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Coping With Change

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Hi, everyone. Leo Notenboom here for

So, a couple of weeks ago, it might actually almost a month ago by now, I asked my readers to fill out a survey asking what their biggest struggle was in dealing with technology. Basically, I’m trying to find out where to focus attention and what kinds of issues are bubbling to the top for a lot of people.

As it turns out, I was kind of surprised, although I shouldn’t have been, by what is turning out to be the most common topic that people are mentioning to me. So I’m not even through reading the two thousand responses that I’ve gotten so far. I’ve only made it a short way through, but it’s already clear that there is one issue this year that is bubbling to the top more so, I think, than any other, and to be honest, more so than any issue has bubbled to the top in previous years.

And this year’s issue – change. Dealing with change. Being frustrated by the pace of change or the kinds of change that are happening. So, that leaves me in an interesting position, because while I can sympathize with the frustration, because I hear about it frequently on Ask Leo!, many questions come in with some kind of an issue relating to change and frustration in having to deal with change or feeling forced to deal with change when change may not seem necessary.

I also am at a little bit of a disadvantage, because it’s not something that necessarily frustrates me. I, personally, can’t really identify with the frustration. Like I said, it’s different, I understand the frustration. I totally get and accept the frustration, but very personally, I embrace change. I enjoy change. It’s one of the reasons that I’m in this industry because every day there is something new, something to learn from, something to keep me interested, and to be honest, something to keep the brain cells firing.

In that vein, one of the issues that seems to come along with frustration facing change is age. Now, it’s interesting because I hear regularly from people in their 80’s and 90’s who are absolutely having the time of their lives. They are enjoying what’s happening very much like I do.

I do get from responses from people who are frustrated with change that says, “Well just you wait until you get into your 50’s or so forth”, well, I got news, today I’m actually recording this on my 58th birthday. Now, for some of you that still keeps me a young pup. For others, I’m older than you think, and I am absolutely embracing, enjoying and looking forward to the changes that the coming years hold, and I fully expect to as long as I live, be able to do that.

That’s not to say that frustration with change is something that you shouldn’t feel. Change doesn’t affect everybody the same way – I get that. So, the problem that I have is basically understanding what to do. How to advise people? How to help people when they’re frustrated with change.

And that’s kind of where I’m going with this video today. What I’d like to do is, since this is admittedly a weakness of mine, since I don’t have that perspective of really being frustrated with change; I’d like to ask you what do you do to cope with change? What do you do to postpone change? What do you do to deal with the ever-changing world that we live in?

Now, of course, Ask Leo! is all about technology but even in some of the survey responses, I’ve gotten comments that definitely deal with change outside of this fear – everything from washing machines to cars to the world around you to the political landscape. Change is constant. How do you deal with it?

If you’re change averse; if it’s something that you would prefer never happened, how do you deal with it, or more properly, how would you advise someone else to deal with change that they’re not ready to accept; that they’re feeling frustrated and feeling forced to accept. I’d love to hear from you. I expect to learn a lot. Now, there’s one thing I do want to caution you about.

I’m absolutely asking for your feedback, but I understand that change is frustrating. I understand that the perception of change without reason is frustrating – what people call change for the sake of change is frustrating for many, many people. I don’t want this to turn into another “change is frustrating” litany or rant. What I’m really looking for here are positive ways that you could help others to deal with change.

How can they approach change in order to feel better about it, to feel less stressed about it and ultimately feel less frustrated about it? So I’d love to hear your ideas on how to do that. Like I said, if you’re just wanting to say that change is frustrating, you don’t have to. We already know. It’s very, very clear. Like I said, just the tip of the iceberg in the survey results makes that very, very clear. What I’m looking for here, though, are your ideas on how to go about coping with change.

As always, if you’re watching this anywhere but on Ask Leo!, go visit Here’s the link to the article that has this video and the comments that are moderated. I’d love to hear your ideas on coping with change. I think that a lot of people, myself included, will benefit from many of the ideas that I’m sure many of you will share.

So thank you for doing so; thank you for watching. I look forward to seeing you again next week. As always, you know who I am; I’m Leo Notenboom and yep, it is my birthday – 58 years old today. For, take care everyone.

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52 comments on “Coping With Change”

  1. Leo, I am 85 years old and at any age we must first be interested in the change occurring and then study and learn. A lack of interest and or effort will lead to frustration when we need to know something.

  2. Hi Leo. That was a great webinar. I did not get the survey on change. But I have learned in my 69 years That change is going to happen no matter what. I finally realized Just take it slow and follow direction. Not easy at first. But it can happen. Why beat ourselves over the head about it.
    Keep up the great work Leo

  3. I just did the Windows 10 upgrade on two computers. If I were to be working on non-desktop computers with touch screens may haves turned out differently. But I have rejected Windows 10 as a viable operating system for desktop systems. If Microsoft would have put forth a basic O/S and let me choose what I wanted, tailor to my needs and wants I am sure the outcome would of been different. I rolled back my “main” computer to Windows 7, and am in the process of rolling back my “utility” computer to Windows 2000 because, in addition to the Win 10 problems, Hewlett-Packard long has drivers for my Photo 1250 printer.

