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Uploaders Remorse

Yes, the Wolvog’s dislike of iOS7 continues to this day.  Sometimes he’ll go a few days without mentioning it, but then I’ll be tucking him into bed and he’ll mournfully tell me that he misses his old operating system.  He has spent a considerable amount of time Googling, “how to go back to iOS6.”  I, admittedly, have also spent way too much time Googling that too. (Short answer, that door is closed.)  I wrote the post below for GeekDad about his feelings toward the new operating system (plus a few extra thoughts for you guys).


Image: Karlis Dambrans via Flickr

The Wolvog has a scorching case of Uploaders Remorse, that sinking feeling that comes after you’ve downloaded an app and wish you hadn’t, or upgraded your software after being prompted by an update only to discover that your device doesn’t work as well as before.

He’s usually the type who clicks first and thinks second, and he was champing at the bit to upgrade to iOS7.  “Let’s wait,” I told him.  “Let’s research it a bit; see what people think about the new operating system.” I am the other type of person.  I think first for a loooooooooooooong time and click second.  I drag my heels with every download.  We read a few posts, and I was unconvinced that I’d like new software.

“Let’s try it out in the store,” I suggested.  He waited impatiently for a day to roll around where a trip to the Apple store worked with our schedule.  I didn’t love the new operating system once I had a chance to play with it on a sample device, and I told him that I was going to wait a bit longer to switch over.  I knew I would need to switch at some point; but I was going to wait to see if later versions of the software addressed the issues I had with the new operating system.

In the meantime, he upgraded his software.

He used his iPod for a moment and then set it aside.  He went to read on the sofa, which seemed odd considering how long he begged to upgrade the software, and I went upstairs to work.  An hour later, he came into my room, his lip quivering.  “I hate the new operating system.”  He could get used to the new look, the new set-up, but he couldn’t get accustomed to a new sound.  Siri’s voice had changed ever so slightly; it was less robotic, less hesitant.  The fluidity of sound made him feel as if it wasn’t his Siri anyone.

[It turns out it wasn’t his imagination.  When Susan Bennett stepped forward last week to claim ownership over old Siri’s voice, it was also reported that, “Alas, Bennett’s reign as Siri is coming to an end. Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 7, features new Siri voices, according to CNN.”]

He instantly wanted to go back to the old operating system.

We looked into downgrading and discovered it was too late.  The upgrade was a one-way ticket at that point, and he was stuck with the new operating system.  He couldn’t wrap his mind around the idea that his iPod was forever stuck with an imposter Siri.  He curled up on the floor with my phone and spoke to his old friend, asking her to tell him a story and then crying whenever she spoke.

It was as if a corporation had snatched away his imaginary friend.  An imaginary friend who happened to be a middle-aged voice talent living in Georgia, but an imaginary friend nonetheless.

I couldn’t laugh at it because I think it’s sweet that he regards programs as something more than pages of code.

For the Wolvog, programs are like a well-loved pet; the good ones respond with interaction (like a purr accompanying a scratch behind the ears).  Siri wasn’t just a computerized voice, scanning a database in order to speak search results.  She was an anthropomorphized program that he loved spending time with, trying to figure out how far the software could go.  Plus our family has gone through this once before with Clippy.  There were huge tears when he discovered that Microsoft knocked off his office assistant friend in newer versions of Word.  Maybe if we all looked at programs as fuzzy creatures that can enhance our lives by taking our direction, we would be less freaked out by the idea of diving into code.

He loves programs — especially programs with human-like qualities — in the same way that I love fictional characters; enough so to become a fiction writer as my job.  I think whenever you spend enough time with something — whether it is a novel or a program — you begin to feel a fondness toward the creation.  I don’t think we’ve ever been in danger of him believing that a program is real, but that doesn’t mean that his heart isn’t at risk.  It is since he falls in love with code, and he falls hard.  Whether it’s the tiny programs we’re currently writing together in Python or the well-established programs of Clippy or Siri, the boy cares.  He loves programs — foibles and all — and wants them to remain as a constant.  Caring brings huge rewards, but it also means that sometimes you get your heart broken.

Like when Apple changes your friend.

He won’t remain sad forever.  I’m basing this on the fact that while he still keeps a little drawing of Clippy that its creator, Kevan Atteberry, sent him, life has moved on.  He will one day be fine with the new Siri, even if he still goes back and listens to old recordings he’s made of the original Siri.

What this has done is make him less trigger happy for the next upgrade. He’ll think long and hard before he clicks on updates, figuring out how deeply the changes will affect him. He may trail a bit behind his friends in having the latest software, but he’ll be ultimately more at peace with each change by easing into it. That’s what people who see programs as more than lines of code need to do.

Are you an early adopter of new software upgrades?  Do you like to update your software the moment the option becomes available, or do you ease into change, reading up on the new system (or trying it out) before downloading?


