December 30, 2010
You know, for a team that gets all kinds of butt-hurt if you DON'T FULLY SUPPORT AND CARE ABOUT THE PDF SPEC, the Acrobat team has no problems creating the most shitacular word files ever.| Comments ()
December 24, 2010
I have always relied on the kindness of strangers
A recent "issue" that caught me by surprise was the reaction to the announcement of the closing of the Apple software downloads site in preparation for the Mac App store. Now, to be honest, I never cared. The search on that site always blew, and there was rarely anything of interest to me there. Admittedly, I'm not the core market for it, but I was still a bit amazed that it generated as much revenue as it seems.
I get that such a source, especially with the death of sites like VersionTracker is important. Contrary to freetard belief, "Just Google It" isn't really a great way to find things. So, having a central point to find software was important, is important. That aspect of it is important, and I hope that other sites, like MacUpdate or what have you, will step up, and try to fill that gap. There's definitely going to be a gap, since the Mac App store won't be for everyone. Literally.
And that will suck for people who were on the Apple downloads page, but some of the comments remind me that too many people just do not think of marketing, advertising, and PR as critical parts of their business's success, and that is a really wrong, almost stupid way to think.
<DISCLAIMER: I do in fact, work for an advertising, marketing, and PR agency. However, I do their IT work. What I professionally know about, or am involved with in terms of clients & campaigns is pretty much zero. This is just me talking about shit that makes sense to me, based on some observations. I also help host a sponsored podcast, so I am the recipient of marketing in a few ways.>
The first part of any business is figuring out your product. Then you have to sell it. Logically, you need to make sure people know about said product, and how to purchase it. This is all basic, basic stuff, yet I am continually amazed at how many people fuck up the last part. Shit, some manage to fuck up the second part. That really blows my mind. I mean, getting the customer to part with ducats should be the easiest part of any and every interaction they have with you. It should be easier than everything else, yet some companies have the most overcomplicated systems set up for getting money out of your bank account and in to theirs. (Rackspace, I'm looking at you.)
If you can't make paying for your stuff easy, you're kind of dumb. Don't be dumb.
But this is more about a trend i've seen in the Mac market. (It may exist elsewhere, but I don't care about them for the nonce.) Specifically, the tendency to actively avoid marketing as though it were some unnecessary frivolity, or the faith that somehow, Apple will do that for you, and you can ignore your marketing.
Folks, wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Marketing, although perhaps not fun, or something you want to do is, in terms of selling your stuff, as critical as making the stuff to sell. Think about it. Even in a down economy, (perhaps especially in a down economy), you need to take the steps to ensure your product is known, in the way you want it to be known, to the people you want it to be known too. No matter what your application is, there are a limited number of people who will buy it. Marketing and advertising are therefore your primary tools for getting information about said application out to people. (I am avoiding PR, because as I understand it, PR is related to marketing and advertising, but not as closely as they are to each other. Also, I know fuck-all about PR, even less than marketing and advertising, so I'm not going to talk about it.)
Now, as an IT guy for a marketing agency, I watch people do this stuff every day. I am very, very glad that I am in IT. While not hard in the same way as IT, that marketing crap? That's hard work. It's also a major reason why I don't do a lot of, if any consulting. Because I dislike that aspect of the job, and don't have the cash to pay someone to do it for me. Yet, I recognize that without it, any business I would start will have an extremely tough time being successful. It seems logical to me: having a product doesn't do much good if no one knows about it. What's that old advertising saying? "Selling without advertising is like winking in the dark. You know what you're doing, but no one else does."
Yet, I see, continually, companies in the Mac market that have this idea that if they just get their product listed in the right Apple-controlled resource, mana flows from the heavens. It's a really bad idea to allow that to be your sole form of marketing. I worked for a company that did this. 99% of their marketing was the email blasts that Apple would send out about seminars at their market centers. The business was teaching seminars at Apple Market Centers. Apple stopped sending out email blasts and re-jiggered their training program. The company was fucked. Then 9/11. So double-fucked, with no other marketing plan besides "Apple will take care of us." Yeah. They lasted another month or two.
