Canon support: awesome

May 2nd, 2014

I don’t have any expectations if it comes to end consumer support. These days I anticipate phone systems that will try very hard to make you give up. Should you reach a person they seem often not to care about your issues, their job or anything for that matter.

When I ran into questions with a recent Canon camera I called them anyway. I have been massively and positively surprised: After 90 seconds I spoke to somebody who cared. He had the camera I had in hand within a minute.
I sent them test pictures, and now they are looking at them. Regardless what the outcome of this investigation will be: I have the feeling that they care about their product and my experience with it.

As I said: I have not expected this. It will probably be a long time before I would consider another manufacturer. Unless there is a killer feature in a competitors product I will always look for a Canon device. I don’t mind paying more for it.
It might very well be that other companies have awesome support too. The risk to run into issues and they don’t is just to high.

So, yes, every support call is the chance to win a customer for life.

How odd that so few companies seem to understand this.

“Fight Club” in 2013

January 27th, 2013

Watching “Fight Club” again today is a strange and very interesting experience.

So much has changed since the book / film came out. It is clearly set in a different epoch.

Its character ‘Tyler Durden’ says:

God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables;
slaves with white collars.  Advertising has us chasing cars
and clothes, working jobs  we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. 
	
…
	
We've all been raised on television to believe
that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods,
and rock stars. 
	
But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact.
And we're very, very pissed off.

It seemed fitting at the time. What happened since then?

Many of those jobs are gone. People in that slice of society
make less money today. Sometimes even in absolute dollars.
Certainly corrected for inflation. In the same time the share
of the upper sliver of society on the other end of the wealth
distribution has nothing but exploded.

So why seems the portrayed unrest even further removed
from reality than less than a score years ago?

The answer might lie in the proliferation of computer games and the Internet
during that time.

Both soak up all that extra male testosterone and time that would
otherwise find not much constructive application in the world of 2013.

Oh, and it looked absolutely awesome. I miss movies shot on film.

loving a suitcase?

November 18th, 2011

Last century we bought 3 full size Samsonite Oyster suitcases. Back then you had to put some stickers on them to distinguish them from all the others that people had.
That changed. Now there are all those black soft textile bags on the belt. I never understood why.

Those suitcases are simply amazing. They have traveled ridiculous miles by now. Life is tough if you are luggage. I can not imagine what kind of treatment they have gone through. They always worked.

I was very saddened when he lock broke on one of them. I don’t think I want any other suitcase. Rimowa seems to be en vogue. But I feel that they would not work better and probably look pretty beat up within a couple of months. I also don’t like if my luggage tells the world “Hey - check this out - I have money - stealing here is worth the risk”.

But as it turns out Samsonite did not only make awesome products, their service rocks as well:

I emailed them, asking if I could order a spare lock. They asked for my address and will send me a replacement lock for free.

I love it if things work right. I think this kind of service is truly inspiring.

Me loves my Samsonites!

surprisingly insightful

August 25th, 2011

Adweek ventures into cultural history. And - in my opinion - they actually do succeed.

logos

April 22nd, 2011

Honest logos. Could easily be extended. Probably since companies with much to hide pay more for their branding.

nice idea

March 2nd, 2011

brand feedback

via Eric Alba.

The end of Nokia

February 11th, 2011

A good summary of what happened to Nokia. Point is that engineers can not run the show. But -of course- all the prettiest design in the world can not safe a project / company if the underlying technology is not up to the task.

Murch on 3D

January 24th, 2011

Walter Murch on 3D

I agree with everything he writes. I frequently do. Here he makes his case very clear.

For his profession to be interested in human perception and its inner workings makes allot of sense.

“go green”

October 31st, 2010

Dear provider: yes, I will ‘go green’ and sign up for email invoices the moment you stop sending me solicitations to get more stuff form you by the pound.

Is Wiredrive using Isilon news?

September 29th, 2010

Wiredrive is a system that operates in a similar space as INTERDUBS. Naturally their press releases get my attention.

The last one announces that
Wiredrive recently dumped its open source, clustered storage system in favor of Isilon
.

