I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new online shop, Driveshopper.co.uk. Backing up your computer is something important that I bang on about frequently (see this post for example) and I’m always amazed at how most people just don’t bother, despite how easy and cheap it is. So I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is and come up with something that makes it even easier and provides people with the tools they need.
Blog: Design, technology, business and other thoughts
Technology sites are reporting that Apple and Microsoft are engaged in a dispute over the 30% cut Apple takes from all sales including in-app purchases through its app store. Apple argues that the rules have to be the same for all developers, whether big or small. Microsoft argues that subscriptions to its Office365 subscription service should be treated as a special case, since iOS access is just a small part of a service that can be accessed through desktop devices.
Google used to be my friend. In the early days, when most other search engines were trying to rebrand themselves as bloated ‘portals’ and move away from their original purpose, Google emerged like a breath of fresh air and took things back to basics.
Looking as I do frequently on the Mac App Store and iPhone/iPad App Store, I can’t help but notice how cheap software is now, compared with the old days before the App Stores existed and software was sold mainly on disc in big box packaging. Apple have led the way with their own apps. All the iLife and iWork apps have always been absurdly cheap, they were only ever a loss leader to sell more hardware, which is Apple’s core business after all.
Apple’s new iPad sold over 3 million units in the first 3 days. To put this into perspective, the first iPad took nearly 3 months to achieve the same figure, and even this was considered a massive success that had far exceeded all expectations. I got my hands on the new model unexpectedly in the first weekend. After a week of playing, my first impressions are very positive and even as a designer who favours a big screen and total control over my file system, I’m convinced this is the future of computing.
Why do some domain name sellers make it so difficult to transfer a domain name away from them? There are loads of domain name registrars, and most of them offer very cheap domain names and website hosting packages too. But there may come a time when your circumstances change or you find a better deal elsewhere. When that happens, you need to have a quick and hassle free way to move your domain name to whatever host you choose.
In my life as a designer, there are many others I admire and respect. Some are contemporary, others have long since passed away. Top of my list of design heroes is A M Cassandre, who lived and worked throughout the Art Deco period and beyond. Inspired by the Surrealists and Cubists of his era, he was known primarily for his poster art, but was also a designer of magazine covers, typefaces, logos and theatre sets.
It used to be simple. If you wanted a plumber or an electrician or even a bookshop, you just picked up the big yellow book and turned to the index. Who could forget those successful TV ad campaigns of the 1980s. Apart from a bit of minor competition from Thomson Local, they had it all sewn up.
Apple’s Vice President iPhone Product Marketing, Greg Joswiak, gave an insight into the secrets of Apple’s success this week. He was speaking at a recent event in the UK called “Silicon Valley Comes to Cambridge.” None of this will come as a huge surprise to anyone who follows Apple, but it’s interesting to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. Here’s what he told the audience were the four key lessons he has learned during his 20 years at Apple.
Many web designers and tech savvy internet users share a common belief that Flash is bad. Sure, it brightens up web pages with pretty moving graphics, but in technological terms it’s a relic from a bygone era. Flash is the nasty, buggy, resource-hungry browser plugin that has been the scourge of the internet for over a decade. But now the anti-Flash sentiment is starting to gather pace and we may see a time in the future where it is banished from our desktops for good.
I had a communication this morning from a possible future client, who was enquiring about a logo, website and various printed promotional materials. The main thrust of his enquiry was to present me with a series of websites from his competitors and instruct me on exactly which ones he wanted to look like. This isn’t a new request, another client earlier this year tried to insist that I make an exact copy of a site owned by one of his competitors. Unethical, illegal, unimaginative, boring and lots of other adjectives spring to mind.
Once you get your shiny new website up and running, you may be thinking that the job is done, and all you have to do is sit back and wait for the business to roll in. But sadly it’s not as simple as that. Even if your web designer has submitted the site to the search engines and done all the other things they normally do to give it a kick start, your work is not over.
The vast majority of people don’t ever give a single thought to backing up their computer. Why would they? That’s something for the IT guys at work to worry about. It’s their problem to make sure the network drives are protected against loss or failure, not yours. But whose job is it to look after the PC at home, or if you’re self employed, the laptop you use for your business? Answer: Yours. And what do you do about backing up? What do you do to to guard against a catastrophic failure? Most likely answer: Nothing.
Just like your website, email is one of the main faces of your business and often the first contact potential customers will experience. So you can’t afford not to do it properly. But ever since I started out in the business, people seem to have been making the same old mistakes over and over again. That makes it a great subject for the latest in my series of blog posts which are looking increasingly like they should be called “rants from a grumpy old web guy”.