My Savings War

I'm fighting a war on "savings." Not savings the concept, but "savings" the word: I'm fighting to get it back, back from all the marketing and advertising people who have stolen it from us.

Raise your hand if you believe that saving and savings are good. Now wave at everyone who is looking at you and wondering why you raised your hand while reading from your computer (or mobile device or whatever you're using). You may look silly with your hand raised, but the point here is that everyone believes that saving and savings are good and so if everyone else reading this participated as well as you, you wouldn't be the only one looking silly right now.

Now, raise your hand if you believe that you can save money when buying things, like perhaps due to a sale a store is having. If you're again looking silly with your hand raised, this time I'm hoping you're not in good company. But take heart: untold amounts of money have been spent by marketers and advertisers who want you to believe that you can save money when buying things. Unfortunately, this leaves you...wait for it...looking silly.

Here's the deal: we have all been taught that saving and savings are good things; these are values that are instilled in us. And saving and savings--real saving and real savings--are good things! Now, let's talk about spending: no, the point isn't that spending is, by contrast with saving, bad. Spending is necessary, at least for the vast majority of us. What spending always is, however, is the complete opposite of saving! So: if go into a store and come out with stuff, you have spent money and you have not saved money. What's wrong with that? In and of itself, nothing: as I said, spending is necessary. But what's good about spending? Well, when you're buying things you need, that's a good thing (or at least, if you're able to afford the necessities of your life, that's a good thing). But...well, the truth for many of us is that we don't actually need most of what we buy. Now, we all know that marketers and advertisers work to convince us that we need things we really don't need and they're good at this. But there's always something there we can argue against. So you know what an even better strategy for them is? Divert our attention away from that issue and instead focus on something we all believe in: saving money! So that's exactly what they do: they tell us how much we can "save" by buying from them during whatever sales promotion it is they're doing. And we get all excited because we get what we want (whatever they're selling) and we get to "save" (which we value). It's subtle--and brilliant.

It's brilliant because it works. And it works so well that they've managed to steal "savings" from us and completely redefine it. Take a look the last paragraph of this ABC News article and you'll see an example (I tried to post a comment about this subject to this article but I guess it wasn't approved; well, fine: I'll just include a link to their article here in my blog post instead).

You may think how we define "savings" is mere semantics and a trivial issue but it's not: because of the fact that we value savings, it's psychologically important for us to define it properly. So let's take "savings" back--and lets use it to refer to holding onto our money, not spending it.

Adobe Adventures, the Final Chapter: Moving on

It is with great excitement that I announce that I have left Adobe to seek new opportunities. My 4.5+ years at Adobe were amazing: joining Adobe was a great choice--in fact, it was without a doubt the best choice I could have made at the time. I am leaving very much better for the experience than when I arrived and I have incredible customers and partners as well as great colleagues past and present to thank for that. So thank you!

I joined Adobe in February 2008 as the Senior Solutions Consultant for ColdFusion for North America (see this blog post). At the beginning of this fiscal year, I was moved to a new team, the Web Experience Management Solutions Consulting team, and I worked with CQ and Scene7. Both of these roles were wonderful experiences and I gained so much from them. However, due to some organizational changes at Adobe combined with a number of extremely encouraging conversations with external organizations, I chose to leave Adobe at the end of September.

Leaving Adobe is certainly bittersweet for me: as I mentioned above, joining Adobe was a great choice and I'm leaving very much better for the experience and I will miss so many people I had the pleasure of interacting with in my roles at Adobe. Getting to be the ColdFusion SC was a dream job and the opportunity to work with CQ and Scene7 was tremendous as well. However, as I also mentioned above, the conversations I've had about external opportunities have me feeling very excited and encouraged about what comes next for me and it just appears at this point that the best fit is going to be outside Adobe. I was initially going to hold posting about my departure from Adobe until such time as I have made a choice as to what the next thing is going to be--but I decided to get this on out there now while I'm still investigating my options because it's always possible that someone reading this will know about an opportunity that is even better than the great opportunities I am already considering. :) So: if you have available or know of any opportunities I should know about, please let me know! The best way to reach me is to fill out my contact form. Thanks!

I look forward to updating you very soon about my next adventure!

We're Having a Baby Girl!

Adobe ColdFusion 10 and Adobe ColdFusion Builder 2.0.1 - Available Now!

