The Editor

As reader of Management Magazine I was somewhat concerned by the tone and content of Nobilangelo Ceramalus’ comments in “Compuserve, Seriously” page 71 April 2000.
I’d like to offer some other findings for the readers:
My firm and I have been long time users of Compuserve as well as Telecom’s Xtra and find that in general Mr Ceramalus’ comments about slowness, time outs and poor response time would apply to Xtra/Netscape rather than CSI. In fact CSI have been our backup when Telecom’s system has failed to gain us access to the “net even after trying for 20 minutes!” Dear old Compuserve Ñ always there when we needed it most, which is why our firm has stuck with it. We would have far more days lost in four years of Xtra/Netscape than in about nine of CSI.
I take issue also about the final speed of downloading because this seems to be dependent as much on the time of day that one activates one’s system, as it does on the speed of the machine and modem Ñ point in case is our own dual systems, side by side on the same machine. More often, CSI with its technically slower access retrieves images and mail quicker than Xtra/Netscape. Watching download speeds soon reveals that the final speed is often only few hundred bytes per second slower at peak times!!
As far as technical support goes, I have noted that CSI is excellent at everything it does (or that I’ve asked of it) save for one aspect Ñ I have found need to purchase the most advanced viewers and decoders to work with CSI especially to handle Mac files whereas Xtra/Netscape seems to have almost all installed.
I believe that Telecom is the cause of Xtra’s troubles, from my research anyway, and that adding an 0867 requirement has only enabled Telecom to monitor who is doing what with whichever ISP, and I feel that’s an unfair advantage to Telecom. Thus if they want to shut down someone, or to slow down an ISP’s traffic, there is no way we’ll know until well after the event.
As for the time-out that Nobilangelo mentions, perhaps his system needs to be reconfigured as I’ve not suffered time-out problems for about five years now.
I had chuckle about the Microsoft “Netiquette gripe” section of his letter Ñ I know exactly what he means and can confirm that some of the large firms are the worst offenders! What do their IT folk do? Perhaps enlightened amateurs have more time to properly set up their equipment.
Please feel free to pass this letter to Nobilangelo Ceramalus and to print it for further comment.

Terry Bicknell, Director
ADMOR Associates Ltd and Specialist Electronics and
Audio Services Ltd

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