Category: Rant

Things That Make Me Mad

Dr. Grumbles and Nurse Betty discuss the things that make them mad such as, money, government pensions, senator exemptions, federal reserve, politicians, FDA, conflicts of interest and so much more. To keep up with these two, click LIKE on the PetroPharm Facebook Page.

Why label GMO Produce?

Here at PetroPharm Labs we believe our GMO Produce is so safe, we don’t even test it before we release it to the public.

Bayview Park Hotel Manila

Here at the Bayview Park Hotel in Manila Philippines their website advertises free WiFi and free breakfast for all rooms, but they charged us for both, AND the room leaked from the A/C until the tile floor was a giant puddle. We had to argue with the manager and show her the hotel website before she would refund us for the surprise charges at the end of our stay. She told us the WiFi and breakfast was not free because we booked online from their website… which states both are FREE… Once we showed her the website she had to make a bunch of phone calls to refund us our money and it took about an hour to fix while my daughter had to wait. If you need to visit the US Embassy in Manila I would advise you to stay anywhere else but this scam hotel.

Little Miss Code Monkey

So I’m exploding with excitement about our new WordPress blog. You see a friend of mine helped me migrate the 5 year old Blogger SuperFan site on over to WordPress, and all my URLs stayed the same, and now my FTP blog is up and running like nothing ever happened. Wow. And to think, no one got hurt. I owe it all to that girl that knows how to do that sort of thing. Some people are amazing in what they know and can accomplish. So, on with the show!

Video iPod Problems

I consider myself a very pro-Mac kind of guy. I love my desk top and lap top, they are great machines. I really like GarageBand, iMovie, iDVD, iTunes. When I began my podcast, I wanted to make it one of the nifty image enhanced podcasts so I could share images, band photos and so on with my archived music. It’s like a non-stop Mac celebration here at SuperFan Studios.

Since it’s Christmas time Mrs Malone wanted to get me one of them there Video iPods so I could take my podcasts and videos with me. Where I’d be taking them, we were unsure, but none the less, she was convinced this was the obvious gift to get me this season since I’ve started this podcast. I said, sure, sounds like fun, lets visit the online Mac Store and check it out.

Now let me start this story with the fact that I am a grumpy old man, and am a stickler for the customer experience when shopping or purchasing expensive gear. That’s what brought me to using Mac computers in the first place. They allow me to do all the multi-media stuff I enjoy – right out of the box. Gotta love that.

I also know that the iPod is one of the only successful money makers Mac has had over the past few years. It’s become a big trendy thing to own, and I wanted to support Mac and get one too. I’ve just been waiting for the Video iPod, and now that it’s here, I was excited.

I have to say I hated the on line experience, and it made me mad trying to read all the details on what accessories I needed. Nothing seems to be sold with the iPod. Even the recharger requires purchasing the cable AND the part that plugs into the wall separately. What the hell is that? Now I know I can charge the iPod via USB as long as I drag my laptop computer with me everywhere I go, but if I want to charge it via the wall – I have to purchase a cable AND the wall plug. They are like $19.99 – $30.00 each. But then I realized I’d have to purchase a Dock to make it work. So there’s another $30 or $40 bucks for the Dock. Or maybe I don’t need the dock…geez who knows at this rate?

Now, as a customer I’m completely confused, and have “Buyer Stress”. I don’t know what I really need. All I know is that it’s NOT INCLUDED regardless. I did not want to make the purchase because I was not sure what I really needed. I also imagined a big tangled mess of wires and crap, when all I wanted was a small compact device I could enjoy. I imagined myself battling wires and cables, and getting all stressed out. Plus the cool thing with the iPod is that it’s small. What good is it if I have to carry my laptop or a bunch of stuff (dock, cable, wall plug) just to recharge it. Well let me tell you, it’s not good.

I asked Mrs Malone, is there like some $500-$600 package that just includes it all? I don’t want to drop several hundred dollars and then be held up because I still need some cable or thing. There is nothing worse than having a way cool gadget, and cannot start using it because some stupid wire is sold separately.

Sadly enough there was no All In One package for a customer like me. Like I said to Mrs Malone, I don’t care if I have a cable or two I don’t need, I just don’t want to get the thing, and have to wait another 3 weeks shipping just to enjoy my device that was supposed to be a simple fun thing.

The online Mac Store is very bold in the way that they allow customers to post opinions where they sell all their gear. I was amazed at how many people were as frustrated as I was at having to spend so much time figuring out what accessories they would need to enjoy their iPod.