Exciting news: Adobe ColdFusion 10 was released earlier today (sorry for the delay in posting: busy day!). Check it out at http://www.adobe.com/products/coldfusion-family.html. ColdFusion 10 (previously known by its codename, Zeus) has various exciting features such as HTML5 websockets, HTML5 charting, security enhancements, Tomcat integration, improved Web Services support through Axis 2, and more. Thanks to the ColdFusion Engineering Team for building a great ColdFusion 10!

Also released today was ColdFusion Builder 2, Update 1 (brings ColdFusion Builder 2 up to ColdFusion Builder 2.0.1). This is a free update for ColdFusion Builder 2. Get it at http://www.adobe.com/support/coldfusion/downloads_updates.html#cfb2.

And check out the official ColdFusion Product Team blog at http://blogs.coldfusion.com for posts from the engineers who built the features of ColdFusion 10 as well as announcements about eSeminars and other events where you can learn more about ColdFusion 10.

Setting Firefox to Open External Links in a New Window

I finally got fed up with Firefox (I'm using Firefox 11.0) opening external links (that is, links launched from other programs, such as by clicking a link in an email in Outlook) in a new tab in the current window instead of in a new window and so I figured out the setting to change to make external links instead open in a new window: browser.link.open_newwindow.override.external. I can't find this documented well anywhere and thus I'm writing this blog post in the hope it helps future searchers for the solution to this same issue.

In my install of Firefox, the value of browser.link.open_newwindow.override.external was by default -1. After some trial and error, I found that by setting it to 2, external links open in a new tab.

And to be clear, this is in the situation where I have Firefox set so that new pages opened from within Firefox open in new tabs (except in the case of popup windows: there's another setting for those). If you simply want all new pages to always open in new windows instead of new tabs, you don't need to set browser.link.open_newwindow.override.external: all you have to do is uncheck "Open new windows in a new tab" in the Tabs tab of Preferences and you'll be set to have ALL new pages always open in new windows, no matter if they're opened from within Firefox or from external sources (again, with the exception of popups for which there is another setting, specifically browser.link.open_newwindow.restriction).

If you don't know how to access these settings I'm talking about, the short story is that you type about:config in your Firefox's address bar. The longer story can be found at http://kb.mozillazine.org/About:config.

By the way, I make use of multiple tabs in Firefox, I just don't use them for random collections of pages: I use multiple tabs to open multiple pages related in a way I deem important. For multiple pages that are not related in a way I deem important, I use different windows. This keeps things organized effectively in Firefox for me. So since, more often than not, the new pages being opened in new tabs are not related to the other tabs in said windows, it makes more sense to open them in new windows than it does to open them in a new tab in an existing window.

Company & Product Recommendation: ZAGG & the ZAGGfolio

The product recommendation:
The ZAGGfolio for iPad 2. If you're going to get The new iPad (you may refer to it as the iPad 3; Apple isn't referring to it that way, however), you're covered too: ZAGG is already selling the ZAGGfolio for The new iPad and I'm sure it's just as awesome, maybe even more so, as the ZAGGfolio for iPad 2. And Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 users, there's a ZAGGfolio for Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 too.

The backstory:
When Adobe issued me an iPad 2 to use in my job, I...well, I really didn't care. See, I'm not a technology for technology's sake type of person; to the contrary, I'm only interested in technology that can really provide value to me and I just didn't see a tablet doing that. In fact, I already had a tablet, a 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab (also issued to me by Adobe), that I didn't use much. You may be thinking "well, that's an Android device and iOS is the only way to go"; for me this is not true: for me, both iOS and Android have their pros/cons; I have an Android phone (the Motorola Atrix) and so I'm comfortable in Android and my non-use of my 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab was in no way because it is an Android device. You may be thinking "well, a 7" tablet is too small, that's why you didn't use it" and that's not it for me either: to the contrary, the interesting thing is that, for me, one of the great attributes of a tablet to me is portability and because a 7" tablet is more portable than a 10" tablet (I can fit it in the side pocket of my cargo shorts!), I anticipated that the 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab would be my tablet of choice whenever I did use a tablet--so I thought that I would use the iPad 2 even less than the 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The issue for me isn't screen size and the issue for me isn't operating system--the issue for me is whether or not the device has a keyboard I can use approximately as well as a full-size physical keyboard. When consuming content (such as when clicking around the Internet), a tablet is all I need. But when creating content, I need a device with a keyboard--a real keyboard, not a software keyboard on the screen. Both Android tablets and iPads allow the use of any Bluetooth keyboard. However, as previously mentioned, portability is for me one of the key attributes of a tablet and so what I needed was something that would bundle up my iPad2 and a Bluetooth keyboard all in one convenient package. And that's exactly wha the ZAGGfolio for iPad 2 provides.

