Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

Tell me if this has ever happened to you: You have some minor, low-level bug or problem with a piece of software, and you spend a little time messing with preferences and looking up how to fix it and then you just give up and live with it and grouse about it.

Yeah, me too.  All the time.  And I work with software ALL THE TIME, so there’s a rather large pile of software things that just bother me—like Apple’s Address book’s notes field behavior (don’t get me started).  Occasionally, one problem gets fixed in an upgrade or a friend happens to mention a solution or workaround and my life gets 0.75% better.

Well, a week ago I mentioned to my friend Boris via Twitter that I was having problems with running Titan Quest, a PC video game, using Parallels on my Mac.  In a nutshell, the 3D rendering wasn’t working properly and my character occasionally would be missing a leg or be attacked by invisible animals that weren’t rendering.  So, kinda lame.  This issue had been bothering me for ages but troubleshooting was unfruitful (fruit-free?) and the task of getting a several years-old game running in emulation was low on my list.

I didn’t even phrase the tweet as a complaint, I said I’d finally got it working. (Which it turns out was temporary.)

Well, what should happen but within a few hours, someone from Parallels saw my tweet, responded and asked me to contact them directly, to a real person’s email address, with a description of the problem so they could help me.  Do you know how AMAZING that is?  Tech support contacted ME! No hold time, no what’s your serial number, just—tell us your problem because we want to help you.

So, wrote her, and she tried to help, but it didn’t work, so she told me how to file a more official tech support request with more system info, and from then on it was pretty standard, but well-given, tech support experience. The first two emails couldn’t really solve the problem but the third email exchange ended up with me downloading a hot fix (which they either wrote for me, or figured out enough about my problem to know it would do me good) and with that, my problem was solved and boom, I was chopping orcs like a champ.

So, here’s a company that 1) took the time to contact me when it heard I was having a problem, 2) gave me pretty decent tech support, and 3) actually solved my problem and improved my life 0.75%.

Well, I’m impressed.  And I thought I’d share because lord knows I’ve done my share of complaining on this blog.  If you’re looking for a way to run another OS on your Mac, I think Parallels is a pretty decent company to help you do it.  Now, I’m off to play Titan Quest.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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