James O'Neill's Blog

February 13, 2008

On expectations …

Filed under: Uncategorized — jamesone111 @ 10:36 pm

  my more-having would be as a sauce to make me hunger more
William Shakespeare; Macbeth Act IV, Scene III

You can’t make people happy by law. If you said to a bunch of average people two hundred years ago "Would you be happy in a world where medical care is widely available, houses are clean, the world’s music and sights and foods can be brought into your home at small cost, travelling even 100 miles is easy, childbirth is generally not fatal to mother or child, you don’t have to die of dental abscesses and you don’t have to do what the squire tells you" they’d think you were talking about the New Jerusalem and say ‘yes’.
Terry Pratchett, talking on the alt.fan.pratchett news group

Last week on a photography forum that I read, someone asked why people complained so vehemently about certain aspects of their cameras. I said it was down to unrealistic expectations. Having started taking photos seriously with a manual focus SLR camera with a very simple auto-exposure system. Film speeds over ISO 400 weren’t really available. Motor drives meant you got through your  film too fast. Zoom lenses had a ratio of no more than 3:1 and their image quality was poor (as I know from scanning some photos I took in the 1980s).  These days people seem to expect noiseless pictures at ISO 3200, instant auto focus of even the bulkiest lens, at least 5 frames per second, lenses with infinite sharpness and no aberrations visible even at enormous magnification   etc. I look at what we’ve got, think of what we had and think we’re in the New Jerusalem.

As I mentioned yesterday in rebuilding my Vista machine I managed to louse up the licensing of Mind Genius. I don’t use mind mapping a huge amount, but when I do Mind Genius works very nicely for me, being without it for a few days isn’t a big problem. Like Windows, Mind Genius has a key and on-line activation. If you re-install you need to get your key reset. It’s no big deal – in fact this the longest I’ve gone between rebuilds which needed a reset. The folks at Gael who produce the product turn these requests round within a couple of business hours and as far as I’m concerned that’s a pretty good level of service.

Are my expectations really so low ?   I’ve heard a lot of noise about re-activating Windows, mostly from people who’ve never done it. Funnily enough I did a Mind-map on activation a year ago This re-install of Vista [ultimate] activated with no trouble – and quite rightly too, it’s on the same hardware. But the process for reactivating takes 5 minutes at worst against a couple of hours with Gael.  If the Microsoft service is bad then Gael’s is … dreadful. In which case why am I so happy with them ?

Update. It was the weekend before I got round to using Capture One. It first told me that my license was broken, and then that my 15 days grace was used up. A quick mail to Phase one sorted it out – when their Far East support came on line in the small hours of Monday morning, but the weekend was over by then. Grrr.  Still here’s something from the weekend now I’ve got it working.

Frost on a sage leaf (click for bigger)

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.


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