On Monday evening, May 11, 2009, I was trying to finish up a wikispaces site for a presentation that I was giving at Region 10 ESC to local region educators. I was using wikispaces and was on my home machine which is a Vista machine upgraded to the latest Internet Explorer browser. It became apparent very quickly that I would not be able to edit the wiki the way I wanted, as I had hoped to merely embed resources in a way that I was taught by David Jakes at the TCEA convention back in February.
After several frustrating attempts I put out a call to my PLN on Twitter for some help as I thought I might have forgotten a step. After posting this tweet I put on my headset as I had given out my Skype name and within minutes, Miguel Guhlin called in and asked what the problem might be? I explained what was going on and he looked things over and made some adjustments to the wiki itself and then asked "What browser are you using and what operating system do you have on your machine?" I responded IE 8 and Vista Business. Miguel's only response was "Download Firefox and use that."
While Miguel and I were talking I received 4 other calls or tweets to see if I needed help or if I had been helped. As I talked or messaged each person, the question was always the same "Are you using Firefox? Why not?" Needless to say once I got off of Skype I went to the Mozilla page and downloaded Firefox and installed it. After having a couple of initial problems with the Firefox browser, which Jen Wagner help me sort, we found out it was a result of the links and cookies imported from IE8. I was up and functioning and working on my wiki with no problems whatsoever.
I have usually been a purist on my machines but have opened up to other options as a result of really being in a bind. While I don't see Microsoft as the evil empire and yes I do want a MBP somewhere down the line (sooner rather than later), I truly wish Microsoft would build things to work better with the available tools that are out there. If you can't be all things to all people, at least make it so that your software works right the first time please.
The power of my network proved it's worth once again and I am always grateful. Are you using your network to it's potential? Are you helping others with their networks? Thanks to all those in my network, as always you people are the best.