The MOApp Software Manufactory Weblog.
Rants, Comments, Finds, and Tips from the Desk of Michael & Ollerum.

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I’ve left my Dash license in the Apple bar

App Store Spam

I’m sure there’s some sex in there…

Steve Jobs

If you’re not a developer or a Mac diehard you may not have heard of the ongoing Daily Dash Soap - so let me give you the lowdown:

Apple has a problem with its App Stores; they are over-crowded with dead, scamming and crappy apps.

It is Apple’s fault. Period.

But they are finally starting to acknowledge it and they are finally starting to do something about it.

I’ve recently received lots of emails regarding my older iOS apps because Apple decided to add new rules so that they can get rid of them or get me to update them.

Since there is no money left in writing apps for the App Stores - unless you develop games designed to lure people into spending lots more later - I will not update them. And all my bigger Mac apps are sold outside the Mac App Store as well as many, many other developers’ who are doing exactly the same.

So this will probably really tidy up Apple’s mess a little bit; which is good for everyone: customers, developers, and Apple.

But there is a bigger issue, a bigger problem - and this is the scammers and the scam apps.

In a system where only those at the top can make big bucks you have to get to the top; it is called capitalism.

In a capitalistic system you might actually get lucky if you invent, design, or create something that people actually want, love, and pay for because the timing is right. Sometimes you really have a great product but often it is simply because you’re marketing is better - even when your product is inferior.

There is a reason why we all ended up with VHS :-)

And the lines between better marketing and cheating are fine; especially when your livelihood depends on getting to the top because you have to pay salaries, mortgages, new Macs - lots of new Macs - and all the other things we all have to pay for.

In a global system, rushing to the top, those lines ends up being erased very quickly as you have to compete with scam artists from all over the world.

There are over 200 crappy Bean clones on the Mac App Store alone and every single day a new one gets approved by Apple.

I used to be able to pay my rent with Write alone and in the first year of the Mac App Store I earned more money with this single app alone than with all my other apps combined all the years before. In the second year of the Mac App Store all that was left to do was to cry all day long.

On the iOS App Store you can add some zeros to those numbers.

So it is a good thing that Apple is finally starting to do something about it but…

But being Apple, as we (not only the developers but ask those million iPhone 6 owners that had to pay hundreds of bucks for Apple’s mistake) all know and love-hate - they once again shoot themselves in the foot, trying to deal with their own mistakes from the past.

It just works ™ - not :-(

There are not many real independent developers left that are not backed by funded money, big corporations, or have to work for other companies in order to keep their pet projects alive in such a tight capitalistic eco system.

Bogdan Popsecu (Kapeli Software) is one of those unicorns; not because his marketing is better but solely for the reason that he created a product, an application that people actually need, use, and love.

Last week Apple removed his application from the Mac and the iOS Store and terminated his developer account.

Without warning, mind you!

No email, no call, no nothing. Imagine if someone would have done this to Apple…

As it turns out, Bogdan paid for someone else’s Developer Membership with his credit card and gifted his old Apple hardware to that person.

That person with her own Apple Developer Account under her own name started scamming; meaning she faked reviews etc.

We - the viewers and readers of the Daily Dash Soap - can’t know for how long that has been going on, what - if at all - Apple did about it all those years. What we know is that Bogdan’s membership was terminated as he tried to move his apps from a ’simple’ membership to a business membership.

Getting your account suspended, canceled, terminated by Apple is nothing unusual - but usually no one hears or cares about it because it happens to developers with smaller apps, or scammers.

This time it happened to an application probably 80 to 90 percent of all iOS, Mac, and web developers out there use; including Apple’s own engineers.

So the ‘press’ got wind of it and the moment John Gruber writes about it Apple either has a new problem or a few billion more in the bank account; overseas, of course.

Dash and Apple: My Side of the Story

This recording of the last call between Bogdan and Apple could (and should) be used as a prime example for lawyers, spin doctors and all those uncountable people in public relations.

The first rule of - well, everything - don’t admit to any wrong-doing. Then find the weakest spot and repeat it, repeat it, and repeat it.

