Friday, March 21, 2008

Apple's Leopard

It's understood that I'm not a fan of Microsoft's (MS') operating system and application software. From the two-plus year experience I had when they replaced my Sun Solaris workstation with a PC before I retired, I learned MS has to be the least user friendly, most dumbed down system and software invented. It's like it's meant for a high school student, and one they don't trust beyond them sitting in front of the computer.

Ok, a little harsh. Some people love them and do well with them. I prefered my Unix box I used for over a decade and a main frame computer terminal for another decade before that. When I retired I bought a Mac G5 and haven't regretted it for a moment. I rarely spend more than a few minutes a months on the computer itself and every update and now an upgrade to Leopard has gone smoothly. And none changed any user settings or preferences.

So this week I brought my computer down to install additional memory, now at 4.5 GBytes, and a new (second) internal hard drive, 500 GBytes, and to upgrade to Leopard. I wasn't sure how this would go. I'm running two scanners (Epson and Nikon) and two printers (Epson and HP). I expected their software to continue working except maybe with an update for minor stuff between Tiger and Leopard.

The upgrade from the CD and the two downloads went without a hitch. Everything updated and rebooted without problems. I'm not sure the new look is better, just different. After that it was opening all the packages if only to see they didn't break. And that leads to the second half of the story.

All opened and worked, even noting the additional hard drive where I moved all my images and free up space on the main hard drive for non-photography related work, except two. Nikon's Scan 4.0.X and Silverfast's scanner software for the Epson scanner.

Silverfast's error was known as I contacted them ahead of time to understand they have an upgrade for Leopard, but it requires buying it, again. They're one company that doesn't provide updates or upgrades for free, but they offer discounts for upgrades. It's highly regarded and recommended software, but expensive. I haven't decided if it's worth the cost since my Epson software still works.

Nikon's was a surprise. It's Nikon Scan 4.0.0. So researching the Internet I found many people with a similar problem going back at least 3-4 months. So, scrounging around Nikon's Website, which isn't user friendly for information, I finally found the update to Scan 4.0.2 for OS-X 1.5.0. Except they use a commercial compression package instead of ones provided by Apple.

That sucks. I'm sorry, no company should require an additional product to download and expanded their software. It's bad marketing and customer service. But I did get it since the update was supposed to work. And I say "supposed" to work. It didn't. It aborted with a new message, which automatically is sent to Apple.

Anyway, going back to Nikon's Website I try to send an e-mail for customer technical service. First, you have to have an account on their Website to ask a question. Then, you have to explore the FAQ, previous user questions, and their answer page before you can submit a question. Are you getting the picture they don't like customer service?

Ok, it's submitted and I'll wait, but I'll also explore other products, such as silverfast. And I've come to the conclusion Nikon has lost a customer for any future products. I like their scanner (Coolscan 5000ED), but that's it for me with them. No more Nikon products.

So that's the story of Apple's Leopard. Everything works but Nikon's.

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