I don’t think that it would be appropriate to go into detail here why INTERDUBS uses a different storage solution. Or why I think that such details do not matter for the clients, as long their data is 100% protected. Isilon works, I would not exactly title it meaner and leaner myself, but people can feel about what they do in any way they want and express it accordingly. Would not be worth the blog entry.

The question that is worth being raised is how Wiredrive using Isilon is newsworhty at all. This Wiredrive document outlines how Isilon is in use. While it itself is not dated it references the 2006 Olympics and 250GB hard drives.

Got a reel?

February 9th, 2010

Eric Alba shows some shelfs

And -as so often- he has a point.

a bit more than swapping fish for bulbs

August 2nd, 2009

UK Audi spot

when marketing turns into propaganda

June 18th, 2009

I am developing some exciting new features for INTERDUBS. I made the mistake of not testing the code I wrote for 3 days in Internet Explorer. When I check it again I realize that this cock-sucker of a browser just quits. So I had to roll through three days of changes to find out what exactly made this piece of shit simply quit. No warning, no indication. Nothing. Just fucking ended displaying the page. 6 other browsers were fine, and had been during those three days of development. There were no warnings, no hints of something causing a problem. Nothing. Turns out that a simple

made the ‘thing’ puke. This wasn’t the first time that working around Internet Explorer took almost as long as doing the actual work. Internet Explorer is just horrible and bad. Later version might be better. But overall Internet Explorer is a waste of time.

This would not be worth the ramble. It has been like this for a long time. But Microsoft has the audacity to put out a page like
this. Here it feels that IE8 is just awesome. Indeed it is much better than Firefox.

Which is pointing to a bigger problem: Somehow people started to believe that in marketing everything goes. They believe that it is OK to blatantly lie about things. The bigger the better. I don’t know where that comes from. But it is rampant. A competing company to INTERDUBS inflates the client count by roughly 200% on their public site. They don’t deliver the slightest proof for that number. Their web site looks very pretty. But it is still emitting something that is outside of the truth. And somehow that is supposed to be OK.

I think it is a problem. Not so much on their end. I can understand that they try to get away with as much exaggeration than possible. The problem is us: We let an administration get away with getting into a war over weapons of mass destruction. When there were not any, somehow nobody ever cared to follow up on that. So if nobody gets in trouble for sending the country into war for the wrong reasons, what could be so wrong in tripling your client count? What is so wrong on Microsofts end to claim that IE8 is more secure than Firefox? I personally think it is a miss-conception that something really great can be built on skewed facts. Maybe that competitor hopes to reach that claimed count one day and therefor make their lie less wrong. Problem is, that during the process they lost all credibility. Internally and externally.

Truth is a tricky thing. It will show up. Always did, and always will. Everything else is just a detour. Microsoft will learn that too.

I am sure Fios is awesome

January 11th, 2009

Just too bad that Verzion isn’t. So I think I could use FiOS. The Verizon website however has a problem with the address that I happen to have. A message then claims that I could call to find out if Fios is available. Calling that number I just go through 5 menus only to be disconnected when the system tries to hand me over to the next station. On the internet that’s called a broken link. I am sure Verizon has spent some money on marketing to make me aware of Fios. They also have spent money to put the actual thing in place. Too bad that they are unable to make a sale since their sales tools just happen to be broken. I guess they need a bail out too pretty soon …

white is the new black

June 9th, 2008

With a MacBook you pay around 50 extra to get it in black. Now with the iPhone 3G there will be a white version. But that will only be available for the larger 16GB version. I never ever have filled up the 4GB I had. So you have two choices now with the iPhone 3G: pay too much because you can and don’t show people (get the black one) or let people know that you don’t need to care about the extra 100. The new price of 199 is pretty low, compared to last years launch. But I would guess that the 20$ a month extra for 24 months rule is still in place. You pay AT&T or whomever, but you pay. That’s 480 dollars extra that any iPhone will cost you. So the price started out at 1079 for the 8GB / 979 for the 4GB and now has arrived at 879 / 779 respectively.