Don't misunderstand me, if Apple does provide marketing resources and you can use them, you should, you'd be a fool not to. But over-reliance on Apple, or anyone who isn't you to "take care of it" is going to hurt you at some point. If you don't like marketing, hire someone. I'm not going to make any recommendations in this article, I'm clearly biased. (I'm going to recommend my employer first, because the more accounts WE have, the better MY salary and benefits get. I'm a whore people, my shit is bought and paid for, and I am going to take good care of the signer of my paychecks wherever I can. If you want that info, email me, and I'll put you in touch with the right people.) Regardless of how you choose to do it, you have to own your own marketing as much as you own your code, your computers, any resource you need.
Eventually, your needs and Apple's will be different. Who do you think Apple's going to take care of first?| Comments ()
December 20, 2010
Between geeks and normal people.
Gosh, I can't remote in to the computer I need to remote into. Sigh, I guess I'll just drive in to work.
Hmm...I can't remote into that machine? Well that won't do, that won't do at all...hmm...on the wrong subnet, what's the IP of the switch...da fuck? Goddamn VPN...okay, FINE, hop over to that server, now I got you, you little motherfucker, yeah...okay, so show me the list of MAC addresses on the ports, okay, and ifconfig...there you are...take you off THAT VLAN, put on you the OTHER VLAN, ifconfig en0 down, ifconfig en0 up, and THAT'S RIGHT! WHO'S YOUR DADDY NOW!!!
We just don't think like you do.| Comments ()
December 18, 2010
Mail is just utter shite
Okay, not complete shit. But it is a tinkertoy application, that does some really unbelievable stupid things. LIke file import. God help you if you find yourself in the position I was where you have gobs of .eml files to import back into Mail from a mail store and an account that was corrupt. How does mail make this painful?
- Mail doesn't import .eml files, even though it uses a variant of them, .emlx
- Of course, Mail won't even import it's own files, from its own store. Can't drag and drop, not in the import mailboxes function. The only way mail will directly handle .eml files is to open each one, then move it.
- You can't automate that, lord knows I tried. But then, Mail's AppleScript bugs reach back into Mac OS X 10.4, so the fact that you can't script shit on it is unsurprising.
- I do a little hunting, and find a ruby script, eml2mbox, that works really well.
- Except that Mail won't import any of the generated mbox files for shit, unless there's a really small amount of emails in the mbox.
- Fine, so I try Thunderbird. Nope. Mail won't use the T-bird mail store no matter what you do. Sigh
So eventually, I figure it out. Entourage. I drag the mbox files into E'rage, wait, and it imports everything just fine. I first tried using Mail's Entourage import, but found some issues:
- You can only reliably import folders with a very small number of emails. Probably less than 300. I know it regularly failed with 450
- If you have to do multiple imports, you must restart mail between each attempt, or it can't find Entourage. Bullet-proof code for the motherfuckin' win.
So finally, i figure it out. Import mbox into Entourage. Drag resulting folder from Entourage to desktop. Import THAT mbox into Mail. Mail seems to really like Entourage mbox files. Entourage seems to be less of a fussy bint about it. That seems to be working.
If you want to know why I hate Mail, it's shit like this. As soon as you do the first thing that isn't mainstream use, Mail herp-derps itself into a coma. And don't tell me to submit bugs. I have, against mail, for YEARS. Not a single fucking one has been fixed. Probably because they're all plumbing bugs and not UI or fucking stationary bugs. Which tells me that the Mail team doesn't give a fuck about how well their client works, just how it looks. Nimrods.| Comments ()
December 15, 2010
Yay! Brendan is back!
Best stand back everyone! For this is a reply from Brandon M. Fryslie, software developer!!!
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 23:31:15 -0700 Subject: Re: I hope you realize how wrong you were about UTI From: Brandon M Fryslie
To: "John C. Welch"
On 12/15/10 1:31 AM, "Brandon M Fryslie"
I don't care what you publish of mine. Remember when I said this: "You know, this 'internet' stuff stays around forever."? I do too.
YAAAAAY! A NEW TOY TO PLAY WITH THAT WON’T GET ALL FLAT AND SOGGY BECAUSE I CHEWED IT TOO MUCH! THERE REALLY IS A SANTY CLAUS. Also, does Mike Lee know you’re stealing his Nom du Twitter? That particular BMF is a truly Big MF. Also, he’s not a spoiled little white kid who confuses University with the real world.
