Things I'm Hating

MacJournal sync via MobileMe = systematic deletion of all content

MacJournal ravesMacJournal gets all kinds of raves from the various software reviewing sites, but I have to wonder why.

The raves were enough to get me to overlook the very "web 1.0" style of Mariner Software's website. The MobileMe sync feature was enough to get me to pony up $34.95 instead of going for Journler, which is cheaper now and has a very nice feature set itself. I wanted this app to serve as my new business journaling software. The sync ability is important to me because I often do my best thinking at home, away from the daily hubbub at the office.

Once installed, MacJournal worked fine.

But then I tried to sync it across two computers. Every time the MobileMe sync ran, it wanted to delete several entries.

Right now, after a series of updates, my MacJournal journal has been whittled back down to the first entry I made. Good thing I had saved the rest as one-off backups, because I saw the problem coming thanks to MobileMe's warning about massive changes due to sync.

In the Mariner Software email receipt, it says:

* Have a question or comment? Join the Mariner Software Discussion Forum.

http://www.marinersoftware.com/forum/

Like most forums, you have to register to post. However, once I registered, I was informed:

Before you can login and start using the forum, your request will be reviewed and approved. When this happens, you will receive another email from this address.

Lovely. Nothing like the warm welcome of customer support! Mariner offers no support email, so this is it: A discussion forum jailed off from the real world.

–Not that I expect much from the forums. The existing threads have very stale content, much of it about problems syncing, with no clear resolution. One poster even goes so far to advise everyone to skip MobileMe sync for MacJournal altogether, and use a direct syncing application to pass the database back and forth.

That's not what I wanted!

So MacJournal is turning out to be a major dud software purchase and likely a waste of $35. Maybe I will just stick with Bare Bones' Yojimbo, which I use for note-taking, and expand my use of it to include journaling. The problem there, though, is there's no way to export Yojimbo except one entry at a time, which again is pretty frustrating for an application in 2008.

*sigh*

Update September 16th:

Not one to just rant and quite, once my user account was manually approved today, I posted this issue in the Mariner forums. So far, the only response is from someone else experiencing the same problems. Alas.

Update September 19th:

No other responses. I would say this does not bode well for expecting any kind of support. Mariner MacJournal is not at all recommended by me.

Stuck with StickyWindows

Following up on my previous post on trying to remove StickyWindows, it apparently did not work. Upon rebooting, the f***ing application was there again in the preferences panel.

I am really hating StickyWindows. What kind of application embeds itself permanently into your computer? Malware, spyware, rootkits... WTF!

Donelleschi, you have worn out your welcome.

Do not install StickyWindows unless you know for sure that you will never ever want to uninstall it, because you won't be able to.

When I have time, I'm going to do some deeper digging to remove this stinger from my computer. But I have work to do.

Welcome to the Apple Couldn't Care Less Plan

It doesn't take a "genius" to know that there is something seriously wrong with my MacBook Pro. When you can't hold a wi-fi connection and get the gray screen of death two or more times a day, you pretty much have a worthless piece of junk taking up space.

I took it into the Apple Store on Twenty-Ninth Street and was greeted by a guy dressed more for playing ultimate frisbee than for working pretty much any kind of retail. I told him about the problems I was having and he snorted -- this was a familiar problem, apparently.

He walks me up to a computer "to make an appointment." Apparently nowadays you cannot have a problem with your Mac unless you have an appointment. Those of us with unscheduled failures can just twist in the wind.

After having to type in my contact information, he navigates to a screen and says, "You can have an appointment tomorrow."

"I need an appointment to have a problem taken care of?" I asked.

"You have to wait just like everyone else you see here," he said with a sneer, waving his hand at some 10 or 15 people all having problems looked at by "geniuses."

"Why can't I just drop the thing off and the tech department can deal with it when they can?"

"You have to be here."

"Why?"

"So they can know what the problem is."

Whatever.

I have never had to have an appointment to drop something off to a repair shop. I may have had to wait to get it fixed, but I've never had anyone tell me, in effect, "Take your problem away from here! Begone!"

Some years ago, home insurance companies were found to be deliberately shuffling adjusters so that people making claims would have to see several adjusters -- starting over each time -- before even getting a settlement offer. Presumably this was done because the companies wanted to delay as long as possible having to pay out money they owed to their clients.

Is this Apple's approach? Spread out how many people can actually have computer problems addressed in a given day, so that they don't have to deal with the crappy hardware they're using in their devices?

We have three other MacBook Pros in the office, and two of them are experiencing the same gray screen of death and wi-fi connection problems. (The guy with the functional MacBook Pro had at his previous job another one with the same gray screen of death problem.) Obviously this is something of a pandemic that should require a recall, not sending people with problems out into the street with no acknowledgment of anything.

Do you need an appointment to buy a computer? Don't be silly!

Oh, and I was going to buy a screen while I was there. Funny how treating the customer with contempt has an effect on sales.

Lameness in the Palm of your hand

Okay, so the Palm 700P was quite possibly the worst technology purchase I ever made. It's slow. It freezes up on me at unpredicable times. Its touchscreen goes to sleep when you need it. Its keypad buttons are made for 9-year-olds.

Now they have an update.

As part of our continuous effort to give customers the best possible experience, Palm offers an update that features performance and reliability enhancements.

Sounds great, right? However....

Palm website screenshot

... you cannot update unless you have all the required extras ... like a blank expansion card (unless you're running an older version of Windows).

Is it any wonder that Palm is in a world of hurt?

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