Turns out that the data plan is now $30 and not $20 any longer. So the total price for an iPhone2 is $1019 / $919.

macbook air - and I don’t care

March 1st, 2008

In the Apple store I had a quick look and hands on with the MacBook Air. And I am quiet underwhelmed. Yes, it is light. Yes it has thin edges. Thin edges are probably a great thing when you would like to put your computer into an inter office envelope. Funny thing is, I never had reason to do that. Since six years I have been pretty on various laptop models for the greater part of my waking hours. I have use the thing in various places in in rather unorthodox ways I think. But, never ever did I say to myself: “Darn, the laptop does not fit into this interoffice envelope!”. If the 15″ was to big then I took the iBook aka Macbook. Works for me. If the 15″ is to small then I hook up another screen or get on a real computer. Yesterday I used the big iMac for instance and it just worked great.

I really don’t see the point to spend allot of money for a machine that has allot of drawbacks, and whos only upside seems to be that it does fit into an envelope.

Too bad, would love to justify a new computer.

BluRay would have been a better thing than this Air hocus-pocus.

“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.

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.

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.

format wars, winner: DVD. again.

December 26th, 2007

750,000 HD DVD players and 2.7 million Bluray players have been sold in the last 18 months that the formats have been available. In those BluRay numbers are about 2 Million PS3 consoles included. 4 Million Bluray discs have been sold, 2.6 Million HD-DVD ones. Which comes down to 1.5 Bluray and 3.5 HD-DVDs per device.

The DVD of “Knocked up” alone sold more often than all HD-DVD and Bluray formats combined. I wonder how the marketing budgets would compare.

In 1998 9.8 Million DVD Discs had been sold. Almost ten discs for each player that was out there. People loved DVD. They still do. As for the two replacement formats they could care less it seems. And that’s only partly a problem of the rivaling formats. I think that DVD is good enough for people. Most simply have neither the hardware setup nor the desire to spend allot of money for the extra resolution that the new formats provide.

Here the DVD hardware sales:

315,136 1997 (April-December)
1,089,261 1998
4,019,389 1999
8,498,545 2000
12,706,584 2001
17,089,823 2002
21,994,389 2003
19,999,913 2004
16,147,823 2005
19,788,279 2006
10,252,893 2007 (January - July)

sources: current HD numbers past DVD device numbers, reversed via the linux ‘tac’ command. I had no idea it did exist. DVD disc numbers Warner DVD sales in 1998 DVD sales in 1998 and 1999

Steve certainly takes no Pictures

December 24th, 2007

Steve Jobs certainly takes no pictures. At home, the task for the day: to get the pictures off the Samsung snapshot camera onto the iPook. So that my wife can take new ones. Not thinking much (always a bad start) I directed her to iPhoto to manage the digicam images. What a piece of junk. iPhoto.

If iPhoto would be an application that people were supposed to be money for, then it’s prices should be minus a couple of hundred dollars. Seriously. Nothing works as expected. It seems to have it’s own little logic. I seriously think it as big of a piece of junk as iBackup. Or whatever that pre Timemachine pretend-ware was called. The one with the red umbrella icon.

I heard (in horror) that iViewMedia got bought by Microsoft. If I have to deal with iPhoto for 2 more minutes then I am ready to buy my first Microsoft software.

things we like to hear

December 19th, 2007

via IM, earlier today:

just wanted to tell you: we were training a new freelance producer and she said; "you use Interdubs? I love interdubs!"

Hit the 40,000 mark today. Nice.

you gotta start them young

December 7th, 2007

pretty horrible

paid to blog

December 3rd, 2007

Matt Cutts , the google quality czsar, explains why they reduced the importance of weblogs participating in pay per post programs. I feel the same way and block them since May in BlogsNow.

Interestingly, and extremely simplified, I admit, it seems to be the business model of Google to sell the truth. Which makes it valuable. They steer most of the internet traffic. But if they would fail, people would notice. As long as Yahoo and MSN still exist and could in theory kinda half ass a hypothetical un-ethical google if it came to it, it’s good busyness for for Google to stick to the truth.

Which is not what usually is going on:

A question asked, and no answer:

Same pattern here:

So, my simple reaction is, if people like politicians and Apple-PR are not answering questions, then I will not listen to what they are trying to say. Why should I?

