Archive for March, 2007

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Adding a Printer in Vista Just got Worse

Last week, I got a beautiful new laptop at work with Vista on it. 

I approached my first week of Vista with patience and an open mind: I knew that things were going to be different – that’s kind of the point.  All the nooks and crannies of the old Windows that I knew so intimately have changed and now I feel a little less adequate as a person.  But overall, I’m learning quickly (the Search bar on the Start menu is becoming my friend) and darn – my glass bubble screen saver and side bar are SO PRETTY!  They do make me smile.

I’ve gone over a full week before I had the need to print something (which makes me feel proud of technology).  So I finally reached the point where I needed to configure a printer to my laptop on my corporate network.

On Windows XP, this used to be so easy:

1. I would go to the Start Menu and click on "Printers and Faxes"

2. A window would launch and there would be a big task bar on the left hand side.  The top section said "Printer Tasks" and the first task was….you guessed it!  "Add a printer"

add a printer

3.  In the "Add a printer" wizard I would click the Next button three times: once to get through the "welcome" screen and twice to accept choosing a printer from the network (which was the default option selected) and third time to find the printer on the network.

4.  Then the "Find printers" dialog would come up and I would click "Find Now".  It would show me a list of printers available to me on the network in my building.

5.  I would then select the printer I wanted and click OK.

6.  The printer would be added and I would have two more clicks to determine if it should be my default printer and complete and exit the Wizard.

I’m glossing over some clicks in these bullets – so while conceptually there seems to be 6 STEPS I think overall it’s about a 10-click process at best. 

While very smooth, this process stands for tons of improvement.  In Vista, it just got worse.  Here’s how:

On Vista I want to add a printer.

1.  I go the Start menu and I have no idea what to click on.

2.  I type the word "Printer" in the Start menu search box and click on the "Printers" item listed under "Programs". 

3.  I now get a new looking window that lists the default printer and fax connections. 

4.  I’m now looking for the big "Add a printer" button.  I have a million folders listed on the left side…a bunch of printers on the right…Where is my "Add a printer" button?


5. I have now had to perform DOUBLE the amount of steps that I did previously to get to this point.  Now I’m in the "Add a printer" wizard.  This looks like an improvement (below).  I choose the second option to add a network printer.


6. Unfortunately, no printers are found:


7. Searching again gets me the same result so I have to click "The printer that I want isn’t listed" (or Cancel and add no printer).

8. Now I have to find a printer by name or TCP/IP address


Of course there must be a good reason I couldn’t have just come straight to this dialog in the first place, or bypassed it completely when the wizard tried to search for my printer on the network.  I’m just not sure what that reason is.

9. I click "Next" in this dialog and get to my friendly "Find printers" dialog FROM STEP 4 (I’m now on STEP 9) in the previous scenario on XP.

10. I select my printer and wait for it to be added.  It’s taking a long time….Vista is thinking and:


I have to INSTALL THE DRIVER for the printer!!

11. I click to "Install Driver".  Did my machine just crash….wait, what is going on?  Some other applications just crashed and….oh: I get the security prompt from Vista to allow the driver to install.  Lovely.

12 – 13. Now I’m done and the printer has been added and it takes two more screens to set the printer name and print a test page:



Now 13 steps later I am convinced that adding a printer just got worse on Vista.


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Apology from JetBlue

I have an email account that I use for things like online purchases and memberships to online services, including JetBlue.
I am a huge fan of JetBlue as a consumer and as a model for how to run a "next generation" business.

Despite the unfortunate events that transpired for JetBlue on February 14, 2006 and the unfortunate events that have continued to bump JetBlue and other airlines this winter, I am most impressed by the efficiency and openness of the customer communication that came directly from David Neeleman, Founder and CEO of JetBlue Airways.  As a customer of JetBlue I received a wonderfully honest and sincere apology email (below) From David.  Further, I was able to view what seemed like a "home made" video clip of what seemed like an unrehearsed David Neeleman delivering a personal apology.  And as if that was not enough, JetBlue has published a Bill of Rights for me, their customer, that outlines exactly what the consequences are for them if they fail to meet their promise to me.

