Friday, September 24, 2010

Beware the Versions

Buying computer software really seems to be quite an easy thing.

You check out what program seems to have what you want, and spending some time checking out opinions and reviews in online forums isn't a bad idea either.

But when you are told to purchase a specific program for a certain year and then find the books to accompany it, you had really better look closely.

My son needed a certain program for one of his online college courses.

Keep in mind that he has never "met" the teacher - all correspondence, class work, homework, and projects are all done online and uploaded to the teacher.

We had no problem finding the needed software even though it was three years old.

Still expensive, but it was available.

Now comes the aggravating part.

The textbook to go with it.

The title, copyright year, author, and version were given.

We searched online a lot, and found several issues that started at $60 and up for used.

No problem, we purchased one.

When he went to do the first assignment, it was quite obvious it was the wrong text.

The instructor failed to mention what exact "type" was needed.

There were office, student, home, business, beginner, intermediate, advanced, brief, regular, and expanded types.

We purchased the one that matched the required software, not knowing about brief or expanded.


The book we had had 300 pages.

The one we needed had over 700.

Would have been nice to let us know we needed the expanded one.

Since it was a beginner class, we also went with the beginner edition.


We needed the intermediate.

At least we had the "home" part correct.

Shelling out $110 for another book was ridiculous.

I think the thing that really gets to me, years ago, when you purchased software, you got the books with it.

No more, supposedly everything you need is in the "help" section of the program.

I am not impressed.

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