They were linked. We did nothing wrong. We did not have sexual relations with that woman…

If I were in his (Bogdan’s) shoes, I would call it a day. I would publish the iOS version on GitHub and would migrate everyone’s Mac licenses from the Mac App Store to a ‘free’ one.

Yes, it is a good thing that Apple is actively doing something about those assholey scammers. Yes, they have the right to suspend, cancel, and even terminate developer memberships if needed.

But here’s the thing: Ask developers how Apple handles (or at least used to handle) complaints:

Apple gives a rat’s ass!

If it were another app from another developer, Apple would give a damn. If Gruber, The Verge, and all those others hadn’t reported it, Apple wouldn’t give a damn.

But they did and so Apple was forced to save face.

And in a system designed to only allows for winners the moment you get forced into doing something you don’t want to do because it was your fault to begin with - what do you do?

Yes, you force someone else into doing something he doesn’t want to do; like forcing someone into admitting publicly that they are to blame so you (Apple) appear so generous when reinstating their membership.

So Apple, you did not send out a single email to a developer account before ruining their business because those accounts were linked?

Were they linked before or after your legal department had to find the wording?

Did you find a single scam (like a fake review) connected to his account?

Did your representative not tell Bogdan that you would reinstate his membership when he writes a blog post telling /admitting what had happened?

This is unfortunately a soap opera where no one wins in the end.

App Store Empatie

We all need a reliable partner that stands up to his promises. And you’ve once again publicly showed to all of us that you’re clearly not that partner. Many of us were perfectly capable of earning our living without you before the App Stores and we will be able to continue to do so without you in the future.

Bogdan didn’t fuck it up. Even the person actually doing the scamming didn’t fuck it up. The only entity that fucked up is you and it had nothing to do with fake reviews, memberships, or missed emails.

You missed an opportunity to make it right and I really hoped that this time - besides finally trying to get your shit in order regarding the App Stores and getting rid of those pesky scammers - you would finally get rid of your ‘we give a damn’ attitude as well.

To be honest, personally I gave up on you years ago and you yourself just added a lot of other developers to that list.

In the end, we will all lose in one or the other way because of this…



★★★★★

Apple, not only bringing you boobs and asses…

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…but as of next week the credit card details and medical history of Jennifer, Kate, and Co.

Yes, you and I are no celebrities and at least me no one really wants to see naked. But it is not only about our private parts anymore. It is about everything; everything private.

And people will use it. Because it is so simple, so practical. But the moment their smartphones, their cars, and their fridges, all hooked up to the almighty cloud, turn against them they will cry like babies.

And no, that is not far fetched. In Germany and many others countries, the moment you get in a car accident the police will automatically confiscate your smartphone and courts and insurance companies are already reading out the data your car collects on you and your driving style.

With Health Kit and the upcoming Apple Payment System the combined wet dreams of all spooks will consume even more exorbitant amounts of Kleenex boxes as they already do.

This all is nothing new anymore and no one is allowed anymore to say that they don’t know and yet…

"Es ist so schön, dass wir in den 70ern, 80ern groß geworden sind. Wir haben so viel Mist gebaut und es gibt so gut wie keine Beweise dafür"

— padeluun (@padeluun) September 1, 2014

This is the best tweet commenting the hole story today. A loose translation is:

Thank God we grew up in the 70s and 80s. We did so many stupid things but there is almost no evidence of it.

If I had to grow up nowadays I probably wouldn’t last for one week in school or in general. It is hard enough already. So why do we worsen it by handing over the very last detail, the very last shred of privacy that voluntarily?

You don’t have to be as radical as I am by using an old NOKIA 8210 – which is, by the way, still a great mobile phone – but you really don’t have to be that dewy-eyed and lobotomized, do you?

DO YOU?



★★★★★

That’s where Indie app developers are. Getting jobs.

That’s where Indie app developers are. Getting jobs.

Michael Burford

From time to time there is a (sort of) open discussion going on on the web about the current state of ‘Indie Developers’ and what they are able to earn. Currently you may even call it a digital meeting of a support group.

Hi, my name is Michael. I’m an indie developer and I’m broke.

