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How To Reduce Your Frustration with Technology

When your favorite operating system, software program, or online service gets updated, it can take some getting used to. What was once familiar may now require learning new ways to get your tasks done.

I get frustrated when this happens…

…but not for the reasons you might think.

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Change is hard

I get frustrated by the tsunami of complaints such changes generate from users.  I hear it every single day and it makes me sad.


Because it doesn’t have to be this way if folks approached technology — and for that matter, life itself — a little differently.

Change is coming

Like it or not, change happens

The world keeps changing, and it’s not going to stop. Period.

The only thing that will never change is the fact that things keep changing.

Given that change is absolutely, totally, and completely unavoidable, you have exactly two choices:

  • Get angry and bitter and convince yourself that the change-makers are responsible for all sorts of assorted evils in the world.1
  • Accept change. Embrace it. Learn from it. Exploit it. See how it’s made the world a much, much better place. Enjoy it, even.

Which will you choose? (And have no doubt about this: it is a choice.)

One reason to set aside your frustration

"... the more frustrated and resistant you are to the changes you’re facing, the harder you’re making it on yourself. "Besides making you happier, there’s a very practical reason for embracing (or at least accepting) change.

In the nearly 15 years I’ve been doing this, something’s become very clear to me. Given the same computer, the same situation, and the same problem, the person who allows themselves to be frustrated by change has a much more difficult time using their devices and resolving problems.

The only difference is the attitude they’ve chosen: resistance to change.

Let me put it more clearly: if you allow yourself to hate change, you will have a more difficult time with the exact same issues than a person who chooses to accept it.

People who use technology the most effectively are the folks who not only accept change, but even look forward to it. These are people who are curious. They are interested in learning what more technology can do for them and how they can best leverage the latest and greatest to make their lives more effective, efficient, and even fun.

On the other hand, the more frustrated and resistant you are to the changes you face, the harder you make it on yourself. By choosing to be upset, you choose to make your experience more difficult.

Change isn’t made with malicious intent

I often hear from folks who are utterly convinced that whatever change they encounter is created for the express purpose of angering them2 — or for some other dark, conspiratorial intent.

Folks, pissing off your customers is just bad business …

… and don’t doubt for one second that this is all about business.

Hardware and software vendors are in a constant competitive battle, and you don’t stay competitive by standing still. In fact, halting innovation and change is a fast track to failure.

Companies remain competitive by continually striving to make their product better: better than the previous version and better than the competition.

And that means making changes.

Change isn’t always better

You’ll get no argument from me that changes made in pursuit of “better” are sometimes anything but.

That doesn’t mean that all change is bad. It simply means that specific change was wrong.

The companies that produce these products are constantly researching and testing and coming up with ways that they truly believe make their product better.

Sometimes, the idea turns out to be wrong. Sometimes, the execution of a good idea fails. Sometimes it might be great for the majority of people … just not you.

And yet for every change that fails, more changes — significantly more — truly improve the products we use every day.

You can choose your response

Change is inevitable, particularly when it comes to computers and technology.

When faced with an unexpected change of some sort — be it in your formerly-favorite application or the operating system you’ve used for years — you have a choice make. Which will it be?

Get grumpy and annoyed? I don’t recommend it.

Instead, accept that change is a necessary part of the innovation that has led to this amazing world we live in.

And in that acceptance, decide whether it’s change you can learn from, change you can live with, change you need to avoid, or change you can’t accept and must walk away from. Even if you choose to walk away, if you do it out of a rational evaluation rather than an angry reaction, you’ll end up in a significantly better place.

Accept change and technology just works better

Give change a chance.

You don’t need to accept every change, but if you can accept its inevitability, you’ll have a much better time of it. I’m not kidding when I say that technology just seems to work better for those who accept, embrace, and even look forward to change.

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Footnotes & References

1: You might be tempted to dismiss this as hyperbole, but I do hear from people who take this approach to its extreme.

2: Again, sounds like hyperbole, but sadly is not.

55 comments on “How To Reduce Your Frustration with Technology”

  1. I am not adverse to change at all, BUT, I am not happy with Windows 10 update that breaks drivers. Had to reinstall printer(s), scanner and a couple of others. No problem for equipment I have install discs for, but had to search online for a while to find driver for my scanner.
    I love new and better, just not broken.

