Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Apple Truly is Easy as Pie

I have been using computers and Windows based software for a very long time. Like many of you, I have wrestled with the never ending stream of updates, upgrades and support issues. It is not uncommon to blow an entire afternoon adding some new hardware component, installing a new application or just cleaning things up so my home computer will run a little better.

People often ask me, what does the average Joe do when they don't have someone with experience like me to help guide them through the complexities that are inherent in these machines. Lord help the poor soul who is infected with a virus or encounters the infamous blue screen of death, and they have little to no technical knowledge. Staying on the line with "support" can be a costly and trying experience.

Despite all its shortcomings, Windows is still the platform of choice for business and as such we are forced to deal with it. Sure, we can tolerate the handful of marketing folks with their iMacs and Mac Books. We put up with the software developers who insist on using Linux. But at the end of the day, Windows is the most prevalent desktop system in the business world and that is why most of us use it in the office and at home. It has certainly improved over the years, however it is not simple and still far from trouble free.

I bought a new car this weekend. It is a BMW. The car has more electronics, computer chips and data storage than I have in all the appliances and computers in my house combined. BMW have integrated their automobile  operating systems with Apple's iPhone operating system, IOS. Being a technology professional, this was particularly exciting to me.

As you may know from earlier columns I carry an HTC EVO smart phone running the Android OS. The car is equipped with blue tooth which allows any phone, including mine, to "pair" with the car and be operated from controls on the steering wheel. My address book is uploaded and I can place hands-free calls through the system. It was easy and worked flawlessly,

But you must have an iPhone4 to take full advantage of the integration. I had an old iPod Touch and so I decided I would try to use it.

All of the software for Apple devices comes from iTunes. Step one, install iTunes on my computer. It downloaded and installed without incident. But it then scoured my computer and loaded all of my music into the library, converting, compressing and cataloging along the way.

When I plug the iPod into the USB port, iTunes recognized it and suggested I needed to update the software. No surprise as the device is quite old, yet, it was still fully supported. Moreover, when I clicked okay, iTunes delivered to the device all the necessary software, loaded it, rebooted it and completed the update without missing a step or losing one song. iTunes then synchronized the newly constructed library with the contents of the iPod. All this occurred as I sat patiently and watched the progress bar.

This is how software and device support should be, I thought. So the next time someone asks what they should do when their Windows machine acts up and they are not technically inclined, I think I'm going to suggest they go Apple.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC