“Still haven’t seen my bill, I’m actually eager to pay it.”

February 29th, 2008

That’s an actual quote of a client in an email received a couple of minutes ago. It is his first month with Interdubs, and he is not used to the fact that the bill will only arrive once the month is over. And then he can pay it. Or not. If he should feel like that. Which sounds ‘good hearted’ or ‘weak’. But it makes actually allot of (business) sense: Most of my clients have made more money with the site in their first week of using it, then it will cost them for whole month. A not so significant part of them actually takes just a few hours to make the 285 that the services costs them. Either by direct billing or by improved client relationships. I was aware of this when I designed the system and set the price. The price is solely based on the system working as well as it seems to be. It is arranged around my costs and the future potential of more clients. And maybe on the fact that I like to code fast.

I really hate the business model that tries to leach on to the success of its clients. Network Neutrality is one of those. Phone companies would sure love to charge more for important business conversations than for idle chit chat.

But back to Interdubs: having a super reasonable price that are people actually eager to pay makes everything much easier on everybody. So far people paid their bills. The majority of companies in record time. Thanks again and also from here. If I would try to squeeze more money out of the service, then I might need an accounting department that starts bugging people. I’d rather not.

On the other side with the latest feature additions the price / performance ratio is in danger to tip from “great” to “ridicolously great”. I have feedback from many of my clients saying that the service is too cheap. And I suspect that I could actually sign up more people if the price were higher. Most people think just because the competition is ten times more expensive it also would be better.

OS X API Apple secretism bullshit

February 29th, 2008

For me this blog entry is very interesting in a couple of ways. Yes, it does expose that Apple has created a two class world. Other developers are welcome, as long as they add applications and functionalities. But whenever Apple feels like it, they will keep parts of the system they develop for themselves. This is extremely stupid and short sighted. It certainly got Microsoft not anywhere.

one fucking fifty?

February 28th, 2008

you need 1.51 dollars today to buy one Euro.

I know, since I bought lots of Euros today.

I needed 89 cents to buy a Euro before the moron became President.

box office as one long graph

February 27th, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/02/23/movies/20080223_REVENUE_GRAPHIC.html"> Interesting and nice use of Flash

airport command line utility

February 27th, 2008

At


/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport

There is a very neat airport command line program. Starting it with –help will show you the possible options.
I like specially the -I option to show me the actual strenght of the signal etc in numbers. Not some bars. It also
seems to accurate more precisly what is going on. I wrote a quick perl wrapper to give me the outputs I care about
as a one line:


#!/usr/bin/perl

#airport usually is in /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources
use strict;
my $sleep = $ARGV[0] || 3;

my %trans = (
"commQuality" , "cQ",
"rawQuality" , "rQ",
"avgSignalLevel" , "sL" ,
"avgNoiseLevel" , "nL" ,
"lastTxRate" , "lR" ,
"maxRate" , "mR" ,
"Security" , "sec:"
);
while (1){
#print "x\n";
foreach my $o (`airport -I`){
#print "y $o\n";
$o =~ /\s*([^\:]+): (.*)/;
my $k = $1;
my $v = $2;
if ($trans{$k}){
print "$trans{$k} $v ";
}
#print "$k -> $v\n";
}
print "\n";
sleep ($sleep);
}

The other helpful option is the -s one: It scans all base stations it can find and displays them. Much better than the gui menu.

Moving this program in the bin folder would be a nice move by apple. Giving it a man page would even be better. But the way it is is certainly much better than nothing.

can not send mail on SBC network: change the port from 25 to 587

February 27th, 2008

Friend of mine started to work out of a place that has a SBC DSL connection. He could not send mail with Mail.app and his .mac mail account any longer. Chaning the mail port from 25 to 587 did change that. Things worked fine after that.

google down? Probably not

February 26th, 2008

With OS 10.4.11, but also before I have sometimes the funky behaviour that google appears to down: Both in Safari and fireofx the whole internet works normal, but when I do a google search both browsers show me google being down. Which is a blatant lie. In the terminal doing a


sudo killall lookupd

fixes the issues. It seems to happen when google can not be reached for reasons like an intermittend connection and and lookupd seems to give up on that name.

Nader - again

February 24th, 2008

Since it worked so great for Bush in 2000 Nader is trying the same for McCain in 08.

MacLarren mashup

February 23rd, 2008


old computers that still work

February 23rd, 2008

A new problem that is looking for solutions: Computers are worth replacing while they are still work fine.

Some solutions

Interesting is the theme that the OS is often the reason to kick it to the curb: It is outdated (OS9), just got slower and slower (windows used to do that, does it still? Luckily I have no idea) or it just filled with malware (That WOULD be a windows feature). The hardware might do some good. I am always surprised how little harddrives have been. “Back in the day”.

SaaS

February 22nd, 2008

? Saas ? Never had heard of it. Till Today. And then it showed up everywhere. SaaS seems to be a fancy acronym for Software as a Service. Turns out that’s what I am doing with Interdubs. Maybe if I would hang out in the Silicon Valley more or spend more time with VC types I would know this kind of language. But actually, I rather not. I just like to go ahead and write software. No need to call it fancy names. I rather check if people can use it for what they would like to do. Chances are they don’t know -or care- about SaaS either. They just have work to do.

vmware Unexpected signal: 10

February 21st, 2008

When getting an error like ‘Unexpected signal: 10′ when launching vmware on OS X it could be that you ran a 3rd Memory Manager like iFreeMem. Quitting it did not fix the issue. I had to reboot, and then vmware was happy again. It might even be that running iFreeMem first and then VMware would work. My solution is just not to use ‘iFreeMem’ any longer. It feels snake-oilish anyway: why should a 15 dollar application do a better job in managing my memory than the OS itself? It’s one of these things that the OS should be really good at. It’s not about having ‘green’ in your pie chart.

corporate communications

February 21st, 2008

The other day I rented a car since mine was in the shop. The rate was reasonable. Actually a Chevy whatever it’s called is pretty quiet for what it is. National was just accross the street from the shop that my car was in. They really wanted my phone number. I should have known why: They called twice wanted to know how the service was. Thanks for caring. Service had been good, until they started to ask about it. Same with GoDaddy. Their SSL certificates cost 40 while others want 150. It’s still a rip off since it is just a simple script and a tiny little bit of administration to weed out the evil people. Of course they called. And then called again. At 7am. Made me feel real good about filling out the form where you indicate when you like to get called.

And then on the other side of the spectrum there is AT&T. Or actually what appears to be a rather obscure business division of theirs. I picked AT&t as a vendor for my 800 number, thinking that they would be a bit more expensive but easy to deal with. The 800 number is just a little aspect of what I am doing, so why waste much time on it. So I thought. The division provides the service. But is otherwise basically unreachable. They don’t even have a phone number. Nor can I reach them via the internet: Their web forms stopped working. And there is no way that feedback would get to them. Amazing.

the people and the decider

February 20th, 2008

Looks like the people have made their mind up on the decider. Now would be the perfect time to find Osama Bin Laden. Whatever happened to that project Mr. B? Will taking my shoes when getting on an airplane help with that? Or maybe he surrenders himself if we add another really vivid colored threat level? “Hyper Mauve” or something?

Blu-Ray it is

February 19th, 2008

Warners must feel pretty powerful today. Just a couple of weeks after they threw their hat in the ring it’s all over. Once the stalemate was tilting it took surprising little time for everybody to jump on the winning side. I wonder how quickly one can start reading that Blu-Ray was in any way better than HD-DVD. Of course it was not. Both formats were identical. My theory is that now folklore will be created that Blu-Ray was better, and therefor won. Truth is -and shall remain- that Sony “just” did the better maneuvering and somehow got Warners on board in the right moment. Good that this part of media technology history is over. Now comes the real uphill battle: Blu-Ray vs DVD and the fact that people have more choices to entertain themselves than there seems to be Plastics around.

“Plastics. Benjamin, Plastics”

bk

February 17th, 2008


spam costs money

February 14th, 2008

In the past gmail has been good with spam filtering. Just now I checked up on a prospect. It turned out that he felt I was interested in his business, since I did not reply to his emails. They were in the gmail spam folder. Nothing special about them. Sadly you can not search the spam folder. Spammers never made a single cent with me. But they cost me and everybody else money. When I was looking at the last 3,000 spam mails I got (2 days) it seems that they peddle only a few items. I am sure that most of the spam tries to benefit just a couple of business. How about somebody going over there to these people and kind of make then reconsider the business attitude?

sx-70

February 14th, 2008

The SX 70 was an amazingly nice device. And the Eames’s sure knew how to explain technology. Too bad that Polaroid is really serious about giving up on making those little chemical mircale boxes. I once bought a slide scanner that was crap. Since Samy’s camera only wanted to return it against store credit I had allot of money to burn for Polaroids. And it was allot of fun.

the 25o GB MacBook Pro

February 14th, 2008

Since a while I have a very early MacBook Pro. Overall I got used to it, love it as much as I did the PowerBook. Funny how you get used to everything. I am sure it still gets how etc etc. Back then I got it with the biggest drive that was possible: 120GB. Of course that one has been above 95% full for the last year or so. Finally I got around to put a 250GB drive in the machine and, surprisingly, it even worked. I did probably not to these things in the smartest way, but in the end it worked:

I got a 250 GB drive from Amazon that let’s you end up with 232 GB formatted capacity in real bytes. The Western Digital WD2500BEVS Scorpio 250 GB 2.5-inch SATA Hard Drive is 129$ right now.
I got a Macally B-S250U USB 2.0 2.5-Inch SATA Hard Drive Enclosure for 25$. Putting the drive into the enclosure was easier than I thought. Funny enough the enclosure needs a 2 USB connections to work. One for data the other one for power. Even more strange is that with just one cable the LED will light up and the drive will click repeatedly. I was convinced that the drive was DOA at that point.