    I carry an IPhone 4s, my main computers are Intel boards in black boxes, and the most rock solid trouble free system I have ever had since I was introduced to computer in 1970 (URC-55) is a obsolete Dell Inspire laptop that was discarded by the school system, and now runs Ubuntu Linux.

    This upcoming Christmas my wife promised me “any Apple System” I want.

  4. How to deal with change? I will answer what I think Leo can do to help folks with change. Leo, I think your blogs with updates on the changes coming and have already come is a real help. I find the changes occurring in the computer world are much easier to deal with if I have a site (such as Ask Leo!) to go to that explain ways to help with these changes. I know you can’t deal with all changes, but at least you can give out some pretty good information on what are the biggest issues for the world of computing. If you (Leo) can keep that in mind (not that you don’t), you will help beaucoup with these issues. Great site.

  5. Hi Leo,

    I so enjoy your blogs, guess that is what they are called- see here is a change already for a non technical person as I am- don’t know what to call it. Anyway, it seems that one of the big changes this year coming will be Windows 10. You asked how to make “change” different. I know you do a great job of displaying to the reader how to make a change in the process we are to do to make the change, but I sometimes think you skip over the micro changes we need to make to continue following you along in your blog. I know you are a superior person in computing, but there are some of us that barely know how to type on a keyboard, let alone such things as short cuts using certain keystroke combinations, etc. So my answer to your question on “change” is probably to ‘over simplify’ your response to someones question, don’t take for granted that people know how to do a simple command or combination of strokes, or ……… just about anything. As always, thank you for your body of work.

  6. Change. Let us know it is coming and let us control when it hits our machine. I’m willing to bumble through it but I support people (my mother and wife for starters) who don’t handle it real well and are minimally computer literate. They think they understand how it works and then it changes. Facebook is one of these especially since I don’t use it but they do! Then there is MS but I’m finally getting the hang of the new Word and Excel interface.

    Keep up the good work. You are a young pup – I’ll be 68 next month and still love this silly stuff – from back in the days of wiring boards, running card sorters and thinking 16k was a HUGE amount of memory!!

  7. I’ve spent the last 40 years in the telecom business so change is not a stranger and I’ve embraced it. In presenting that change to others, i.e. end users, I’ve learned that change will be readily accepted IF the user sees a clear benefit from the change. So the way to present and get one to embrace a change is to demonstrate the benefit. Improved speed, more simplicity in getting to where you want to go, solving a problem or frustration or just a cosmetically more appealing interface can drive acceptance of change. Sadly, as you know all to well, some changes create more problems than they solve. Releasing an operating system that renders perfectly good hardware and software obsolete, requiring one to learn methods of doing a task with no benefit in the outcome and arbitrarily rearranging button placements and descriptors cause users frustration because there is no perceived benefit to the changes.
    As an example, I have a home automation system that I installed many years ago that was way ahead of its time. It still functions perfectly and would cost thousands of dollars to replace. The software to manage the system will only run on a 16 or 32 bit system. Even the software to make changes on my brand new car will only run on XP and my home Bluetooth gateway config menus can only be accessed when connected to an XP machine. So to cope I have to keep an XP laptop at hand to manage those devices or use XP emulation.
    I run WIN7 Pro on my “main” pc and like it. There’s nothing I need it to do that it doesn’t do already and MS has never presented a benefit case that would induce me to upgrade to subsequent releases including WIN 10 (at least so far).
    So I guess you could say that where no benefit is perceived my “coping mechanism” is to delay until need drives a desire to change. On the other hand, when I want a solution to a problem or find a worthwhile enhancement I’ll jump in feet first to learn a new technology that will solve it.

    • Hear Hear! There’s too much fixing of systems that aren’t broken. I still don’t see why the MS office interface changed so radically after office 2003 – the old layout was far better and more intuitive than the later layout. And that’s just one example of 100s of later releases being poorer than the original.

  8. Happy Birthday!! : )

    great webinar….thanks…

    how cope w/change…..SLOWLY…..
    just baby steps….for ex: knew I had to do something re back up; it took me about 6 months to buy a new external hard drive; it’s been sitting on my desk; it took me another month to open the package….hopefully it won’t be too long before I can wrap my head around setting it up for backups.

