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March 04, 2007

Apple: What's intuitive about "firmware?"

Stephen Baker

I was peering over my wife's shoulder as she booted up her new iMac. This was supposed to be easy, and intuitive. But early on she was instructed to update her firmware. This involved writing down a set of instructions, and turning off the computer and holding a button until a light started blinking. It worked OK, but my question is this: How many iMac buyers know what "firmware" is? Shouldn't those of us unschooled in such jargon get a clear explanation about what firmware is, and why in a brand new computer it needs updating? Maybe a bit of English?

The next chore involved telling the Mac's mail program about her Pop accounts. That was no fun, either. That said, her dazzling 24-inch screen makes this little laptop of mine look like a Blackberry.

09:59 AM

design

Both of your issues are trivial. It sounds like you are really grasping for something to criticize.

Posted by: Yawn at March 13, 2007 03:29 PM

Fact is though...

Your wife followed the instructions and updated the firmware. No geek intervention required. What in any other system would be a visit to the repair shop was executed by someone with a minimum of knowledge and experience.

Way to go.

Posted by: RattyUK at March 13, 2007 03:33 PM

So why didn't she get a PC instead? only a ziljon jargongs to handle there about security, hardware setup etc...allow - deny access... i agree about the mac firmware thing, it should not be a customers first experience on a mac to update the firmware, even though it is simple enough to do, it put's the user in a "need to know" situation or try and error...

The mail setup is still a pain on any plattform. For techies by techies. they could learn from the person who invented adress sheets...but today it is way easier then it was in the early days.it's going in the right direction. Btw.. Is she getting along with her mac now? Consider if she bought a PC how long would it take her to get up and running on the internet? perhaps, unprotected - unaware of the fact that a unprotected pc with broadband connection is attacked and compromised in less then ten minutes... that's saying something. My father bought a dell machine enthusiastic by the ads and the price and he had no idea of what a computer virus was.. it ended up costing a wee bit more then he thought from the ads by dell. After one year... he got so angry when there appeared a message on the screen saying it's time to renew the antivirus and firewall etc..subscription and update the software to last another year. He aske me ..is this what i can choose to do or MUST do? I said that having unprotected PC computer and using internet is not a good idea. But i also told him that even macs need protection, but today it is less risky if you connect to internet without it on a mac put that may change in the future. He was stunned, do people accept this? I said there are alternatives to windows which is contructed in another, safer way. That being a Mac and OSX. So i said to cover my ass... it cant get any worse, can it?It sure can't he said,OK, my next computer will be a mac so i can use OSX. your computer i s mac right? Yepp i said. hmm Is it that called Imac white thing? Yepp.Ok I'l go and see in the store when i get the time, in the mean time can you fix this subcription thing.. cheap? i said- toreent is the way to go.. And he said torrents? ... but that is another story...

Posted by: dack at March 13, 2007 05:05 PM

Google is your friend :=)

Posted by: Tom at March 13, 2007 05:19 PM

A Brand New computer has probably been in a warehouse somewhere from anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, min.

Plenty of time for new patches and virus updates and such to be released.

Posted by: andy at March 15, 2007 09:51 AM


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