Opinion: Page (1) of 3 - 05/03/02 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at MyDmn.com).print page facebook

The Final Cut Pro Bonus

Discovering the benefits of unified technical support By Paulo de Andrade
When you purchase a professional video editing system, you expect it to perform flawlessly. In the old days of dedicated hardware this was usually the case. But when we started using computers to put video together, we were introduced to a multitude of new problems. No matter how stable a specific piece of software is, there are too many things that can go wrong in a computer-based system. Problems with drivers, extensions and hardware issues can happen completely out of the blue, turning a typical working day into a real nightmare.

During all these years using computers in production, I have lived through several problems that incapacitated my systems for hours and sometimes days at a time. Because until last year I used Windows PCs and SGIs exclusively, I can honestly say that had I not been technically inclined and possessing a pretty good knowledge of both hardware and software, I'd probably be writing this column from an insane asylum. Not that the SGIs ever gave me any problems. Those are the best built machines I have ever used and they work just like dedicated hardware turn them on and get to work. But Windows PCs are an entirely different story. If I could bill Microsoft for all the hours wasted fixing problems caused by their OSs alone, I'd be writing this column from a paradisical island in the middle of the Pacific. Unfortunately that's not the case and, instead, I ended up losing lots of money in downtime while desperately trying to fix my production computers.

The main problem with PCs is that no one is to blame when something goes wrong. You play a very stupid game of ?it's their fault with every technical support call you make. If your software appears to have a problem, you call the company and they say that it's got to be a problem with the capture card driver. So you call the capture card company and they say it's a software issue. You tell them that you just spoke with the software people and then they say it must be an OS problem. You call Microsoft and... Well, better not waste your time calling them because it's never their fault! Plus they have no idea whatsoever what all those error messages mean, anyway. So you end up calling the motherboard manufacturer, who in turn sends you to the display card company, who insists it must be a sound card conflict. After calling eight or nine different companies you just give up, re-format your hard drive and re-install every program and driver from scratch. Surprisingly, everything works great and you just wasted a couple of days of your time. I can't believe how most people take this so lightly!

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Related Keywords:Final Cut Pro, technical support, Apple, G4


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