I feel kinda disappointed for your reader's lives if they actually visit your blog to read stuff like this so I'll incude some helpful info near the end. I emailed you because I had hoped you at least realized by this point that the world didn't end, your Mac didn't crumble into a pile of dust and a wisp of vapor, you can EASILY set a file to open in any program regardless of UTI, and the UTI system itself works fantastically. But then I saw your signature and read "Writer/Analyst Mac and other opinions". See when I read your blog post about UTIs, I just assumed that you were in the technical field or at least familiar with this topic from the way you were so 'confidently' explaining the situation. I figured you were just a little misguided. See, I'm a software developer and this stuff is my bread and butter. So please, just go analyze the new version of CandyBar or something and leave the inner workings of the OS to people who know what they are for.
Ooooo...you’re a software developer! And a prat! How talented you are. How the ground must tremble when you pass! I bet all the girls, and most of the guys think you’re just the bee’s knees.
Haha, I hope you publish your extremely witty reply in which you call me a whiny cockmonger as well. That makes me laugh, coming from the guy who's practically in tears worried that BBEdit won't be able to open his old blog posts. See, thats exactly backwards. Since BBEdit can open public.plaintext, it is automatically associated with the ability to open ANY file type that is public.plaintext. You want an even cooler tip? Get the "Default Apps" pref pane for System Prefs, and change public.data to TextEdit (or TextMate with the fantastic 'TextMate in Quicklook' plugin). Now quicklook one of those files you know is plaintext, but has no extension. WHOA! Guess UTIs are actually pretty sweet when you know how they work!
IF ONLY THIS INFORMATION WAS PUBLICLY AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET! Also I’m hurt that you haven’t read the site to find out. I’m going to have to drown my sorrows in ale and whores.
Unfortunately for your blog readers, who might learn something from this, I doubt you will find this second message quite as amusing and will probably not post it.
NEVAR! I SHALL HIDE IT! BAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! NO ONE WILL EVERY KNOW THE COMMON WORKAROUNDS TO APPLE’S FUCKWITTERY!!! FOR ONLY I HAVE A WEBSITE!
Anyway, have a great time explaining to people why stuff sucks,
I dunno, I figure you do a great job every time you get on your knees and fellate my hitcount numbers.
I love college kids. You’re all so blissfully self-unaware. To talk about how “sad” my readers’ lives must be, and yet, you feel the need, still, to try to make sure someone you don’t know, and have never met, knows they’re wrong.
Truly, this XKCD was about you: http://xkcd.com/386/
I cannot WAIT until he emails me again.| Comments ()
December 14, 2010
I get email...
So here I am, just doing my thing and I get this random missive from Brandon Fryslie a post so long ago I don't even feel like linking to it:
Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Received: by 10.220.190.204 with HTTP; Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:08:36 -0800 (PST) Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 13:08:36 -0700 Subject: I hope you realize how wrong you were about UTI From: Brandon Fryslie
And no need to be such a dick when you are absolutely, utterly, completely wrong. You know, this 'internet' stuff stays around forever.
You'd think he'd figure out that Unca John is perfectly willing to be even more of a dick when you give him reason to be. My reply:
I made one *mistake* that I completely and fully copped to: I assumed you could set UTIs. That was absolutely and inarguably wrong on my part. As far as the rest, nah, fuck that. You may disagree, but that doesn’t make either of us wrong. It makes us in disagreement over the correct resolution of an issue.
Also, you shouldn’t be such a whiny little cockmonger over email. What, you think I have some obligation not to publish emails from monkeys like you when it amuses me?
And so I shall publish your email. Because I am that much of a dick. I'm so much of a dick, I stole PZ Myer's "Use Comic Sans for idiots" trick! Thank you for reminding me of just how much of a dick I am!| Comments ()
December 8, 2010
Yet another sign from the Acrobat team: UPDATED
New in Acrobat X: FIPS mode.
Pretty handy. Oh wait, only for Windows users:
FIPS mode cannot be toggled from the preferences panel; you must use the registry. To turn FIPS mode on set the following registry key to 1.
This setting is a Windows only feature.
Fucking hippies don't need security anyway. Like they'd ever do anything worthwhile.
As it turns out, the PDF IT Matters blog was wrong. As Leonard pointed out, this is available for the Mac too. Via some plist setting.
Yay for accuracy and settings usability.| Comments ()