus with which one person feels comfortable can be quite different from someone else's comfort zone.

I prefer a lower level stimulation than average. If I go shopping at a mall, I can last an hour, maybe two. Then all of the music, bright lights, shiny ads, conversations, and general din get to be too much. If everyone perceived it that way, then it would scare away shoppers, and they'd "fix" it. So, I accept that and make it a point to take a break for a few minutes of quiet time and then I'm good to go for another hour or two. I don't really mind, I've come to realize that this same sensitivity has benefits, too... I've had a great career in software quality assurance.

My point is that these "late adopters" may be already close to saturation on stimulus, and as much better as the new stuff may be, accepting and adopting that change could be the straw that [at least in their perception] breaks the camel's back. It's easier to deal with the incremental challenges of an old technology, than it is to take a chance on a big change. Or so it seems to them.

Aversion to risk? (2, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738092)

So in summary the article is "humans found to be averse to risk and change"? Hasn't that been known by psychologists for ages? Humans (as a species) are happy with what they know and don't like the unknown. New technology is, to many, an unknown, ergo they don't like it and avoid it for as long as possible.

Besides, who needs half of this flashy trash anyway? iPhone? Pah, I'd still have a Nokia 3310 if it wasn't about as cheap to buy a 3510 as it was to get a replacement battery for the 3310, and I'm 23.

An old Russian proverb comes to mind here.. (1)

thegermanpolice (1194811) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738096)

Better is the enemy of good enough.

Look at politics (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738116)

If you want evidence of people sticking to the "tried and true" approach, take a look at recent American, British and Australian election results. Voters will not vote out the party in power unless something is going to change (or already has) anyway, meaning a minimum of 2 terms for a government is almost a given these days. And if you ask anyone why they voted for the current government, they will most likely tell you "everything is ok as it is" or "I'm not sure what that other party will be like", or recite a scare tactic line from the current government playing on people's fear of the unknown.

For example:
  • American presidents are limited to 2 terms, so when they have to go only then will the voters vote out their party too.
  • The Liberal party was in power in Australia for a long time until John Howard announced he would not serve out his next term.
  • In the UK, Labour will only be voted out in the next election because Tony Blair has now retired.
Ok I'm generalising a little bit here and there are obviously other influences too, but you get the picture.

Heh... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738140)

I proudly announce 2 weeks ago I bought my first video cassette recorder. For $10.

"not because they're luddites" (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738148)

Please see the definition of Luddite and try to think more clearly in future.

Trailing Edge Technologies.... good for some (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738158)

That's what a colleague of mine in a huge CPA firm believes in: trailing edge. No debugging. Everything's fixed by the time he gets there. Users probably already know about the apps and all. Parts are easy to find, maybe on eBay or CL. Lots of books and docs and howtos are easily available. All the service packs are out. Interoperability problems have been solved. Goose it with faster hardware and things work the first time out with little fear of reliability or interoperability.

Is he crazy? No, just so financially conservative that I've seen holes clean through the bottom of his shoes. And he leads a very uneventful life. There might be some wisdom in that. Consider not having to constantly patch stuff through the first half of its life cycle. Or that everything you've deployed has a chance of still working with everything you've deployed without a lot of drama.

He won't jump out of an airplane with a parachute. But I will. And I'll get the latest stuff. And I'll aggressively integrate it and denigrate the vendors whose stuff isn't baked when it arrives in a 'production' version. Is he wiser? Perhaps. Duller, too.

Cost (1)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738162)

Seriously, am I expected to be jumping for every latest advancement? I can't be expected to buy every new damned piece of technology out there, software included. Sure, I like gadgets, some are useful and some are just fun, but this sure as hell doesn't mean I can afford all of them, and I refuse to get into debt just to satisfy some sort of technolust.

It's an obvious point, but people seem content to ruin their bank balances just to stay on top of this shit.

Sounds reasonable to me (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738170)

Sounds completely reasonable to me. The engineer's motto is "if it works, don't fix it," If he's got software that's working, why pay money to get software that might or might work, but definitely will require a steep learning curve wasting days, and maybe weeks, to get "upgraded" to something that will itself be obsolete in another year anyway?

Frankly, I really wish that developers would work on actually fixing the bugs in the old software, instead of dumping it all for the next "upgrade" with a completely different set of user interfaces to learn, and new gee-whiz features that almost work, or at least would work, except that everybody else isn't compatible (but will work really shiny when everybody gets on the wagon, really!).

Of course, often, we're forced to adopt (1)

hughbar (579555) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738198)

One of my big reasons for dislike of Microsoft and others with market muscle is the forced adoption cycle, just for reasons of marketing and bottom line.

In the case of operating systems, increasing bloat means that a lot of hardware goes into landfill and a lot more energy is used, each time. Even when the hardware doesn't go into landfill, it's recycled (more often than necessary) using and distributing toxic chemicals.

As another poster said, 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' that used to be one basis for good engineering and it's certainly got ecological consequences.

Re:Of course, often, we're forced to adopt (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738326)

Actually microsoft is one of the lesser "forced adoption cycle" companies.

Their deep roots into the corp world forces them to support legacy apps and interfaces. That's one of the criticisms of them when we start talking about malware and security. A company like Apple is insanely bad at the "forced adoption cycle". Look at the floppy in the 90's, Apple said "no-more" before they really were obsolete. Apple changed their processors twice, and the core OS twice. They allow compatibility for a while, but the writing is always on the wall for old code and hardware. Modern Apple hardware can't run legacy code anymore (something written 7 or more years ago) without a VM running an old version of the OS. Last I checked windows can still run DOS programs.

I love my mac, but they are one of the worst offenders in this area. IF your hardware is more than a couple years old, you start to fight against the tide of forced adoption.


I agree with the rationale (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738296)

I personally tend to be a mix. I wait until I see bleeding edge technology that I *MUST* have, and use it to build a machine that is extremely powerful and top of the line. That machine will then last me 5-8 years, or more so long as I take care of it and keep it properly maintained. For me, bleeding edge turns into old school tech that works "good enough" for a good long time.

Off to the Near Death Star! (1)

Barbobot (1252798) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738308)

:: Marge: Grandpa, this flag only has 49 stars on it

:: Grandpa: I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missourah!

But seriously, they're saying he's a late adopter when it comes to upgrading his browser, but that's to be expected for his demographic. You could turn the same kind of thinking around on a younger demographic by pointing out that 20 year olds are _much_ slower to adopt the newest treatments for atherosclerosis; talk about late adopters, thirty years behind, and by then the treatments will be completely different. "They'll be so terribly behind the times, how will they catch up?" you say. But anyway.

A 20 year old with atherosclerosis would be an exceptional case, so taking pharmaceuticals to treat that condition wouldn't be early adoption. Likewise, the idea of calling an 81-year old AOL user a late adopter is moving outside the usual bounds of discussion when it comes to software/technology--it's exceptional that he's using it, apparently as an architect e-mailing maps and photographs. Actually, he should be retired. Off to the Near Death Star!

Office 2007 is a perfect example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22738438)

Here at work, my ancient desktop was long overdue to be replaced with something from this millennium. Unfortunately, that new PC has Office 2007 on it, which broke compatibility with numerous things and could not print anything correctly. I went back to the trusty old 90s era PC until they get that crap off. Sure this PC is ancient, but I'm far more productive on it for the time being.
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