What I like about these current tweets and articles is that you don’t find any finger-wagging and blaming; or at least not in all those articles and tweets I read. It would be easy to just blame it on the greedy and cheap non-customers, to blame it on Apple, or to blame it on all the hundreds of thousands of idiots of ‘developers’ ruining the prices.

I think we can equally blame it on all of us:

99 Cent is not a business model. Period.

If only 15 companies ‘earn’ 97 percent of the revenue then there is something seriously wrong. Period.

If you expect that all the developers out there can live from three bucks or less per hour because you’re too cheap to spend just the equivalent of your last coffee (yeah, I know, some don’t like that argument; I like it because it is fitting and it says it all, especially about those not liking it) on something you use on a regular basis, then there is something completely wrong with your attitude. Period.

If a company that focuses on user and quality allows 3,000 times the same crappy app to flute their store, just to be able to earn 30 to 40 percent of it and to be able to brag about a ridiculous number, then there is something completely wrong with the system. Period.

When the same company does nothing to stop people from ‘stealing’ software and tricking people into buying those ‘stolen’ apps – hell, if this company even encourages it – then there is something completely wrong with the system, with the company. Period.

When almost the only way to make some money is by tricking your customers with stupid freemiums and inapppurchasethingies then writing good quality software stops being fun; at least for me. Period.

And when you think, your To-Do-App is really necessary and can be better than the other 2,000 out there when you only spent three weeks writing it then there is something completely wrong with your self-concept. Period, again.

It was a nice bubble. It lasted for almost four years and some of us made some decent money.

In 2012 I made more money than I earned the other eight years before that combined. In 2013 I ‘only’ made half of it and I better not talk about the current year; it will be half of the half.

The App Stores are dead. At least as long as you don’t write games or ripp off your customers.
And this ain’t a bad thing.

Imagine an App Store you could and want to actually use. Imagine an App Store you can be proud of that your app is in. Imagine an App Store that only offers good, quality apps.

Some of us will continue to make money. Most of them are writing good, quality Mac apps. Those who can live from solely writing iOS apps are probably those who wrote a good, quality iPhone app in the first place. An app that people really need and will continue to need.

Because, in the end, no one needs 437 apps on the home screen. No one!

But we will continue to need good quality apps that make our lives easier and more fun. And for those people will always pay. Period, the last one…



★★★★★

10,000 x One More Thing

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Color me impressed! Apple at its best! Not the first to the playground but when they arrive, they have thought it thru and for the next years to come. The screen size of a smartphone is not that important. It is more important what you put on that screen and how you help all those people creating the things you can access from your screen, no matter if it is three inches, four inches, or five inches wide.

They listened, they focused on the really important stuff, they worked very hard, and once again they had the balls to just change things; like making us all learn a new language.

This has been the first keynote in years I really enjoyed watching and that got me exited about writing software for Mac and iOS once again.

And, of course, Craig was, as always, fun to watch.

So, now I’m eagerly waiting to be able to download my developer previews and to get started.

That’s a first in a couple of years…



★★★★★

Still the best smartphone of all time

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I recently wrote an article about the current state of the iOS/iPhone ‘competitors’ and therefore mobile phone operating systems and mobile (smart) phones and at one point I decided to take a look at the remains of MeeGo and, of course, came across Jolla and Sailfish.

Since I think that they are asking too much for their Jolla Phone that only works with 2G in many countries and still is lacking lots of apps we need on a daily basis, I excluded it from my list.

But it got me thinking about the best smartphone I ever owned: The Nokia N9; one of the rare phones that actually shipped with MeeGo and that can run a developer preview version of Sailfish.

So I went into the basement, dusted it off, and never finished installing Sailfish because I instantly fell in love with it and its operating system, again.

It has its quirks, it is just a little bit too heavy, just a little bit too slow, and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a Nexus 5 or an iPhone 5.

But still … you want to use it, you want to touch it, you want to play around with it, and there are still many people actively writing and supporting apps for it; even though Nokia has officially buried its support for it this year.

For days now I’ve been using it as my main phone and I’m not missing a thing but have gained two additional days of not having to charge it.

If I had the money to ‘create’ my own smartphone, and my own operating system that comes with it, I would use both as the starting point for it; the N9 and MeeGo.