It is almost unbelievable! I have NEVER seen anything like this in my life.  And it’s AWESOME!
I’ve seen the rehearsed address on television or even a produced television commercial.  But I have NEVER seen such an open and honest and unrehearsed display come from anyone.  It just shows when you take the honesty of someone like David Neeleman and combine it with something a raw as YouTube – you get interactions that are humane (ironically through technology – don’t even get me started on that).

I feel very strongly that our society has lost site of what it means to be honest with ourselves and this is amplified when you start to look at organizations.  People run organizations.  And people and societies who don’t know how to be honest with themselves set up processes and marketing campaigns in business that perpetuate the denial – the denial of what we don’t like about ourselves and the denial that it’s our job to step up and do something about it: I can litter, that’s what street cleaners are for; I don’t need to diet, Oprah is fat too and she’s happy and she’s a good person; I donate money to the organizations that help people.  This same nonsense permeates throughout our business and into our marketing that goes on our televisions, our magazines, and our Internet.  It’s tiring.

Thank you David Neeleman for remembering that honesty goes a long way.  It does with me.
I will be flying JetBlue on my next trip across the country and I plan to be pleased once again.

JetBlue Airways

An Apology from JetBlue Airways.

Dear JetBlue Customers,
We are sorry and embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry.
Last week was the worst operational week in JetBlue’s seven year history. Following the severe winter ice storm in the Northeast, we subjected our customers to unacceptable delays, flight cancellations, lost baggage, and other major inconveniences. The storm disrupted the movement of aircraft, and, more importantly, disrupted the movement of JetBlue’s pilot and inflight crewmembers who were depending on those planes to get them to the airports where they were scheduled to serve you. With the busy President’s Day weekend upon us, rebooking opportunities were scarce and hold times at 1-800-JETBLUE were unacceptably long or not even available, further hindering our recovery efforts.
Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the anxiety, frustration and inconvenience that we caused. This is especially saddening because JetBlue was founded on the promise of bringing humanity back to air travel and making the experience of flying happier and easier for everyone who chooses to fly with us. We know we failed to deliver on this promise last week.
We are committed to you, our valued customers, and are taking immediate corrective steps to regain your confidence in us. We have begun putting a comprehensive plan in place to provide better and more timely information to you, more tools and resources for our crewmembers and improved procedures for handling operational difficulties in the future. We are confident, as a result of these actions, that JetBlue will emerge as a more reliable and even more customer responsive airline than ever before.
Most importantly, we have published the JetBlue Airways Customer Bill of Rights—our official commitment to you of how we will handle operational interruptions going forward—including details of compensation. I have a video message to share with you about this industry leading action.
You deserved better—a lot better—from us last week. Nothing is more important than regaining your trust and all of us here hope you will give us the opportunity to welcome you onboard again soon and provide you the positive JetBlue Experience you have come to expect from us.


David Neeleman
Founder and CEO
JetBlue Airways

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Today, Microsoft launched an initiative in the United States called: IM

The initiative connects Windows Live Messenger with nine of the world’s most significant causes and the leading non-profit organizations associated with them. The more IM conversations you have using Window Live Messenger, the more money will go toward these urgent social issues.  Microsoft will share a portion of the program’s advertising revenue with the user’s chosen organization, and will guarantee that each organization receives a minimum of $100,000 in donations during the first year of the program.  There is no upper limit, so greater usage can increase the contributions.  Go to today to download Windows Live Messenger 8.1 and start talking with your friends and family and know that every time you connect to someone you know you’re giving back to significant causes of your choice.

If you are already using Messenger 8.1 you can type the following codes in your personal message so that your IM donations go to the organization of your choice:

Text Code Cause
*red+u American Red Cross
*bgca Boys & Girls Club
*naf National AIDS Fund
*mssoc National Multiple Sclerosis Society 
*sierra Sierra Club 
*komen Susan G. Komen for the Cure 
*unicef The US fund for UNICEF 

You can even change it up day to day or week to week to spread your charity around.

You can append the text code to the beginning of end your existing message and you will see an IM logo appear where you types the code:


Chat. Feel Good. Give Back.  Windows Live Messenger.

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