    I will not upgrade my win 7 desktop to win. 10; but will buy a windows 10 computer eventually, because I know eventually we won’t be able to get the critical updates…’s just something I’ll have to do; I don’t like it, but will just do it when the time comes; it’s like going to the dentist (for some), you just wake up one day and have to do it. So just one foot in front of the other when it comes to the computer.

    try to keep up with change by subscribing to things like Ask Leo
    try to keep learning new little things about the computer and use of it all the time
    as Mike said, yes, have to accept change is going to happen, even though it’s difficult at times, so I try to keep up with it all….it’s just that it’s all so fast!

    • To continue the dentist analogy, back up before your hard drive gets a toothache. Search Ask Leo! for how to do this. There are dozens of articles on the subject. And unlike the dentist, it’s painless.

  9. Hi Leo & congratulations. I did do your survey but can’t remember exactly what I said! That’s probably due to my 45+ years in IT (it was Data Processing when I started) & that I have 12 years start on you! But I guess what I’m seeing in the way of change is not just technical but one thing corporations are about & that is driving down costs. One of the favourite ways they do this is to reduce the amount of documentation or built in help in an OS or application. This process has been accelerated through Windows 8 & now in 10 where if you want to find out something you use Cortana (not impressed OK Google is far better) or a typed search (sorry I can’t see what use Bing is either).
    However what this approach does do is lead you to forums & help sites & you find the good ones like Ask Leo! & How To Geek amongst many others & so long as you record the ones *you* find useful you’ll get real world answers from people who got there before you.
    In fact thinking about things the changes in OS over the years have mainly been ones related to interface (what the GUI looks like) & the need to support new technologies & I find that change in the commercial use of an OS is relatively small compared say with some technical innovations e.g. touch devices (I’m using a Lenovo AIO with a 23″ touch display & I can move between mouse/keyboard & the touch screen without a problem) but touch has been around for at least a decade (no Apple was not first) & the concept of tablets was built into XP – it’s just the hardware was rubbish at the time.
    So I guess what I’m really saying is that there isn’t as much change as people might think. What Microsoft are trying to do with Win 10 is play catch up because they’ve been caught on the hop by the success of Android & Apple mobile products. Notice the move from Control Panel to Settings – usage from the mobile (phones & tablets whether they support voice comms or not) world.
    Whether they’re going about it in the right way is a moot point, but they have to do something & fast. A good thing though is that they’re now getting more collaborative than in the past so as to enable them to become part of the new world – before it passes them by!
    Even though I have a recent machine I had issues in my use of Win10 so I rolled back, and after a few issues with roll-back am now using 8.1 again & will wait for another 6-9 months before giving 10 another go.
    Anyway enough of my ramblings. You’re right change is endemic in IT but a lot of it is driven by commercial pressures & not necessarily technical ones.

  10. Happy belated birthday! A few things help me cope with change. One is trying to be in control of the things that are within my power to control so that with change, I don’t feel like everything is out of control. My battery is charged and I can cope with the stresses of change if some things are going smoothly. Another is finding someone who can help me with whatever is changing so I don’t need to navigate it by myself. That person can either be someone who knows what the change is all about or it can be someone who doesn’t know but is willing to try to figure it out with me. I find that two heads are often better than one and that having someone there as a support can make all the difference in the world.

  11. I go onto Youtube and look to see if anyone has made a video on the subject whether it’s a new software programme or one new to me. Likewise if I want to improve my knowledge of a subject I do the same. I also Google the topic to see if there are instructional videos available. I also use (paid for) and or as it’s now called (free).

  12. Change is often seen as a threat. I find it helps always to try to see it as an opportunity. Of course some things that change, apparently unnecessarily, can be frustrating. It would help if those who make the changes – or those who are part of the wider support community – which includes you Leo – could find time to explain better what the changes are, why they have been made, and what the advantages of the ‘new’ format are. If we can understand better, we can accept better.

    I do have sympathy with those who feel that the rolling wheel of change is inconvenient because it stops things that worked well in the past working without some new adaptation. Lets face it a lot of change is driven by people wanting to make money out of us, but let us also remember that there are loads of people out there working to take money or other value from us by exploiting weaknesses in existing software.

    Genrally though to stand still is to die. Good design involves building in the flexibility to respond to change.

  13. The word “change” is too generic. I resolve it into Improvement or Evolution on one hand, and Decay or Destruction on the other hand.

    Windows 7 is an example of Improvement, for those of us who think the Universe is bounded by operating systems.
    Now Windows 10… Destruction!
    My 3-year-old HP Pavilion desktop was chugging along nicely on Windows 7. Two weeks ago my 72-year-old mind decided to try Improvement. I ran the Windows 10 upgrade. I noticed a message advising a restart to install updates. Updates are good; they are Improvement. After two minutes, the computer went into a loop advising me that it had encountered a WDF_VIOLATION, whereupon it rebooted. Turning off power stopped the loop. Then the machine would not boot – not even POST. Wrong kind of Change.

