May 15th, 2013
Today I received an email from a friend, it had a beautifully designed email signature that showed all the usual details. It contained first name, last name, job title, cell number, landline, email address, web address and a logo. I thought wow that looks great, how am I going to tell them it sucks! They had obviously spent a lot of time and effort getting it just so, but there was a massive problem.
Email signatures are consumable information
So what’s the problem I hear you ask. Well in this case the email signature was a massive image, it looked damn good, I’ll give you that it was very professional looking.
But here’s the thing that email signature is supposed to be helpful information I can consume. What do you mean consume? I mean I want to choose how I am going to use, digest or interact with this information. In this case I wanted to add them to my database so I had their records on hand should I wish to get in contact.
So what’s the problem? The first problem is I cannot cut and paste the information from the signature to my database platform. The second problem is that none of that information is available to click on when I view that email on my smart phone.
Make the info available with text
When viewing that signature on a smart phone using an image has rendered it useless. If it was text based the smart phone would work it’s magic. Firstly the phone number becomes a clickable link that when triggered would make the phone ring that number, the location address would do the same but trigger Google maps or similar showing the map location. The same goes for any other information the phone is able to detect such as an email address or website links.
Email programs are dumb
The sad fact is that email signatures are a delicate balance between looking pretty and being usable. You need text to make the information usable but graphics look better. The other problem is that email is really dumb, well rather the programs such as outlook, mac mail and Thunderbird that render signature do not handle trying to make the fonts or text very fancy. This really ruins any chance of being able to be very fancy with the look of the signature. You are limited to basic fonts and layouts.
Email signature summary
- The information is the most important thing
- Get over yourself and make the info available
- Test your signature is usable in most devices
- Test all your links
January 25th, 2013
If you haven’t experienced losing valuable data yet, you’re one of the few lucky ones. But then again, it could only be a matter of time. Whether such loss is brought about by malware attack, accidental deletion of files, a crashed hard drive, stolen laptop, or major disaster, most computer users would have to deal with data loss at some point.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. With the many options for data backup available today, keeping your business files, financial and personal records, music collection, family pictures, and all other important data secure is easier than ever before. Here are the most common methods of backup that can ensure protection for your important data:
- Use an external drive. Storing your data to an external hard drive is a quick and simple process. Just plug your storage device to the USB port of your computer or laptop, and once it is recognized by your system, you can click the files you want to backup and drag them to your external drive. Other than being a safe and convenient way of storing data, using an external drive also has the advantage of allowing you to backup even without internet connectivity. On the downside, if your external drive gets damaged or goes missing, then you’d have lost your backup data.
- Use an offsite backup service. Also called online backup or cloud backup, an offsite backup service like carbonite.com allows you to upload a copy of all your data to a secure, offsite data center maintained by the service provider. This way, you don’t have to worry about getting your storage device locked in a safety deposit box or ending up with a damaged backup. Most online backup services are designed for ease of use so initiating backup of your entire computer can be done in just a few clicks. In addition, online backups run on a regular basis automatically (no need to perform them yourself) and you can access your data from any internet-connected device.
If you don’t know how to get started or which option is best for you, then get advice and technical help from a reliable IT guy. Remember that you don’t have to be a computer genius or even particularly tech-savvy to have a backup in place. But you do have to make data backup a priority because you never know when you may lose irreplaceable data.
September 5th, 2012
We’ve moved our Developer blog to blogs.turboweb.co.nz/dev and will be releasing new blog posts here soon.