Even though I think that Firefox OS may have the best chances to become a viable alternative one day - I’d choose a MeeGo successor and a N9-ish phone over it in a blink and anytime for myself…



★★★★★

When Mid-Level Employees Screw Their Secretaries in Detroit

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When mid-level employees screw their secretaries in Detroit then, almost certainly, there is a ThinkPad lying around somewhere in the corner, wrapped in a Eddie Bauer pouch.

One note here: I wrote this rant in German first and used Kassel. In Germany, the city of Kassel is the synonym for mediocrity, desolation, dullness and ugliness. That’s why, in the 90s, it was the German epicenter for real House/Techno; much like Detroit. And that’s why I used Detroit here. There are probably more cities that would fit the bill but this way you can get the gist…

Not to tread on all those secretaries’ toes – but I’m certain that they are, most probably, mediocrity incarnate as well, since this is happening in a Holiday-Inn Express; on a weekday.

Double, starting at 60 bucks…

In case you missed it – I’m not writing a travel guide for Detroit here. It will also not be an ad for Holiday-Inns (even though I really would love to see such a thing) or the new image campaign for Eddie Bauer pouches and bags.

Since this is a third-rate blog about everything Computer, Internet, and Apple, it can only be about one thing.

And no, I’m not talking about the boring, silver Ford company car either.

Of course, I can only be talking about the ThinkPad here.

This plastic testimonial of mediocrity, covered in dandruff, vegetating unloved in the corner of a run-of-the-mill hotel room somewhere in Detroit, bagged in a second-rate and only half-practical pouch.

On a Tuesday morning…

Stop. I know. You are right. This could also happen on a Wednesday in Des Moines in a Fairfield Inn. But you’re exactly making my point:

This interchangeability. This lovelessness. This same old story.

As we all know, I grew (more or less) up with everything Apple. I also grew up bitching. And now that I’m (more or less) grown up, I’m good at combining those two things even though I always like to pretend that I do it for a reason and with rhythm and rhyme.

But let me tell you something: The moment you look left and right, you stop to bitch and whine pretty fast.

Every couple of years I try to look beyond my own backyard, often when I should be doing some real work and I’m not in the mood; like, really not in the mood.

And with someone else’s backyard I don’t mean Windows. I’m talking about Linux. Linux in all its variants and flavors.

Somehow I really like the idea of open, free, public domain, and furthermore: customizability.

And every couple of years, I quit pretty much immediately and return to my own overgrown backyard. Since I always knew this upfront, I never cared much about the hardware. Some old used ThinkPads are collecting dust here anyway; websites need to be tested and, most importantly, CSV, Excel, and DATEV files for ookkeeapp, Umsatz and Bill.

Since, in the last couple of years, the state of Linux … well, wasn’t actually overwhelming, I never really had to think about it in the first place.

In addition, I always assumed that the ‘newer’ models had to be better; had to be way better.

Otherwise, Lenovo and Co should have been broke by now…

Yes, I know. I’m naïve. But personally I really prefer the term cute…

Anyhow, since I had important and very boring work to do, I decided to once again take a peek at the bordering backyard. Because my hardware was really outdated and I had to get something new for testing purposes anyway, I bought, full of dewy-eyed optimism, a mid-class businesses laptop made by Lenovo.

FYI: Mid-class means about 900 Euro; which would translate into 800 US Dollar, since here in Germany, for whatever stupid reasons, we have to pay 30/40 percent more for hardware, software, and even our own German cars. Just don’t ask why.

For those 900 bucks I got something as thick as my very first PowerBook from 1995 and it was built in a quality as ridiculous as the iBooks in their worst period.

But what shocked me the most was something else: Its background noise - its sound level, in 2014, when equipped with a low voltage i5 in its cheapskate version, combined with a crappy on-board graphics card, mind you!

The fans were constantly spinning and not in a ‘we-have-to-do-that-slowly-because-it’s-our-job’ way. No, in a ‘we-have-to-spin-at-maximum-speed-because-we-had-crappy-engineers-who-gave-a-rat’s-ass’ kinda way. And that way was combined with something our mid-level employee knows too well: The ‘we-have-an-Excel-problem’ way; also known as the ‘fuck-the-quality-we-need-it-cheaper-than-cheap’ way.

