Date Archives May 2014

Beware unofficial sync cables

My 4S is my daily phone and I use it for development too. When I got my new MacBook Air however, it wasn’t connecting properly. It connected and disconnected rapidly, vibrating each time, iTunes throwing up 50 messages saying the device was no longer available, Xcode the same. This was frustrating, my 2008 Macbook still worked with the 4S, but the new MacBook choked on it.

I bought a load of cables, none of them official Apple cables, none of them worked. They weren’t all cheap either. They’d charge from the power adapter but nothing more. In frustration today, after months of this crap, I decided to pay €20 for an official Apple 30-pin to USB Cable.

It works, flawlessly. Lesson learned Apple.

Hostile user support

There is a growing trend in startups to outsource their help desk / tickets to third parties. I’m a user and I just had to deal with one of these help desk ‘solutions’. In order to file a support request I had to create an account on the 3rd party site. This was fun.

I have the option of using Twitter, Facebook or Google to log my request, all of which require too many unnecessary permissions. I also have the option of creating an ‘e-mail’ account. Another account I don’t need. Just to post a little support request. I have to give my e-mail, and pick a password, but not just any password, an enforced complicated bastard of a password which I’m guaranteed to forget. In fact, I probably already have an account for this site that I can’t remember. Then I had to enter a captcha, and then I finally get to post my question! Yay!

Then I get to confirm my e-mail address by clicking on a link in an e-mail that they send me!

I’d be interested to know how many people abandon a question at the forced account sign up? I know I’ve done it a few times. This time, I actually need the product I’m looking for support on and don’t have a choice. If I wasn’t invested in the product I’d nearly have cancelled my paid account and just went elsewhere. It was easier than asking for help.

Is there a solution to all this? E-mail only password-less log-in! If I want to become a member of a community, I will. If I just want to figure out what “Can’t load project” means, then just let me use my e-mail address as a reference and stop bugging me. Please.