Stories from My Past: Be careful what you ask for

In IT you often find that when you give people exactly what they want, they are sorry they ever asked.

I helped one person who wanted a new version of Adobe rolled out to the entire company. They were working on a project and that project needed a new version of Adobe. Not an unreasonable request. I asked someone to test that new version and they tested it.

A week later that person had a different problem and I went to help them. It turns out that the fix was to upgrade their version of Adobe just like the other person who was testing it. However when I went to upgrade them they said “Maybe we shouldn’t upgrade this because it might break my other applications.” This was the same person who asked for the entire company to be upgraded the week before. I agreed that could happen, and upgraded him anyway. It worked fine. Problem solved.

Of course I went to my supervisor and told him what happened. The same person wanted the entire company to be upgraded, but not himself personally. You can’t have it both ways.

Often the quick and easy answer seems to be upgrading the software. Many times this is the correct one. I personally like using recent and supported software. However not every company believes in this. Many companies use very old software that is poorly supported or not at all. This is the main cause why they have problems as well.

To me, when you quickly want to make a major change and don’t consider the consequences you are just asking for problems. If I had upgraded everyone that day like it was my technical ability to do, I might have unleashed worse problems. Having someone test a change is so helpful, and so basic in giving the best IT experience for users.

If you want disaster make a quick change. If you want stability, think decisions through.

Partial seasons have a payoff

Partial seasons have a payoff for the content holder.

Allow me to explain. Years ago I watched a show that I liked called WareHouse 13. Unfortunately they only had two episodes on Netflix, so I never watched past that. It seemed to be on TV but because I didn’t watch because it wasn’t a priority.

So yesterday I see it listed on Amazon Video. Now I don’t like Amazon at all, but I also am very curious about what happened. I also like the story line because it thoughtfully examines different ideas. So I paid the $29 to watch the season 4 and my curiosity is satisfied.

It makes sense that content makers want people to get a taste and then buy things. I don’t mind supporting them in this way. It has brought me lots more pleasure than $29 worth. I think more and more in the future what we will see are productions that are self funded and bypass the traditional gatekeepers.

You see this now with the incredible number of original programs by streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Some things seem so inevitable, that you look back and it seems weird for it not to happen. Take the internet for example. We look back and wonder what life would be without it.

Many people share this sense of curiosity that I have. I am so glad I bought this season. It features Brent Spiner who was Data on Star Trek. He adds a charm and interesting variety to the show. In some ways the show seems to be grasping at straws by bringing in a big hitter like him, but its ok because I like his character.

When we like something we can forgive almost anything can’t we? I guess now I will be looking Amazon video over for other shows I might enjoy. I tend to like Netflix but Hulu had some good series as well. Why can’t they just have a service where you can pick exactly what you want?

 

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