Monthly Archives: June 2007

Once More, with Feeling


Today is the Internet Radio Day of Silence. To quote from the official press release:

“The arbitrary and drastic rate increases set by the Copyright Royalty Board on March 2nd threaten the very livelihood of thousands of webcasters and their millions of listeners throughout the country.

Major webcasters like Yahoo! Launchcast, Rhapsody, and Pandora.com will silence their streams along with other Day of Silence participants like KCRW.org, Live365, MTV Online, Radioio, RadioParadise, and AccuRadio.” (full list)

Please help us support this effort. This site will help you send letters, get banners for your own site, and spread the word to your friends.

They’ve been a little busy lately, which is great, so if you have any problems with that link, you can pick either of the ones below:

  • Call your representative (the link will give you their phone number) and ask for their support of the Internet Radio Equality Act: S. 1353 in the Senate and H.R. 2060 in the House.
  • If you’d rather write a letter or an email, this link will help. But be sure to also mention the Internet Radio Equality Act: S. 1353 in the Senate and H.R. 2060 in the House.

Don’t let internet radio go silent permanently. Act now.

Thanks.

Hype Meter: Harry Potter and the Killer iPhone

Comparing the two most-anticipated and hyped events of the summer. Yes, this is only tangentially related to mobile computing, but one too many news stories just put me over the edge.

Harry Potter Book 7 Apple iPhone Winner
Release Date July 21 June 29 iPhone
Price List: $34.99; street: $17.99 – $20.99 $499 – $599 HP
Availability after release Everywhere. I expect to see it in grocery stores, gas stations, and probably on street corners. Best guesses are that it will be hard to get, or even to find. HP
Appeal / Cool factor Mass / Probably not Cult / Very high iPhone
Secrecy surrounding release Info, or at least rumors, are starting, but clearly unauthorized. (I’m trying hard not to read them, so please don’t post any here.) Lots of official info leaks. This article says “Issuing nuggets of news may be a marketing tactic.” We say: may be?? HP
Biggest decision Where to buy it? Amazon, get the best price (and a $5 coupon) but wait for delivery, or a local bookstore, and pay more and fight the crowds. How early to show up at the AT+T store to wait in line. iPhone
Biggest open question: Is Snape the ultimate good guy or the ultimate bad guy? Will it ever run third-party apps? tie
Buzz v. hype Buzz Hype HP
Google matches Loosely 30 million About 55 million iPhone
Total 4 4 tie!

Alex’s Letter to Warez Sites

Probably everyone who reads this blog has already seen this elsewhere, but in case not:

Our good friend and fellow mobile developer, Alex Kac, has written an Open Letter to Warez Sites in his forum, and asked some other developers to help publicize it. Of course I agree with what he wrote (or most of it – maybe not the “have a great day” part), and while I’m not at all convinced that this will change anything (do people really go to warez sites without realizing they’re stealing the content?) I’m completely behind any efforts to do anything to stop software (or any intellectual property) piracy, and happy to do whatever I can to help publicize the problem.

We Couldn’t Have Done it Without You!

10hat-big2.gifOur big tenth anniversary party is over now, and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate. I know I had a lot of fun with the contests on this blog, and I hope you guys did too.

Speaking of blog contests, there’s still one more contest to announce the winners to. We spent some time and voted on our favorite five haikus, and the winners are: spmwinkel, Dave, Tim Heimerl, doog, and Mark Jones. Congrats to everyone! All of the submitted haikus were really creative, and you can read them in the comments to this post. The winners should see an email from me shortly requesting their info so I can ship out their swag packets.

Thanks once more to everyone, and we’ll do it again next year!

Ode to a Pocket PC

feather.jpgIt’s time for another contest, and since you guys did so well making up captions for our anniversary picture, we decided to see if we could squeeze any more creativity out of you!

For this contest, all you need to do is write seventeen syllables about mobile devices. Or about Ilium Software. That’s it! Of course, the technicality is that they need to be in the form of a haiku. Before you rush out and dust off your old textbooks – let me remind you what haiku is all about, and the rules for this contest:

  1. Haiku is a quick little poem, three lines long, consisting of 17 syllables
  2. The first line is 5 syllables, the second is 7, and the third line is 5 again
  3. Your haiku entry must be related to mobile devices or software in general
  4. If you want to earn some extra points from the judges, write a haiku related to Ilium Software!

Want some examples? This site defines haiku for you, and has some sample poems. And check out this page too for some pretty humorous haikus. Oh, and our judges are a little lenient, too. If you think of something really, REALLY cool to write, but it’s one or two syllables too long, go ahead and submit it anyway! We’re not sticklers; just don’t write an entire sonnet! Keep them as short and sweet as possible.

Because sometimes you can’t rush creativity, I’m going to let this contest run until Monday, at 8:00 a.m. EST. Then we’ll choose our five favorite haikus. The winners will get an Ilium Software swag pack – 2 click-pen styluses, one stick stylus, and one luggage tag, and the chance to have your haiku read at the next Ilium Software Annual Poetry Slam. Oh, and as mentioned in the blog title, here is Ode to a Pocket PC, my example for the contest:

I grow impatient

As you sit in your cradle

Recharging for me

Found: Ten Good Captions

10hat-big1.gifIt’s time to announce the winners of our recent caption contest. We stayed up all night, and even had a couple of pretty good screaming matches trying to decide….well, maybe not. But  there were a lot of great entries, so it wasn’t easy!