Before buying the ZAGGfolio, I did a lot of online research into iPad2 cases that include a Bluetooth keyboard. There are quite a large number of them available and most of them cost less than the ZAGGfolio. But only the ZAGGfolio has what I consider to be a faithful recreation of a MacBook keyboard and that was critical to me. You may say "well, I'm a Windows person so I don't care if my tablet Bluetooth keyboard is laid out like a Mac keyboard or not" but I'm pretty sure that if you compare your keyboard to a Mac keyboard, you'll see that they're very similar whereas if you compare your keyboard to the Bluetooth keyboards that come with some of these other iPad2 cases, you'll see that certain keys on those Bluetooth keyboards are shifted around. This made those other keyboards all non-starters for me. So, encouraged by a couple of online reviews calling the ZAGGfolio the best typing experience among iPad 2 cases with a Bluetooth keyboard, I purchased the the ZAGGfolio for iPad 2.

As you can tell from the fact that I'm writing this review, I've been very pleased with the ZAGGfolio--so pleased that when my dad got an iPad 2, I bought him a ZAGGfolio too (and in the spirit of full disclosure I will note that the price of the ZAGGfolio for my iPad 2 was covered by Adobe as a business expense; however, the key point is that I like my ZAGGfolio so much that when paying out of my own pocket for a case for my father, I bought him the ZAGGfolio as well). In regards to comparison with other cases on the market, I can only provide this one small note: my uncle has another iPad 2 case with a Bluetooth keyboard and I used it briefly one day and the mucked-up keyboard layout definitely caused me trouble. UPDATE 2012-07-27: after seeing and using my ZAGGfolio, my uncle expressed interest in one so I bought him one for his birthday and he's loving it and he says it's much better than his previous iPad 2 case+keyboard (which, again, I already knew but the point is that he is very glad he made the switch).

Having the ZAGGfolio has made a night-and-day difference in my use of the iPad 2: far from rarely using it, I use it constantly now. In fact, I typed most of this blog post on it, something I wouldn't dream of doing on the iPad 2 without a good physical keyboard. And, because it's so portable, I take it with me pretty much everywhere I go--in fact, my wife has been known to ask me if I'm really going to take it to such-and-such place that we're going (the answer: sometimes yes, sometimes no). I've been taking notes during church for years by hand but now I've switched to typing them, again something I wouldn't have dreamed about doing on the iPad 2 without a good physical keyboard. Speaking of notes, if I'm not presenting at a business meeting but rather am just taking notes, I'll leave my MacBook Pro behind and just use my iPad2 (by the way, I highly recommend Notability: it's a great note-taking and note-management app that can do a lot of cool things including recording audio and synching it up with the notes you type; last I knew, Notability was a mere $0.99).

What about that 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab? Well, it still has the advantage that it fits in my cargo shorts so it might get some use here and there but since it doesn't have a physical keyboard, it pretty much just sits around. I will note, however, that if you just want to consume content, not create it, the 7" size is really great: it fits in one hand nicely (well, okay, my big hand at least) and it's a lot bigger than a mobile phone and definitely provides a much nicer user experience than a mobile phone--so if you're ruling out 7" tablets without ever using one because you think they're too small, check them out before you dismiss them so quickly.

One last note: if you're thinking that all this sounds well and good but you'll just use your laptop, thank you very much: more power to you! It certainly can be hard to justify the cost of a tablet if you own a laptop. But a tablet does bring increased portability. And don't overlook battery life: my iPad 2 will get 10 hours easily on a single charge whereas my MacBook Pro can't go more than a few hours on a charge. Now, I hear that the MacBook Air with a solid state drive can go a really long time on a single charge and given its size and weight, the portability argument for an iPad is weakened for MacBook Air owners. In regards to user experience: I personally find that it can be more enjoyable to do certain things on a tablet (for instance, I prefer the Weather Channel iPad app over their website though for Windows users they do have a Windows app that looks very similar to the iPad app) and on the flip side, other things are more enjoyable to do on a desktop/laptop; sometimes one being preferable to the other is due to the paradigm of the OS itself but many times it is due to app considerations (as with the example above where Weather Channel has an iPad app but not, at the time of this writing, a Mac OS X app).

Note that ZAGG has run some promos in the past to sweeten the pot a little on the ZAGGfolios so you might look around for those (if you contact me I may be able to see what I can do to help you find a promo).


