dev life // dad life


Archive for the 'Miscellany' Category

Oh, the Huge Manatee!

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

This has nothing to do with games, unless you are making a game about manatees. I took these yesterday.

Fish cleaning a manatee:

Manatee with caustics! (Hey, that’s at least graphics related.)

A manatee getting a belly rub:

And, of course, You Have to Eat the Rope:

Feedback You Never Want to Hear About a Door

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

So, you’ve just designed a sweet new bus door. Then it goes into use, and you hear this initial suggestion:

Have informational ads in multiple languages to inform the public on how to open the rear doors.

Haven’t we figured out doors already?

QuickBooks Rant

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

It’s tax time again, and that means it’s time to use the most aggraviting program in the world, QuickBooks.  Here are a few highlights.

  1. I was googling for information on how to order 1099-MISC forms, and came across this helpful page.  Go to that page, and then click on the link to order some forms.  Go ahead, click on it.  Ooh– that link won’t work in your pedestrian little web browser, will it?  No– that link is only for people who are accessing their web help from inside QuickBooks 2009.  They have successfully broken hyperlinks.
  2. How’s this for planned obsolescence?  My copy of QuickBooks 2006 will no longer be able to send email after May.  If I upgrade, I can still send email.  Oh.  I guess the spec for sending email over the internet must be changing in May, right?  Huh.  Or maybe I’m shutting down my own SMTP server in May?
  3. Okay, let’s upgrade.  They’ve got some big discounts for upgraders.  Huh– they have even bigger discounts for first-time buyers, to the extent that they cost exactly the same. That doesn’t stop them from requiring your license number to purchase your upgrade copy, however.

Ah, well.  Not such a huge hassle for filing my taxes.  Oh– except that these are only the problems I’ve hit in the first 10 minutes.

Netgear Support, Part 22

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

After navigating Netgear’s maze of a website, I finally created an account and opened a support request.

A day later, I received an email:

Your case has been reviewed and has been updated by a NETGEAR representative.

To review or update your case please log into the NETGEAR portal at

So I went to the site, typed in the (correct) login information, and was denied.  That’s odd.  Well, I’ll have it send me a new password.  “Your new password has been sent to (my email address).”  Wait… wait… wait… no password.  (Yes, I checked my spam filters.)

So I opened a new ticket (sans account), roughly paraphrased:

I’m unable to log into your support site with login information that previously worked.  When I request a new password be sent to my email address, it claims it sends a password, but I receive nothing.

Since I’m unable to log into your site, please send your response to (my email address).  I will not be able to read any responses posted to your support center.

In fairness, I knew exactly what would happen.  At this point, I was simply doing it for the expected irony.  (Hmm, if it’s expected, is it irony?)  Nevertheless:

Your case has been reviewed and has been updated by a NETGEAR representative.

To review or update your case please log into the NETGEAR portal at

Test Product

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Muffin Cat is king of all muffins

Muffin Cat is king of all muffins

This is a test product.

UPDATE: I am testing WordPress shopping cart plugins for some clients.  I enjoyed the test image enough that I decided to make the post public.

I need tech support for their tech support.

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

I just registered my Netgear product and clicked on the “contact support” link, because it isn’t working.  Here are the options I was presented with (sorry, not working on a computer with Photoshop this second):

Thank you for registering your product with Netgear, you have the following options

1. Update your profile
2. Register a new product
3. View your registered products
4. View your service contracts
5. Activate your support card
6. Online Support Submissions


NETGEAR Service portal

  • edit my profile
  • my registered products
  • register new product
  • view service contracts
  • activate support card
  • online technical submission
  • I guess I want to… activate my technical submission for my service card?  Or something?  I decided to click “Online Support Submissions”, and got the following new options:

    My online technical submission history

    Total cases found: 0

    Click here to log a new online technical submission request.

    Click here to log a new presales support request.

    *Click here to give us feedback on your support experience.

    Click here to log a rebate related inquiry.

    * This is for support feedback only. Sending Technical Support requests will delay any response.

    I’m not contacting support, I’m logging a new a new online technical submission request!  Well, that’s what I clicked, anyway.  I don’t think I requested that anyone submit to me, technically.

    Headline of the Day

    Friday, January 2nd, 2009

    Windows 7 Reviews Mixed On Pirate Bay

    I gotta give ‘em credit– that IS pretty clever.

    Saturday, December 20th, 2008

    I just enabled Genius for iTunes.

    Now, iTunes will not launch, forcing me to use Winamp.

    It’s pretty hard to argue with that.

    (BTW: “Use Winamp Search as my default search engine”!?)

    Double-click, then select “checked” from the menu.

    Monday, December 15th, 2008

    Allow me to offer my interface expertise, on an issue I’ve heard from several people about recently.

    Question: How do I check a checkbox in a Word form?

    Answer: Double-click, then select “checked” from the menu.

    Question: If this is a feature of my application, should I still ship it?

    Answer: No.

    Fallout 3 or Southern California

    Monday, November 17th, 2008

    Fallout 3 or SoCal? From these shots of the latest SoCal fires over at, real life imitating video games.  (But with fewer super mutants.)

    I hadn’t been paying too much attention to this round of fires, since even though I’ve got friends and family down there, I’m used to the “oh crap everything is burning down” news from down there several times a year.  However, I am hearing about some friends of family losing their homes and property in the fires– this looks like a worse year than usual.  As these photos from a friend show, the fires got right up into the inhabited areas.