 The winners, in no particular order, are:

  1. Jaimie Birk: “It was a banner day at the Ilium Home for Wayward Programmers.”
  2. spmwinkel: “The Ilium Software team shows the result of another productive day”
  3. Judy Dye: “The Harry Potter Wizard theme party got off to a slow start. Only 2 people managed to conjure up non-standard hats”
  4. Brian: “This is the best picket line I’ve ever been on! Hats and streamers! Just wait until those scabs at Developer One show up to work!”
  5. David Tucker: “Don’t laugh at our thinking caps. When all 10 of us touch the tips of our hats together, our brainpower is amplified beyond all human imagination.”
  6. Joe D: “Kirk to Enterprise: Scotty, we have installed NewsBreak 2.0 on our tricorders. Nine to beam up.”
  7. Melvyn: “The new range of Ilium Garden Gnomes promises to make your lawn the talk of the town.”
  8. Ernie: “Ok, ok, just so you promise you won’t post this picture on the webpage”
  9. Aaron: “It’s been 10 years, can we take the hats off now?”
  10. Timothy: “See I told you..We couldn’t get jobs at Jack in the Box, but the hats came in handy anyway!”

Congrats – you should see an email from me shortly, so I can get the info I need to send out your prizes! Thanks to everyone for playing, there were a lot of funny entries. I’ll have another contest up and running soon!

Screenshot Search-and-Find

binoculars1.jpgI don’t know about you, but I love scavenger hunts. And, because of that, I’ve decided that we will have another contest all about finding stuff on our site. Earlier this week I hid our anniversary party hat inside our website, but this contest is going to be a little different. If you think you can handle it, read on!

Here’s how it’s going to work: below are six questions. The answers to the questions can be found in the product screenshots on our website. The rules are similar to the last contest. The first THREE people who search our site and find TWO of the answers each are the winners. All you have to do is copy the two questions you’re answering (and your answers, of course) into the comments for this post. If you figure out more than two, please don’t post more answers – that way three people will have a chance to win. To win, you just have to make sure the questions you’ve picked haven’t already been answered in the comments.

The winners will all get Ilium Software swag packs – and, of course, the envy of all their friends! Be sure you supply a valid email address when you make your comment, because that’s the only way I can contact you when the game is done.

Ready? Great! Here are the questions:

  1. What is James Kirk’s online password for his Earthbank Visa?
  2. I like to get my holiday shopping done early. What gift did I already buy for Jeff?
  3. What did Woot have on sale on 2/20/2007?
  4. What is the number of James’ checking account? (hint: make sure you pick the one he uses for direct deposit!)
  5. What was the date I last ate at the MacaroniLand restaurant?
  6. How many votes short was Santo from getting elected to the Hall of Fame?

Good luck!

Wanted: Ten Good Captions

Left to right: Julie, Marc, Sheri, Ken, Ellen, Matt, Kevin, Dan, Lee

Are you ready for another giveaway? This one should be pretty fun. All you have to do is think of a caption to go along with our tenth anniversary picture, above. We’re going to choose our favorite 10 captions as the winners, so be sure to put on your thinking cap and get creative! The winners will get an Ilium Software swag pack – 2 click-pen styluses, one stick stylus, and one luggage tag. Again, make sure you enter a valid email address when you comment, so I will be able to contact you if you win.

Because of different time zones, I want to make sure you guys get enough time to see this and play along, so I’ll let this run for a whole day before we start the judging. You’ll have until 2 p.m. EST on Wednesday to submit your caption. You can submit more than one caption, but each person can only win once. We’ll announce the winners on the blog as soon as we’ve chosen them.

One more thing…there is still one party hat on our site unaccounted for, from our scavenger hunt yesterday. Read the blog post about that contest to find out more.

Have a Happy Hat Hunt

binoculars1.jpgJust in case you haven’t heard, all this week we’re having a big, surprise-filled anniversary sale. But we decided, why let the website have all the fun? The blog should get to join in the celebration, too! And so, without further ado, below are the rules to the first mini-giveaway we’ll be having on our blog this week.

This first little game is going to be a scavenger hunt. Throughout our site, I’ve hidden six of our little party hats, just like the one the guy with the binoculars is wearing above.  So here are the rules: the first THREE people who search our site and find TWO of the hats each are the winners.  All you have to do is copy the URL of the two pages into the comments for this post. If you find more than two hats, please don’t post more URLs – that way three people will have a chance to win. To win, you just have to make sure both pages you found haven’t already been answered in the comments.

What do you win, you might ask? Great question! The three lucky winners will get an Ilium Software swag pack – 2 click-pen styluses, one stick stylus, and one luggage tag. As soon as all six of the pages are accounted for, I will send out emails to the winners to get more info from them – so be sure you enter a valid email address when you comment!

One more thing – just so everyone doesn’t go crazy trying to count the falling hats on the home page – that page is not part of the contest.

Happy hunting!

We’ve Made It – 10 Years!!

10hat-big.gifI can’t believe it – Ilium Software has been in business 10 years.

We’ve grown to 9 fulltime (or close) employees.

We’ve released 12 products, discontinued 5, and converted 2 to freeware. We also have 8 currently supported free titles.

We’ve rented 4 different offices, as our space requirements changed, or needs of the people renting us space changed.

We’ve used 6 different web hosting companies, 5 different merchant services (credit card) providers, plus at least 39 different distributors (in our database, 9 are flagged as “gone”, 11 as “discontinued”, one as “should be gone” and one as “don’t ask”. I’m not sure why, but I’d bet it was me who wrote that).

We’ve somehow survived any number of stupid mistakes, made a few brilliant decisions, and had a lot of good luck and help from our friends.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this amazing milestone possible.