HP made the first computer I ever hacked, the HP41CV programmable calculator. Someone, somewhere figured out a special combination of key presses that unlocked it, allowing owners to access additional functions. I recall the fear I felt on that sunny Spring day in 1981 entering the special key codes, and the rush of elation as it worked!
32 years later, and HP still has a special place in my computing heart. Their line of printers are the only ones I can rely on. But I am dismayed at my decision to ban new purchases of their computers from my business due to their unacceptable quality. And they have no mobile business.
Yesterday I held a Web conference with HP staff in Spain to learn about updates to their ePrint service. We used HP's version of WebEx known as Virtual Rooms, "Your Online Meeting Place." On the one hand, it offers "FREE trial--60 days":
On the other, I got this response during the Test Your Setup stage prior to engaging the Web conference:
ERROR: Your browser (Opera) is unsupported. We support, and optimize for, 32-bit Internet Explorer 6.0 and later on a Microsoft Windows platform, Firefox on a Linux platform, Safari on a Macintosh platform.
Really. 32-bit Internet Explorer v6, the Web browser so old and non-standards compliant that it's been banned by Microsoft itself.
And if Virtual Rooms works with Firefox on Linux, then why not on other operating systems, say... Windows?
Anyhow, it took me a few minutes to hunt down and find iexplore.exe on my computer. Virtual Rooms worked with the 64-bit version of IE v9, fortunately, and so the Web conference went ahead as scheduled. During the demo portion, the HP staffer used Google Chrome to show me his Web-based ePrint site, ironically.
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I'll be bringing you the story of ePrint in next Monday's upFront.eZine e-newsletter. Subscribe by clicking here.