  2. Hi Leo,

    First I’d like to say that over the years I’ve greatly appreciated your newsletters. You do an excellent job.

    Change is generally not a problem to me, especially when it’s for a sought out improvement. Unfortunately many people get so fixated on the problem being solved that tunnel vision sets in and we fail to see the associated ramifications.

    For example, creating and using 12+ character passwords containing upper and lower case letters, numerals, and special characters is desired. Often the vendor for whom the password is required makes no provision for displaying the password and requires a second entry of the same password. If you accidently enter a wrong character on one of the entries they will not match up and you have no way of seeing the mistake. When using my computer I first create the password on a word document then copy and paste into the input blanks. No problem. But on a note tablet or cell phone I have no way to copy and paste. Since I’m not going to be creating passwords using my cell phone while some one is looking over my shoulder it seems to me to be rather silly that I am prevented from selecting to display the password.

    • I think a big problem with software development is that programmers don’t know how to think like users. When I was a programmer, I tried to make things as clear and simple as possible. I’d reduce the number of keystrokes as much as possible. There are a few really stupid tings so many programmers do.For example, a pull down menu to input the date which is infinitely more complicated than typing in the 4 digits of the year or 2 digits of the day. With most, you can just ignore the pop-up and type in the numbers and the pop-up will automatically scroll to the correct year, month or day but I don’t think most people realize that. And others which similarly add unnecessary keystrokes or clicks. You’d thing big companies like Microsoft would have designers who would figure those things out or at least pay more attention to their Beta testers suggestions. But all in all their software works great and it’s just a matter of putting up with a little inconvenience now and then.

      • Yes, programmers are often at fault for creating half-baked changes. I’ve been in the software world and I have yet to see a programmer come along and NOT say that they can re-write this entire million-line program from scratch and do it better. I’ve also been amused when a young programmer proudly announces that he/she has come up with a brilliant new algorithm or logic, only to be told that it’s been around for decades. But that should be expected of enthusiastic young people in any industry. The real problem is the lack of adult and experienced supervision to moderate and validate programmer hacking.

      • It seems like we’re living in an age of faulty software. I have dealt with many sites that is sloppily put together. In some cases, I’ve taken the product with real dissatisfaction and disappointment back to the store. There are simply many products that are on the market, that are a joke. Unfortunately, many products that we consumers purchase require some kind of set up that is so complicated, it’s like trying to break a secret code to the White House! Why is it so complicated to simply set up a device. It’s left me with a sour taste in my mouth, that I simply don’t want to have anything to do with new gadgets that require software activation. I always question, when a product is sold that requires software to enable activation of the product itself, are they tested for errors? I seriously doubt it. I have no problem with change for the better but not change for the worst!

        • I would say ‘not well designed’ in place of ‘faulty’. All software has bugs but this issue is more of not designing an intuitive well thought through interface. The software functions properly, but fails to interface smoothly with homo sapiens.

  3. It seems that the more effort that I have made to keep up to date, the easier it has become to learn and flowing with the changes has certainly become a path to flexibility. In short, I’ve converted a negative into a positive that applies to more than just computers.

  4. I’ve found the following to very consistently true whether it is work or your personal live:

    “Things that don’t change stay the same or get worst” – Roger L. Kirkham

  5. The problem is not change that makes things better but change for changes sake or, even worse, change that makes things worse. Going from DOS to Windows 3 was good. Going from Windows 3 to Windows 95 was great. Going from Windows what ever (I forget) to Windows 7 was great. Going to Windows 8 was horrible and going to Windows 10 was not good. Going from Wordstar to Winword (Before Microsoft bought it) was great. Some of the early changes to Winword and then Word for Windows were great. Adding tables was fantastic. Going to the ribbon interface sucks royally and continues to suck to this day.

    • Leo’s argument is wisely put, but I agree with this point too. Why does Microsoft force things like the ribbon in Word on users? I tried another Word processor the other day, Atlantis, and found that although it was only a 2.3MB download it offered many options, including both traditional and ribbon-style interfaces. If this company can give the user a choice, why not Microsoft?
      The same applies to Windows features, like the Start menu, which have undergone unpopular changes in recent years. XP permitted users to revert to the classic Start menu if they wished and allow us to adapt at our own speed.