  14. Whatever happened to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

    Following this adage saves a lot of time, as long as you recognise security issues as a less obvious cause of a “broken” system.

    • That’s good advice in most cases, but unfortunately, #1 we can’t impose that on software companies. #2 Windows 98, for example, was a great OS before it was replaced. Incremental improvements to it never would have kept up with improvements in hardware and advances in internet capabilities. OSes are constantly changing to keep up. Many of the changes people are having a hard time with are superficial interface changes which can be fixed by utilities like ClassicShell. Windows 10 requires a lot of vigilance due to privacy changes. Computers are complex and ever changing. It’s just a fact of life that it is necessary to keep up with those changes.

  15. I tend to look forward to change – especially in the tech world. Just today though, I had to add some quick shortcut programs to 8 computers here at work. Mind you these shortcuts were VERY helpful in our profession and all it takes it about 10 minutes to install and set up. Well two of the guys who would most benefit said thanks but no thanks.
    My prediction is that once they actually see how the program works, they will be calling me to add it to their system. So maybe that is the key – seeing is believing. Just being told just isn’t enough.
    Keep up the great job Leo. And Happy Birthday!

  16. I’d been using Chrome and added Windows 10. Some sites accessible in Chrome could be put on 10 as tiles fine but others for unknown reasons could not. After rereading directions and retrying several times I said nuts to it and quit trying. If one road is blocked I can use another. At age 82 I can put up without the latest change as long as something works.

  17. Life is a process of cyclical and periodic change. Actions can be sustainable or destructive. Our choices ripple across time horizons that we cannot perceive. My choice is to respect nature and embrace world history. Share your best concepts and ideas. consider others views and try to lead by example. Just like Leo N

  18. Leo: I’ve got 11 years on you, and I embrace change, but only when I perceive change as beneficial. If MS comes out with a new Win, and the Start button is gone, or the aps have new names or the familiar buttons are somewhere else, this is destructive change. We embrace technology because it lets us get new things done more easily, but we have to invest some effort and time to interface efficiently with that technology. Change that disrupts our familiarity is wasting our investment. Further, when someone forces a change on us, we question either his motives or his expertise. That is, is the change just a change to allow for marketing? And if this change destroys some of our invested effort, then was this change done by someone so ignorant that they don’t realize what they have done? And if the latter is the case, I question reliability of the entire new device I’m being asked to embrace.

    Remember the keyboard wars? If you have invested time to gain proficiency in touch-typing on a Qwerty keyboard, all the claims of better efficiency of Dvorak and/or curved keyboards have no value to you. I already can type faster than I can think! But this doesn’t mean that I shun a mouse or trackball. However, since I don’t use mobile devices (except for iPhone), touchpad screens are change that doesn’t help me.

    I don’t have a good answer on coping with sweeping new change. I have three PC’s now, and two will remain Win 7 for a while. On the third, my hard drive was flaky, so I replaced the hard drive and did a clean install of Win 10. Let’s play with it in a non-critical environment. And right away, one change is when MS tries to slip by me the use of an MS account sign-in rather than a simple local machine sign-in. That’s change that has no apparent value to me. And then I open Edge, and an absolute clown-car circus of little animated windows spills out on the home page. What is all this crap, why do I need it, and how can I get rid of it? And darn, it’s now different to set your search engine and home page preference. I’m being asked to invest my life again just to get back to what I already could do. Again, disruptive change for me.

    So, am I advocating gradual acclimatization or am I practicing jumping in totally cold turkey for the new Win 10? Looks like I have compromised and done both! Maybe coping with change requires a certain tolerance for schizophrenia.

  19. I have no problems with changes that create opportunities for improved productivity, but we’ve had too many changes creating a decrease in productivity. I worked as a software tester for many years. Software/hardware companies are in such a hurry to compete nowadays, they send out products without completely testing and obviously can’t test against all possible scenarios with other products users load on their computers. This means everyone is really on their own for support if problems emerge and this causes a lot of hesitation on our part before we do updates or upgrades. My company has been anxiously waiting for Windows 10 since we heard Microsoft’s announcement because we hate Windows 8 and we need new hardware too. The programs we use including our main accounting software will not work on Windows 10 yet, so we can’t make the change.

