Sometime near the dawn of this Great Age of Interactivity, writers gave up the last word. We're interactive now, bombarded by interactive readers:
Read your full-page column in the Jan. 17 Monitor [in which a reader, Dan, complained about the Internet.] If Dan Schechter will send me his e-mail address and tell me two things he is interested in, I will find something about at least one of them on the Internet. I'm convinced that a) he is not looking in the right places, b) he has no interest, or c) he wants to make a statement so is deliberately not accepting the interesting things he has found.
Dale C. Myers -- Nomad -- Bicycle Traveler
Read your article over lunch today.... Also noted that first letter of complaint was from someone to whom I MAY be related (Dan Schechter). Can you pass along this note to him at his e-mail address?
Joseph A. Schechter
OK, OK. So I play electronic postman and forward the messages.
Weeks later Dan responds:
We're not related. Actually, I knew that already. My paternal grandfather took our present family name in exchange for his own in order to escape from czarist Russia. So the only Schechters I am related to are my immediate family....
As for the guy who says he can find something of interest on any topic, I will grant him that there is information on any topic, but perhaps he finds the ramblings of half-informed fanatics to be interesting.
My mother sent me your interesting article including text from many e-mailers. One [e-mail writer] indicates that your column is DOS/Windows-biased, and you unfortunately make that bias clear in your instructions for getting an image viewer for Macintosh! What you get -- Fetch -- is a GUI FTP client rather than an image browser. What you want is: ftp://mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu/pub/info-mac/grf/util/jpeg-view-33.hqx
What bothered me about your article [March 14: ''Take Your Choice: Apple or IBM, It's Still Microsoft''] is you did not deal with one of the reasons Microsoft is such a giant in today's computer-software industry. 1) Service -- I have called their company hot line with questions, and the support tech has always had the right answer.... 2) Development -- Microsoft always releases a well-thought-out product that has been well tested.... 3) Familiarity -- everyone knows the Microsoft name.
That's three reasons.
Here's the real nut of the Microsoft problem. Computer software is NOT about having great software. It's about having the SAME software.... It may appear that Microsoft has a monopoly, and would-be competitors don't like it. But to the average computer user, Microsoft has done us an extraordinary good deed: All software applications look and feel and operate pretty much the same and they all talk to one another.
* Your comments are always welcome. Write to me via Internet (firstname.lastname@example.org), CompuServe (70541,3654), or Prodigy (BXGN44A).