For those 900 bucks – wrapped in really wonky plastics – I also got a very low quality 6bit panel with a joke of a resolution and a poor maximum brightness, a ridiculously loud old-school hard drive, and slow four GB of RAM.

In addition, it came with a totally unusable trackpad, not worthy of the name.

Yes, the keyboard was really good and the red dot on the i glowed when the lid was closed. Seriously, that’s all it takes to get four out of five stars in every review I read about it. A good keyboard and a glowing dot.

From me, it didn’t get squat and I brought it back directly the next day.

C’mon, you don’t seriously expect me to waste a single word about those books from Lenovo you can buy for 600, 500, or only 300 bucks? No, you don’t!

In comparison: If you get lucky, you can buy a completely soundless 13″ MacBook Air with better resolution, a fast SSD and, by comparison, an awesome display for just a hundred bucks more. And you will end up with a great quality machine.

In the worst case, you will have to pay 200 bucks more but you will lose almost two inches in thickness and more than two pounds in weight.

Did I already mention that it stays completely silent under a normal workload?

I’m no quitter and since other makers are out of the question (here in Germany) because at least Lenovo is still able to easily and affordably ship their ThinkPads with an US keyboard. Therefore I ended up with one of their signature products for the business class.

It is thinner, quieter (but still far from silent), a little bit better built and that’s about it.

For 100 or 200 bucks more you could get a 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display. That would be half as thick, completely silent when used normally, built in an unbeatable quality, and would come with a fast SSD and a great display.

This Lenovo flagship, built from plastic, comes directly from the factory with bumps and scratches, a joke of a display that is completely unusable for even simple photo editing tasks, and is so cheaply and unprotectedly glued to the housing that the old iBooks look really good in comparison. And they weren’t much thicker and heavier, back then.

But in 2014 you still have to peel off four crazy glued stickers from the very frail plastic.

BTW: The fifth star in every review those ThinkPads receive is for their ugly hinges you still have to stare at. Seriously, this is the most important part of every review.

Solid and ugly hinges…

And no, the next part is not a joke: It still has a VGA port! And this fact is, in all seriousness, prominently promoted on its website.

I better not talk about the wobbly trackpad with five(!) integrated buttons which sits so stupidly close to the keyboard that it is simply impossible to type without screwing up the cursor position; even when you tell the software to ignore it while typing. And it is annoyingly loud and feels really cheap.

What I like is the fact that you can easily change the hard drive, the RAM, the mobile broadband module and the battery pack. Since it comes with two batteries, you can swap one while the book is running and if you don’t mind that it will become thicker, a lot thicker, you can attach a battery that will power it for over 15 hours. And yes, after a while you understand why people love that keyboard. It is not as good as the one one my beloved (and still working) PowerBook 1400 has but it is really good.

But the plastic…

At least it comes without optical drive.

Compared to earlier models, it looks simpler; mostly because they finally dropped two or three rows of unnecessary buttons and all of the annoying lights.

Here comes the blast: Because of that many people criticize it. Not because of the crappy display, not because of the plastic, not because of the glue – no, because it is so plain and it doesn’t blink all the time anymore.

Mid-level employees, I will never understand you…

And all this is not even the most important part about such a thing. We need to talk about actually working with it; and therefore we need to talk about the system.

Again, I’m not talking about Windows here and it is not about bashing. But allow me just one quick request:

Please tell me the name of a single Twitter Client for Windows that is not based on Air and Co, half-decent to use, and is comparable to Tweetbot. Just one. Or the name of an app like Sketch or RapidWeaver.

In the last couple of weeks I had to ‘upgrade’ some otherwise talented people with Windows XP panic to Windows 7, and in the time it took to get a single system up and running, I could have easily setup ten Macs.

Yes, you’re right, you mid-level employee: It has gotten better. But better may be enough for you in your world to earn yourself a weekend with the younger secretary in Minneapolis or even a promotion, but, by my account, better still has nothing to do with good.

Shortcuts are still not really well thought out and drag-and-drop is still not working as it could and should. Imagine what a good voice recognition and a system wide dictionary/auto correction etc. could save you - a lot of time and therefore money.

