So picture this. I'm currently mid-way through a 3-day professional development symposium at a hotel. Several high-powered presenters, all internationally recognized experts in their fields. I am among 125 attendees at this conference, whose employer has paid a substantial sum of $$$ to have me attend. The conference room is a small amphitheatre, all hardwired with a built-in digital video projector and good quality stereo sound. And all is going fine, until the dreaded PowerPoint presentations begin this afternoon. Three presenters, three PowerPoints. And by the way, these presentations weren't just thrown-together last night in the hotel room. These people make a substantial portion of their income by delivering speeches like this, week after week, to people like me. SO WHY, THEN, DID NONE OF THE POWERPOINTS WORK PROPERLY??? Maybe I'm just a fool for expecting too much from PowerPoint, or Windows XP, or Dell laptops, I don't know. All I do know is that, of the three presentations this afternoon... o One tried to incorporate a .wmv video that was so jerky it was unwatchable, and the audio sounded like a CD skipping o One presenter clicked the wrong button and brought the whole thing to a crashing halt, forcing us to watch much of it over again o And the final one, loaded from a USB thumb drive, gave a cryptic "media corrupted" error when it was run, and wouldn't even play. But the most shocking thing of all, was that the people sitting around me -- none of whom are strangers to technology -- just quietly accepted that this was normal: "Oh mine never work the first time either" or "Everybody knows you can't use a thumb drive for one of these!" UGGGHHHH!!!!! I've always figured that PowerPoints in my office always suck because the people who use them don't know what they're doing. But now I think I've changed my mind. Now I think that PowerPoints always suck, because PowerPoint sucks. And I'd rather hear chalk squeaking on a chalkboard, or watch transparencies flipping on an overhead projector, than sit through another embarrassing Microsoft-fuelled day like today.