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8/29/2005
  Safari is too hard to use

If you're a programmer, you probably own many O'Reilly books. I just bought a few, and one of them is called Perl Best Practices. Very handy. Another great one is Advanced Perl Programming. Great stuff.

So I decided I would try and download a code sample using O'Reilly's Safari. To make a long story short, Safari is not user-friendly. It's way too hard to register, search and find what you want.

There's a page in the back of Perl Best Practices that says: "Access the digital edition FREE for 45 days." And there's a "coupon code" that you are supposed to type in. I went to www.oreilly.com/go/safarienabled and looked for where I'm supposed to type my code. It's not there. Then I registered as a user. Then I got some email to confirm my account, then I search for my book. Couldn't find it - not by title, not by ISBN, nada. I retry the original safarienabled page, and now, since I'm logged in, is the coupon code form entry. So I type in the code. I do not read the "If you are already a user, DO NOT type in your code, instead click here" until it's too late.

But it doesn't matter anyway, since at the end of it all I eventually get this notice in email:

Thank you for redeeming your book coupon with Safari Books Online. Since you have redeemed a coupon for a title that is not yet in Safari, we will notify you when   becomes available in our service.

Please note that you will have free access to this title online for 45 days. This period commences only when has been added to My Bookshelf. During the interim period, you can login to Safari and browse thousands of IT titles.

Now that's annoying. You can put out a paperback book, but you can't get the online version up by the time a reader has it in their hands! Strange... And note the blank spot where the title is supposed to be in the email!

If I ever use Safari again, there's no way I'd PAY to use it...

 


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