You could drive an Audi as your company car…

Just take the shortcut for closing windows/programs: alt + F4. Seriously? And since Lenovo finally got rid of those additional rows with those almost one hundred additional buttons the F-keys don’t work anymore without using Fn. So, you need to almost break three fingers in order to close one window; a task we perform from a hundred to a thousand times a day.

I know of companies that actually test what their engineers design. Lenovo is clearly not one of them.

Yes, you’re right, you mid-level something, why use a fast shortcut when you can long windedly and time consumingly push the mouse and click the X.

But, as said before, my next door backyard is Linux; for a reason.

And I have to admit: Linux is awesome. Really awesome if you want to waste your time with completely unnecessary tasks. So, if you want to do everything but your real work, get yourself a Linux.

Is it possible that geek or nerd is nothing more than a synonym for a fussbudget?

Setting up your emails, your contacts, and your calendar takes less than three minutes on Mac OS X; including sync. When you are good, you can do that on Windows in less than ten minutes.

With Linux it will take you more than one hour; probably two…

And that’s just the beginning. For the most part, the hardware, and the missing support for it, isn’t a big issue anymore; of course, problems still occur. No, the issue is the software, or to be more precise: the apps. Most Linux desktop environments are more or less polished. But unfortunately one cannot say the same about (third party) apps.

Most of them look and behave like they did ten years ago. Or in other words: they are ugly and overall complicated, if they work at all.

I feel like I’ve been ported back to the good old OS 9 days and to be honest, OS 9, and many of those OS 9 apps, still look more polished and are easier to setup and to use than many ‘new’ Linux counterparts.

And I’m not talking about special, fancy requests and demands here. I’m talking about the very basic stuff, like a working, usable calendar with CalDAV support that doesn’t require installing twenty additional packages and a complete weekend spent in the shallows of the Terminal.

Or what about an email app that supports drag-and-drop for attachments; not to talk about a unified inbox?

Am I really that far off when I want to use a halfway decent Twitter client under Ubuntu or Mint Linux that works and that wasn’t left to retire on a farm upstate years ago?

You want to dim your ThinkPad display the right way? Yes, you can do that – but you have to tamper with the grub files first and then you have test and tweak the settings for about half an hour.

Those things add up; a lot…

After hours, I gave up finding something comparable to my Quick and Dirty in order to easily and quickly edit images for blogging. I spent the next few hours searching for a TextExpander ‘alternative’ and then I spent a while getting it to work more or less - more less than more - because it hadn’t been updated in years.

123 different variants, desktop environments, all of them with their own flaws and shortcomings – but not a single one with a system wide, teachable dictionary and auto-correction.

Yes, I know this sounds trivial. For many things you can find cumbersome solutions and workarounds, many of them without GUI and when they come with one, you can bet your ass that they will look like they were freshly made for Windows 95.

Seriously, that can’t be it! Can it?

Even all the toughened secretaries can’t be satisfied by that…

Recently I started making fun of all the ‘new Markdown apps’ under OS X which are currently springing up like mushrooms and flooding the App Stores. Yes, I’m talking about all those new takes on the good old email program.

But under Linux, no matter if it starts with a K, a U, an X, or tastes like mint, you will end up using Thunderbird. You will also end up using Firefox - that slow, outdated, poor copy of a browser that still can’t render fonts correctly and still can’t display web fonts.

This speaks volumes…

Speaking of mushrooms and Markdown: These lines were written with an app that was last updated in 2008, can’t print, has no preview, no dictionary or auto-correction whatsoever, no recent documents, and, of course, nothing like Versions or Resume; let alone iCloud or Dropbox sync.

But it handles the fullscreen view halfway decently, was installable, and does not crash. And guess what? I was happy to find it after hours of trying, failing, and shouting at the Konsole.

I was happy about a joke of an app that does almost nothing and still manages to displease the fans.

I would kill for something like my Free for Linux and no, FocusWriter unfortunately lacks a lot of important things, like Markdown, and is too buggy.

The App Stores are full of one star ratings for really good apps only because they cost more than 99 cents, have an ugly icon, or for whatever other ridiculous reason spoiled people can come up with.

