Smile Software: This is How You Helpdesk

Smile Software just released version 6 of the hugely popular PDFPen. (They also make the essential Mac/iOS app TextExpander.) Of course, I installed it the day it came out.

One of the features I use most, the Library, wasn’t working after the upgrade so I emailed Smile Support. I was blown away by the response time (minutes on the day of a major release?!) and the impeccable tone of the communication. This is how support should be done:

MAR 21, 2013 | 05:54PM PDT
Hi Kye,

Thanks for the email. Glad to have you as a PDFpen user!

If you are having problems adding images to the PDFpen Library or your Library signatures did not migrate over in the upgrade, we think we have identified the bug that is preventing the successful migration of the PDFpen 5 Library and is also preventing users from manually adding new items to their PDFpen 6 Library.

We are working on a fix which will hopefully be made available in a software update soon.

In the mean time, if you are in a hurry to fix the problem yourself here are some steps that will let you start over and successfully import your PDFpen 5 Library:

1) Open a new Finder window
2) Hold the Option key then select the Go menu and choose the Library command
3) Locate the "Mobile Documents" folder and double-click to show its contents
4) Locate the "7PKJ6G4DXL~com~smileonmymac~PDFpen" subfolder and double-click to show its contents
5) Create a new folder called Library

Beware as there might be other similar-looking folder names.

Be sure to create the "Library" folder inside the "Mobile Documents/7PKJ6G4DXL~com~smileonmymac~PDFpen" subfolder specifically.

At this point, you should be able to restart PDFpen 6 and have the ability to add new items to the Library.

Alternatively, if you wish, you can delete the PDFpen 6 application by going into the OS X Launchpad, click-and-hold on the PDFpen 6 icon until it starts to "wiggle" and then click the "X" icon in the upper-left corner to delete it.

It is important to delete the application this way only as this will ensure that the application's settings are deleted along with it.

You may then proceed to reinstall the application from the App Store and launch it and this time, it should successfully import your PDFpen 5 Library items.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience this bug has caused you and we really appreciate that you took the time to notify us.

We are always happy to help. Feel free to email us again if this did not resolve your issue, or if you have any other questions, comments or concerns.

Thanks for using PDFpen from Smile!

Note: To get around this bug, I first tried deleting and reinstalling PDFPen. That didn’t work but adding the Library folder did the trick.

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A New Endeavor! Civic Hacking + Recycling

After moving into a new neighborhood right before the holidays mass confusion immediately broke out on our street. It wasn’t me. In Austin we have a sliding trash pickup schedule during holidays and recycling is only picked up every other week. Being a nerd, I went online searching for answers to our cul de sac’s conundrum. The information was there, but only in a 35-page, 16MB PDF file…not exactly mobile friendly.

At the beginning of the year I approached Open Austin with an idea and have been volunteering with a team to create an app to solve this problem. It has been a fascinating journey with some really fun folks.

We have just submitted the app to Knight Foundation’s current News Challenge! Please check out the submission here and, if so inclined, give it some “applause” and/or comments. As described on the Challenge submission, Knight funding would help us extend the app to other civic services and other cities.

The app was also covered by GovTech here following Austin’s third Civic Hackathon which was held February 23 in conjunction with Code Across America.

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NiUG Discovery 2012 Presentations in Philly!

Updated my IQA slides with new tips and created a new half-day session on Business Objects to present at NiUG’s 2012 Discovery Conference in Philadelphia. Check them out below and let me know if you have suggestions for improvement.

If you’re an iMIS user, make sure you’re at the next NiUG North American user conference right here in my backyard of Austin, Texas! (Congrats to the conference on its fifteenth year!)

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Do you REALLY need all those features?

“Most of the requirements do not contribute to the desired future state: Studies reveal that more than half of all technology features are rarely or never used.”

Jesse Fewell

Great post on combating tech hype and having a fighting chance of success in your project.

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Beta Convention Symposium Presentation: Social Media

Today Beta’s Director of Social Media, Tom Martin, and I presented Social Media Today to the 173rd General Convention’s Alumni Symposium. Thanks to all who attended! We look forward to socializing with you!

Here are the slides we used. Additional links and resources are available here.

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Unrealistic “Tech-pectations”

Some of us think we can challenge the Gods with no knowledge, little time and a shoestring budget. Why? Here’s my top five reasons.

5 Reasons Why People Underestimate Web Projects

This paradox makes our job as technology managers a constant tight-rope act: technology is supposed to make life easier, but it often takes a Herculean effort to implement and maintain the technology itself.

Link Source: Issue #1 of Freelancer’s Weekly, which was published today.

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The Great Task of our Generation

Making systems work…is the great task of our generation as a whole.

-Atul Gawande

Also highly recommend reading Dr. Gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.

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iMIS IQA Sessions at NiUG

Here are the slides from two sessions I lead on IQA at the NiUG Discovery 2012 Conference in Orlando, Florida today. The first set is from the morning session, the second from the afternoon.

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Vendors: Show me the Money

Vendors. Why do you always put pricing on the last page of the proposal?

I just received a 43-page proposal earlier this week. Salesman X, I’m sure you worked very hard putting it together, but do you think I read any of the first 42 pages? Nope. I cannot tell you a single word on any but the last page of that PDF. (And thank goodness it is electronic. If you would have wasted that much paper…)

Look, vendors, your salespeople don’t read or know that fluff, so don’t expect me to – leave it out and let us all get to the point. If your product needs page after page of explanation to convey its value proposition you’ve got bigger problems than a proposal will ever solve. Your product’s reputation and website should give me all the information I need.

I know that you’re worried your proposal will fall into the hands of someone who didn’t observe your so-boring-I-fell-asleep, I mean, riveting web demo. Newsflash! He or she isn’t going to read through all of that junk either. Like me, they’ll quickly scroll to the very bottom of the document in order to get on with their work.

The fact that you require me to sit through an hour* demo in order to get pricing on your product is insulting and disrespectful of my time. If your product won’t ever fit my budget why are we even playing these games and wasting so much of both of our companies’s time? (*Usually scheduled for an hour, but almost always goes much longer because your salespeople go through slides about “the company” even though we always ask them to cut right to the advanced features that matter most to us.)

Oh, you like play Let’s Make a Deal? Well that’s a whole other level of annoying, but, fine. Just send your base prices up front and let us know, like a used car or set of golf clubs, this is OBO. (That’s “Or Best Offer” for those who’ve never seen newspaper classifieds. Don’t worry, you’re not missing a thing.)

Chasing price is exhausting for IT personnel and it wastes the time of both the potential client and the vendor. Vendors, please be upfront with your pricing. If you’re really amazing you’ll take a page out of the SaaS playbook and put pricing right on a clearly marked tab of your website so I don’t have to sit through your “riveting” demo if your pricing is completely out of my budget. Again, I’ll pre-qualify myself and not waste your salesforce’s time if I can’t afford it.

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NiUG Discovery 2011 Presentation: Advanced IQA

NiUG is the international user’s group for the iMIS association management system (AMS). Today, I presented a half-day session at the 2011 NiUG International Annual Discovery Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. My session was on Advanced IQA, a flexible reporting tool for iMIS. Here are the slides I used during that session. Please feel free to use them as a basis for your own training presentations if you use iMIS!

View more presentations from khittle.
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