Friday, December 23, 2011

What will you get for Hanuka and Chrismas?

If you get an iGift, and are afraid to open the box, call me on New Year's eve!

I will appear on the call in radio show:

Call Kira About Aging! on KSRO 1350 AM, on Dec 31, 2011 from 2-3 PM, with a rebroadcast on January 7 on KNEW 910.

This is your chance to call in, and ask questions about the new iGift you received. Call with any questions about your Apple products, and listen as I unravel the mystery of life with your iPad, iPhone, iPod and all Macintosh products.

Special! Listeners who call in get a 5 part eBook, Dear Macmama; a collection of articles printed in the Piedmont Post. And listen to the radio show to get 25% of of your first visit for new customers.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hope for Quicken 7 users and Lion.

There may be hope for Mac Quicken 2007 users. It looks like Intuit is looking to make Quicken 2007 compatible with Lion. The bummer? I already transferred all of my accounts to iBank, which I like fine, so transferring back will be a slight messy task.

 A letter from Intuit...

Dear Quicken Mac Customer:

As a fellow Mac fan and customer, I wanted to personally introduce myself,

and share some highlights of our Apple-related efforts with you.

I recently became General Manager of the Personal Finance Group at Intuit, 

responsible for Quicken and Intuit's 25 years of leadership in 
personal financial management software makes me excited to lead this team 
and I am committed to creating products to help you reach your financial goals.

I recognize, however, that we have not always delivered on this promise to

Quicken Mac customers.

As you may know, Quicken for Mac 2007 does not currently work on 

Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion). I understand the frustration
this may have caused you and have put a team in place to address this issue.
I am happy to announce that we will have a solution that makes 
Quicken 2007 for Mac "Lion-compatible" by early spring. 
There are still details to be worked out, so I ask your continued patience as we 
work through these.
 In the meantime, you can find more information on our Mac FAQ page.

Working toward a Quicken for Mac 2007 solution is just a first step in winning

 back your confidence.

We are expanding our development team to continue our renewed 
focus on personal  finance solutions that suit the needs of our Mac customers. 
As we develop solutions, we'll be looking to you and the rest of our 
Mac customers for ideas and feedback.

I understand we have a way to go, but I wanted to start by communicating 

our commitment to Mac and look forward to sharing the details with 
you as they emerge.

Thank you for your continued loyalty to Quicken.


Aaron Forth
General Manager, Intuit Personal Finance Group 

Friday, December 9, 2011

iPhone 4S, yes.

I love it. In spite of the battery issue, yes it's a problem, and the fact that Siri's network does not always work, I still love my iPhone 4S. I have been able to mitigate the battery issues some by reducing the brightness, turning off bluetooth when I am not using it, and disabling some location and notification services (like Time Zone support). Apple still has to come up with a working solution for this, but I still think it's a great machine.

Now as far as the network. I switched from AT&T to Verizon, since Berkeley is a known trouble area for AT&T service. My impressions? I really do miss being able to access the web while on a call, the call quality on the Verizon network is worse and the download speed is slower. But I am hoping that Verizon catches up in all of these areas, because the fact is, I am now able to carry on long conversations. And I can't use the excuse, "Bad connection", when I really want to end a call in which I am snagged. Not you, Mom.

So bottom line, I will stay with Verizon. If AT&T fixes their issues, I may jump back over in a couple of years.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stay Away from SOS backup!

Yes, I back up religiously. Daily in 3 places. With TIme Machine, SuperDuper (for a cloned backup), and in the cloud to Crash Plan+. I want to tell you about what led me to Crash Plan. 

I was using JungleDisk, and while it was seamless, I found the interface on the web clumsy and annoying. So, in one of my "everything's really going fine, but I'm bored" moods, I decided to shop around for a new online back up plan. Well, SOS got some great reviews from PC users and media, and they came out with a Mac version of their desktop software.
So I bought a 2 year plan, and stated my upload. That's right, I did NOT try it first, I actually bought a subscription. I'm flogging myself just telling you this. I ALWAYS try before I buy. Why I didn't THIS time can be blamed on the fact that my brain is loopy from the watching the new TV we bought. I have SOOO many episodes of Dexter to catch up on, and it's the first time I have had larger than a 20 inch screen. Yes, my name is Cookie, and I have a new addiction.

OMG, so I really deserved the tsuris I went through with this company. Short story? The Mac desktop application SUCKS, with limited ability to choose files to upload, and the organization on the web is dismal. So I looked online at my account to cancel. There is no place to do that. Also, I signed up for 2 years for $119.95, but on my account page it said $149.95. And that's right, no place to change it UNLESS I wanted to upgrade the account.
When I called customer support, and was told that I could NOT speak to an account representative, the ONLY way to cancel was through the support chat window.

So I tried that, and was told I would receive an email in 24-48 hours, but all I got was a "how do you like SOS?" email. I tried the chat again, and same result. Only until I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau did I finally get a refund. I also got a call from a customer service representative named Larry, very nice guy who sounded like someone I would like to go bowling with, but maybe not be in charge of my data(!!), who said, "Things are a mess in the customer service area of this company, and I'm going to clean it up!" When I told him that the representative I spoke to told me there was no way to speak to an account rep by phone, Larry said, "He lied." Great.
Here is the transcript of my support chat with "James Anderson", which I am SURE is not his real name. By the way, my favorite line of the whole chat is, "Sure Marlene" when I went on a (polite) rant about what I don't like about this product. Notice the "like" button at the end.

James Anderson
Support Consultant
James Anderson7:48:30 AM
Hello Marlene Segelstein. How may I help you?
Marlene Segelstein7:48:51 AM
I would like to cancel my account that I signed up for on Saturday.
James Anderson7:49:06 AM
Can I help you with anything else?
Marlene Segelstein7:49:24 AM
No, I just want to cancel my account.
James Anderson7:49:46 AM
While I look in to your accounts, may I know the reason for cancellation ?
Marlene Segelstein7:51:48 AM
A couple of reasons. The Mac software is too limited, and when I signed up online, I
selected the $119.95 membership, and it put my account at the $149.95 one.
There was no place to change or cancel it. So I just want to cancel my account and
receive a full refund, please.
James Anderson7:53:19 AM
Can I help you sign up for $119.95 account ? Also cancel $149.95 and refund for the
Marlene Segelstein7:53:35 AM
No thank you. Please just cancel my account.
James Anderson7:54:18 AM
ill escalate the case to my accounts manager, he will update the status in the next
24 to 48hrs
Marlene Segelstein7:55:23 AM
Does that mean he will cancel my account? I was told by phone support that this
chat was the only want to do this. Will I get an email confirmation?
James Anderson7:57:27 AM
Yes Marlene, he will send you an email
Marlene Segelstein8:00:01 AM
Please tell your manager that this is not a satisfactory way for customers to
manage their accounts. On the other back up programs I have used, iDrive,
JungleDisk, I was able to cancel online immediately. The website seems set up for
easy in, but not easy out. For consumers that are looking for full features and
control, this does not make for happy campers. I'll look for a confirmation email
within 48 hours.
James Anderson8:00:23 AM
Sure Marlene
Marlene Segelstein8:00:53 AM
Will I also get a full refund?
James Anderson8:01:26 AM
I'm not sure, accounts manager will update you on that
Marlene Segelstein8:03:39 AM
Since I signed up only on Saturday, and the Mac software is limited, I expect a full
refund. I will also let my credit card company know this. Thanks.
James Anderson
Thank you