Monthly Archives: August 2008

We have liftoff…

Hey everyone! I just wanted to let everyone know that as of today, everything for eWallet 6.1.2 with complete iPhone Synchronization is on it’s way! Apple has the software, the desktop portion is locked and loaded, and all preparations are complete! We expect it to go live sometime next week!

Full details after the break, and as a warning, there are quite a few screenshots in case you’re running wireless…

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Goodbye, Smartphone and Pocket PC Magazine

It’s a sad day for Windows Mobile: Smartphone and Pocket PC Magazine have announced that they’re suspending publication as of the last issue in 2008.

The magazine – first called Handheld PC Magazine, then Pocket PC, then Smartphone and Pocket PC, has been around 11 years – just as long as we have. The first issue (Volume 1, Number 0) is dated “Fall 1997″, and if I knew how to work the scanner, I’d show our first ad and give everyone a laugh.

It’s no surprise that the magazine is suspending their Windows Mobile publication. Hal and his staff did an amazing job with it. I saw it in every major bookstore, and every airport magazine counter (I always checked). The articles and art were professional, the content interesting, and the information useful.
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Kudos to Lee!

I’m going to risk sounding like we’re patting ourselves on the back here, because I really want to publicly acknowledge the great job Lee is doing. Lee is one of our support folks and has been with us for almost 7 years now. She does a fantastic job of helping people out, and if you ever call here for support it’s very likely that she’s the person you’ll talk to.

The inspiration for this post is a note somone left on tinyapps.org that read:

Ilium Software / eWallet: Best Support on the Planet
Lee Stutesman at Ilium Softwarewent WAY above the call of duty today (via toll-free support, no less!) in helping fix our Palm HotSync issue with an ancient version of eWallet. These guys set the standard for shareware support. If Rackspacehas “fanatical” support (a fair assesment, BTW), I would call Ilium’s “completely and totally berserk” (in a good way – think “spider monkey on crack all over your tech problem” – there is no way that it is going to go unresolved). Thanks to Lee, I have become a lifetime cheerleader for Ilium.

 So congratulations Lee! And thanks for all your excellent work!

 

The Trouble With the No Reboot Challenge

Let me start by saying I think it’s great that Mike at Mobile Jaw and Chris from GearDiary are doing this. It’s a neat idea and I’m looking forward to the results. At the same time, while I think this idea is interesting, it also has some inherent flaws. Again, I’m not saying their idea is a bad one or that the results won’t be interesting. I just feel that since our app is one of the ones being used in the experiment, and could thus be blamed if the device still crashes, that I need to say a thing or two about this idea.

So if you want to hear my take on device stability and the “No Reboot Challenge”, read on!

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It’s synching! IT’S SYNCHING!

IT’S ALIVE SYNCHING! I’ve been responding to the various comments on the other posts, but I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that we are in fact synching with our iPhones and iPod Touch devices here at Ilium Software! We don’t see anything that will stand in the way of our release so watch this blog and your email. As soon as it is out we’ll let everyone know!

And just to offer a little more info – we’re synching LAN, ad-hoc, multiple locations and devices, bootcamp – it’s all working! Woo hoo!

Once More, with Feeling

Save Net RadioI’m going off-topic today because of Pandora.com’s recent’s announcement that they may shut down soon.

mocoNews.net says:

Pandora is “approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision,” a potential “last stand for webcasting” as royalty fee increases begin to take hold. It’s clear he wants legislative support—and if that can be helped by spurning a coordinated outcry from the company’s million-plus users who listen to Pandora daily so be it.

and The iPhone Blog says:

We might be approaching Pandora’s Last Stand, but let’s make sure they don’t stand alone.

So, yes, let’s make sure they don’t stand alone. Go to SaveNetRadio.org and click the big button that says Call Your Senators and Representatives. Then make the call. If you care about internet radio, this is the time to act.

People who have been reading our blog for a long time know that this isn’t the first time I’ve written about this issue – I feel very strongly about it, enough that I’m breaking our rule about not posting about off-topic topics. But it’s my rule – I can break it. And this is a time when enough voices might make a difference.

So help make noise. Post this info, call or write your representatives in government. Don’t let the music die.

What’s Next Windows Mobile?

