Archive for the ‘coding’ Category

I do not run a charity.

January 26, 2010

Client drama had reared its ugly head this last week.  *facepalm*

How the hell does it happen?  They go from good client to bad client like warewholves under a full moon.  ARRROOWHHH!

First I should probably tell you a little more about what we do for our clients.  To say that we design websites would be an over-simplification, that’s what we used to do.  A year and a half ago when we started our business, we would both scower craigslist looking for any ole programming or design job that we knew we could do.  We got various clients doing this, but usually (okay, MOSTLY) with these gigs, people were always trying to get something for nothing.  Putting up a website that both looks good and works well takes hours and hours and hours of work.  We would put in these hours/days/weeks/…months of work, and then have to literally chase down payment from them, or they wanted so many changes that took so many more hours that end the end the payment wasn’t worth all the effort.  At a certain point we came to the conclusion that there had to be a way for us to get something for nothing as well.  Everybody else was doing it, why not us?  What I mean is, a way to make fully-fledged websites without all the hours of work.  There are three basic purposes for most websites:  publishing, selling, or social networking.  So if we could design a framework that could perform each of these functions by simply installing it onto a web address so hours of programming the same thing, over and over, would be eliminated.  Better yet, we would make our program easy enough to use so that when clients wanted changes they could just go make them on their own.

If you’re having a hard time understanding what I’m talking about, don’t worry, I didn’t know crap about any of this until about a year ago.  If you want an example of what I’m talking about, look at WordPress.  WordPress is the perfect example of a content management system (CMS) used for publishing.  It’s complicated, it’s got a lot of buttons, but most people are able to figure it out on their own and create their own websites.  We’re like WordPress, except we’re geared towards businesses and we have a lot more applications and functions.

So anyways, we’re still in the development/start-up phase of our business so we haven’t had a public release of our software yet.  Hopefully that will happen sometime in 2010.  Until then we are always trying to get new clients both in the US and Turkey.  One new client we have here is chick my age, who is starting up a mining export company with a few business partners.  Basically they ship stuff like chrome ore to China, pretty simple.  She’s a cool chick, speaks English well and I’d say she was a friend before she was a client.  Because of this we gave her a deep discount, and I mean DEEP.  We normally charge $2,000 dollars for a basic CMS website, but that includes a lot- custom web design, content writing, logo design, stock photos, hosting, etc, etc.  Because we are still developing a bilingual application for our websites (that button you click at the bottom or top of the page and it switches the language of the website, not easy to do) and her website would be the first to test it we gave her a huge deal.  We’re only charging her $500 dollars of which she has only paid half ($250).  Her website is very simple and very small, but like I said, she is also a start-up so she only gave us a tiny amount of content and a few pictures.  One thing we cannot do is invent fancy or interesting content for you…well, technically I have, but only for clients who are paying real money.

From the start she LOOOOVED the website, and I got tons of glowing feedback from her along the way.  When I finally finished putting in all the data and images she sent us (which by the way she sent on Dec 28 and her site was up by Jan 5) she still loved it.  Then, it turned….

She had a “friend” of hers look at the site and they told her it was too plain.  What the fuck does this “friend” know about web design anyway?  Suddenly she hates everything about the site.  She sent us links to other websites (one that sells cell phones, the other a music website) and tells that she wants her site to be more like them.  Here is what her site would actually look like if she would send us more content.  She also says she wants flash.  No other description, just, “I want flash.”  Flash what?  Dancing rocks?  You sell fucking ROCKS, fyi.

Flash is web animation, if you’re not familiar, and it is EXPENSIVE and time-consuming to develop.  For that reason, flash is one of the only things we don’t offer.  If a client really wants flash on their website then we hire an outside flash developer and money has to be paid from the client directly to person creating the flash animation.  In other words, Flash=Money.

Then she also starts bitching that it took three months to put her site up.  Uhh, your emails say differently lady, we only got your content a week before your site went up.  You had “Coming Soon” page on your website for three months because it took you that long to get off your ass.  We don’t put up blank websites.  Did I mention she’s only paid $250 dollars?  That’s what I usually charge just for a logo design (and yes, I designed her logo AND a business card on top of that).

Friend or not, we just don’t have time to deal with this crap anymore, we have too many clients that have paid full price and we have plenty of work still to do for them.  We gave her two options, 1) Stop bitching, or 2) Pay in full by the end of the month.  If you don’t do either we will take down your site.  Period.

Luckily (for her) she came to her senses.  She chose option #1.  Maybe it was just her time of the month?  The full moon has passed and she’s no longer werewolf-cunt, I mean, client.  We’ll just have to see what happens on the next full moon…

If you want to see a hilarious representation of how web designing can go straight to hell, check out this comic by The Oatmeal.  It is sooo true.

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All Quiet On The Blogging Front

July 28, 2009

I’ve noticed a general silence this week among most of my blog friends, in both posting and commenting…myself included.  Hope everyone is okay!  Probably just busy with life…myself included.

As you can see I’ve been slowly but surely catching up with my Weeds recaps, although I’m not sure if many people are interested.  That’s okay, I’ll just keep on plugging and hope that I can find some fans will find me through google or something.

So this is sort of an update post on what’s been going on in my life.

In general I’ve been bogged down with work.  New clients keep crawling out of the woodwork, as it seems that we are the only kids in town who know anything about Linux.  Microsoft has all the technicians here pretty well brainwashed, so there is a serious need for good Linux solutions.  Because anyone who knows anything knows that Microsoft is crap.  I can’t go into too much detail because of confidentiality agreements, but one client needs to be able to send streaming video web broadcasts from around the world, and another client needs an automated sound decibel monitoring device for clubs.  I tell you, coffee shops are excellent places to make new connections!

In some tragic news, my favorite cat, Otis went missing from my mom’s three weeks ago and has not been seen since.  If you remember, we were sharing a house with my mom, so he was very comfortable with the environment, and didn’t run away because of a sudden change.  Our cats and dog go in and out as they please through the dog door, and out of all my cats I’d say Otis was the most “street smart” and usually pretty cautious.  My mom put fliers with a picture on every door up and down the block, but she got no calls.  I have a feeling he’s not coming back.  I’m devastated.  I spent a whole day in bed a few weeks ago crying.  The worst part is I’m thousands of miles away and I can’t help look for him.  I kept having dreams about finding him, I’d wake up and call my mom to see if there was any news, but there never was.  He lives in my dreams now.

My poor Bubs...I hope you're in a better place.

My poor Bubs...I hope you're in a better place.

Okay, enough tears and sadness, I have good news too!

I’M GOING TO HAVE A BABY!

Where there is death, there is always new life.  I just found out a few days ago, it’s really early, probably only a few weeks.  We’re super excited, we’ve been wanting this for awhile and we just started trying.  I haven’t told the whole family yet, just my parents and some close friends, so please don’t say anything about it on my Turkish blog or on Facebook.  I’m waiting a few more weeks to tell everyone.  I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that everything will go okay.  I’m such a worrier.

😀

Progress…and a new blog!

July 8, 2009

I know I’ve been promising it for weeks, and my new Turkish travel blog is finally on its feet with a grand total of one post, but hey, it’s there!

You can now check out my adventures by going to http://turkdelights.wordpress.com

Now, some inquiring minds might ask, “Why do you need a separate blog for that?  Why not post all your stories and pictures on this one?”

Well…good question.  The short answer is that I really want to return this blog to its original intention, not a blog about me, but about my point of view on TV shows, movies, and silly things I find on the internet.  I’d like to keep my personal life more in the background.

Also, the other big reason is that my family and some of my friends don’t know about this blog and I don’t want them to so I can be free to say whatever the hell I want.  The travel blog is safe for grandma and grandpa.  But you, my bloggy friend, are welcome on both!  Just keep this blog a secret for me 🙂  Oh, who am I kidding?  I’ll get found out if I’m not already.  Also, just so you don’t get confused, I refer to my husband as “Q” on Turkish Delights because 1. That’s his real nickname, and 2. A few members of our family don’t know that we’re married yet, and I don’t want a bunch of angry emails about why they weren’t invited, and then I’ll have to explain that there wasn’t a wedding ceremony…blah blah blah.

In other news, I’m still up to my neck in work, so those Weeds recaps are going to be extra late.  Good news is we scored our first client over here!  They’re a body-building website that needs a re-design for their streaming video players, and we’re also going to sell them space on our servers.  Woot!  Work never stops.

What’s been keeping me going with all this non-stop work is music.  I’ve been thinking about starting a new section at bottom of my posts to discuss what I can’t stop listening to that week, but we’ll see if I can keep that up or not.  This week I cannot stop listening to Adele.  Just when I thought these young Brit soul singers were becoming a dime a dozen, Adele came along and proved me wrong.  Girl has got some pipes!  Her first album, 19, blows her contemporaries like Amy Winehouse and Duffy out of the water.  I have to wait till hubby wakes up and shows me how to hack back into youtube (yes, it’s blocked here) and I’ll post some videos so you can see what I mean.  I can’t get her single “Chasing Pavements” out of my head, and I think she wrote “My Same” about me and hubby.  Just to prove what a music schizo I am, the other album I can’t stop listening to is Pimp to Eat by the Analog Brothers.  Kool Keith with Ice-T…it just doesn’t get better than that!

