I'M NOT SURE which attribute to blame for Michael Vizard's incredible statement that we live in "an economy where people have far too much disposable income,(From the Editor In Chief, Oct. 2). Is this the bitterness of a closet old-fashioned, keep-the-mainframe-behind-glass IT manager, or just run-of-the-mill, pious political socialism? If Mr. Vizard would like to reduce his disposable income, I can gladly name some worthy charities on which I bestow much of my own. The presumption that buyers of gadgets do so because they are too wealthy is sheer foolishness. Witness the forest of TV antennas in every shantytown the world over. Gadgets have become a part of the quality of life, and for many of us the functions they offer are truly indispensable foor real work, not just for stock quotes and sports scores.
Neil Carlson, Durham, N.C.
Is UCITA the real problem here?
WHO CARES ABOUT UCITA The Gripe Line, Oct. 2)? Seriously though, the problem in this is when sales and marketing give the wrong information to people who call prior to purchase. The customers then buy the product, and the product does not work as promised.
I purchased Drive Image Pro when Windows 2000 had just come out. They informed me that, based on a configuration I was trying to set up, it would work. After the purchase, I placed several calls to tech support with no luck. A month or two went by and I refocused my attention on the problem. Several more calls to tech support yielded the information that the configuration I wanted would never work. Now I am stuck with the product and had to purchase Image Cast, which is now certified with Win2000. (It is working fine.)
But I called Powerquest, Drive Image Pro's manufacturer, to find out what it could do for me, and so far the company has not returned my initial call.
Half of the problem with licensing may be UCITA and the havoc it could wreak, but the other half is nontechnical marketing and sales on increasingly technical products.
Charlie Wohlberg, San Francisco
Domain déjà vu
I JUST READ Robert X. Cringely's column about the availability, or not, of domain names from Network Solutions (Notes From the Field, Oct. 2). I was checking out available domain names last year and received a call one week later from a local Internet company telling me they owned my domain name and then asking if I wanted to buy it from them at five times the cost -- or use their Internet hosting and Web site creation service?