Media Temple issues credit to (gs) customers

If you’re using Media Temple’s Grid Service (gs), you probably already know that they’ve had a few hiccups with the service over the last few months. For me, it hasn’t been anything too terrible, but it has been fairly annoying at times.

This morning, Media Temple CEO, Demian Sellfors, made a public apology on the company’s blog. And, he announced that they would be giving all (gs) customers a two month credit for their troubles.

The credit should automatically show up in the billing section of you MT Account Center. As of this afternoon, mine hadn’t been posted, so I left a comment on their blog post about it. Shortly after leaving my comment, they posted the credit to my account, and emailed me to let me know it was there (Thanks guys!). If you’re a (gs) customer, you may want to check your Account Center to make sure you got the credit.

Although I haven’t been very happy with the downtime Media Temple has had lately, I still think they’re a good company. I’m willing to stick with them for a while longer. And, I would even still recommend them. Sometimes, shit just happens. It’s how the company deals with that shit that determines their commitment to their customers.

There is one side-note to this that I think is a little strange. I subscribe to the rss feed for Media Temple’s blog so I can keep track of any incidents they post. There has been a continual stream of posts coming in over the last few days about some trouble they were having with upgrades, which ultimately lead to the apology I mentioned. But, as far as I can tell, when you visit the blog in your browser, none of those posts are shown. They appear to only be available via the feed. Maybe I’m missing something, but this seems strange to me.

If you’re a Media Temple customer, you may want to subscribe to their feed, and not just visit the blog. Otherwise you may not get the whole story.

Two Thumbs Up for Reaper

Reaper on CW

My mom came out for a visit over Thanksgiving and while she was here she introduced us to Reaper. It’s a show on Tuesday nights on The CW. I’ve only seen 2 episodes, but I feel myself getting hooked.

The show revolves around a young guy named Sam and his “buds” from the home repair store (think Home Depot) where he works. On his 21st birthday, Sam learns that his parents sold his sole to The Devil. Sam is now forced to work for The Devil, sending escaped soles back to hell. It’s a comedy. No, really… it’s a comedy.

In order to capture the souls, he needs a “vessel”, which comes in the form of an everyday object like a toaster, or a remote controlled car. He’s never quite sure what to do with the vessel when he gets it.

My favorite character is The Devil, excellently played by Ray Wise. I’ve been a fan of Ray’s since his days on Twin Peaks.

There’s a pre-series trailer for Reaper over on YouTube. I don’t think the trailer really does justice to the show, but it will give you an idea of what it’s like. It really is good.

Mac Software Specials: Today Only

There are a couple of cool software titles on sale today. The first is Periscope. It’s an application that adds all kinds of cool functionality to your Mac’s built-in iSight (or other webcam). Among other things, you can set your camera to automatically take pictures when it detects motion or sound, or on a timed interval. Then, Periscope can automatically upload the image to your .Mac account, or ftp server. It can even email the photos.

I’ve only just played with Periscope a little, but it looks pretty cool. Periscope normally runs US $39.95, but you can get it today only for US $19.95 through Maczot.

If you’re unfamiliar with Maczot, they run 1-day only sales on individual software titles, year round.

The next app on sale today is MarsEdit. MarsEdit is a desktop blogging application that works with many blogging platforms. It’s my personal blogging app of choice. I use it to maintain all of my WordPress blogs. In fact, I’m typing this post in it right now.

MarsEdit normally runs US $29.95. You can get 20% off today only through MacSanta.

If you’re unfamiliar with MacSanta, they run 1-day only 20% off sales on groups of software from about the beginning of December through December 24th. The day after an item is featured on their 1-day sale, it moves into their extended deals section where you get 10% off until December 24th. There are already quite a few apps in their extended delas section that I have my eye on.

Shareware Spotlight: Trampoline

Mac Application Launcher: Trampoline

Call me crazy, but going all the way back to OSX 10.0 I’ve never used Apple’s Dock as an application launcher. I don’t keep my applications in it at all. I only use the Dock to show me what applications are running. Even pre OSX I’ve always used Dragthing, the king of all application launchers, to launch my apps.

I’ll probably always use Dragthing, partially because it does so much more than just launch applications, but recently I gave another application launcher, Trampoline, a try. I have to say… I’m really diggin’ it.

Dragthing is excellent for giving me access to every single application I own. Which is nice because I hate going into my applications folder. Trampoline’s approach is more about giving you quick access to your most used apps.

You basically put your most used apps (or documents) into Trampoline, and then with a quick key-command (option + space by default), you can bring up a circular launcher wherever your mouse is on screen. Just click the desired app, Trampoline disappears, and your application is launched. Although I have all the same apps in Dragthing, I do sometimes find it much handier to just call them up through Trampoline.

Trampoline isn’t free, but you can download and run it in demo mode without any restrictions. A license will cost you US $19.95, which is pretty reasonable for something you’ll use everyday.

Review: Altec Lansing Orbit-M

Altec Lansing Orbit-M

The day after Thanksgiving Apple was having their traditional 1-day sale, and I picked up this little travel speaker from Altec Lansing called, Orbit-M.

The Orbit-M was on sale for $28 (normally $39.95). I was a little skeptical of the sound quality of something so small, but I needed a new travel speaker, so I took the risk.

I have to say I am really happy with the quality of this little speaker. Sound is very clear, it has a reasonable amount of base, and considering it’s size it has surprisingly loud volume. I only heard a small amount of distortion when turning the volume to full. I backed it off just a little and everything was fine.

The Orbit-M’s built-in cable wraps neatly around the unit in a special groove, and the plug snaps into its own slot. The plug is small enough to fit into the iPhones headphone jack without the need for an adapter.

The manufacturer claims 24 hours of play on 3 AAA batteries, but I haven’t tested this yet. Since the unit uses AAA batteries, its relatively light, even with the batteries in.

My only real complaint with the Orbit-M is it’s on/off switch. It sticks, rather badly. I don’t want it to move so freely that it comes on in my suitcase, but this is a bit too much. The sticky switch, combined with the fact that there is no light indicating the unit is on, it’s sometimes hard to tell if you actually turned it off or not.

The Orbit-M obviously won’t replace your home stereo, or even a good boombox, but as a travel speaker it’s excellent. It’s more than enough for a hotel room, an outdoor picnic in a relatively quite location (not the beach), or hanging out with a few friends. I recommend this product.

side-note: The Altec Lansing site lists an Orbit-M and an Orbit-MP3. As far as I can tell, they are actually the same product. I think they are in the process of rebranding the M to MP3.