I'll let you in on a genuine Ashampoo secret: Whenever a new Photo Commander release is on the horizon, testers and technical writers sigh in unison. Because what's in store for them will be - daunting. You may feel tempted to gently stroke them on their foreheads and offer words of courage while they're hunting down bugs or come up with extensive explanations for the myriad of features in this mighty beast. Here's another confession: Aside from Nikolaus, the creator and lead developer, no-one really knows all of its features because there are just so many of them. This is why there's an awkward silence whenever someone praises a feature found in a competing product and somebody else replies: "Photo Commander had this since version 7."
One day, my printer acted up. With my blood pressure spiking, I went on Google and quickly discovered that I had just been the victim of what is considered a classic error that would appear roughly after two years on the dot.
I phoned the hotline and spent about 30 minutes in hold music limbo until I finally reached a noticeably tired support agent. In these moments, I like to remind myself not to blow my top but to stay calm and explain my situation with facts. Maybe it was because she was so tired but she was surprisingly blunt and honest. "The error occured in the warranty period? That's not supposed to happen!"
Do you consider yourself vain? I don't. We're supposed to age gracefully, live in harmony with ourselves and not be vain as that would be foolish we're taught from early on.
But looking at profile pictures in social networks I can't help but wonder how all of these people can look so pretty darn perfect. How can my neighbor that rather resembles Martin Luther suddenly ooze the glamor of Sharon Stone? What happened to the impressing double chin of my former work mate? And where did the wrinkles of my former training supervisor go? Looking at my own pictures I get the distinct feeling that something has changed.
I recently saw a woman get interviewed on TV about her son-in-law. What kind of a person he was, if they were getting along and whether she approved of her daughter's choice. After an agonizingly long pause she remarked: "Well, he knows his way around computers. That can come in handy." That's the good thing about knowing your way around computers. At least you can make yourself useful every once in a while, forget about character. Computer specialists are the unsung heroes even if all they do is reboot a machine, terminate a process or perform a Flash update. Savor these moments because there's a (incredibly annoying) downside to all of this!
Some business models never cease to amaze me. In Japan, it's possible to book vacation trips for your stuffed animals, vacation photos included. And "Hangover Helpers" in the US will help you get back into shape and clean up your place after a night of partying. And you can rent a tank as taxi in St. Petersburg for maximum side-impact protection. Here's an even crazier idea, why not make cars incredibly cheap and charge premium prices for gasoline? Agreed, that's preposterous, or is it?