I’ve been playing around with ssh while I configure my Ubuntu Server (more details about that soon) and figured I would get my head out of the terminal for a bit. So I downloaded [ExpanDrive](http://www.expandrive.com/ “ExpanDrive for Windows: Ridiculously simple SFTP drive access on your PC”) again (used it a [while back](http://www.seydoggy.com/2008/03/10/expandrive-expands-my-horizons/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”)) only to discover that it’s since been upgraded… a paid upgrade… and my old serial no longer applies. I wasn’t enamoured with “mounting” remote servers as hfs volumes enough to pay for this app a second time so I decide to move on to the free alternative; [MacFUSE](http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/ “macfuse – Project Hosting on Google Code”) + [MacFusion](http://www.macfusionapp.org/ “Macfusion: The world in your Finder”).
The only hiccup I encountered was that MacFusion didn’t seem all that happy about launching an ssh connection under Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. I could connect with no issues in terminal but not in MacFusion. A quick visit to the [MacFusion Google Group](http://groups.google.com/group/macfusion-devel “MacFusion-devel | Google Groups”) revealed [this temporary solution](http://rackerhacker.com/2009/08/28/fix-macfusion-on-snow-leopard/ “Fix MacFusion on Snow Leopard | Racker Hacker”), which is basically:
1. quite MacFusion
2. set up MacFUSE to get betas (under System Preferences)
3. and remove this file in Terminal:
To get the nitty-gritty, please read the full post at [Racker Hacker](http://rackerhacker.com/2009/08/28/fix-macfusion-on-snow-leopard/ “Fix MacFusion on Snow Leopard | Racker Hacker”).
[tags]snow leopard,mac osx,terminal,ssh,server,macfuse,macfusion[/tags]
The postman just delivered my fresh copy of Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site Using PHP & MYSQL, 4th Edition. It’s not that there was anything wrong with my previous copy, but it was getting a little dated. Plus I am a little nostalgic for this particular publication.
With a quick glance I can already see that the book has been restructured quite a bit moving chapters around. I am really looking forward to reading this book again with renewed purpose and updated perspectives.
[tags]php, sitepoint, mysql,book[/tags]
At the last [Waterloo Region Web Design & Technology Group] I attended I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people who were waiting patiently to ask me the same thing, “How did you start your own company?”
I don’t know whether I started seyDoggy in any traditional sense or not, but it seems my answers didn’t completely satisfy most people who asked. The process seemed too safe perhaps, or too long. I’m not really sure. But the common thread I could see each time I was asked, which seemed to be what they were really getting at was, “How long did it take you to become successful?”
So for weeks now I have been thinking about both questions and how, or if they are even related. I’ve decided the two do not belong on the same line of sight. Since I am no authority on the right or wrong way to start a business (I’ve really only started one and it seems I did it right), then I will address the other question here, “How long did it take you to become successful?”
First, let’s define success as *the accomplishment of an aim or purpose*. I think that’s where many young people are getting it wrong today. They think *success* is getting rich. If that is your aim then I suppose getting rich would accomplish that but that’s not what success is to me.
For me, my professional successes as they pertain to this company, have come in stages. For starters, I wanted to *start* a serious company that would some day be my sole source of income. I wanted to be able to make as much, if not more then I was at the day job. I called it my *5 year plan*.
That was in the summer of 2005. By September of 2005, seyDoggy was a registered company and by November of 2006 I was no longer on anyones payroll. The *5 year plan* was truncated to a little over 1 year… that was a success to me.
But I had more aims that evolved as the company grew. I wanted to make a living doing what *I* wanted to do, not what *clients* wanted me to do. I wanted to have a product based company, not a service based company. This was my *next 5 year plan*. Within the next two years, however, I was able to realize that goal as well. I was able to limit or eliminate all client based contracts, consulting contracts and service contracts and focus solely on the RapidWeaver theme distribution devision of seyDoggy. Again, for me, that was another success.
And how about the bigger picture? That all encompassing notion of success? That question, “Are you successful?”
That depends on what *you* consider successful I suppose. I am able to fulfill the needs of the family, pay the mortgage and the bills, pay my taxes, pay my contractors/employees, entertain and buy the little extras. We, as a family, don’t want for anything. But those are just the financial gains, a measure of which I have little use for. What’s more important to me, and perhaps what you could aim for as a measure of your own success, are the financial freedoms that I have earned with my company.