  20. Happy Birthday Leo,
    I hope that you had an excellent day!

    As it relates to your question about dealing/coping with change? Unfortunately I think that you only have two choices; 1. Realize that it’s inevitable and that you can’t stop it! So why not embrace it wherever and whenever you can, and learn to live with it, or: 2. deny it, avoid it, stick your head in the sand, and get pulverized by the train of changes that are running down the track out of control! Change is always coming, the good and the bad, but don’t let it dictate your world for you. Except it, learn to live with it, and move on………

  21. My first computer was a CP/M Z80 machine, in the early 1980’s. From then until now, I’ve run most of the OS’s that have hit the market, including a number of Linux distros (but not Apple). So, like you might have already guessed, I enjoy change and even look forward to it. That is I enjoy it in computers, though not so much in various other areas. So I think learning enough about a technology or discipline to actually enjoy it is probably the key to handling change. I think personality and physical makeup are involved too, and a person may enjoy change in one area but not another. I like to eat, but I seldom choose new food off the menu. And I hate buying new shoes. Similarly, it is likely that some people will never enjoy learning to run a new operating system. BTW, I’ve done three Win 10 installs so far, all of which went fine and were trouble free. I do miss the start screen somewhat – I adapted to that in Windows 8 and got to like it. But I’ll get Win 10 setup the way I like it too. Just give me a bit of time!

  22. Dear Leo ,
    Couple of days ago I learned that despite my attention to switch to Windows 10 in the near future or ever
    I already have Windows 10 on my computer.
    Sophos and a number of other websites are reporting that if your Windows update was set for automatic updates
    Microsoft downloaded Windows 10 in a hidden folder,weather you want it or not.
    Apparently it sitting in a hidden folder called $Windows.~BT and occupies between 3.5 to 6 GB disk space.
    The update KB3035583 was downloaded on my computer on 01/07/2015
    Needless to say I’m outraged by this sneaky and aggressive action on the part of Microsoft,and I will say
    the harder they push their product on me the sooner I will throw my PC on the compost heap ,once and for all.
    I immediately turned automatic update off,and would like to uninstall this downloads ,but at age 75 I’m not so sure
    I can do it on my own, especially when Sophos is saying that it is rather difficult to get rid of the files .
    I’m sure I’m not the only one with this conundrum ,
    can you please help with the removal of these files .

    • Before throwing your computer away, consider installing Linux. I’ve installed Linux Mint on a few friends’ computers and they found it easier to get used to switching from Windows 7 than to get used to using Windows 8. If you only do basic things like email, web browsing and writing letters, Linux might work for you.

  23. Happy Birthday a little late Leo. I made the 58 turn just a couple of weeks ago.
    For things to change, things have to change!
    I find myself able to embrace technology change much better than morality change.
    I took over an IT Manager position 7 years ago while the small manufacturing firm was still using NT 4 and NT Server. I quickly got XP Pro machines and a couple of nice servers into the mix. We’ve since upgrade to Win 7 and getting ready for another server upgrade.
    I find it best to introduce the big things abruptly, then drip feed positives on a daily basis for a season. For instance, when we upgraded to XP, many users found it hard to have more than one window open at a time. I would visit their workspace and introduce multitasking and feed them a great new feature, like Ctrl C, V and X. Hints and tips are great positives. Feeding the positives in small doses seems to overcome many of the negatives of change in our specific work environment.
    For individuals, I’d say learn something positive new about that new thing you’re embracing every day and stay away from the negative stuff. Search for tips and tricks; and keep tuning in here for Ask Leo. It doesn’t get any better than what Leo is doing here in my opinion.
    Oh, Leo, that NT Server machine is still running with 4 workstations attached. Installed in 1999.

  24. Happy Birthday Leo,

    Years ago I heard what is sometimes called the “Serenity Prayer” and is used by numerous groups hoping to create “change” (for the better). I’ve seen this particular prayer on plates and plaques for sale in stores and elsewhere and it goes:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Now I’d imagine if one were agnostic or atheist they could easily re-word this prayer to their benefit and well….not called it a prayer.

    However, it seems to perfectly capture how one might or should go forth in life in addressing any “change” that will inevitably arise. In fact there are many times when “change” is demanded and/or is positively embraced by a few or a majority of those who’ll benefit from that “change”.

  25. And change it is… My “black box” PC ran Vista well, so I upgraded to Windows 8&(later 8.1) which was a “no-go”. I turned the disgusting Win 8 into Windows 10.
    Not happy I redid my system and Installed a 14 year old Windows 2000. Getting the drivers was no problem. Right now it is behind me, just a humming away. To change from “Workstation” to “Server” is simple registry edit. My HP 1215 PhotoSmart printer which there were no drivers in 7,8,10, suddenly works fine after I cleaned the print heads.

  26. Brotha Leo, yeah, everybody deals with change differently. I just don’t care for a lot of change in my pocket. And having to change my socks and underware every day sucks. Their not dirty, but it’s an apparent law of society to do so. Other than that, I postpone change until all the bugs are worked out. Like going to 10 from 8.1. I’ll do it sometime next year while it’s still free. But it just not a requirement for now. My 8.1 works just fine. I’m 64 and will be 65 Jan.12th of 16. I’m on a roll, be it a slow one, but I’m still rolling. And a fond and belated Happy 58th Birthday to you my Brother. Have a wonderful day.