The company recommendation:
ZAGG

The backstory:
It's important that I broaden things out a little bit to a general company recommendation, not just a product recommendation, because I've had a really good experience with the folks at ZAGG. My nephew accidentally broke a key on my dad's ZAGGfolio; I emailed ZAGG about it, asking if I could get a replacement key and not only did they email me back quickly, they sent me a free replacement key! Now that's a company that stands behind its products! It was through no fault of their workmanship that the ZAGGfolio broke but they went to time and expense to help me get it fixed anyway. I'm tempted to say "that's how business should be done" but I think it's better than that: it would have been perfectly fine for them to charge a reasonable few dollars for shipping & handling. But instead, they went over and above and I think that really speaks highly of ZAGG.

UPDATE 2012-07-27: my dad learned his lesson about letting my nephew use the iPad while it's in the ZAGGfolio--yet somehow my nephew got hold of the iPad in the ZAGGfolio and broke some more keys so dad got in touch with ZAGG and once again they came through with free keys. Awesome! But dad certainly doesn't want to take advantage of the generosity of ZAGG so here's to hoping he can keep the ZAGGfolio away from my nephew!

Outlook 2011 for Mac Email Reply Name Is Wrong + Changing Registration Name for Office 2011 for Mac

I recently wrote a blog post about Outlook 2011 for Mac showing my name as "Default User Nam" in replies. I had no idea why Outlook 2011 for Mac was using "Default User Nam" so I presumed that, in keeping with the name itself, it was a program default. But then I noticed something: when any of the Office 2011 for Mac apps loaded on my machine, they showed that "Default User Nam" in the load banner. Maybe that's what you get if you install Office 2011 for Mac and don't put something else in--but maybe it's just what ended up in there specifically in my case when Adobe IT did this install. But in any case, it makes one thing pretty clear: in my case, the name that shows on the load banner for Office 2011 for Mac programs (you might also refer to this as the name used to register Office 2011 for Mac) is the name that was used to create the initial contact for "me" in Outlook 2011 for Mac. So, for what it's worth, that's certainly how the issue I described in my referenced blog post above (the issue of Outlook 2011 for Mac showing "Default User Nam" for me when writing an email reply) came about.

Now, if you want to change the name to which Office 2011 for Mac is actually registered, check out this forum thread. This will change what appears in those Office 2011 for Mac load banners. However, I strongly suspect that this won't fix the issue with Outlook 2011 for Mac using the incorrect name for you when you write a reply--but the good news is that the instructions in my blog post linked above will help you fix that issue. And note that while in my case there is strong evidence that the two issues were related, they don't have to be. So you might have your name properly entered for Office 2011 for Mac such that it shows up correctly in the load banners and yet you still might be getting the right name showing up for yourself in reply emails--well, that's okay: my blog post linked above will still help you solve that issue. It doesn't matter if you're getting "Default User Nam" as the wrong name for yourself when replying to email or if you're getting some other random wrong name or even if you're getting the name of one of your real contacts: it's all ultimately the same situation and going through the instructions on my blog post linked above will help you.

Outlook 2011 for Mac "Default User Nam"

As of the time of the writing of this post, there is no other information about this situation anywhere online I can find--and that's exactly why I'm writing this post! So hopefully, going forward, if you search for "Outlook Default User Nam" or "Default User Nam Outlook" or some other similar thing, you end up here. 2012-02-28 UPDATE: I can see that this post has already been indexed by some search engines and is appearing first in the results for the relevant searches. Great!

The problem:

When you create a reply to a message in Outlook 2011 for Mac, in the included message (that is, the part beneath where the message you're composing is, the part that shows the message that was sent to you, the message thread), where it shows your information, it shows your name as "Default User Nam" (or perhaps for you it is showing something different but still wrong; this post will help you too) in a manner such as this:

From: Kendall Adams <kendall@whateverdomainyouuse.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 08:30:00 -0800
To: Default User Nam <josh@whateverdomainyouuse.com>

See that instead of "Josh Adams" it says "Default User Nam" for me? Not cool. So why does this happen--and most importantly, how do you fix it? You'd think it would be as simple as changing the name associated with your email account; it's not. But I figured out what you need to do--read on!

The solution:

If you don't already have On My Computer folders turned on, do the following:
  1. Click the Outlook menu and then choose Preferences...
  2. In the Outlook Preferences dialog box, choose the General item in the Personal Settings section.
  3. In the General dialog box, clear the checkbox next to Hide On My Computer folders (that is, make sure that checkbox is not checked).
  4. Close the dialog box (use the red circle/x in the upper left corner).