Despite all the iPhone posts around here lately, I’m still a big fan of Windows Mobile. For that reason, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what is next for Window Mobile. What sort of plans does Microsoft have for the OS? Are they gearing it for the consumer market? Or are they only interested in enterprise? And what about rumors of a scalable version of the standard desktop OS that would run on a mobile device?

So if you’d like a little insight into the sort of things a software company thinks about as they decide on their future plans…read on!

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R.I.P.: Ilium Software email server

So here we are, fielding hundreds and hundreds of email questions, desktop software requests, and much more, and guess what happens?

The email server dies.

Again.

OK, to be fair it didn’t die on Monday. It just went down for awhile which put us behind on our email responses. Today, however, the thing finally went belly up. Although we didn’t lose any emails

UPDATE: It looks like we COULD have lost some emails if they came in between 12AM ET and 8AM ET. If you think you may have emailed us during that period you might want to resend!

We are working hard to get replies out to everyone in a timely fashion. Fortunately, the trouble on Monday got us moving in the “Get a replacement, STAT!” direction, so recovery won’t be too bad.

The bad part is that email replies will likely be slower than usual, and we’re very sorry about that. We pride ourselves on quick email turn-around, and this is just the sort of thing that makes us crazy. We’re even bringing in a temp to help get things rolling again, so hopefully we’ll get to everyone before the weekend!

In the meantime, if you haven’t heard from us yet, at least you know why. And if it’s an emergency, remember that you can always give us a call!

Copy and Paste – Do You Need It?

It’s Soap Box Time! Matt Miller over at ZDNet recently wrote an article about Copy and Paste. His question was whether or not people really need Copy and Paste. To me, this is really one of those “you don’t miss what you don’t have” sort of scenarios. Fifteen years ago, the number of people who would have “missed” the internet if it went away was pretty small. Today if the internet went away, entire corporations would go under, governments would fall, and scores of stores would go belly up in a few hours.

OK, so Copy and Paste isn’t quite like that, but my point is that no one will miss Copy and Paste on a device like the iPhone until they have the power it gives them. Want a good example? Think back to the release of the Windows Mobile Smartphone. People were having fits when they moved from a Windows Mobile Pocket PC. Many simple day to day tasks suddenly became a nightmare of keypad re-entry. Sure, the iPhone has a better keyboard than those early Smartphones but we have a clear test case where no one realized they needed something so badly until they had it, then had it taken away. In the end, guess which device got Copy and Paste?

Now I realize that Matt’s use scenario doesn’t really seem to support this. Clearly he doesn’t do a lot of copying and pasting, but a lot of users do. I for one am a heavy copy/paster. Many of our customers are as well. Furthermore, even hand entering one or two 50 character redirect URLs can make you hate your device. And is that really the sort of experience Apple wants their users to have?

Not having Copy and Paste also stifles the creativity of developers. It’s one more tool that a clever developer can use to make your iPhone experience even better. For instance, right now we can’t copy password and usernames into Safari on the iPhone. The best solution available? Write our own web browser and include it with eWallet! Talk about software bloat!

In some ways cutting back on choices can make life easier and better, but at other times it prevents you from getting the most out of an experience. In the case of Copy and Paste I absolutely believe it’s the latter.

People might gasp to hear me say it but there really are scenarios where Apple would do well to take some lessons from Microsoft’s experience!

Time to Get Out the ol’ Contest Hat Again

Wow. July sure was full of excitement, wasn’t it? eWallet 6.1 came out, the AppStore launched, and we pretty much chewed off all our fingernails trying not to go crazy waiting for the iPhone version of eWallet to get approved…well, you were there, you remember. But all that news just means we had lots to post on our blog, so you had many chances to leave a comment and try for some free software. Can’t beat that, can you?

All right, let’s see who our lucky blog contest winner is for July. According to our magic contest hat, the winner is David, for commenting on the post eWallet for iPhone Answers II. Congratulations! I just sent you an email explaining how to get your prize. If you don’t receive it, reply to this post and let me know.

To everyone else, thanks so much for all the comments, support, and questions – July was a crazy month, but we made it! And we’ll be sure to keep you updated with all our news and announcements, so keep coming back and leaving your comments – next month’s winner could be you!