Here are my top 10 measures of my own success:
1. I attend my daughters school assemblies in the middle of the afternoon.
2. I take my children to their doctors appointments.
3. I take the Fridays off that my wife doesn’t work.
4. I take a few weeks worth of holidays and still make money.
5. I go for an hour walk every morning and I am never late for work.
6. I can take lunch at 10 am, 12 pm or 2 pm (or take lunch at 10 am *and* 12 pm *and* 2 pm).
7. I can take a sick day and not call in.
8. I stay home with the kids when they get sick.
9. I can take 20 minutes out of the day to play a video game and call it professional development.
10. I haven’t worked a weekend in over 3 years.
But do I stop here? Absolutely not. I want to be able to travel more, work less and hire more people. I keep making new goals, new levels of success to achieve and I have no intention of ever stopping. And maybe that is how I should have answered the first question, “How did you start your own company?”
I kept redefining my own measure of success. I kept setting higher goals and greater aims. I kept myself honest and my company genuine. I had a focal point for the company and at the end of the day, if I was happy with what I was doing then I was successful.
How about you? What do you consider to be success?
[tags]business, company, success, start-up[/tags]
My second born child shown here on the day she was born (nearly 6 years ago). It’s looking back on images like these that make you realize just how much changes in such a short amount of time. When I think to back to this moment, I was working as a quality technician at a tool and die shop, programming a CMM, I was shooting weddings on weekends, my son still lived in town, I still lived in the first house I ever bought, I was hand coding websites using tables and some css, I was still using film…
I could write a whole book on the stuff my family has been through in just the last half decade. I dare not think of all that’s changed since my son was born 12.5 years ago.
When is an apology *not* an apology? When it comes in the form of a sheepish form letter and omits any explanation as to what went wrong. Late last week flickr/Yahoo! and Rogers seemingly dissolved a long standing relationship that gave Rogers Internet subscribers a free flickr Pro account for as long as they remained Rogers subscribers. Why this agreement is no more is a little unclear as the only source of the news came from [flickr.com](http://www.flickr.com/ “Welcome to Flickr – Photo Sharing”) when I logged into my account and was presented with an AJAXIAN notification bubble informing me that my free Pro account would cease to be free and/or Pro by July 1, 2009. This information was additionally corroborated by my account FAQ page to which this notification directed me.
I have to admit I am fond of flickr and enjoy the service so I opted to renew then and there for another 2 years of service. Upon verbalizing my dismay to these recent events on [Twitter](http://twitter.com/seyDoggy “Twitter: What are you doing?”) I quickly learned that no all Rogers subscribers were reporting the same experience. Some were being told their accounts would expire on November 1st **2011**, nearly a full 2 years and 4 months ***after*** the date which was originally given to me.
So I went back to check my account, and there is was, the same notification bubble now displaying November 2011, ***not*** July 2009! Oh the FAQ still said 2009, but the notice now said 2011. So armed with these discrepancies (and the screen shots to prove them) I sent flickr/Yahoo! a scathing support query:
> This morning I get a notice from you (not Rogers) that my Flickr pro account that I enjoy as a Rogers customer will [no] longer be pro after July 1, 2009. This was confirmed but not elaborated on in the FAQ. After feeling I had no other choice I paid for the renewal. Shortly thereafter, and after hearing contradictory reports on the internet, I noticed the new warning that now says November 1, 2011. However the FAQ still says July 1, 2009.
> This is a fairly sizable blunder on your part and I think it was handled very unprofessionally. As a company who is one of the corner stones on the internet I would expect that you of all companies would know not to publish anything to the net before making sure you’ve got it all right down to the letter.
> I want my money back (or my in progress transaction canceled) if indeed my pro account is still valid until November 1, 2011. I expect a response of confirmation of action.
> Thank you.
> Adam Merrifield
To which I got the ineffectual and less then sympathetic response (pay close attention to the fourth paragraph about FAQ and discrepancies):
> Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Billing.
> I understand that you are contacting us to request a refund for your Flickr Pro account that you recently purchased.
> Any changes to your Flickr account pertaining to your Yahoo! Hi-Speed service package with Rogers are set to take place due to changes made by Rogers. Please contact Rogers regarding further details of this change.
> As per the FAQ found on Flickr.com, the Flickr Pro account included with your Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed service will change to a free Flickr account on July 1, 2009. There is not other information from Yahoo! that would support a November 1,  date. I understand that this situation may be frustrating and apologize for the inconvenience.
> Unfortunately, as stated on the order page there are no refunds on pro accounts. If an account has been closed before the pro term is up it cannot be transferred to another account and the unused portion is non-refundable.
> Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Billing. If we can provide you with any further information, please reply to this email.
