Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

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Does Customer Support really support?

My computer is 3 years old and so is most of the software I use, which these days actually isn’t all that much. But I’m working with images more than usual now that I’m church webmaster and I decided to upgrade my Adobe Photoshop Elements to the current version. Even bought a helpful book and everything. They arrived yesterday.

I sat down to install the product and immediately ran into problems. Adobe made me be a registered user before I could install and register my software, so I did that. But when the installation got to the part where I was to put in the serial number – I couldn’t find one! There were lots of numbers and even one that looked like a serial number, but it wasn’t. What to do?

Being a savvy geekette, I went to the Adobe customer service forums to see if anyone else had the problem. Several different entries but no real resolution. So next step was to open a chat conversation with tech support. It was, to put it mildly, annoying. I sent a picture of the label on the back of the box with all the numbers. I typed the numbers. I explained the problem. He told me he couldn’t get a serial number out of it. Well, duh.

Then he told me to look at the inner sleeve of the “box” that the disc came in and said the 24-digit serial number was on the sleeve. I took it apart, people, and there was nothing on that sleeve. Nothing. So naturally he told me I needed to report this to Amazon, where I purchased the product. It was Amazon’s fault that the Adobe product they sold didn’t have a serial number on it?  I don’t think so.

But I contacted them anyway. Finding Amazon chat is a little hidden but it’s always been productive and today was no exception. The lovely Christina told me to just send it all back and I would have a replacement tomorrow. Even though I’d dismantled the inner sleeve of the box?  Yes, she said, that’s not a problem.


This is why I will buy from Amazon. Because they support their sales and treat me like someone with a problem, not someone who IS a problem.


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Learning to Read my Kindle

Kindle E-ReaderMy mom, who is very technosavvy, gave my father a Kindle for Christmas.  For those who haven’t encountered one yet, a Kindle is a wireless reading device developed by Amazon.  They took 3 years to work out the kinks and get just what they wanted, and it’s really slick.  But my dad is not as much of a techie as Mom is, and she got annoyed with it, too, so they ended up giving it to me as an early birthday present.

I am a happy camper, being something of a geekette at heart.  And the Kindle was on my Amazon Wishlist as soon as it was announced, though I never expected anyone who actually give me one.  As a librarian, I’ve been following developments with e-book readers which parallels the famous VHS/BetaMax or BlueRay/HD DVD battles in other technology arenas.

This little Kindle is a winner in my book.  The non-glare screen is clear and easy to read, with adjustable font size, logical navigation buttons, and a tiny little keyboard at the bottom.  There’s also this kind of funky navigation wheel and an option to search for text, add highlights and comments, and look words up in a stored dictionary.

There’s a built in wireless feature that lets the Kindle connect to a network without a computer, special accounts or monthly billing.  Using this wireless connection, the Kindle can download new books (up to 180! – that will last a nice long trip) or access subscription newspapers such as the NY Times or Washington Post.

Right now I have only managed to read the instruction manual.  But hey, it’s a good place to start.  My parents loaded two books, including the very long Pillars of the Earth, and today I downloaded a sample of something else to see how that downloading worked. Fast, very fast.

We’re talking in my work place about a switch from focus on format to focus on content. Really, what matters here is what I’m reading and ultimately I don’t really care if it’s in a book with a cover or an e-book with screen and buttons.  As long as it’s easy to hold and navigate, it sure is a lot more convenient to have one little device hold everything I might want to read for a while all in one place.  I can take it with me on a plane or to the beach, read (and synch) it on the train or sitting in a hotel room, giving me content at my fingertips.

I like it.  The future is charging up in my living room.  Pillars of the Earth awaits.