The best feed reader for Linux in 2014 is crappier (and uglier) than my Futter I wrote for 10.3 as one of my very first apps ten years ago. And still, I was as happy as a pig in shit to find it so that I can, at least, read my feeds.

Seriously? Sync you ask? C’mon! You can be happy if it comes with an integrated browser view, based on an ancient version of Mozilla.

Quick-Look, sophisticated drag-and-drop, clever shortcuts that work without a degree in how to write your Python scripts, gestures, or icons, not designed in the 80s?

Ha! Humility, my friend! Be thankful that you can finally calibrate and profile your display!

But don’t you think for a second that it will be easy to integrate such a profile into Gimp and Co. Those tasks will keep you engaged for another week, or two.

My simple Quick and Dirty can do that with a single click.

While we’re at it: Gimp has not changed in the last decade (well, it is almost two decades now). It is pretty much still everything but user friendly.

I can’t work this way! You can’t work this way! You will never be able to get out of Detroit this way!

In contrast to your iPads and iPhones (at least for the vast majority of us) a computer is still a tool, not a gadget. Therefore it should be, it has to be, something one can actually work with.

I don’t clean my whole kitchen with a toothbrush. I don’t paint my whole flat with a crayon.

But when using a computer, most people actually do exactly this and pay a lot of money for it; on both ends.

For themselves and the work of others.

Would you hire an electrician or a contractor that shows up with a Fisher-Price toolbox and has to charge 120 bucks an hour just because everything takes longer and is more exhausting this way?

I really doubt it!

But when it comes to everything computer, most of us do exactly this…

I don’t want that. I don’t want to work like that. I don’t want you to work like that. What I, instead, want, really would love to do, is to help this sorry affair Linux still is out of its misery.

We all need alternatives and I can clearly see the potential. All we have to do is to trash this Fisher-Price mentality, to spend some money, and to make it right.

Most importantly, this would mean finally writing good developer tools. Yes, I know: Eclipse has a dark theme now and there are three examples available for Qt. But you have to search for them and install them on your own first.

By the time you finally get that crap up and running, Apple has released fifty new, working, and thought-out features for Xcode.

Speaking of Xcode: I know that I constantly bitch about it, or about Apple, when an update for the App Store takes longer than a week.

On the Ubuntu Software Center, it usually takes months…

Is there an Open Source solution on how to win the lottery?

Believe me: All those secretaries would benefit from it. Detroit probably not so much…



★★★★★

Dear user - or may I say dear fairytailist?

So, you are a grown up and yet you still believe in fairytales?

What? You don’t? Well, then please explain to me why you still believe in the cloud? With 24/7 sync for all your devices? A, of course, ever-working and free sync without any conflicts or loss of data?

Here’s a bummer for you: That’s a fairytale!

In the last years I’ve wasted months on finding a working solution that offers reliable sync for Mac and iOS and I’m sorry (and I really mean that, since I’d love to have it for myself as well) to say this:

There is not a single, working, reliable and affordable solution out there! Not a single one. And no, I’m not talking about sharing solutions that may work for your single use case.

I’m talking about ‘real’ syncing for ‘real’ data over multiple devices; not about placing some images in the Dropbox and accessing them on the train.

Again: Not a single one. And I’ve tried them all.

Honestly, I don’t know what do do. iCloud is not working. Dropbox (and their new APIs) is not really working as I had to learn the hard way after I first thought it might. And all the other solutions out there are not working as well; as a general solution that will work for the ‘general’ user.

Take Bill for example. I’d love to offer a solution for you to create invoices ‘ToGo’ on the iPhone and iPad without risking data loss, duplicate invoice numbers, and worse.

You may not like it, some of you don’t want to hear it – but there is a reason why Billings got dropped and you have to pay more money for the pro version. And that is the same reason for any other Apps offering ‘sync’ that is more or less working and that is:

They all had to ‘write’ their own (and therefore incompatible) solution just for their own apps. And that costs money, lots of money. Period. And than it costs even more money to support it, since there is no such thing as an ever-working sync; not to talk about servers and security.

Conflict free sync is as rare as a democrat actually voting for the right thing when it counts, or like an unicorn.

So, do you still believe in unicorns?



★★★★★