My December, Or When Technology Fails


December was when devices spontaneously started going wrong. Or, in one case, more wrong than they had been.

This was by no means the first time in 2011 that my laptop had issues.

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Live Writer Usage Note re Publicize in WordPress

There is no way I have found in Windows Live Writer to tweak the Publicize message prior to posting.

If you don’t want to have the default “[Title]:[Shortlink]” message, schedule a post time far enough in the future to give you a chance to edit (and remember, you can change it back to Immediately while editing), hit Publish, then either tell Writer to open your new post after publishing or go to your WordPress dashboard yourself, and finally edit the message.

I wish there was a way – after all, the shortlink length is constant enough that having it as a variable to be filled in during the publishing process wouldn’t affect the character count if the shortlink length were included when the variable was placed. For all I know, there may have been a way at one time, but Microsoft took down Live Gallery except for the sidebar gadgets, and that was where the Live Writer plugins were kept.

So, Microsoft, about your tech support structure…

There are a few problems with your tech support structure, Microsoft. Big ones.

1) OEM users technically are supposed to get support from the computer manufacturer. This means I as an OEM Vista user technically cannot tell you that your Genuine Advantage plugin does not attempt to validate anything in Internet Explorer 9, and in fact redirects me straight to a page telling me how much I’ll love Internet Explorer 9 every time I try to run the validation tool.

2) When I ignore the fact that I am an OEM user and try to make my way through the technical support online tree I am not meant to use, the fact that this is a Genuine Advantage issue routes me onto a page intended to deal with issues with valid Windows systems being not-validated or with people needing to make stolen software legal. There is nothing to click on for complete failure of the tool to run. There is nothing to click on for me to tell you that the tool is redirecting to a page telling me how much I should download the very browser the tool will not run on.
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Something LinkedIn Forgot

I recently joined numerous former classmates who have gone before me in creating accounts on the networking service LinkedIn.

The ‘Add A Contact’ page has a significant gap in its range of potential contact types, one that won’t effect established professionals as much as it will the yearly influx of newly minted college graduates joining the site.

There’s no category besides ‘Other’ that college professors can truthfully fit into. And, unlike other categories offered, ‘Other’ requires a valid e-mail address for that contact.

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In which I finally discover iTunes.

I’ve been privately griping at iTunes for years.

There’s just something that rubs the wrong way with me about an online service that requires a credit card number or paypal account to sign in to look through free stuff. Yes, free stuff. The non-DRM podcast directory and iTunesU are both behind the same “Please Get An Account” wall as the m4p music downloads.

This had lead to me sitting on a Disney Digital Copy (Prince Caspian, if it matters) for quite a while now, thinking I needed an account to use the iTunes version (and the usability of the file over time is WORSE in Windows Media, but that’s a rant that can wait). And also thinking I needed a credit card number I was willing to hand over to get said account.

So, it’s November. I’ve had the disc set for over nine months. Because of Disney policy, Digital Copies expire unless claimed within a year of the DVD being released. (This is stupid, IMO, for several reasons I shall not go into here.)

For Prince Caspian, this date is in very early December. As far as I was concerned, today was Claim It, Or Don’t Claim It day.

It turns out Digital Copies work like gift certificates. Including the whole ‘can get you an account without a credit card’ policy.
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