  6. Over the past several years, I have unintentionally become the go-to guy for friends and family when they encounter computer problems. I’ve learned the hard way that a problem can be viewed as a frustrating pain in the butt or an opportunity to learn something new. Diagnosing and solving PC related problems has taken me to areas of Windows and diagnostic software and techniques I never knew existed. I’ve helped many people and learned much along the way, but I couldn’t do it without the help of sites like Ask Leo and other Internet resources.

  7. Very good article which I will try to bear in mind.

    When my daughter was little and we were driving along and I washed the windscreen, she always used to say lugubriously, “You made it worse!” In life generally it’s amazing how often attempts to improve things end by making them worse – I use my daughter’s phrase all the time. And even when everyone can see the result is worse, they never get put back to how they were.

  8. Why is every Chrome browser update causing these error messages, such as it cannot even find Gmail ??

    Aw Snap! Something went wrong while displaying this web page ]RELOAD] Learn more.

    GM Laptop (ideapad) – Type 81D1
    330-14IGM, 330-15IGM
    Change Product
    Serial Number: PF19HUTC Machine Type Model: 81D1009LUS
    Operating System
    Windows 10 (64-bit)

      • Since Brutus, the European Union, has apparently killed Julius Google, and Microsoft Edge has ascended to the Browser Throne, perhaps I will bury the Crown of Chrome permanently :) Thanks for the suggestion, I learned about many new security settings that, once I toggled them, required me to restore my system and uninstall Chrome probably forever. Something about a Chrome -elf dll ? When I deleted that elf- dll it killed Chrome, and then the elf dll came back when I re-installed Chrome. So that is about 2 or 3 months of trying to get Chrome to work, and about nine billion dollars in fines that the EU has charged Google for allegedly killing small businesses in the EU by Google Search showing paid search results which did not include the EU small businesses ??

      • Yikes, at the risk of being stupid, I changed themes in Chrome and Gmail and so far the Aw Snap message has not reappeared in Chrome !!

      • and of course the Aw Snap instantly reappears in the new Twitter format :) maybe these sites are actually messed up somehow ??

  9. The worst part of change is being blindsided by it. It’s much easier to accept changes if you know they are there and ideally, why they have been made. Sometimes it seems the biggest companies are the most guilty here.

  10. Unfortunately, it is just plain naive to assume that MS’ intentions are salutary for anyone but themselves- They have been riding roughshod over a marketplace they set out to dominate a long time ago, no matter what the consequences.
    Companies almost always act in their own best interests whether or not that benefits customers, especially in near-monopoly conditions.
    It is only relatively recently & rarely that MS has had any threat to absolute marketshare domination, and that is the primary, if not exclusive, reason they are not even worse than they always have been- Late/Mediocre/More Expensive.
    I’m afraid that any other analysis about the past thirty+ years of MS’s sloppy, ruthless, bullying business practices, is either naive or disingenuous.
    With all due respect.

  11. I think many of you sugarcoat problems. Fortunately, I am quite computer literate. But it is sad that everyone has to be! My wife is very intelligent, but if I wasn’t around, she would have problems with change. When I use my TV, it works — consistently, just about all the time. Ditto for EVERY other appliance. I recently bought a new W10 computer. It very nicely loaded 10 and a few updates. But with Build 1803, it kept saying my computer was up to date. I knew 1903 had been rolled out. I ended up having to call Microsoft (after failing to try and manually install 1903). It turned out they had to install 1809 before it would then update to 1903. Seriously, how is the average user going to have a clue? I can regale you with a few other Windows Updates that caused issues. That’s just BAD

  12. Please consider the age of the computer user. I’m a very senior citizen. I’m active and as healthy as can be expected, and I’m fairly computer-literate (can’t say the same for my husband), but at my age, dealing with change is harder. It’s just a fact of life that when you get into your 70s and 80s, you must acknowledge that you will have less time to become comfortable or competent with new technology. I’m still using Win 7, although I also have a Win 10 laptop that’s not quite ready for prime time. My desktop hard drive is showing its age, and I absolutely dread having to replace it. I back up daily to two external drives (redundant), but would I be able to restore from an image if disaster strikes? And disaster will strike, I’m sure of it (thinking of copying its contents to a solid state drive; I’ve heard they are nearly immortal). I think Microsoft ought to distribute builds of Windows that don’t require frequent updates. They would be limited in scope, but that might be just fine for some of us.

