Garmin GPSMAP 60sx SD card fails the iMac Test


This info is for those who might care. The above unit (Garmin GPSMAP 60sx) falls over when the micro SD card has been written to by the system on an iMac OSX. It appears the unit can not cope with the hidden system file NAMES that are left on the unit.

In my case this manifested as intermittent start-up failures; On shut-down – intermittent continuous alarms requiring the batteries to be removed and intermittent freezing…
The solution is to use CLEANEJECTย  – This program will erase those files and eject the SD card before the system recreates the hidden folders again. Apparently a known problem for several years.
I would categorise this as a GARMIN PROBLEM – not an OSX problem…

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Lessons learnt from the GPush debacle


What GPush debacle?

For those who are unfamiliar with what I’m writing about, there WAS an iPhone app called GPush that was SOLD – by Tiverias Apps – through the app store from around July 2009. It offered real time push notification of new email to your iPhone account from GMail. The vendors used your (provided) email account details to poll the google servers FREQUENTLY and then sent a push notification WITH an excerpt of the header to your iPhone. Its reliability appeared to fluctuate but when it worked, it worked well.
Unfortunately there were multiple occasions GPush stopped working – and Twitter bore the brunt of the complaints process. Tiverias Apps did NOT have a good reputation for consistent customer service and would seem to go silent/unresponsive for extended periods of time.

On December 25th 2010 (Australian time) the following appeared in my in-box:-

Dear GPush user,

Thank you for your loyal use of GPush. Unfortunately, we have determined that the value added by GPush beyond such products as Google’s own push notification service is not sufficient to merit our continued maintenance of the service. We will therefore be shutting the service down as of December 31, 2010.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sincerely,
The GPush Team

Is that supposed to mean Merry Christmas??

Now – I may be cynical about the timing, but I do wonder if they THOUGHT that there would be less of an outcry over the holiday period! At the same time the website disappeared from the web….Now it ends up as a godaddy parked page.

As expected there was a bit of an outcry on Twitter. Users decried the loss of service with some asking for a refund for the app they had bought. The only response to a refund request was:-

…..please contact apple directly,ย  we have no way to issue one, we’re sorry.

Along the way, they have suggested that:-

  1. They would be willing to sell the business and are looking for a buyer.
  2. They are going to keep the business running

Now – once again they have gone silent and GPush is dead. I have solemnly declared it a #ZombieApp.

So where are we now?

Older and wiser I suspect! Once you look at it, I don’t see how this could have survived. The business model is fundamentally flawed from the outset. Any company offering a sole product as an ongoing – time unlimited – service with no revenue stream can simply not survive! How on earth did Tiverias expect to maintain the infrastructure required to provide the service?? Why did we – the users – expect them to be able to?

Lessons learnt:-

Any PAID app that offers an ongoing service either needs

  • A strong associated advertiser base to generate income (Not popular with paid apps users) OR
  • A subscription model to generate income (As seen with some newspaper apps) AND/OR
  • Multiple OTHER revenue streams to support a non-revenue generating product (Google is a classic!)

To expect it to survive otherwise is naive at best and stupid at worst.

I am surprised that Apple allows these sort of apps onto the store and do wonder what provision for abandoned users exists within the Apple – iPhone App-store framework….?

I – for one – will think twice about plonking down money (how ever little) for another App based on this flawed model.

As for Tiverias Apps postulated plans…. I can NOT see another company buying their buisness for the stated reasons above. PERHAPS they will sell their user base/lists – and that raises a whole lot of issues about their right to sell it.

Lastly, withย  respect to your GMail account, the user-name and password of which you gave to Tiverias-

YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR PASSWORD HAVEN’T YOU?

Gmail Restored! What now for the future?


Received 2 November:

Hello,
Thanks for your report. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have
experienced. The issue you described should now be resolved. If you
continue to experience difficulties, please respond to this message, and
we’ll investigate further.

Sincerely,

The Google Team

Now I am VERY pleased to get my accounts back – but – why? The accounts were disabled without an explanation and re-enabled – without an explanation. Should this make me happy – or confused – or mad?

Maybe I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth ๐Ÿ™‚

I note that I am not the only one who has experienced this “phenomenon”. Multiple reports are around in the Internet including ones on Cnet’s News.com , a classic one at Google Blogscoped , and that story on ZDnet.

So where to from here? I guess there are multiple options, including abandoning Gmail. BUT I don’t really want to do that – the search capability is too valuable, and the price is unbeatable!

So – Guess I go double (Quadruple?) redundancy. All mail going to my main gmail archive will also be forwarded to another gmail account. Together with my Home PC mail files and their backup on a secondary PC that should help prevent further major problems?

