Wondershare iCollage for Mac is VERY buggy, company not very helpful

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Ever since moving to using a Mac as my primary computer I've wanted a simple app for building photo collages, cards, etc - something more than what iPhoto itself provides. After looking around the only one I could find that was reasonable was iCollage from the company Wondershare.

I happened to find it on sale via MacZot so tried the demo only to start running into problems.  I submitted some bug reports via their official support site and, after a long wait received a response saying that because it was the weekend their support staff would respond on the Monday.  Due to the deal running over a weekend I figured I'd risk it and bought the app.

The following Monday came and I started into a discussions with their support staff that went on for two weeks.  The delay in getting to the bottom of the issues left it too late to use iCollage for the project in mind I had so I left it alone.

This past weekend I decided to do a small collage for my mother's birthday and pulled up iCollage.  I manually resolved one of the bugs seen I'd seen before and started working on my project.  Well, let me tell you, I've never dealt with such a buggy, unstable piece of software before, it's surprising they released it for sale in its current state, there doesn't seem to be any way to work with it for more than a few minutes without it crashing!

So after submitting more bug reports and opening up another can of worms I figured I should start to publicly document some of the problems to warn off other potential customers.

Just to clarify: if Wondershare release a version of iCollage that is a) stable, b) resolves some of these issues, I will be more than happy to update these blog posts to note this fact; until then, I will continue to publicly document the bugs I find.

iCollage bugs:

  • Images thumbnail pane size is incorrect, hides images.
  • Does not recognize iPhoto library if files moved.
  • Templates list is incorrect out of the box.
  • Support system does not display the body of the original message, either that or they remove the text.
  • Emails from their support system can include URLs back to the tickets that are invalid.

More soon..

Florida DrupalCamp 2010 official press release

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DrupalCamp Brings Florida IT Community Together

A dedicated community of Open Source content management software developers from throughout the Sunshine State are convening February 20th and 21st at the annual Florida DrupalCamp in Altamonte Springs.

This year, new and seasoned users of Drupal (Drupal.org) will spend Saturday participating in beginner, intermediate and advanced education tracks, and Sunday working together in a "Coding for a Cause" sprint to create a Drupal web site for a selected non-profit organization.

Open Source tools like Drupal are a great resource for companies and organizations to cost-effectively connect, communicate, and organize people and information using the Internet. Drupal is a completely free modular content management system that can be used to easily build and customize websites and use blogs, video and user content to build communities.

The event is an opportunity to get an overview of Drupal and what it can do. Attendees can also get to know the developers and user community in Florida, and hear guest speaker Addison Berry of Lullabot discuss how everyone can participate in the growing international community.

The event will be held at the offices of Mind Comet in Altamonte Springs. For more information and to register, visit http://2010.fldrupalcamp.org/

Archive of Page Title module with critical bug fixed (654758)

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While working on multiple sites I've used a wide range of Drupal modules for the purpose of boosting the site's search engine ranking by way of common SEO practices.  One common requirement for this is to be able to override the browser title, aka "page title" beyond just using the article's title.  Thankfully there happens to be a module (i.e. a plugin) specially for this, the suitably named Page Title.

The Page Title module lets you set up a series of rules to control the title based on different things - the type of content, the vocabulary the keyword/term belongs to, etc, which covers for the vast majority of uses.  For those occasions when you need a little more flexibility there's an option to allow each item to be overridden on an individual basis, so e.g. one node can have some extra words added to the title.  The workflow should then be:

  • If an item-specific title is assigned, use it,
  • Otherwise use the configured rule (dubbed a "pattern"),
  • If no rules match the current situation, just a default.

The problem was that for taxonomy term pages ("category" or "topic" pages in in layman's terms) the overridden title was never loaded, it always used the rules.

After about two hours of poking around and testing different techniques, I put together a patch that should work correctly.  In my albeit limited testing it seems to correctly handle page rules and overrides for both normal content (nodes) and term (taxonomy-term) pages and so should be fine to use.  While I have submitted a patch there are always users who do not know how or are otherwise unable to deal with patch files, so to give others a chance to test this change I'm providing a full download of the module's current latest code with the patch applied.  If you happen to have some time to test it out, please do so and submit any feedback or virtual high-fives to the original issue on drupal.org.

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StarQuest

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In an effort to take the title as the worst movie studio on the face of the planet way from current title holders The Asylum, Maverick Entertainment decided to rip off Star Trek with a truly horrible waste of time.  Lets take a quick list of the bad parts:

  • A snoozeworthy five minute monologue explaining their way from the space race to "FTL drives", to colonizing multiple planets and to the ubiquitous war,
  • A Star Trek-like font is used for the main title,
  • Horrible acting,
  • Pathetic "special" effects,
  • Terrible editing which in some cases leaves people just standing there for several seconds before they either read the next line off their queue cards or hit someone / something,
  • An utterly pathetic rip-off of Klingons as a genetically modified cybernetic human sub-species that randomly place high-voltage splayed power cables in their chest "gadget box" to "recharge",
  • A story that makes you want to instead read the intellectually superior "Go Dog, Go".

This has everything you need to get a good drinking game going, if you don't go insane first.  I forced myself to watch 25 minutes of this crud just so I'd have some ammunition to rip it to shreds, but at that I hit the eject button - the only reason I didn't immediately destroy the DVD was because it was rented from Blockbuster.

As a minor example of just how desperate they were with the script, they actually had the line "I'm a doctor, not a soldier damn it!"

Do not rent this movie!

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