    • It’s not a “fact of life”. One of my favorite people is an individual who, when last I ran into him, was teaching technology — android, specifically — at a local senior center. He was 95.

      I’m not saying cognitive decline doesn’t happen, I’m saying that it’s not guaranteed. Heck at 61, I’m beginning that path myself, and I choose to embrace change specifically as a way to stave off any possible decline as long as possible by keeping my mind active and engaged.

      What many people blame on age related cognitive decline is more often simply giving up, which in my opinion, only hastens the process. Don’t give up. Stay engaged … chances are you can do this, and the more you believe that the more likely it is to be true.

  13. I have enjoyed the changes because I am fairly computer literate and enjoy the challenges brought about by change __ I learn from the experience, even at 85. However, my wife while computer savvy, is thrown for a loop. Quicken is a good example of how to make changes. The basic format of the program has not changed much even though the capabilities of the program have changed a lot. My wife had no problem and life continued. However, I have not upgraded her computer from MS Office 2007 to MS Office 2010 because there is a significant change in the basic format complicated by addition of features. She doesn’t need the features or the changed format, so why go through the misery of the changeover. I think a lot of our problem is caused by the majority of us are using software that is 1000 times too capable and we keep making it more complicated to satisfy the needs of a few, just because we can do it; not because there is a dire need.

  14. I’ll bet Leo had Windows 10 in the back of his mind when he came up with this topic.
    Let’s not be too quick to regale change as a noble and necessary evolution. Creating any change costs money, so the first motivation to examine is where is the money. Most changes we see in software/internet are changes for the sake of change, because if something looks the same for too long it looks stale and people move on to something shinier. For the “new and improved” boxes of stuff at the supermarket, what’s new is that the container is unnoticeably smaller and what’s improved is the profit margin. My grocery store changes the location of products every week to force people to walk around and see different things to buy. New car models are not always better looking, they are just different to attract attention. And you want to tell me about changes in the airline industry? They are all designed to make you suffer (literally), while you’re paying through the nose.

    Then there is the incompetence of execution which inevitably accompanies most changes. Of course, at the top of the list is the elephant in the room – Windows 10. My bank changed its login page because they said to “improve user experience”. In the process they introduced a host of bugs and people couldn’t log in. Cars now have much bigger wheels because it’s the fad, while drivers have to suffer through a hard and spine crushing ride. The government created the 2-dollar bill and you know the rest of the story. And you favorite drug price just went up 1000% because change is inevitable.

    As for accepting change, that’s a non-issue. We don’t have a choice. Our only relief is to complain. No, change doesn’t always make the “world a much, much better place”, especially if you start thinking beyond the confines of the software world.

    • “Most changes we see in software/internet are changes for the sake of change, because if something looks the same for too long it looks stale and people move on to something shinier.” — I find that statement self-contradictory. It’s not change for the sake of change if it change for the sake of keeping the company in business. As you said, change costs money and effort to implement, so it’s not done for grins — it’s done for business reasons.

      “Our only relief is to complain.” — Naturally I disagree. The complaint path leads only to more frustration and bitterness. Taking change as a personal challenge and growth opportunity, however you might like to define that, seems an approach that might lead to a happier life overall.

  15. Wooo! Thank you Leo, you just gave me a boost of confidence and I think I solved a problem! I don’t mind change; it’s helpful however to know exactly what the change actually is so I can deal with it. In odd moments I’ve been trying to figure out whether the June MS updates will prevent my Bluetooth devices from connecting to my laptops. Restoring from an image might not work because the change will either happen right away, or “later.” My problem was not knowing whether my Bluetooth devices are “Classic” or “Low Energy.” I’m “Classic,” always a good choice :) and so are all my devices (they’re running off the Bluetooth Enumerator, NOT the Bluetooth LE Enumerator.) Thank you, thank you!