Ma Bell, confused.

December 2nd, 2007

So, I needed an 1-800 number. There are lots of vendors. I picked AT&T. They were not the cheapest, but in telco services there are lots of odd offers and services. And it’s not crucial that number. Just something you also need to have. Getting the number itself was alright. They sent an email that it would take a nebolous amount of time (”several weeks”) before they were able to execute my order.

Months passed. No word from Ma Bell. Diving into voice-system-hell. Finally I got somebody that was the right division etc. He simply proclaimed that the number already worked. Which is great, and it actually did ever since. But they could have let me know.

Then I got an email telling me that I had not logged in their Buisness Website for a while, and that they would disable my login should I not do so within 30 days. So I logged in. A question that is innocent enough came up. AT&T would like to know which state I am. Not that they could deduct that from my address. But hey. Of course entering the info brings me right back to the same screen. Oh, Firefox quirk. Can happen.
Safari: Same result. So, do I have to buy a PC to tell them that I am in California? Of course, there are no links where you could contact that division of AT&T and let them know that they website is simply broken.

Neither is there a way to get in touch with AT&T mentioned in that email announcing me to lock me out of the website unless I would log in in the next thirty. Sure, I could spend an hour on the phone tomorrow with AT&T. Like everywhere, once you reach a human things are not even that bad. There are often ways to fix things.

But the problem is deeper than that: AT&T used to be a technology company. They invented the transistor and a couple of other important things. But in 2007 they can not even run a simple website. It fits in the picture that they spend billions, yes, billions not millions, for rebranding. Making them look to good to the outside. While everybody knows that internally it’s just barely good enough. Since they other telco’s suck equally bad they even get away with it. Time for a company like Apple to get into the cellphone Business. No, wait. Ok, nevermind.

color - owning one

November 6th, 2007

Yes, the T people think they own Magenta

They actually picked when they started the T-stuff so that they could have color in News Paper ads but only pay for one. Since Magenta is part of CMYK they saved millions in the production of newspaper ads.

“Newswhat?” you might ask. Well, it’s that stuff from the last century

ze

November 6th, 2007

the strike has it’s upside

Somebody should sponsor 1 z-year. It’s probably less than car makers spend on crafts services of their commercial shoots in any given week.
No joke.

LA Times’ grid of how TV shows are impacted by the strike

delayed

October 22nd, 2007

Rushed to the airport. Packing took longer than expected. La Cienega made up for the time lost. It always does. I love La Cienega. When I park at Red Rabbit I have to turn once!

Of course the flight is delayed. Four hours delayed. Luckily I get a ten dollar NWA mail-in voucher. Score!

The next time Northwest will get in touch to sell me something I will remember that they could not be bothered to contact me, when I could have gained from it. They have my email. It’s freaking computers running airlines anyway. Why can’t they just
send an email out to let me know that the flight is been delayed. Hell, I would not even mind when they always would send me an email. 21% of this specific flight is actually on time. While they are at it they could also let me know which movies they will be showing. Which gate I will arrive where (so that I can forward this info to a person that picks me up). Sure, they could be somewhat smart and allow me to give them an email that would be notified about any changes in the arrival.
Once set up these things cost close to nothing to run.

wtf is ‘middleware’

October 13th, 2007

Reading this it sounds like “middleware” is this big deal. I wonder, if it’s not just something that a mediocre perl script could do??? It probably could.

apple

September 30th, 2007

That whole ‘think different’ campaign:


had to come out and haunt them. Once they stopped doing so, and sold their image to peddle some ringtones. Apple is just like AT&T or Exxon Mobile for that matter. They all are just trying to make as much money as they can.

callwave and EVDO

September 24th, 2007

Callwave and EVDO are certainly my best technological friends: Getting of a plane, in the hotel room, there would be an ethernet, but why bother? EVDO works. Even here. Then there is a voicemail from somebody that called while I was on the plane. The automatic transrcipt gives me an idea, the company that called shows up, and best of all, all those call back numbers are transrcibed right there. If the iPhone could maybe read a phone number with it’s camera and then dial it, we would be in good shape.