Software

Wondershare iCollage bug - images thumbnail pane wrong size (updated)

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When adding images to an iCollage project it is common to use its iPhoto integration and directly load images through the image selector sidebar.  This sidebar is opened by clicking the Image icon in the bottom toolbar and it pops out a bar with a list of albums at the top and the images at the bottom.  In theory this is would be a great system, but there's a problem - when you have a lot of photos in an album (which will happen a lot for the average user) the pane that lists the image thumbnails is sized incorrectly so you don't see the images at the bottom.

iCollage photo pane slider bug, with annotations

(click to view the full-size version with annotations)

Update: After submitting this bug report to Wondershare and explaining to them several times that the problem had nothing to do with resizing the images, they finally accepted there was a bug and said they would pass it to the developers to resolve.  Am not holding my breath.

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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..

Why Trac sucks

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Reasons to use Trac:

  • It has been around for ages so it's pretty well known.
  • It works with Subversion.
  • Built-in Wiki.
  • The milestones system works fairly well.

Why Trac sucks, IMHO of course:

  • It's written in Python, a language I currently don't know nor have a (current) inclination to learn.
  • It doesn't do git without a plugin.
  • How do I get email notifications when something's changed in the wiki?
  • How do I get email notifications when code changes are uploaded?
  • Each project you want to manage with it gets its own separate install, which is very klunky. You have to log into each one separately (unless you set up a shared authentication system of some sort in the web server).
  • Each project only gets one repository.
  • The interface is klunky, e.g. clicking View Tickets brings you to a page where you first have to choose your filter rather than just loading the last one used or a default.
  • No task associations so you can't do a parent-child dependency to indicate a completion hierarchy.
  • The interface should allow for trag-n-drop changing of priorities.
  • It isn't github or unfuddle or Redmine :)

Personally I recommend github for public projects where you don't need task management (I don't like Lighthouse), Unfuddle for closed projects or where you want good task management for your open project, or Redmine if you want full control and to host it all yourself.

Just thought I'd share that.

Hot to fix a suicidal Cisco VPN client on OSX

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After starting to use the Cisco VPN client to do remote work on my McBook, I noticed that it would give an oh-so-useful "Error 51: Unable to communicate with the VPN subsystem" error fairly often, like this:

200807082121.jpg

As it turns out the Cisco kernel extension is a bit flaky and craps out, so you have to restart it. Thankfully Anders Brownworth at anders.com worked out how to fix this inane Error 51 thing. Thanks Anders!

Ecto is seriously p###ing me off

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I was close to finished a rather long comparison of On The Job and OfficeTime but Ecto managed to loose the content for a second time. DAMNIT!

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