So then I used Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the contents of my internal drive to the newer bigger one. It took more than a minute to copy all the Adobe Acrobat crap. I really need to delete that. Adobe Acrobat is ‘near-malware’. Anyway. I let the copy finish over night.

There are lots of screws to get into the MacBook Pro. The internet seems to agree ont he fact that the MacBook Pro is much easier to get into than the PowerBook. I found the instructions at iFixit to be very helpful. The Torx T6 screw driver you need for 2 screws in the case and 4 on the drive I found at Sears. 2.49. They sell a set of 3 little screwdrivers for 10 dollars. Or you pay 7 buying them individually.

Gettting the upper part keyboard part off was a bit tricky. A little bit of careful jiggling around did the trick.

I also went ahead and disconnected the power light. It sit’s on top of the harddrive. I don’t need to see a room illuminated by my sleeping laptop while I am trying to sleep as well.

Still amazed that it did work.

talking just a little bit too loud.

February 13th, 2008

Roughly drafted writes about Apple and it’s ProApps. And the future of them. It feels that the author uses just a few to many arguments. I think that not all is well in the Pro Apps world of Apple. Nobody knows. Neither do I. That’s the Apple way, and that is part of the problem: You can not manage the communication around Pro Apps like you do for the next iPod.

Apple announced Aperture 2. I neither used Aperture-1 nor Lighroom. But I talked to people who did. Aperture was (an / another) example for Apples inability to come up with Pro Applications on it’s own. You just can’t in that vacuum that the super tight Apple communication rules dictate. Apple has money and brilliant engineers and the best intentions. But that’s not enough. You have to have an open dialog with your Pro clients. Pushing updates that claim “enhancements and bug fixes” and do not give any more detail is simply unacceptible for Pro Applications.

hitting on the ugly girl

February 9th, 2008

It really must suck to be Microsoft these days. Their attempt to buy Yahoo for more money that they actually have was a desperate move to begin with. And now they even got rejected. Who know that Yahoo! of all companies had choices. In this whole M$ bid media frenzy everybody seem to have forgotten about the layoff story that Yahoo had coming out. Yahoo is ailing. But they seem to have decided that they rather disolve like AOL or Netscape than to be part of would have been the worst merger in the history of Internet companies. Hitting on the ugly girl, since you think you have a chance is bad enough. Getting rejected leaves you with a little less than nothing. Not that I would know anything about that.

obama

February 3rd, 2008

After 04 I thought I would not care about the elections again. But that would actually mean letting Bush win for the third time. Regardless how odd and wrong it was to let that happen twice, it should not repeat again. It probably is always worth trying to make the world a better place. So I officially endorse Obama here. Mrs. Clinton is just this years Kerry. And we all know how well Hermann Munster worked. America can vote for the better president. It has done so in the past. Not particularly this century. But -honestly- the choices were not to great either. Bush, Kerry and Gore. 2 or less sylables in a name are simply not enough.


the day google had won, for good

February 2nd, 2008

Microsoft tries to buy Yahoo. For 46 billion dollars. 4 short years ago they would have had that kind of money in cash. And then some. Cursorly googling around it seems that M$ cash reserve has melted down to 29 billion. So they would need to raise money to buy Yahoo. They would get eyeballs and visitors. But then what? The technology running Yahoo is completely free of any Microsoft stuff. Yahoo has been actively supporting things like javascript libraries and other open source related items. Will Microsoft run now Unix servers? They have to, or they will kill Yahoo in the attempt to transfer it to their technology base. Yahoo had years to grow. It’s a start up with 15,000 people. Give or take a thousand that needs to get layed of. Or not.

Microsoft used to be the biggest software company in the world. By numbers as well as in the minds of the people. IBM used to be the biggest computer company. Microsoft can consider itself very lucky if it will do as well as IBM does right in a couple of years. Once Gates had left nothing really worked any longer. People will say that. Maybe Bill wants to pull off a Steve, and come back one day?

Google lost two competitors today: Yahoo and Microsoft will be absent from any innovation for a long time while they try to figure to integrate what they have. Maybe in 2009 they emerge with an ok conglomerate of what they were in 2007. Allot of time to get new things going for Google.