Once you can see On My Computer folders, here's what you do to actually fix the problem:

  1. Go to Contacts.
  2. You should see My Contacts in the navigation view (the tree view) and one of the items in that view should be On My Computer; click On My Computer.
  3. In the list of Contacts, you will see the culprit: a contact with the name "Default User Nam" (it might be the only thing listed, particularly if you're using Exchange because in that situation generally the rest of your contacts are kept on the Exchange server, not on your computer).
  4. Now you either simply change the name on that contact to your name or, if like me you already have a contact for yourself set up, you can tell Outlook that the contact for you is in fact you by clicking on your contact then clicking on the Contact menu and then choosing This Contact Is Me. Note that after you do this, you'll want to delete the offending "Default User Nam" contact. Also note that Outlook won't let you choose This Contact Is Me for contacts on an Exchange server; however, you can copy your contact for yourself from the Exchange server to On My Computer: find your contact for yourself and hold down the alt key while you drag & drop it onto On My Computer.

If you have any problems with the instructions above, please let me know via a comment. I want this post to be helpful to people so if you hit a snag with it, please let me know so that I can help you work through it.

Twitterfeed

Twitterfeed (http://twitterfeed.com) is a service that publishes tweets on your behalf (that is, using your Twitter account) from feeds (for instance, from your blog) you provide to it. This is cool but the really nice thing is that its name paints a more restrictive picture than is reality: Twitterfeed can also publish updates on your behalf to Facebook and LinkedIn. And each of these is optional so you can publish to any or all of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

I've chosen to set up Twitterfeed to publish to all of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. So that means that a notification about this, my first blog post written since I began using Twitterfeed, should get published out to my Twitter account, my Facebook account, and my LinkedIn account.

Cool, huh? How do you get updates about your blog posts out to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn?

Super Shuttle Interferes with MiFi

I just had the weirdest experience: my devices connected fine to my Verizon 4G LTE MiFi hotspot immediately before and then also immediately after my ride in a Super Shuttle but during the time I was in the Super Shuttle none of the devices (and I tried 3) would connect to the hotspot. The WiFi network of the hotspot was still there and detected by the devices and upon choosing to connect, I would be prompted for the WiFi password but after entering it, I would get a connection timeout. So strange. What in a Super Shuttle could cause that?!? I should have done a WiFi analysis--that was a missed opportunity! I have previously experienced where in a WiFi-heavy area the hotspot simply did not broadcast an SSID. I later searched for information on this issue and found others have experienced it as well (see https://community.verizonwireless.com/thread/666385) and they, like me, consider it a bug that needs to be fixed but in the meantime, the workaround is to set the device to use a specific channel, which I did. Maybe that channel was overwhelmed or something. Is that possible? Is there a circumstance around that issue where I'd be able to see the WiFi network but not connect to it?

Anyway, if you too hit this issue, know that you're not alone. And if you have any thoughts as to how to deal with it, let me know. Fortunately, I have no plans to ride in Super Shuttle again any time soon. But avoiding Super Shuttle in and of itself is all well and good--but there's nothing that says that this issue couldn't crop up somewhere else too, which is why I'd sure love to get to the bottom of it.

ColdFusion IDE Survey

The ColdFusion team is conducting a survey on ColdFusion IDEs. From the survey:

We are conducting a survey to understand the the IDE that you use to build your Adobe ColdFusion applications.

Your feedback is valuable for us. It will take less than a minute to answer this simple two question survey.

Would you be so kind as to provide your feedback? You can find the survey at http://svy.mk/yEvFtH.

Adobe ColdFusion 10 beta and Adobe ColdFusion Builder 2.0.1 beta - Available Now!

The beta releases of Adobe ColdFusion 10 and Adobe ColdFusion Builder 2.0.1 are now available on Adobe Labs at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/coldfusion10. Check them out and give us your feedback!

ColdFusion 10 (previously known by its codename, Zeus) has various exciting features such as HTML5 websockets, HTML5 charting, security enhancements, Tomcat integration, improved Web Services support through Axis 2, and more.

Thanks to the ColdFusion Engineering Team for building a great ColdFusion 10.

And check out the official ColdFusion Product Team blog at http://blog.coldfusion.com for posts from the engineers who built the features of ColdFusion 10 as well as announcements about eSeminars and other events where you can learn more about ColdFusion 10.

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