I’m a regular user of EA’s online game site. Pogo

This evening I received an error message. So I wrote a VERY long post to their support division. And internally… I really don’t think I’m going to let this one lie… especially if I get crapped on by some outsourced tech support pre-fashioned script.

My letter to EA:

I’d like to preface this mail and request that the tech that reads is please read it carefully and pass it up the line to a supervisor rather than handing back the stock answer.

One of your games crashed on me while loading. I received the following error message:
Not Enough Memory Available

Your browser does not have enough free memory to run the game.

The game applet requires approximately 3MB of free memory to run, in addition to your browser’s normal memory requirements.

How to Fix the Problem (Macintosh):
If you are using Navigator 4.0, don’t increase the memory size, as it actually takes away from the amount of memory allocated to Java.

One thing to check is to make sure you do not have any other applications running. Click on the application menu (the icon at the right end of the menu bar), and see if there is anything other than your browser and the Finder listed. If there is, quit the other applications by selecting them from the application menu, and then choosing Quit from the File menu. Then quit and restart your browser.

If you still can’t play after quitting the other applications, you may need to remove plug-ins from your browser. Some large plug-ins, such as Shockwave, use up a lot of memory. Remove all the plug-ins, except for the Default plug-in, from your browser’s plug-in folder. Then quit and restart your browser.

Internet Explorer may require less memory than Netscape Navigator. You may want to try using Internet Explorer instead.

If none of these suggestions fix the problem, you may need to turn on Virtual Memory in the Memory control panel. You could also install Ram Doubler, or purchase more RAM for your computer.

I’ll start with the short unprofessional sounding question and then try to elabourate in a clear and detailed manner.

Are you serious?

The error message above is referring to Macintosh OS 9. Mac OS. To put this in perspective, OS 9 was released in October 1998 and Apple announced an end of support for the OS in May 2002 in deference to their new OS, Mac OS X. That was 6 years ago.

To explain why I perceive this I point out:
1) Mac OS 9 had application memory settings, Mac OS X does not
2) Mac OS 9 had an application menu in the top right corner, Mac OS X does not.
3) Selecting Quit from the File menu: OS 9, not OS X
4) The suggestion of using the memory control panel (there are no control panels in OS X only OS 9, and there is no memory preference in OS X, only OS 9.
5) The use of Ram Doubler is recommended. Software created by Connectix (a company dissolved in 2003, 5 years ago) that was specifically aimed for Mac OS 9.

But on top of that are the browsers you suggest:
1) (Netscape) Navigator 4.0 is listed. Netscape 4.0 was released in 1997 (11 years ago) it was replaced within a year with Netscape 6.0 (10 years ago)… Netscape no longer exists as a company and all support for any Netscape browsers were terminated as of March 1st this year.
2) Internet explorer: was the default browser on the Macintosh in 1997 (11 years ago) It was not updated after March of 2000 (8 years ago) and as of January 2006 (2 years ago) the software is not available and Microsoft recommends the use of Safari (the native browser)

With all due respect. The Macintosh community is growing steadily. Apple stock has seen some of it’s highest values over the last 2 years and continutes to dominate in earnings quarter after quarter.

How many users will you put this frankly outdated message to before they start looking to your competition? Do you really want to answer a Vista error by telling your users how to diagnose Windows 98? Because if you look at the dates I’ve cited above… this is what you are doing.

Your software “mostly” works on the modern Macintosh platform. I know this because I have been a paying Club Pogo user since September 2003. I would like to point out that that is nearly 5 years and afer a date that all the software you reference was not in primary use. I am one of many users who use Mac OS X. The Modern Macintosh Operating sytem. Just like many of your users use Vista the modern Microsoft Operating system.

I ask that you examine your code, your error messages, and your support and treat all your customers with a level of respect and support that they deserve. Because to be honest… in the industry of game software. If you won’t support your users… Someone else eventually will.

Andrei Freeman
Macintosh Club Pogo User

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