Updated: 9/22/2002; 10:37:08 PM

The FuzzyBlog!
Marketing 101. Consulting 101. PHP Consulting. Random geeky stuff. I Blog Therefore I Am.

Thursday, May 16, 2002


If you haven't yet used Kevin Shay's GARBO (Google API Relationship Browsing Outline) then you really should.  It's easy, fast and cool.  He also just added Daypop support (www.daypop.com) so you can now see who's linking to you today with it.   

==> http://www.staggernation.com/gdp/ <==

4:18:06 PM  Google It!  comment []   IM Me About This  

CTRL+A, CTRL+C or Your Condom Against Crappy Software

I seem to have a constant anger that is directed at crappy software.  I'm constantly aghast and amazed at the quality of software globally.  Here are two examples that cost both companies my business.  I'm in the market for a new programming editor for Windows and I really liked both these products until their less than perfect quality made me give up on them (and, yes, this does loop into condoms at the end):

  • UltraEdit, normally an excellent product and one that I like, seems to be "allergic" to repeated FTP file saves.  If you save often enough then at some point it will simply fail to save your file (no real error message).  Your option is to copy the whole contents of your code file, close the copy file, re-open it, select everything and paste over the top.
  • EditPad Plus, also seemed excellent and I really, really liked it.  Lately it has developed an interesting tendency to die fairly explosively losing all open files.  Sometimes it even dies saving files (both to FTP and non-FTP, on 2 different Win 2K boxes), deleting your work (Sorry "Mr Client", our editor wiped out your project -- this is NOT good or acceptable).

Both of these are very recent downloads (last 2 weeks) so there's probably not an update.  Here's my solution for everything involving my data from now on: Use a Condom.  Think about it.  If you CTRL+A (that's Select All) and then CTRL+C (that's copy) before you do things that are likely to fail like save files or post content to the web, it really is a condom against the software you use.  I don't like this and I do feel it's stupid but errors seem to be a fact of life.  And I sick to death of crappy software costing me data.  I'll just teach myself to always, always, always CTRL+A and CTRL+C before I do these kinds of things.  I can learn, I can.

NOTE: Before any hard core EditPad Plus users leap to it's defense with "it has automatic backup files!!!!  You're an idiot!", I'd like to point out that a) they were on and b) they don't work with remote file saves via FTP.

Side Note from the Marketing 101 Perspective

You're probably thinking "but ... but ... there's probably a fix".  And perhaps there is.  Guess what?  I don't care.  As harsh as this sounds, this is the reality of life in a commoditized market (more details on commoditized markets next week thanks to Veer's suggestion).  A commoditized market is one where there are lots of options for the customer.  An example is an FTP client (see recent writings on that bloody fiasco).  Look at how many I was able to try.  Another example is a programming editor.  Yes they all have different features and do differentiate from each other but, by and large, they are basically the same for the majority of users.  When there is always another product to try and evaluate, any failure makes the potential customer just move on to the next vendor.  People have about 10% tolerance for errors normally and less than 0% tolerance when a product costs them data.  Here's an example of this: I actually continued to use UltraEdit for about 2 1/2 weeks even with the ridiculous workaround described above.  Why?  Because it was it didn't lose any data.  As soon as I got the 3rd crash with EditPad Plus, I headed for www.download.com and started the evaluation process.  And I got the idea for this posting.

NOTE: What's Less than 0% Tolerance?  It's when you blog it and people get to find out about the errors.

9:48:47 AM  Google It!  comment []   IM Me About This  

When that Knee Jerk Re-Install Reflex Causes You to Debug Poorly and Stupidly

I just had an interesting situation that illustrates how the constant need to re-install software as a means of fixing problems causes people to ignore the symptoms and just go for a quick re-install as a first step of solving the problem.  Just about 1 minute of critical thought would have prevented this person from going off track.  Knee jerk re-installation is NOT a good approach ever and it's a lot worse on a server (which this was).  Here are the details.

2 people are working on the same server from different physical locations via SSH.  For person Q, running VI using SecureCRT as a terminal emulator, the Up and Down keys work fine.  For another person, S, they insert A and B into the text.  When person Q is told about this, his immediate response was "I'll just re-install VI".  Most people would have left it at that but person S responded "Hold on Spanky.  That just doesn't make sense".  Here's the logic: Given that both person Q and person S are running the same OS, the same terminal emulator, the same login (root) and the same OS (Win 2K), a re-install was clearly not going to help.  The problem was obviously at the system level, specifically the terminal emulator options.

NOTE: Person Q was 100% aware that all params (Terminal, Editor, Login, OS) were the same.  When called on it he said "Oh yes.  It's that Windows install reflex".

MORAL: Whenever you install software, it has the potential to break things -- whether Linux or Windows or SunOS.  Before you leap to the "I must install", think about the problem for at least 30 seconds.

9:01:41 AM  Google It!  comment []   IM Me About This  

Secrets of a High Volume Blogger!

Several readers of my blog, noticing my almost embarassingly large number of postings, have asked me things like:

  1. "Hm...  Not much of a personal life, huh?"
  2. "Don't you have a job?"
  3. "How fast do you type?"

I'm going to ignore #1.  ....

==> Continued... <==

4:58:45 AM  Google It!  comment []   IM Me About This  

May 2002
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Apr   Jun


Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Subscribe to "The FuzzyBlog!" in Radio UserLand.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Scott/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/MA/Boston/Nahant, speaks English. Spends 80% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes Open Source / PHP/Cooking.

See Me Speak at this Conference!

I Might Speak at this Conference!

theme designed by

Contact Info:

"FontSafe" Blogs
Resizable Text

Simon -
 An Absolute Star of a Web Developer

Frank --

Matt Mower --
 LiveTopic and Much More

Tony -
 Just Plain Smart

Kasia --
 Movable Type, Perl, Being the owner of

Adam --
 No one can debate that this is the coolest blogger of them all.

Ealasaid --
 A Fan (not of me) & Writer

Natrak -
 Quality SW

Eszter -

Nonesuch -

Paolo --
 eVectors & Italy

Joe --
 Indonesia and Lots More

John --

Mark --
 Python, Accessibility and More

Andy --
 User Interfaces

kRadio --
 A Damn Good Blogger

Dave --
 Beyond Description

Netcrucible --
 Life at Microsoft

Jeremy --
 Open Source at Yahoo & More

Danger! --
 Will Robinson! Well Hiptop at least

Kalsey Group --
 Consulting, Movable Type and More

Mark --
 Mozilla, UI stuff More

Decafbad --
 Open Source Stuff, Wikis

Garth --
 Audio Blogging

Dewayne --
 Knowledge Management

Camworld --
 What can I say ?

Russell --
 Java, Being an American in Spain

Copyright 2002 © The FuzzyStuff

Force Google to Index This 1 Force Google to Index This 1 Force Google to Index This 1