Importantly, the second Gmail archive will be opened independently; that is – not from an invitation from my first account. It seems Gmail may disable all subsidiary accounts as well as a main one!


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How to move 3000 emails from Windows to Gmail!


Meh!

As you may have read, for reasons known only to Gmail, my original Gmail account was disabled.

Being a sucker for punishment, I still want my Gmail for both its archiving and storage capabilities. Setting up a new account was easy. Figuring out how to move the 3000 odd emails I have in Outlook express was another matter!

Naturally, I am not the first to try this (for which I am TRULY grateful!) and some judicious Googling helped me out. In essence, emails in outlook express (and outlook) are stored in what seems to be a non standard/proprietary format. Or at least one not in common with Mozilla’s Thunderbird and I guess Gmail. Therefore, the files need to be converted FIRST and then uploaded.

The way I did it was detailed here and here. In essence, I download and installed Firebird, Let it import all my outlook express emails (yep it left the originals in place) and then uploaded them to my new Gmail account using Gexodus .

Couple of pointers:-

Firstly, after installing Thunderbird and allowing it to convert my outlook-express files, I could not see them in the inbox area! I then had to IMPORT the files (about 3 seconds work) with the TOOLS -> IMPORT dialogue.

Next I went looking for the profile folder , and was surprised it seemed so small. It was only AFTER I opened each sub-folder in my Thunderbird email interface that the profile folder seemed to populate properly.

Secondly, I found the default SMTP server in Gexodus was unresponsive, and used gsmtp183.google.com instead.

I initially pointed the system at my Inbox file in my profile and set the system running.

It ticked away, about 200 emails – then stopped. Said it was finished ! HUH!

Then I figured it out – Gexodus does NOT recursively work its way down through the sub folders of the inbox – you have to select each one individually – if that’s the way you want to go. The easy solution – simply move ALL email from the sub folders to the inbox within Thunderbird.

The upshot – all my 3000 emails (including their attachments) are back in Gmail. The original sender IDs are intact. Unfortunately the Dates simply reflect the upload date; I can cope with that.

I am still using Outlook Express, and forward a copy of all incoming and outgoing email to Gmail as I outlined some time ago.

NOW if only Gmail can explain why they deactivated my old account in the first place!


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Firefox 1.5 Official release


For those who don’t know, the official release of Firefox 1.5 is out!

Firefox 1.5 is out of beta and available for download!
I’ve installed it and have it up and running with only a small “problem”. Several of my extensions were incompatible and the auto-upgrade process couldn’t find the new version for one of them. I did however, and now its running well!
What’s new? Well – check out the options screen – new layout and a few new options. It also seems faster. It has drag and drop tabbed browsing and will automatically update itself if you want it to. (Official Release notes for 1.5 here , but for a really comprehensive list see this)

Anyway, time to play with the new release ๐Ÿ™‚

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Web Hosting Blues


Agghh… Yet again my external (non-Wordpress.com) host has failed me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

After becoming a refugee from my previous host (they had sold the business, but forgot to tell anyone, and the new owners were a disaster), I decided to try a WordPress.org recommendation. Not being ENTIRELY stupid, I did some research on them and picked one with a long track record and good reviews. They offered up-to-date WordPress installs, good bandwidth etc etc…..
Looks like everyone else was looking too… Not long after joining, the uptime became downtime +++.
My email was answered quite professionally, citing moving to new servers, inadequate staff (presumably growing fast!) and a promise that all would be well “soon”. Also offered pro-rated refund which was appreciated. Decided to stick it out – but no go. Up time around 75% according to my independent monitor.

So – Now have ANOTHER host – multisite account with Site5 – similar deal. Great reviews (and I know this one is growing fast!). They seem to cope better with the growth though.

I REALLY hate moving servers…..

Will publish an entry on picking a web host shortly – but with my track record… ๐Ÿ™‚

p.s. If you want to know who I WAS with contact me via The Silent Deep. I know they ARE trying, so won’t publish their name here.

The Internet Cognoscenti – what are you up to?


Well, as I’ve said before I have recently returned to the fold and started re-investigating the ‘net.

After several weeks of looking, trying, learning, being confused and experiencing sudden enlightenment (!), I have come to these conclusions about the way the well-informed, net savvy person is using their Internet!

Firstly, you have your own domain name. Preferably a “vanity” one that is immediately identifiable! Smith.com has more cache than albertsmith.com and far more than albertFsmith.net! At the very least, this allows you to have a persistent email address despite changing ISPs over time. Make sure you have bought a 5 or 9 year lease on the name. Quite possibly you have also bought domains for your family, relatives, and acquaintances.
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