I have to say I define the word “accessory” as something that is optional, NOT something that is mandatory. The fact that several people wrote that they were angry that the iPod did not come with the cable so that they can sync their iTunes music to their iPod is ludicrous. The fact that one has to separately purchase the wall adaptor in order to charge the iPod away from a computer is just silly. How can Mac afford to frustrate so many customers is beyond me. It’s as if the iPod is a one time use disposable unit the way it’s sold now. Maybe Bic should put out a disposable unit to compete??? Who wants to recharge their unit anyway? Just throw it away and buy a new one!

How many loving parents have bought an iPod for their kids, only to find out Christmas morning, that they needed a $20 cable just to load music from their computer? So sad. To shell out so much cash, only to disappoint the ones you tried so hard to please. I can understand that selling everything separately is a way to make more money, but that’s the best way to make someone that loves Mac, turn away and run, or worse, turn around and blog.

Plus if they are so interested in making money, where is the top of the line Video iPod that comes in a box with every damn accessory ever needed? We would have bought that one, regardless of price. If I have to spend over an hour reading a site, and am still not sure if I’m getting everything I need, how many others out there like me are NOT purchasing an iPod this season?

iTunes Podcast Problems

The first time I saw an image enhanced podcast I was excited to combine photos and art with audio. It would be like radio with pictures. Mac makes all the software out there possible, so I took the time to figure out the time coded xml needed to get the photos to appear when they should, but now I’m faced with a strange new problem.

For some reason if you subscribe to our RSS feed through iTunes, our subscribers are not receiving our m4a or m4b files. Only our mp3 files show up when one clicks refresh on iTunes. Strange since m4a and m4b files are AAC files, and iTunes loves AAC files.

When we decided to take our podcast into the image enhanced zone, we knew we were leaving a lot of people behind by not being in mp3 format. I thought the advantage of images with links made sense when one considers how many people are now enjoying their favorite podcasts via iTunes. But the fact that subscribers are not receiving notice of our enhanced m4a and m4b files confuses me greatly.

What’s a guy gotta do to be heard and seen these days?

UPDATE: I have read and read about the issue of my AAC files not making it to subscribers and I think I have it figured out. I have contacted my web host to see if they would update their server’s mime code to treat m4a and m4b files as ‘audio’. That way my RSS from feedburner will recognize the audio files when I post.

Crazy… huh?

Maybe in a day or so, it’ll all work just fine… stay tuned.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: My incredible amazing wonderful host has fixed the mime type association on my site’s server, so now the enhanced podcasts will come through my RSS via feedburner. I have the best host (VISOX), they fixed it on a Sunday no less. To me that is beyond Super, Fantastic, or Ultra. Host your site with them and tell ’em Hoagie sent ya. These guys are always at work, and have fixed any technical issue I’ve ever had fast and easy. I’ve been hosting with Visox for about 6 years now, and they are a big part of our success story. You know I must really like them, because the link above is not an affiliate link – LOL!

Podcast… XML… RSS… Huh?

So we are doing a little spring cleaning here at the Super Fantastic Ultra studios, our old blog was under attack from Texas Holdum Poker. About every three seconds some spammer would copy/paste a mile long list of links for poker sites into our comments box until the whole blog was filled with gambling links. We just couldn’t keep up with it, so we have made a few changes. We have changed our comments links to one big list that we can maintain, but it meant losing all our past comments. Please click our comments link below, and say hello to get it started.

In keeping up with the times we have decided to jump on the Podcast bandwagon, especially now that iTunes has a category dedicated just to Podcasts.

First you have to download the latest version of iTunes.

Once you have iTunes on your computer it’s easy to add your favorite Podcast. If you look in the right margin of this page, you will see a red splat that says RSS XML. That red splat links to our RSS (which stands for Really Simple Syndication). Click the red splat, and when the page loads, copy the url path at the top of your browser.

For example, our RSS feed path is:

Once you have copied the feed path, open iTunes, click on the ‘Podcasts’ link in the left column, then click ‘Advanced’ and then click ‘Subscribe to Podcast’. Paste the RSS feed path and click ‘OK’. As long as you are connected to the internet, iTunes will load each of our Podcasts as we publish them. All you do is open iTunes, and listen.

PodCasts are a lot like radio, but you can listen any time you want. Plus the new iTunes has the ability to show photos along with the broadcast, so it’s radio with pictures. The pictures can even have clickable links to websites. Podcasts are fun to enjoy on your computer, or if you have an iPod, download your favorite Podcasts to take with you for a listen during your morning commute. However you enjoy them, Podcasts are a new and exciting form of entertainment that has only just begun.