  16. Firstly, I worked as a computer programmer for many years, on large and small systems. We were taught to be customer centric and NOT programmer centric. As for my home computing, I happily use W10. I was the go-to person in my neighborhood for MS Windows help for well over a decade. That been said I’d like to make the following comments.

    *Yes, products have to keep updating/growing. Otherwise they die.
    *However, change for change sake is NOT a good idea.
    *Also adding quadrillions of new features in NOT a good idea. As the old saying goes “Mr Microsoft, I don’t need another 200 shades of pink! I just want what I have to actually work.”
    *A key issue is productivity. Does the change enhance a user’s productivity. I’d be interested to read your comments.
    *Sometimes it seems MS is pandering to a generation of smart phone users who are just all about social media? :-)

    On a personal note, the thing I hate most is when Microsoft threaten to ditch perfectly good features such as MS Paint or System Image Backup or when they ditched useful features like Windows Movie Maker.

    I leave you with this question: Do the endless W10 feature updates actually enhance your productivity? I’d be very interested to read your comments.

  17. Sometimes a technology company makes changes that really hurts only themselves. Recently, Hulu made some changes, that on a browser were no big deal. However, Hulu decided that they were no longer going to support some devices, such as older Rokus and various Blu-ray players and as such, Hulu was no longer available. I have a perfectly fine Samsung Blu-ray/DVD player that also has apps for watching Amazon Prime videos, Netflix and some others that I don’t use. When trying to open the Hulu app, a message comes up that the device is no longer supported. Weighed the choice of going out and buying a device that was supported versus cancelling my subscription. Decided there was nothing on Hulu we watched that couldn’t be found elsewhere. Subscription cancelled. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix still work fine on the player.

  18. Well, I am one guy who is very hesitant with change. Too many times in the past my computer has been messed up by changes. So I have changed the way I change. I have stopped all updates from all programs. Result? I have had several years of wonderful and relaxing computing. Sure, I read about the changes and evaluate them…and read about all the bitches from disgruntled users. How it messed them up and how it got rid of a great this or that. I use an older browser, with unsupported extensions and themes that all work and look great. I run browsers sandboxed and all portable on flash drives. I easily download tv shows or movies, get no ads or banners, am not tracked because of my VPN, and never get a virus or any problem because the sandbox is just deleted at end of session. Change for change sake is a worthless notion.

    • And again, it is not change for the sake of change. There are reasons. You may not agree with the reasons, and that makes total sense, but those reasons exist.

      Reading all the bitches means you’re only hearing half (actually much less than half) the story — the people with no reason to complain don’t post so you won’t get exposed to all the successes out there.

  19. Dear Leo,
    At the age of 61 you are a mere babe in arms where technology is concerned.
    Grumpy old men get grumpy because they can no longer cope with things that used to be a breeze.
    Even you will get there! I am only 82! and a lifetime of working in computing, from programming in CPM at system level through teaching software engineering and fault finding at chip level (before everything was just thrown away and replaced), has made me one of those who likes to keep up with and, more problematically, work out the rationale and modus for all these changes. If I can’t see the logic in the change, even if it’s ‘there’, I find it even more difficult to change my ways. More importantly these changes have to find their way into my brain crammed full of the ‘old’ solutions. Apart from interference of ‘new’ with the old, when and if I can finally accept it, sometimes with open arms!, remembering whilst eliminating the old methodological interference becomes extremely difficult. Making notes can help, but then finding the relevant item on a desk littered with such wisdom is extremely frustrating and not always rewarding. MY biggest gripe is the totally inadequate help from the suppliers. When I try and find something out the receiver of my query, many thousands of miles away from the source of the NEW, is simply there to parrot a response and say that it’s not possible to be passed up the chain of expertise. I also haven’t got the lifetime left to go to a referred ‘community’ and wade through reams of irrelevant, self opinionated comments from which no one seems willing to filter out the ‘chaff’. Retirement removes one from that invaluable source of colleagues advice and interpretive assistance. So, at the end of my days, I’ve just become grumpy, waiting for the evolution of flexible voice interrogation to answer my queries. Hopefully suppliers will anticipate some commercial reward in following that road, however slowly.
    Save this to read again when you’re 82 with ‘failing everything’ and see how far the world of technology for ‘everyman’ has progressed. That’s if ‘crowd behaviour’ (my pet antithesis) and human irresponsibility have left a world worth struggling in.

