SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
My Thoughts on Trillian Astra
Sep 10th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">My Thoughts on Trillian Astra</div>

I have forgotten how long ago I began using Trillian. I know that I started using it back in the days of the Oliverettes, when some of us where on ICQ and others were on AIM. Trillian helped me keep tabs on both camps.

Over the years many have found other networks to expose themselves on *laughs* and Trillian has been rarely used. In fact, each time I did run it I’d have to update it — and Trillian doesn’t do many updates. A couple of days ago, however, someone asked me if I used Skype. Being the type who wants to keep as much as I can in one place (it’s the ADD) I checked to see if the most recent update came with the ability to incorporate Skype. It didn’t. However I did accidentally learn about Trillian Astra, which does.

In addition to the traditional chat clients Trillian worked with, Astra can now incorporate Facebook, Twitter, and Skype — at least for 30 days. After that you have to cough up $25 ($10 if you have Trillian Pro) if you wish to continue using it for web based IMs. :P

Astra comes with its own chat client, which you have to set up before you can add the others. Importing ICQ and AIM contacts was easy, as was setting up Twitter, Facebook, and adding Skype. It’s default interface is pretty. You can either simply change the color scheme or completely change the skin — you can even use older Trillian skins, if you have a favorite.

Unfortunately, that’s where the goodness ends. My first issue was when I learned I had to run Skype alongside Astra, which kind of defeats the purpose of incorporating Skype within Astra. Then there was the problem with adding Skype contacts. I had to add them via Skype, itself. When the preteen accidentally closed the window for the chat I was in and I couldn’t get it back up, I began to wonder if Astra is really worth it.

How it works with Twitter isn’t much better. It shows the most recent tweets, with a “link” below to obtain ten more. Unfortunately, no matter were I position the interface, the top tweet is always cut off. And I still have yet to figure out how to go back further, so if I happen to be away for a few days I’m fucked. Replying is easy. Just double click the tweet you wish to reply to. It brings up a window (which conveniently has a recent tweet from what I assume is one of Astra’s sponsors) were you can type in a response. You can keep the window open if you want to post more tweets. That can be rather problematic if you have more than one Twitter account, however: multiple windows (and they all use the icon associated with Astra!). :P Private and retweets require a little more effort. You have to right click the tweet and make your selection from a dropdown menu. Would you believe it took me two hours to figure this out?

Forget about Facebook. While it does show you everything that’s going on on your home page, you can’t always reply to it. Unlike Twitter Astra takes you to Facebook to reply.  Some days I click the link and it takes me to my friend’s wall. Others it just takes me to their profile page. WTF?

The older versions of Trillian are no longer supported. Sadly it appears support for Astra is not much better. Reading reviews on CNET indicate a failure to respond to customer (as in they paid for the software) complaints. And there are many. Astra is very buggy — especially in regards to video. So, save the $25. I’ve already gone back to using Skype’s software, and Seesmic for Facebook and Twitter. Both are free and both are far easier to use.

Share
What a Small Businees Owner Should Not Do in this Economic Situation
Jun 19th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">What a Small Businees Owner Should Not Do in this Economic Situation</div>

The economy sucks. You know it. I know it. So, as a small business owner, this is what I’m not going to do about it:

  • I will not introduce any new product… unless it has been well researched and I see that there is a definite demand for it.
  • I will not increase my marketing budget. Making more folks aware of my presence will not necessarily increase my sales. Instead I will keep my budget as is and use cheap and creative methods to draw attention.
  • On a related note: I will not use the word “stimulus” in any form of advertising. If it hasn’t helped the  economy, it sure as hell isn’t going to help me. I’m so sick of the word that if I see it in an ad one more time I swear I’m going to scream!
  • I will not cut my prices. I offer quality goods at fair prices, and will not devalue them (or myself) by price slashing.
  • I will not treat my customers like shit. This is, IMHO, the most important. Yet it is the one thing most businesses (large and small) seem to have forgotten. In this economy customers are looking to get the most out of their money. Being treated well is part of it, and being polite doesn’t cost me a dime.
Share
Why I’m a Pirate
May 28th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Why I’m a Pirate</div>

Not too long ago I was reprimanded, by a theme designer with a sense of entitlement, for my lack of morals in regards to my torrents. Sorry, I don’t do morals. Instead I choose to take responsibility for my own actions, right or wrong.

Anyway. I originally ignored this nutter but the thought of making her pretty little head go splooey (’cause I know she still reads my blog) has become rather inticing. Since my views are shared by the majority of pirates out there I figured I’d write them down in hopes that the holier than thou crowd might actually get it. So here goes:

  1. Piracy is a form of protest. As far back as I can remember music lovers have been demanding a way to acquire individual tracks of music. We were tired of paying outrageous prices for CDs when we only wanted one or two songs — especially once we knew how little it actually cost to make a CD. Vinyl and tapes never saw such a markup! But even when the technology became available the music industry was too greedy to give us what we wanted. Thanks to Napster we were able to take it. And then the music industry announced it had this really great idea to make tracks available individually. :P I now use Rhapsody for my music fix. I have over 6000 tracks in my library (and 99.5% are legal).
  2. Piracy is a way to share the love. I’m sure you’ve heard of fansubs, correct? Technically these are acts of piracy. However you rarely hear the copyright owners bellyaching, do you? Well, you don’t hear many non-American copyright holders bellyaching, that is. That’s because they know that fansubbing is a free way to advertise their product to other markets which, in turn, often gets them licensing deals. So two points for piracy.
  3. Piracy allows you to try before you buy. Yes, there are a lot of programs that allow you free trials. Heck there are even a good many completely free programs. But what if you want to find out if Dreamweaver or MS Office meet your needs? I don’t know about you, but I really don’t feel like shelling out $149+ on software only to find it doesn’t do what I want, and I can’t return it. Through piracy I know that Dreamweaver is worth saving up for, Open Office does essentially the same thing as MS Office, and PSP is much easier for me to work with than Photoshop.
  4. Piracy is a wake up call. This is related to #1, though it’s less of a protest and more of a “Look. You’ve got a demand here. You might want to make some money off it.” Thanks to us pirates a great deal of media that had been previously collecting dust is now experiencing new life — legitimately.

As you can see, pirates aren’t just a bunch a yahoos who want free stuff. We are making statements. We are exposing ourselves and others to other cultures. We are being wise consumers. We are making our wants and needs known.

Share
Why I Use Skribit
May 27th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Why I Use Skribit</div>

I love to write, even though my ADD tends to make it a painful process. Blogging helps. Sometimes, though, I either don’t have anything to write a full post about (hence the Twitter Updates), or I don’t have the time when the idea hits me and when I do, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to write about.

Over on LiveJournal they have this thing called “Writer’s Block”. There is a constant supply of suggestions for blog fodder, made possible by the LJ community. Unfortunately, since it’s something that automatically appears on your LJ homepage, there’s no feed for me to drag back here. ;P

Skribit is the closest thing I could find that would work with WordPress. I feel a little bit odd that total strangers can come to my site and make suggestions for content. Then again, that’s pretty much how it’s done at LJ. I don’t have to write about every suggestion, either. And I can even “archive” my own, so I won’t forget them!

So yeah. I’m going to keep the Skribit box around for awhile and see what happens. I’ve also added one to Maxwell Pink Tells Stories, so Max can experience the joy of being inundated by plot bunnines. WEG

Share
SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
© All content (unless otherwise noted) copyright Babs L Powers
css.php