If you are like us at Foliovision, you are running several key services as SAAS (software as a service). I don't know how many SSB (site specific browsers) you have, but if you're like me you have lots. There's nothing worse than an ugly system icon slipping into the mix on an early deployment, as these SSB are open all day long. This happened to me recently and here's what I had to do to clean up the real scruffy low res HelpScout icon which was all I found the day I set up the HelpScout SSB.
We've been looking for a way to share help and mail for awhile. For a single mailbox, apparently a shared Gmail inbox can help but quickly runs into limitations. Relenta which we use for group mailings can also work for a single mailbox but is not at all suited to sharing multiple mailboxes (you have to switch between departments).
helpscout preview application switching with new pretty icon
For the moment we are trialing HelpScout. It works pretty well although there a few things we don't like about HelpScout, the three most important of which are:
If you use an unpaid dropbox account, be very careful. The support demands currently exceed supply and you are unlikely to get any help.
Dropbox Support, Feb 19 12:18 am (PST):
Thank you for your support request. Recently, we have been receiving a high volume of support requests and haven't been able to get back to you within a reasonable amount of time.
The volume of inquiries we receive on a daily basis prevents us from responding to all requests. Although requests from Pro and Teams users will be given priority assistance, we will do our best to get back to other inquiries when possible. If you are not a Pro or Teams user and you're looking to resolve your issue before we can respond, you may want to check out:
If you need to restore a large number of files and are unable to do so, please visit the following instructions to help us speed up the restoration for you:
If you are still experiencing problems, please reply to this message. We will try our best to get back to you, however we cannot guarantee a response. We're very sorry for the inconvenience.
The Dropbox Support Team
We use Dropbox a lot and this is a worry for us.
I’ve just spent an hour helping a client get set up with secondary addresses in Gmail within Apple Mail. She’s tried and failed to get Apple Mail to work reliably enough for her taste on vanilla IMAP. Our own four full articles on the idiosyncracies of Apple Mail IMAP support her point:
- Apple Mail: Migrating from POP to IMAP Smoothly for Power Users
- Apple Mail, IMAP, IDLE and Smart Mailboxes don’t mix well, spike CPU
- Apple Mail: Getting rid of multiple draft messages in IMAP
- Apple Mail: Fixing Broken IMAP accounts after a server move
- Apple Mail IMAP: Sent Mail Showing up in wrong folder on second computer
Just as we got to the goal line, B. asked me about setting up Mail on the iPad to work with secondary addresses in Gmail.
Turns out that’s it’s pretty difficult:
We’ve written a lot about IMAP and Apple Mail. We still maintain IMAP is a blessing and essential for any user with more than one computer. Yet Apple Mail still has surprises for us.
In particular, you never know what folder it’s going to choose for sent mail. So it’s very easy to end up with your sent mail and your spam mail scattered across three different folders on as many computers.
There is a craftily hidden command which will let you sort this out ver quickly.
The Witopia Personal VPN is a great value, but watch out for tech support issues with WiTopia Pro OpenVPN SSL account. Same fast speeds on both.
“people who buy iPhones are image-conscious fad-following idiots”.
The words of Apple pundit John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame, not mine. But a pretty good summary of the situation.
Gruber was complaining about the brilliant Samsung Galaxy S II ad making the rounds. Here is the long version (1m25s) which you might otherwise miss. There's lots of additional clever repartee not in the airplay version: "I guess this is what adultery feels like," says one of the Apple fans in the queue with the Samsung Galaxy in his hands.
long form version of the brilliant Samsung ad
I'm one of the people who moved from iPhone to Android and is really happy about it. Here's why. I owned an iPhone 3GS. After the initial thrill of ownership wore off, I became very tired of:
- being forced to update to the latest version of iTunes every week
- having my mobile phone tied to my credit card and personal account at Apple, sending all the info in my mobile phone to Apple anytime Apple chooses
- fighting with a virtual keyboard which fills most of the screen when you are using it
- really slow network switching (I live on the border between Slovakia and Austria and need to switch networks often), usually requiring turning the iPhone on and off
- having to hack the iPhone to be able to share the internet connection from the iPhone even to a Mac: and then to be worried that any given update could kill my tethering set up
- looking at really lousy photographs, worse than my two year old Nokias
Basecamp's mobile platform subscribes everyone to messages, making it nearly useless. With up to 20 people on a single project, spanning design, programming, SEO and content, notifying everyone is a nightmare. That's an average of 2 minutes per person digesting notifications which are not relevant to him or her across 18 people who don't need the information.
I.e. every time a client posts a message from a smart phone Foliovision loses over half an hour of work time. Way to pick our pockets and/or steal our day, 37 Signals.
We’ve been running into reliability issues on our main web hosting provider lately. They seem to have square thumbs and have had major data centre power issues over the last couple of months. Last time they touched our server it was to put in an extra backup drive. Managed to knock us offline for hours, despite our paying an extra $100/month for off site storage. The offsite storage totally inexplicably has the same limit for upload speed as we do from our own offices. I would have thought that our dedicated server host would have the foresight to have a fat pipe open to their offsite backup in order to be able to put clients back online faster.
I was happy that we’d already put in an automated backup routine to our own office. We have the bandwidth available for dailies and use it.
coding horror backup horror
Unlike our hosting provider, who is attempting to squirrel out of their SLA agreements, we gave 100% refunds for hosting in January as when Foliovision promises reliable service, we provide it.
Imagine my shock when exploring further backup options for servers, I learned that Jeff Atwood, author of Coding Horror and founder of Stackoverflow lost his entire Coding Horror archives one year ago: