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Disclaimer: The entries you find in these pages are based on my individual opinions and thoughts. Some of the entries may be just plain wrong, and others harmful. Should you choose to act on, or try, anything you find on this site, you assume any and all risks associated with your actions. So there.


Mac OS X Rules

April 10, 2007

My laptop has been needing repair for a while. I'm writing this on my kids iMac because my MacBook is at Apple right now, waiting on parts (a new DVD drive). While I am tethered to a desktop/keyboard/mouse, I feel rudderless. When you get used to having all of your info, email, documents, software, everything, in a bag with you everywhere you go, having it all sit on a desk is quite limiting.

That said, Mac OS X simply rocks. Before my laptop got shipped off, I copied my user folder over to an external hard drive I keep handy for just such operations (actually, I just xeroxed the complete hard drive using Disk Utility). Then I created a new user on the Kids iMac, performed a tiny bit of magic in Netinfo Manager, mapping my user folder over to the external drive (don't do this at home), and bingo, I am able to log in to my own desktop-- email, calendar, address book, everything in one fell-swoop. And what's even better is that with the data on the external, portable, drive, I can perform this same operation on any other Mac OS X computer in about 2 minutes-- almost as good as having the laptop with me.

Thanks Apple for making it so easy, even for us IT guys.

Google is Serious

April 10, 2007

Webmasters: Have you ever read Google's Webmaster Guidelines? Have you ever thought that, "Hey, they're just guidelines and that bit about being removed from their index is just to scare me?" Think no more: one of my own sites got removed for using so-called hidden text.

The front page of my company site was created way too long ago, and violates all kinds of rules I preach about every day. The primary one is that there was no content on the page, just a picture and image links to inside pages-- horrible for any kind of search engine optimization. So, because we did have a little bit of content inside the site, we stuck a blurb of sorts on the front page in tiny black-on-black text. And it worked; search engines, including Google, found it and us. That was literally years ago.

Today it came back to bite me. I got a form letter from Google informing me that the site was being removed, and it quoted the actual hidden text. At first I thought it was a hoax, or possibly a scam. But the mail headers proved the mail originated at Google. I had no choice but to take it seriously.

Fortunately, it was no big deal, as the text was perfectly Ok to appear on our home page-- we just decided to hide it years ago because we liked the photo-only look. I updated the text, which hadn't been touched for years, gave it some space so it would appear below the scroll, and made it visible.

We can now say we practice what we preach. Well, mostly.