Monday, 16 January 2006

Inaccurate Web

I've had a bit of Wikipedia moment this last week while trying to research a problem with my Palm TX resetting itself. Of course one of the first things I did was check out the user forums on the topic. But if I had believed all that I read online it really would have been quite misguided.

As it turned out, the Palm TX uses a different type of memory from past models meaning there can be incompatibilities with older software, causing it to reset. And yes, I had simply moved a lot of old software from my old Palm and added some more without appreciating the consequences.

However since resetting the Palm completely (a "hard reset") and being a bit more careful with what I install it has been trouble free so far (fingers crossed).

Unfortunately the message I was getting from the forums was that the TX was a flawed piece of hardware. Eventually I discovered some support advice from Palm, but it was hard to find since I was searching for a solution based on symptons.

On the positive, there is some helpful user generated advice out there, such as some user generated compatibility lists (Palm Focus and Palm Facts) - however, even these should not be take as fact. So, the lesson is clear - social software is great, but when it comes to accurate content it still remains a case of buyer beware.

1 comment:

  1. I've had a similar experience relating to an issue with my Zen Micro. I think its important to remember that the vast majority of people on these online forums are actually trying to help. The issue is, with limited context, and a limited ability (or willingness) to investigate more fully, we get percriptions without an accurate diagnosis. Just like we do with many face to face social settings. The difference here is that the incorrect information is indexed and online forever.

    The issue of context in online forums is partly dealt with in a recent post of mine.


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