1 Pepper { 10.13.13 at 7:13 am }

I am not an early adopter. I am in general always behind the curve when it comes to technology. My first smart phone is only a few months old. I have a tablet that I use mostly for reading. When new operating systems are available, I tend to wait as long as possible. No good reason, I just like what I have so why change? My husband does not relate – he would love the newest and latest everything. Sometimes he steals my devices and upgrades. I do not appreciate this but he thinks it’s hilarious – mostly because (as much as I say I don’t want to change) I usually don’t even notice for a while. That’s me – a real tech queen. 😉

2 Sara { 10.13.13 at 9:31 am }

My husband upgraded his phone first and he was really happy with the upgrade. One night when I was asleep he took my phone and did the upgrade for me. He was trying to be helpful but I do not like the new upgrade and have had some issues with it. I am slow to upgrade because I worry about losing my calendar, this did happen with an upgrade before and with the current upgrade it changed the look of my calendar, I give my husband a hard time about upgrading my phone. Next time I will make it clear that I do not want my phone upgraded until I am ready.

3 Laurel Regan { 10.13.13 at 9:51 am }

I am definitely an early adopter, and can’t recall a time when I wasn’t happy about pulling the trigger on an update. I like the excitement of change, and discovering new things. I’ve always approached software updates with an attitude of eager anticipation… at least, so far!

4 Sharon { 10.13.13 at 10:40 am }

I used to be an early adopter until one time about a year ago when I updated my iPhone and thought for about ten minutes that all my data had been erased somehow from both the phone and my laptop backup (including many photos of my sons and notes I’d kept about their various milestones). The sheer panic and despair I felt in those moments has put me off the idea of doing any further iPhone updating.

Lots of my friends and my husband have been complaining about iOS7, so I have yet to upgrade.

5 Battynurse { 10.13.13 at 12:23 pm }

Not usually someone who cares much either way. Sometimes I upload quickly, other times not as much. I will say I went to visit a friend and her daughter asked me to do the upgrade while I was there and it made me nervous that she’d have a hard time with the changes. I also am not thrilled with the look of the new calendar.

6 Brid { 10.13.13 at 1:14 pm }

What a timely post! Just this morning Jack crawled into bed with me to show me something on his iPod. We had finally picked up an AppStore card so he could set up his own apple id (the ipod was handed down to him almost immediately because Jim couldn’t figure it out!). I noticed there was a request for an update, so I clicked on it… then within a fraction of a second remembered what you had said a few weeks ago about the upgrade, and regretted it. Of course, the iPod re-set to Jim’s old apple id, which caused problems for Jack’s id… Argh. He had about 18 hours of the iPod working how he wanted it to (11 of those he was sleeping!) and I messed it up for him! Does anyone know if I wipe the whole thing, will his apple id hold his account balance and games etc… that he’s already paid for? Or can I somehow delete Jim’s id from the device without interfering with Jack’s?

7 Another Dreamer { 10.13.13 at 2:54 pm }

I’ve refused to upgrade my phone. My husband has on his, but I don’t really like the layout. Plus, my Ipod has the same system as my phone… I think it would be confusing to me for them to differ.

I don’t really like upgrading in general. If what I’m using works for me, serves my needs, I just don’t see the point in upgrading.

8 persnickety { 10.13.13 at 7:01 pm }

I am a mixed bag. I had been holding out, but my husband (who is a it’s new, lets upgrade/get it person) upgraded for me. As is his wont. He does this all the time, and I probably don’t notice when it works, but when it fails the result can be pretty bad. He once deleted all of my (not quite backed up) blog posts in an update. Took a week or two to fix that. Then he upgraded my DSi because it told him too, and then the R4 card wouldn’t work (it lets me watch movies etc on the DS) because that has to be updated first. He does have to deal with the fallout, but it is always this look of puzzled shock that technology has failed him. (even though it fails regularly)

That said- he also holds onto stuff- we still have VHS tapes around because he wants to transfer some old taped tv show into digital (and the tv show is sufficiently unloved that it is not on any pirate sites) We also have 3 (3!) apple computers downstairs, all at least 5 years old, one more like 20 and none in use.

9 Alexicographer { 10.13.13 at 9:40 pm }

I still — I am not making this up — use Pine to read my email. You, Mel, may be too young to know what that means, and I’m quite sure many of your readers are, but it answers the question pretty well.

I was also working in WordPerfect well into 2003 (if not later) and still miss it. Reveal Codes, I adored thee.

10 Tiara { 10.14.13 at 1:43 pm }

Oh boy do I have uploader’s remorse! My friend was visiting & she convinced me to upgrade, against my better judgement & I hate it! I even accused her of manipulating me into upgrading by saying it wasn’t so bad just so she could have someone to commiserate with. Although there are some elements I do like better, over all I am just so unhappy with it!!

11 Blanche { 10.15.13 at 4:04 pm }

I am perfectly happy with my dumb phone and the comparatively tiny bill that goes with it. (Most of the time, at least…)

In a related to the Siri voice change tangent – my mother is having some issues with her neck thanks to a whiplash sustained many many many years ago when her car was rear-ended. Those issues are actually transferring to her jaw muscles which are not allowing her to open her mouth fully (and here’s the point) which is changing the mechanics of how she speaks & thus changing her voice. But she’s still the same person even if the way she speaks is different. I don’t know if this would help the Wolvog or not, especially with the revelation that the source of the voice has actually changed. Maybe it’s only helpful if it’s a flesh & blood person? Anyway, I thought of him and Siri when I realized the extent of the changes for my Mother’s voice.

12 loribeth { 10.15.13 at 5:44 pm }

Alexicographer, ditto re: WordPerfect. We were forced to convert in 2006, kicking & screaming.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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