  27. Hi Leo.
    I find what is lacking for most Pc users is the fundamentals of computing.
    I am well into the 80ths , but don’t have the skills to teach other users, like you.
    I think if someone could tell me where to buy a CD , starting at the beginning what a file or folder ,is
    or a sector on a HD, it might lead to a better understanding of how things work.
    I find that users over 50 , starting today , find it all to much for them, and find by starting at the very basics
    can help. Often a picture is a thousand words. For instance backing up with Macrium was Double Dutch to me
    Until you showed it with a actual demo. And I appreciate you doing so more often lately.
    Thanks again for the good work you do , and look forward to you next show.

  28. At almost 68 I have seen a lot of change, particularly with computers (we used card decks in my computer course in college). I recall getting very frustrated by a boss who refused to allow us to purchase a computer for our office, implying that our typewriters were enough technology. I purchased an Apple IIe myself and did college program acceptance letters from home, just to improve our office efficiency. She didn’t change, I left the job in frustration. I guess I was on the other end of change at that time. I embrace change if it comes with enough documentation that I don’t find myself having to guess at how to get it to work. I also embrace change if it actually helps me get the job done better. But I am still using Vista because it does everything I need on my computer.

  29. Change for sake of change is damaging. Look at Windows-8 and its PERMANENT effect on sales of computers. Now many users shifted to tablets and smart phones and WILL NOT RETURN TO COMPUTERS, specially Windows based which were more than 90% of the market.
    Change to Windows-10 tried to salvage it, and it is really useful but too late.
    I do hope that this QUANTUM SHIFT is a lesson for all.
    Although I am almost 80 years old, I do change and like changes WHEN USEFUL, not just for sake of change, in order to sell something again. Again for Microsoft look at Windows-Vista a disaster although Windows-XP was great. Then they did Windows-7 excellent, changed for sake of change to Windows-8/8.1 another disaster this time of permanent effect.
    Same for cars. I have a 2005 Saturn with mechanical items made in Japan, body made from Polymers (made in Canada, never rusts). Then GM cancelled it. I am not buying now a GM model car (2015 or 2016) but am buying a Japanese or German car. Jst change for sake of change has been repulsive for me.

  30. A most interesting topic I too wonder about this and I’ve been in the industry for a few more years than you. A few things I observe, large numbers of users install software, learn it and never update it. This is partly to do with changes they may not like or it requires them to do somethings different than how they learned to do things. This may cause confusion at first which transcends to frustration because they can’t figure out what they are trying to do. A possible parallel is people that get Christmas or birthday gifts that require some assemble, and they are at a total loss and need someone else to figure it out or it just seems way to complicated for them to learn. Anyway, I think some of this goes all the way back to childhood. Some part pertains to ones curiosity and wanting to explore and figure out how things work. Some of this relates to mechanical aptitude and general interest in something. Some may have tried something, failed and may have either felt on their own that they can’t do it or others comments made them perceive they can’t. In general, one must have a child like attitude to explore, open mindedness, adaptability, and tolerance to life’s challenges/changes. Probably a lot of the complainers were people that were forced to learn how to use computers for work or likely loose their job (a gun to their heads that doesn’t exist now). They also don’t know or understand that nothing man makes is every really perfect and someone will always take the first generation solutions and improve them for a second generation and so on. New, however, doesn’t always mean better, that’s partly why we have such varied products for just about anything (smartphone, cars/trucks, TV’s, etc). Choice is a headache these days and comparison shopping if often a headache because what should be the same product perhaps by the same manufacture is different between sellers (read deliberately). Software too has lots of competing products including the OS (Windows with itself, Apple’s various versions, Google’s Android and ChromeOS (both derived from Linux), Linux (over 600 varieties) and BSD (several varieties). Software has almost a unique characteristic that little other things we make have. Umpteen ways to do the exact same thing, one is the best most efficient way, one the worse possible way and untold number of ways in between. Software always has flaws, until their are patches to address and fix any flaw, but until then we figure out one of the many possible work-a-rounds (read as learning a unintended way to do something or one of the other ways to get the job done, called flexibility) and when patches are applied, we may have trouble doing what we always have. Worse is some patches don’t fix the problem and may make things worse or create new problems. Software is an on going project to try for a perfect product. What we get is what is deemed to be a good working and stable snapshot of where the software has evolved too, with the likelihood of more patches and new versions still to come. This seemingly endless process is to make money to pay the bills and put out the patches and new versions to come. When the day comes where the developer deems the software has reached end-of-life, they stop all new development and patches (spending any more money for little return) and the product is dead and becomes obsolete software. Any flaws still their can be frustrating to users and doorways for hackers to exploit weaknesses to drive users over the edge. Patches are to fix flaws and plug possible security exploits, and going without them is extremely risky to your privacy and personal information security. It can also bring police, sheriff’s deputies or U.S. Marshals to your door believing you did something illegal, when it was more likely you got infected, the creator hacked in because of the infection, disabled first any protects your system had and puts on software they want to do illegal things hoping (and usually succeed in) not getting caught and leaving you holding the bag. Drivers can be a headache due to inadequate review by others in the developers realm or testing with the wide variety of version of OS’s we all use (read big money just for this). Flat bed scanners are notorious for creating one driver for one version of the OS supported until they stop making that version of scanner (obsolete) and when users upgrade to a new OS version, it won’t work, its obsolete. Some printers are the same and some lesser used add on products. That’s life, adapt or …

