Never Stop Learning

Read moreNever Stop Learning

Coping with Change

Read moreCoping with Change

2015 Survey results

Several weeks ago I asked you to complete a brief survey. The primary question was:

“What’s the biggest challenge you face using technology effectively?”

As always, I was overwhelmed by your response. Thank you for participating.

I want to share with you some of what I learned.

Read more2015 Survey results

Amazement and Wonder? Really?

As you may have read in last week’s article How Fragile Things Can Seem, I had a particularly difficult week with technology the week prior.

Such things are to be expected, but after a week like that I felt the need to remind myself a little bit about why I do what I do, and why I love all this technology.

So, I created a graphic and posted it to Facebook.

Read moreAmazement and Wonder? Really?

Footnotes & references

1: Not to worry safety folk: MorningCoach was already programmed into my podcast player – it really was just a couple of taps to get there from here. Eyes on the road. 🙂

2: OK, ok, anywhere with an internet connection. My provider is Verizon Wireless, which I selected specifically because they cover everywhere I want to be. Even the state park, where I’m writing this before the return home.

3: Again, this particular album was pre-loaded onto my phone, so very few taps were required. Eyes on the road.

Why do things that aren’t broken keep changing?

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You may know that Google in their wisdom have changed their Google mail to a new format. To some, it may be great, but to us “old fogies,” we are pissed off BIG TIME!! Why must Google change something that is NOT broke? Why also don’t they give those of us who want to remain on the old format the option to do just that? Do you know why they may have changed? Do you also possibly know if there is a way I can revert back to their “old” format?? Your help would be GREATLY appreciated.

I’m afraid you’re not going to like my answer.

When this post originally appeared, Google had just changed the layout of the Gmail interface. As it turns out, I actually get this question periodically about almost every major online service. Google, Hotmail, Yahoo! and others all go through periodic major updates, and some set of existing users get quite upset. At the time I’m making this last update to the post, it’s MSN.com that’s going through a fairly major facelift.

Just about any site online or even software that we use goes through periodic changes. When they take on a major update, it’s going to upset some of its user base. It’s a cost of doing business.

And that, really, is what it all comes down to: services and software you use are, first and foremost, businesses in a highly competitive environment.

Read moreWhy do things that aren’t broken keep changing?

You Speak, I Listen

I started with posing to you a simple question:

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What’s the single biggest challenge you face using your computer effectively?

My goal was to find out today’s burning issues, and with that information fine tune where I spend my time and energy.

You did not disappoint. I was overwhelmed with the number of responses, for which I am truly grateful. Of course that contributed just a little to it taking longer than I’d expected to process the results.

I want to share with you what I’ve learned, some of the tweaking that has already happened as a result, as well as some thoughts for the future.

Read moreYou Speak, I Listen

500 and change

This week marks the publication of issue #500 (Five Hundred!) of The Ask Leo Newsletter.

I’m taking the occurrence of this fairly random round number as an opportunity to make a few tweaks to the newsletter and what I do here at Ask Leo!.

Things are a’hoppin here at Ask Leo! world headquarters, that I can tell you.

Read more500 and change

Footnotes & references

4: OK, OK, lest you think things are way bigger than they are, that would be my crack team of assistants Connie (audio processing & article posting) and Andrea S. (transcript), along with editor/re-writer Andrea M.

Do we really need to “get used” to things?

I responded to a question a couple of days ago regarding Windows 8 that ended with “Why did Microsoft do this, when everybody wanted the familiar old XP style?”.

My response included a pointer to my “Why ask why?” article, as well as pointing out that, no, “everybody” didn’t want the familiar old XP style. In fact many people have come to actually prefer the Windows 8 interface once they’d gotten used to it.

The response? “The User should never have to get used to it.”

That got me to thinking. In an ideal world that’s absolutely correct.

But we’re far from living in an ideal world, and that means that’s nowhere near practical.

Read moreDo we really need to “get used” to things?

Footnotes & references

5: Unless, of course, it’s a right hand / left hand drive situation. Or a stick versus automatic.

6: As someone who travels and rents cars from time to time – particularly in different climates – this is perhaps the difference I run into most frequently.

7: The biggest of course being the PR disaster, not technical disaster, that was the tiled start screen.

Don’t Call Yourself Stupid

As you might expect, I hear a lot of questions from many different people. I also hear a lot of different comments, complaints, excuses, and justifications.

I also hear a lot of frustration and often helplessness.

It’s understandable. Computers and technology can be frustrating at times and leave you feeling quite helpless. Heck, that’s why Ask Leo! exists.

And while many of the different comments, opinions, reactions, and complaints can occasionally leave me feeling frustrated, there’s one that really, really bugs me.

Read moreDon’t Call Yourself Stupid

Footnotes & references

8: This statement always causes some to respond “just wait until you’re older!” a) I’m 57 as I write this, and b) I regularly hear from people in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s who are absolutely loving what technology offers them. Perhaps things take a little longer, but that’s not stopping them. It’s not about age – it’s about attitude.

Why does software only seem to get bigger?

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Why does most software get bigger and bigger as times go by with each version?

You know, that’s a common problem and actually a very common complaint. What I can tell you is that it’s not likely to change. But let me throw out a few of the reasons that I can think of that might explain why it’s happening.

Read moreWhy does software only seem to get bigger?

Embracing the Most Important Attitude

Today, a couple of major online applications released user interface changes. Some of the changes are major, some are minor, but the bottom line is that what people were using yesterday is no longer available today.

I don’t have to tell you what applications those might be. Whatever they are today, there will almost certainly be other commonly used applications that change when you read this article in the future.

I get frustrated when this type of change happens.

But not for the reasons that you might think.

Read moreEmbracing the Most Important Attitude

Footnotes & references

9: You might be tempted to dismiss this as hyperbole, but in fact, I do hear from people that take this approach to its extreme.
10: Where by “puzzling,” I probably really mean “frustrating.” Smile
11: Again, sounds like hyperbole, but sadly is not.