Help, Support, Hints and Fixes

Many people have been outraged that magicJack’s firmware hasn’t until now worked with El Capitan. It makes sense to be disappointed, but I’m not sure if outrage is worth the effort.

usb not working with el capitan osx10.11Before I dive in, I’m going to preface this with the fact that I don’t work for magicJack. I also don’t run a paid support program. So it is amazing to me how many people wrote truly blistering comments to me about how I need to fix this.

magicJack is notoriously slow when it comes to upgrading anything. It’s what we’ve come to expect from this company. We haven’t seen any new devices with new capabilities since 2012. They’ve merely repackaged old hardware so it looks like something new. The mJexpress is just the mJ+ 2012 with a short contract and a white jacket. The mJGo is just the mJ+ 2012 with a black jacket and 1-year contract. But these devices mostly work as expected, so most people are satisfied. While it can be connected to a computer, most people connect it directly to their router so that they don’t always have to run their power-hungry desktop computers in order to answer a phone.

The anger outlash from Mac community has been voluminous compared to the Windows 10 community, who hardly noticed that it wasn’t working with Win10 to begin.

As a side note, the Mac version of the firmware updater changed on 2015.11.12

Are there really that many Mac users who never connect directly to their router and always leave their Mac’s on day and night so they can answer the phone?

I have used both Mac and Windows operating systems. I use Windows not because I like it better but because I’m locked into the software I use for work on Windows. I like how Mac and Windows are set up, but I’d choose Ubuntu if my preferred software were available for it. And magicJack isn’t even available for Ubuntu. And they don’t care.

The Mac “ethos” is one of “small, simple, always easy, so useful it just disappears into the background”. It’s a laudable ethos, and the heart of any design firm worth its salt.

It’s no wonder that when something doesn’t just work as expected, it can be a bit jarring.

magicJack is no Mac. Ironically, when magicJack does work, it is small, simple, and disappears into the background. You might never know you’re using a magicJack if it’s just up-and-running and all you see is a typical land-line phone.

But it’s not really “easy”. If you aren’t a tech person and you like Mac because Mac makes things easy, it’s okay to pay someone to help you figure it out. It’s okay to find a more expensive VoIP product to fit your needs with an actual live support program where you can talk to a human. It’s also okay to bring your device to a friend’s house, and ask them to let you borrow their windows computer to activate and register — then bring it back to your house and plug it into your router for easy use.

It’s sensible to be disappointed when it doesn’t work with the latest version of Mac, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort to be full-out angry at magicJack. What’s the point of expending that much emotional energy for a $40 – $70 device? Your Mac desktop cost thousands of dollars, and you might spend more powering Mac over a year than you would for the entire cost of the magicJack and its power needs together.

The lesson from magicJack is that you don’t get real support — just a device that can provide phone service from behind your router, once you get past the hurdles of registration and activation.

Since I don’t have a Mac, I’m curious if those with El Capitan are truly able now to use the device, or if it’s still not quite right.

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