Getting It Right


Editor: What a great commentary! ("Forswearing Geekiness," P.J. Bednarski column's, Oct. 30) I have been a broadcast engineering manager for 30+ years and marvel at how out of touch designers and engineers can be when putting together what should be a simple product.

More than once, I have simply hit the power switch on my PC when I got the dreaded "winsock.dll fatal error! Yes, no, cancel." Yes, no or cancel what?

I'm with you. Give me old-fashioned tactile pleasing paper.

Love the magazine. Been reading it since the days of Sol and Larry [Taishoff]. Keep it up.

-Jim Withers, Chief Technical Officer, Veil Interactive Technologies, St. Louis

Editor: I couldn't agree more with your thoughts as expressed in "Forswearing Geekiness" (Oct. 30). It reminds me of an even better illustration.

When a person goes to the hardware store to buy a drill, what does he want? The answer is not a drill but a hole. When I buy a computer, I don't really want a computer; I want a letter, or a budget, or a newsletter. But this line of thought must be tempered by the realization that today's computers are at about the same stage of development as television sets were in the 1950s. Think about those hypersensitive horizontal-and vertical-hold adjustments, "warming up" the tubes or replacing the tubes at the tube tester at the grocery store. When a new TV set was purchased or an operating problem was more difficult, the TV repair "man" made a house call to set up or adjust the set.

Someday, two things will happen, and the computer industry will never be the same: First, the industry will realize that they're not selling drills, they're selling holes. Second, computers will work with the reliability and ease of operation that today's TV sets do.

Mark Allen, president & CEO, Washington State Association of Broadcasters