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The Power of Love: The Upgrade Dilemma

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What advice do you give to a client who's being left behind with technology, but refuses to upgrade? In this diary entry, Joseph Phillips returns from the past in an effort to bring a client into the future.
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Have you noticed the surge in retro radio stations lately? I'm hearing music from the 1980s in just about every city I visit. At least they're not calling the music the "Golden Oldies"—yet. Of course, whenever I want to go back in time I don't have to listen to INXS, Bananarama, or even ZZ Top, I just pop into one of my favorite clients' offices.

Now don't get me wrong—I like Phil Collins and Adam Ant as much as the next guy, but when it comes to technology, I prefer things to be a bit more modern. Let me give you some background.

Working 9 to 5

My client, a professional firm, has about 100 users on its network. The bulk of its technical work is nothing fancy: Word, Excel, a little Access, and some proprietary apps unique to the industry. Sure, it has email, web access, and even some subscriptions to remote application services for its business.

So far, things sound pretty normal. Well, put on your Members Only jacket, one white glove, and "walk this way."

The workstations aren't rockets—though I'm sure they were at one time. These machines range in processing power from the typical 486s to everyone's envy: three 733 workstations. RAM? How about a whopping 64MB? Let me type that again so you don't think it's a mistake: 64MB of RAM per PC.

You can factor in all the other cool stuff, too: Windows 95b, serial mice, and the amazing 5-pin DIN keyboard. They do have color monitors; although one could argue that "black and white" are colors, it's not the same as a color monitor. Fortunately, there are only about 10 monochrome monitors scattered around the office. They're fun to work with. One has Noah's initials etched on the side.

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