> Unnamed Female Support Personnel
> Yahoo! Billing
This just infuriated me! I proceeded to make a spectacle of them and myself by posting about there response [in as many places as I could](http://www.seydoggy.com/2009/05/19/complete-flickr-fail/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”). I sent them a short and to the point letter and supporting screen shot:
> Uhhh… you work there right? And you can’t see what EVERYONE ELSE ON THE INTERNET SEES? See attached and don’t insult the intelligence of your users. Thanks.
> Adam Merrifield
I guess this sent the message in the tone required to get some action on the matter for today I got what I assume to be the last and finalizing letter in response to this whole fiasco:
> Hello Adam,
> Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Billing.
> I understand you have contacted us regarding your Flickr Pro service on your Yahoo! ID: [email protected]
> After reviewing your account we have issued you a full refund for your Flickr order from 05/15/2009 for $47.99. Please allow 7 – 10 business days for the credit to post to your credit card.
> To view your billing history, please visit:
> and sign in to your account. Once you’ve signed in, you will be able to view all billing details regarding this Yahoo! account.
> We apologize for any inconvenience this issue has caused you.
> Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Billing. If we can provide you with any further information, please reply to this email.
> Unnamed Male Support Personnel
> Yahoo! Customer Care
What is the moral of the story? Don’t take it lying down! $50 is still $50 and I shouldn’t have to pay it because of a Yahoo! PR blunder and neither should you. Did you get burned by this? Does anyone know what the hell is going on yet? The notification still says November 2011 while the FAQ insists it’s July 2009. Will my account go dead in July? Who knows? We’ll fight that battle when the time comes.
[tags]flickr, Yahoo!, Rogers, internet[/tags]
One thing the Mac OS has repeatedly failed at is a native clip board, one where more then the most recent item is available to you. This has been an ongoing concern of mine for quite some time and I have always been on the lookout for a solution… a good solution.
Back in the spring of 2007 I wrote about [iClip as one possible solution](http://www.seydoggy.com/2007/03/28/copy-and-paste-and-copy-and-paste/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”) and in fact my dependency on it around that time became so great that I was using it to store passwords, code snippets, oft used text, etc… All was great until one day, the database became corrupted. Yes, iClip was complex enough that is was storing all my clipboard data, snippets and what not, in a database. _Eeeeek!_
My next _notable_ shift in clipboard management was QuickSilver, [for which](http://www.seydoggy.com/2008/02/01/web-search-with-quicksilver-the-definitive-how-to/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”) [I have](http://www.seydoggy.com/2008/01/30/quicksilver-as-a-file-launcher/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”) [written numerous](http://www.seydoggy.com/2007/12/03/convert-icons-revisited/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”) [articles](http://www.seydoggy.com/2007/03/30/quicksilverhttp/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”). For everything that I used iClip for I was able to use QuickSilvers “Shelf” and “Clipboard History”. It was a brilliant setup and had them show/hide off the edge of the screen with a couple hot-keys. Then came the inevitable fall of QuickSilver. I can’t afford to keep monkeying around with sub-alpha builds of various branches so after my nearly three year dependency on QuickSilver I had to finally give it up.
The hole that was left was quickly filled with apps that I already use on a daily basis, like [Code Collector Pro](http://www.mcubedsw.com/software/codecollectorpro “M Cubed Software – Code Collector Pro”) which bore the brunt of my oft used text snippets and auto complete tasks. But I was still left without a good solution for clip board history. So off on a mad search I went, review countless apps that varied in complexity and price range, until I came upon a small, simple, unobtrusive app that does one thing; buffers your clipboard history. [Jumpcut](http://jumpcut.sourceforge.net/ “Jumpcut: Minimalist Clipboard Buffering for OS X”) is a simple, open source (and free) clip board history manager that allows you easy access to your clipboard history with a few simple key strokes.
Jumpcut allows you to set up the size of your buffer size (up to 99 clips), hot keys, bezel behaviour, app behaviour and that’s about it. It doesn’t get any simpler to use or set up. I have been using this little app heavily on a daily basis since February and never once has it failed me. No hang ups, it’s never lost my history, it’s never crashed or caused anything else to crash. It’s lightweight, responsive and just an overall pleasure to use.
_This_ is the app that ought to be a part of Mac OS X.
I’ve been saving these ones up for a about a week or so. There is lots of great Canadian music here from [#canadianmusicfind](http://search.twitter.com/search?q=canadianmusicfind “canadianmusicfind – Twitter Search”).
* [Dog Day](http://www.myspace.com/dogdaytheband “DOG DAY on MySpace Music – Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos”)
* [Holy Fuck](http://holyfuckmusic.com/ “!_______HOLYFUCK_______!”)