  31. I started in the industry by programming the IBM 704 and 650 in assembly language. Since then I’ve worked with numerous mainframes, programming languages and operating systems. I built an IMSAI kit computer in the 1970s and got an early IBM PC in the 1980s, following them up with many varieties of PCs and most recently a Mac. I’ve developed large-scale software for others, personal software for myself, and most recently started fooling around with developing iOS apps. So I have been through many generations and types of change. Here are some thoughts on how to deal with it:

    1. Don’t feel you have to immediately accept every change which comes at you. In most cases you can defer changes for awhile, letting manufacturers or developers work out the inevitable initial problems as other users gain experience with them and provide feedback.
    2. Before you decide to make a significant change such as transitioning to a new computer or installing a new operating system, do some research on it. Read reviews, listen to what early adopters have to say, subscribe to helpful publications like this one which provide guidance, and wait until you are comfortable with what you will be doing and the expected results before you take the plunge.
    3. When you decide to go ahead, begin by downloading whatever documentation is available. RTFM–read the frigging manual–and you’ll improve your understanding, forestall possible problems, and be better prepared to address those which do occur in spite of your best efforts.
    4. Once you’re comfortable with what you need to do and what’s likely to happen, make a plan. Think through precisely what you will need to do and create a step-by-step list of actions to take, including what information you will need to supply at each point, what might go wrong, and how to deal with anticipated problems. I find it helpful to print out the plan, leaving space between steps to record my comments as I later work through them. If something unanticipated happens and I have to revert to an earlier point in the change process, I’ll know what I did the first time around–either to do it again on a later attempt, or to pinpoint where things began to go wrong.
    5. Always allow yourself a way to stop what you’re doing and revert to a known good operational point or system. Include system and data backups as part of your plan, and make sure you know how to restore them if the need arises. Build the necessary emergency boot disks or restore media and make sure they work.
    6. Bounce your plan off a friend or colleague, especially if you can find one who’s already been through the process or one who has lots of experience with similar changes. They can often prevent you from forgetting a key step or doing something disastrous.
    7. Before you start, make sure you have all the software and/or hardware you’ll need. Download firmware and drivers, assemble the media required to install needed software, prepare necessary USB sticks or drives with needed data, etc.
    8. Once you start to implement your plan, proceed cautiously. Make sure each step is complete with no problems before moving on to the next. Don’t rush ahead, especially if something unexpected happens. If it does, think through what happened, why, and what can be done about it. Above all, don’t get frustrated; if you do, take a timeout and regroup.
    9. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed. Manufacturers often provide help information or forums, and there are many online sources of information and guidance on how to diagnose and fix problems. Know where to look, and go there to see what you can find out before digging a hole deeper.

    There are no guarantees that a change will go smoothly in spite of your best efforts. But the more you know and the better you’re prepared to deal with problems, the greater the chances of success.

  32. Groeten uit Amsterdam, Leo !

    This is simply to wish you a (somewhat belated) Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Birthday. Wish you the same for many, many more to come.

    Take care.


  33. The issue with change is ability to cope. Change can be fun; a challenge; or, just endurable.
    For those smitten with ill-health, stress, old age, etc, changes in the tools and features of a new operating system can become just too much.
    When these changes to an interface are purely for fashion, but still render someone unable to cope with the system, that is very sad.
    It is good to accept, enjoy and deal with change; while one can.
    The problem hits when one no longer can cope.
    (This will come to all of us, some time, before we exit the planet.)
    After a few generations, software writers might wake up to this…

  34. Leo;
    I understand what you say about some folks being resistant to change, certainly change in their lives. However, regarding computers, there is another angle that you might want to consider.
    For many people, a computer is a tool to use for one or two purposes. Along comes Windows 10 with many new things to learn. And to what end? To do the same two tasks that the previous version of Windows did just fine.
    If the purpose of the computer (to get an email) stays the same, then learning a new way is change for no reason. It is only inefficiency. This is probably the grousing that you hear.
    Of course, Win 10 can do many things much better than XP can. But, if I don’t do those “other things,” what do I care?
    Here is an analogy: I have no idea how the automatic transmission in my car works. I put it in Drive and go to the store. My purpose is to go to the store – and I don’t care about the improvements that a new 6-speed automatic transmission provides. Car manufacturers still use the same P, N, D, and R symbols as a car from 1952. There is no learning curve for a new car.
    Imagine if new cars only came with a manual transmission. Would people grouse about learning to use a manual? They would complain loudly about change with no perceived advantage.
    -Steve Darling
    PS: Of course, we old guys who know how to use a manual transmission would love it. And, mechanics would love it. And, serious drivers would love it. But, my wife? Not so much.