    • And I’ll simply remind you of my 95 year old acquaintance who’s happily teaching technology to others. I’m not saying cognitive decline won’t happen, but I am saying that attitude going in is a huge factor of when, and how severe it will become. I believe choosing a positive attitude towards change will serve me better — much better — as I age. In my 15 years of doing this, the people I hear from would seem to confirm this believe. If you go in with a positive attitude, things work better: both technology, and your own thought processes.

      • I’m in between both of you in age and I’m convinced that working for Ask Leo! and teaching college are keeping me young.

  20. Leo:

    With all due respect, I am surprised at your intransigence on this issue. There are many very real, valid concerns about change. Reread your comments. You seem to totally dismiss the comments of those who dare question the efficacy of all change. I guess that’s your story and your sticking with it!


    • Nowhere do I say that all change is good, and I’d love to have it pointed out where I say otherwise, particularly in response to someone’s comment. I even went through pains to say just the opposite in the article itself.

      My entire point is simply that coming in with a positive attitude towards change will serve you better than dismissing change because it’s change. Yes, there are bad and frustrating changes — I address that above. But to react negatively to change simply because it is a change will make your life harder. Reacting to bad changes with anger will make your life harder.

      Again, it’s what I see across age groups, across almost all cross sections of the people I hear from.

      • OK, so your attitude about change must be strictly limited to technology and specifically to computing technology. Otherwise, if we take what you’re saying in any global sense then we would have to cheerfully embrace and accept a teenage child gone rogue, or a disagreeable political outcome, or your bank forcing arbitration on you, or climate change (whether your believe that or not), or airline seats shrinking, or ….. Is what you’re saying, assuming you’re expressing a global philosophy, that resistance is futile, you will be assimilated, so relax and be happy?

        • I don’t see why that wouldn’t apply in many other situations. Kind of like that prayer they attribute to St Francis
          Give me the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed,
          Courage to change the things which should be changed,
          and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

          There were lots of philosophers and “holy” men who said similar.

        • I’m not saying you must blindly live with every change, large or small, in tech or in life.

          What I’m saying is that change happens. Trying to stop it is absolutely futile.

          What I’m trying to get people to consider is rather than “I hate change so I hate X”, without even considering “X”, STOP. Take an honest assessment of “X”. Yes, it’s change, but don’t let that get in the way of you actually considering “X” on its own merits. If you can get past the fact that it’s different, that it represents a change from what you’re used to, you may find that you can accept, or even like it. And even if you can’t, if you do so based on actually considering “X” rather than simply knee-jerk reacting to it being change, you can then make intelligent choices about what to do next: what technology to switch to, or who to vote for.

          And yes, while my bailiwick is technology, I believe this absolutely applies to all facets of life.

  21. Change?

    Dude: You’re talking to an Aspie! We Aspies hate change!

    Hate, loath, despise, detest… and any other synonym I can think of.

    Grrr! :(

      • The term “Aspie” used by TheGrandRascal above refers to a person diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is part of the autism spectrum. He said, “We Aspies hate change.” Grandie, just speak for yourself and not paint all Aspies with the same negative brush. Many Aspies are delightful humans with high intelligence and humorous curiosity. Regardless of one’s mental condition, resisting change is a waste of time/energy and creates self-imposed frustration. As Leo has advised, change will always occur, so go with the flow and “try” to have fun learning to swim in a new direction.

  22. Hi Leo,

    I want to start by saying that I’ve been reading your newsletter for about a year now and enjoy it very much.

    I don’t mind change. If I did I probably wouldn’t be using a computer at all. But I really hate it when some program,operating system or whatever that was working just fine is changed because somebody thought some useless new feature would be great.

    For example, I don’t give a rat’s arse what the “theme” of my email page is. I just want to send and receive mail. Why can’t and Yahoo just give people like me the option of keeping the basic format?

    The worst example is Apple’s iOS11 which throttles older phones because (they say) new apps and updates would gobble up batteries. Well, those new updates & apps are things I don’t want to do with my phone anyway. After I installed iOS11 on my iPhone 5S it slowed to a crawl. Even turning on the flashlight takes several seconds! Fortunately I realized what was happening before I installed iOS11 on my iPhone SE. It’s still running just fine on iOS10. But why can’t Apple let me revert to iOS10 on the phone I updated.

