Talk about a good sport! In response to the savaging I gave LaCie for botching an otherwise terrific product, I got this gracious response from LaCie Engineering VP Mike Mihalik:

“Thank you for your helpful criticism about LaCie. Yes, we could have done a better job on the PC side; the problem with the incorrect installation has affected more than a few PC users (almost all), and the manual just adds to the problem — the correction is simple, and is in process. A really simple change to the Windows.inf file.

“As for the formatting: we chose to offend the smallest number of people. Why? We initially formatted the product to work right out of the box — on Windows machines. Unfortunately we antagonized the majority of our customers, who were Mac people. These Mac people were either offended that we made the product work on both platforms simultaneously (they thought the drives were crippled for the PC); or they could not get the drives to work at all, since they had disabled Apple File Exchange which permits using PC formatted disks on their Macs. Sales are predominantly Mac; almost 500 to 1. Why not two SKUs? Volume insufficient.”

As if that weren’t gracious and straightforward enough, some kind words followed. So as soon as the fix IS made, those of you with USB connectors on your PCs looking for a quick way to make huge backups — well, here’s a nice looking 10 gigabyte external hard drive for under $300. Once the disk is formatted for a PC, it seems to work like a charm.

And on an entirely separate note:

Muk Bud: “I have a philosophical question for you. Let’s say I have $600k in cash investments. Deep in storage, unbeknownst to me, I have a coin or stamp worth $400k. Am I technically and figuratively a millionaire?”

No, sorry, you need $5 million to be a millionaire.


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