  35. Ok, so tech change doesn’t bug you. It might if piled on to traffic changes (increased, rerouted, construction), new (endless) menus for customer service, delayed cloud computing responses (latency), new laws and/or procedures for your car, your house, your yard, your appliances, your remodel, your business, business accounting/insurance/compliance/etc., your firearms, your travel, your shopping, your social organizations, need to deal with new challenges for elderly parents/adult children, identity theft, dozens of application/OS/program updates, hundreds of spams each day (necessitating scanning the spam folder to not lose something important as well as deleting dozens of spams/scams not caught by your A-V/security software), short lived consumer goods that need replacing (don’t even consider trying to repair them), cheaper goods of lower quality being the only thing available without hours of web searches, and web searches that return 25 pages of unrelated, or advertised, or otherwise inapplicable information whenever you’re research all of the above and/or political positions so you can inform your worthless political representative (or your worthwhile one who has 65+% opposition) with solid information, etc.,……

    The very informative (for dementia related issues), “36-Hour Day,” book title doesn’t quite describe a current regular work-day, even if you’re not caring for a patient with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Traumatic Brain Injury, or other disabilities.

    Everything gets worse if you ADHD (formerly ADD), and are interested in manifold items… Squirrel!!!

    I’m not really surprised that so persons respond angrily on blogs. I want to go live in a (temperature controlled) cave and have everything delivered to me by post or courier.

    • For the record I think I’ve dealt with or am dealing with almost every one of the changes you listed and on a fairly continuous basis. And I’ve also dealt with my aging father and his last years dealing with Alzheimer’s as well. (He passed several years ago.)

      My position is that there is no stopping change – ironically it’s not something you can change. The only thing you can change is your response to change – your willingness to adapt and accept that change is inevitable.

      But that’s just me. You’ve not answered the question I asked: without complaining about change, how do you cope with change?

  36. The way I went through Windows 10 with a friend I told him to tell me one thing that really bothered him and then give me one thing that he really enjoyed that he wanted put on. He did have to be realistic though! That is the way we did it. It seemed liked it helped with the stress. I told him Windows Live Mail was not going any where, so his mail was staying the same. Even then we still have options if ever need be. I also told him to use tip’s and tricks off of sites that would help him. You have to be a little interested and some positive if you are going to accomplish at least some of this…lol.

  37. Let me come back at what you asked Leo if you don’t mind. How I cope with change I learned from manufacturing. I break up the problem like I did with helping my friend with Windows 10. That way it feels like you are not over whelmed. When we had changes going on in plant work the stress was high. You could talk to people all day long but I think the only thing would help was time. They had to keep using the machine’s and get to where they knew where every thing was at and then feeling comfortable with it. You have to be willing to give it a chance. In a factory you don’t have any choice…smiles. To me the complaining is normal.

    Leo, look at how many people are still using XP. How many Windows have we had since XP . Unless you are thinking about writing a book on coping with change or perhaps it is just a curiosity I’m not sure about all the time on this. Manufactures would love the answer to this. They go through this all the time. How each person gets there is different if they even do at all.

  38. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
    How about “If it ain’t broke, do it cheaper, or in a way that allows you to find out more information about your users, or preferably both”

  39. A number of years ago I learned two important concepts that relate to change.

    The first was in a college class about industrial engineering. The first day of class the instructor wrote on board, “There is a better way to make everything except babies.” He later explained the word “do” can and should be substituted for the word “make” depending on the issue being addressed. Finding and developing “better ways” involves change, but is a requirement for improving your own life as well as keeping a business viable. (He said he liked the way babies were made and suggested, with a smile, that process be left as is.)

    The second concept I learned was taught by Roger L. Kirkham. In teaching a class titled “How to Manage Change”, he summarized the need for change by the following few words. “Things that don’t change, stay the same or get worst.” He expanded the concept by adding that not every change is an improvement, but every improvement requires a change of some type.

    The business landscape it littered with failed organizations that failed to change. One classic example of failure to change is Kodak. That organization invented digital photography, but failed to make the changes needed to remain viable as their invention was embraced by their customers.

    Regards and thanks for a great informative site.

  40. A lot of this change is about making more money . Consider the cost of upgrading all your apps to win 10 from win 7. Also other issues here. , win 10 supposed to be more suited to mobile devices where is a lot of customers do not care about this. There is also forced obselescence like file format in word . My suggestion is if you want to avoid all this is to. Change operating systems.


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