“Chasing Pavements”

“Cold Shoulder”

If you like these you should also look up her song “Hometown Glory” on youtube as well.  I couldn’t find a version that would allow me to embed it.

I would post some Analog Brothers, but I don’t want to drive you all away.  If you’re feeling extra freaky, look them up.

New Laptop Babies

June 3, 2009

Okay, in case you’re new here, we own a software company.  I’m only a multimillionaire in my dreams.  Owning your own business, no matter what type, is the fastest way I can think of to go broke…besides a coke or gambling addiction.  Someday we’ll be wildly successful, but today is not that day.  Success is a moving target.  My husband and I rely 110% on our computers for our livelihood.  I’d rather have my car break down than one of our computers break down.  They’re all ancient beasts by computer standards and prone to breaking.  Since we’re going to be moving half way across the globe this summer I knew it was time for a major technology overhaul so that our business could thrive overseas.  (BTW, I posted the latest on Another Deportation Update)

The first problem is power.  Over there in Europe (read- Turkey) they have a different voltage rating.  Most of the world, including Europe, uses a 220 volt/50 hertz system. A handful of other countries, including the United States, have 110 volt/60 hertz electricity, which is believed to be safer. As a result, appliances in these nations are designed to connect to a specific type of power source, and using American devices in European outlets and vice versa can result in havoc.  One solution is a voltage transformer, a bulky and expensive piece of equipment.  He’s told me his family has some, but I’m still going to look into getting one here because I know there’s two types of transformers depending on the kind of device you’re using, and I want to make sure we have the right kind.

The second problem is transportability.  I can’t exactly haul our three desktop computers over there, because I would have no room for clothes and my arms would fall off trying to carry them all.  Early on I knew laptops where going to be the only option.  I can’t take the laptop I talked about in Laptop Rx because it is a loaner and it is starting to have fatal errors on the hard drive.  I have finally decided on taking one of the desktops, but just the case, in one of my checked bags.  I’m going to take out all the important bits (hard drive and video card will be in the carry-on), pack it with plenty of padding in a hard-sided suitcase, and pray the motherboard survives the journey.  We’ll have to buy a new monitor over there.  I was having a hard time getting the money together to buy a new laptop though, and since our business is on hold, no income is rolling in.  I did get some contract work, writing documentation, but I haven’t been paid yet.  My mom graciously decided that I needed to save my dwindling funds and this was going to count as my birthday and Christmas present this year.  We went to Walmart (I hate that place and I’m ashamed to say I went there to buy anything) and I knew exactly what I was looking for: Dell Inspiron 15 in Darth Vader Black (I made up the color name).  This is the first time I have ever had a new computer, it’s awesome.  A few days later our business partner, knowing our computer dilemma, donated a webbook he never uses.  A webbook is a mini-laptop.  This one is an Eee PC made by ASUS.  Check out the laptop love, I hope they make babies:

DSCN6386

I’m not posting this to brag, I’m just incredibly thankful that I was able to get what I needed to keep my business going.  It just goes along with my theory that the Universe always provides, and if you believe that good things will happen, they just might.  In a lot of ways I could look around and think that my life is crumbling (because…it sort of is) but I’m trying my best to focus on the good things and not let my stress bring me down.

Blue Screen Blues

May 2, 2009

Yes, it’s been a rough day over here at the pool, my husband and I run a software business out of our home and today so far zero work is getting done because one of our computers is down.  That might not seem like a big deal to some people, but you don’t use computers like we use them!  He writes code on an average of 16 hours a day with only breaks for eating, bathroom, smoking and rare sleep.  Anyone who writes code or does anything based heavily on computing knows you  can’t just use one computer.  We have a total of three computers (his two desk tops and my one laptop) plus four hard drives that we’re absolutely dependent upon, and we’re about to expand to a fourth computer, a Linux box for extra storage and also to be a server.

This would all be fine and dandy if they were top of the line machines that were made in this century but they’re not.  Today when we woke up (zero sleep because of the tree chainsawing going on this morning) the one that he uses to do everything but code has a fried video card.  Of course it’s the most expensive one we have, because that just makes this situation more perfect.  We have such a tight budget because we’re right on the verge of our first global software release (a PHP framework, but more on that in another blog), so we’ve got borrow to fix this one.

Arg, just when you think things are going your way another wheel falls off!

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