    And I still think Windows 2000 Professional was MS’s best operating system ever. I still use it offline and when I get stuck on a problem with newer Windows OSes I can almost always figure out the problem by going to W2KP, finding a solution and extrapolating.

    Keep up your good work!


  23. I have just re-read ALL the above comments. Wow, Leo, there’s a lot of frustration out there!

    I suspect there’s also a lot of talk at cross-purposes. And in fact that there are several issues getting mixed up.

    My conclusion is that what frustrates users most is when things that used to work well, suddenly stop working particularly after a useless huge feature update. It also causes nightmares for “go-to” people like myself. And I like W10!

    “Mr Microsoft, I don’t need another 200 shades of pink! I just want what I have to actually work.”

  24. I’m a mere 70 young and fondly remember Windows 2000, thank you Barbara for mentioning it. what a wonderful OS…I was working for the the phone company in Atlanta, BellSouth and DSL had just come on line. I was installing/turning up the outside field distribution equipment for it. To get DSL to work in those days on a W95 machine was equivalent of climbing Mt Everest!

    Back then machines didn’t come with network cards let alone drivers. You had to physically open the case install the Lan card, restart and ATTEMPT to load a driver. If you had a laptop you needed a xercom card, remember those Leo? They cost a fortune. The consensus was; if you could afford a laptop you could afford the xercom adapter…there was even a wireless version!

    Well…along comes W2000…just install the card…reboot…plug your Ethernet cord from the router and instant DSL! The OS was now loaded with a driver god. Dial up was dead and buried! I have an old Dell Latitude (cpxj) with W2000 and fire it up on occasion for a taste of the good old days!

    Thank you also for bringing up the ios thing, It convinced me to cross over to the dark side, I’m “droid” now! There’s a sense of “coolness” having a phone with “Galaxy” in its name!

    I’ve always embraced technology and the inevitable changes that it brings. It keeps my mind young and working and that being said Leo, I’ve never NOT been able to fix it when it breaks! I look at it this way…if there were no changes, in anything, what a boring existence we would be living!

    I remember when Telephones didn’t have a dial, B&W TV would only pickup two channels on a good day and portable music was a Philco transistor radio!

    Leo thank you for taking the geek out of everyday computing and putting into plain English. I’ve fixed countless machines using your references. You bring a calmness to technology!

    If’n your complain’n your not learn’n!

  25. I’ve been afraid of technological change for a long time, specifically, changing my Web browser. So as practice, I’ve been playing with Google Chrome, a new browser for me, and using IE for other sites. I really like Chrome, and changing browsers isn’t so scary now because I’m doing it in little steps.

  26. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m an Aspie, and don’t deal with either change or frustration very well.

    Still, it occurs to me that you’re missing the boat here a bit with this one. The real issue is not “how to reduce your frustration with technology;” but rather, “how to reduce frustration.”

    Or, failing that, “how to deal with frustration” — because something tells me that frustration is not a thing you can actually “reduce” (because it’s both ubiquitous, and inevitable). Frustration is something you simply have to live with. Learning how to live with it – – that’s the real issue.

  27. So why do so many companies make technology changes, particularly software changes, just for the sake of change? Often it is because they are being influenced by the committed users who suggest the changes. These users are tech savy, early adopters etc and rejoice in seeing everything done exactly the way they prefer it and nit-pick the design unless it suites their particular purpose exactly. Their ego is boosted when the next version reflects their suggestions.The casual users, who are also the ones who get frustrated with unnecessary change, are happy to use the technology as-is so the company never hear from them and wrongly assumes that their product needs changing. This often results in everything getting more and more complicated – hence “bloat-ware”
    I have always felt that there is a solid business case for designing technology to better suite the average low- tech user or at least always have a “lite” version.

    • Companies don’t change things for the sake of change. You said it yourself: they make changes because someone honestly, truly, believes that the change is better for some reason. You may not agree, but that doesn’t change the intent of the change. Regardless of how you feel about it, change is inevitable.


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