By December 17, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Livescribe jumps the shark

Livescribe-jumps-sharkRemember those posts I wrote about my indispensible tools? You can find them hereherehere and here. You’ll notice my Livescribe pens always made the cut.

My love affair with smartpen technology began four years ago, almost to the day. Livescribe pens and notebooks (over 1,600 pages worth) have traveled with me nearly every day since. Right alongside my iPhone. The two innovations made quite the double-threat professionally and personally.

Alas, the love affair took a turn in Februrary.

Nearly a year ago the Desktop software took to randomly dropping pages, operating painfully slowly and presenting other bizarre performance and functionality issues including affecting computer performance. Livescribe support suggested I export all of my captured notebooks, close the app, delete the data folder, restart the app, reimport the current contents of my pen (to recover the missing pages) and then methodically reimport all of my archived notebooks. It was inconvenient to be sure. In fact, it was about a four hour process. And it worked. I was told it was a temporary solution and a fix was in the works.

Actually, Livescribe had me do the same thing again in April, July, August, October and November. That’s at least 28 hours of software maintenance in about nine months – nearly a work week of effort. I haven’t spent 28 hours of time maintaining my computer in the last year! The November one was particularly interesting because support told me to stop importing my archived notebooks from now on because Desktop is apparently not designed to handle eight or more archived notebooks; that developers had been pulled from Desktop in the last year to help build the new SkyPen. Now that the SkyPen was released, Livescribe should be capable of fixing the known issues.

Today, as I did my eighth workaround, I was told Livescribe has no forseeable ETA on fixing the issue.

So, I’m sad to say I’m putting my two Livescribe pens to pasture effective today. The technology has evolved from from being an indispensible tool of productivity and creativity to being a hinderance.

Farewell, Livescribe. I will remember how awesome you once were.

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.