* [Woodhands](http://www.myspace.com/woodhands “woodhands on MySpace Music – Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos”)
* [Winter Gloves](http://www.winterglovesmusic.com/ “WINTER GLOVES / about a girl”)
* [Ohbijou](http://www.ohbijou.com/ “Ohbijou”)
* [Shuffle Demons](http://www.shuffledemons.com/ “sHuFFle dEMoNs”)
* [Fairchild](http://www.fairchildrocks.com/ “Official Fairchild”)
* [Feist](http://www.listentofeist.com/ “Feist”)
* [Dan Mangan](http://www.danmanganmusic.com/ “Dan Mangan Music”)
* [Immaculate Machine](http://www.immaculatemachine.com/ “Immaculate Machine”)
* [Bedouin Soundclash](http://www.bedouinsoundclash.com/ “Bedouin Soundclash”)
* [The Details](http://www.thedetails.ca/ “The Details – www.thedetails.ca – the official website of The Details”)
* [Boats!!](http://www.myspace.com/boatthemusicband “boats!! on MySpace Music – Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos”)
* [The Provincial Archive](http://www.theprovincialarchive.com/ “The Provincial Archive”)
* [Swan Lake](http://www.jagjaguwar.com/artist.php?name=swanlake “SWAN LAKE”)
* [Arkells](http://www.myspace.com/arkellsmusic “Arkells on MySpace Music – Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos”)
* [Hollerado](http://www.hollerado.com/ “Hollerado”)
Stacks from [YourHead Software](http://www.yourhead.com/ “YourHead Software”) is one of those tools that made RapidWeaver more complete then we ever knew it needed to be. What makes Stacks so amazing is that it *is* what ever it *needs* to be to *whoever* needs it. So far it’s been a power layout tool of endless shapes and sizes, an ExtraContent device, and RSS scraper, a Twitter badge, a media player… and now, thanks to Joe Workman, a CMS.
A Content Management System (CMS) allows clients to edit their content after their web design/development staff has published the site. So far there have been only a handful of attempts to bring CMS to the RapidWeaver platform; WebYep and PlusKit’s @gdoc(()) implementation. The former requires site licensing and the latter rely’s on Google ever changing Google Docs API.
Now there is a [CushyCMS](http://www.cushycms.com/ “Free and simple CMS » CushyCMS”)(free) implementation built into a Stacks Library item (or Stacks plugin) available from [Joe Workman](http://www.joeworkman.net/products/ “Joe Workman | CushyCMS Stacks Plug-in for Rapidweaver”). By simple dragging a CushyCMS stack onto your stacks page, anything you drop into that CushyCMS stack will be editable on the client side.
[tags]CushyCMS, Stacks, YourHead Software, RapidWeaver[/tags]
Here’s a great sampling of [#canadianmusicfind](http://search.twitter.com/search?q=canadianmusicfind “canadianmusicfind – Twitter Search”) for April 7th:
* [Neil Young](http://www.neilyoung.com/ “Neil’s Garage”)
* [McKenna Mendelson Mainline](http://www.last.fm/music/McKenna+Mendelson+Mainline “McKenna Mendelson Mainline – Discover music at Last.fm”)
* [Colin James](http://www.colinjames.com/ “:: COLIN JAMES ::”)
* [Barenaked Ladies](http://www.bnlmusic.com/ “BNL :: Barenaked Ladies Official Website”)
* [Avril Lavigne](http://www.avrillavigne.com/ “AVRIL LAVIGNE”)
* [Spirit of the West](http://www.sotw.ca/ “Spirit of the West :: Home”)
* [Big Sugar](http://www.bigsugar.com/ “redirect”)
* [Alanis Morisette](http://www.alanismorissette.com/ “alanis morissette”)
Thanks to “mcfinn” in my [seyDesign Member Group](http://www.seydesign.com/support/membership/ “membership | support | seyDesign Professional RapidWeaver themes”) I was reminded of a cool tool, [XRAY](http://westciv.com/xray/ “XRAY :: for web developers”), for analyzing the box model of any element on a web page with the click of a button. XRAY, a bookmarklet, is a quick and tidy way of grabbing some DOM info without having to wade through the whole DOM tree like FireBug and WebKits developer tools.
While the XRAY bookmarklet isn’t as powerful tool as FireBug, and it doesn’t have editing capabilities, it is very handy for quickly and accurately pointing out the styles effecting a specific element on a page. Just click the bookmarklet, then click on the elements you want inspected.
[tags]web, developer, design, tools, xray[/tags]