Archive for May, 2008

Another lame response from Plimus

May. 13th 2008

A couple of days ago, I blogged about Plimus’ lackluster Japanese support, and posted the lame form letter they sent me back.

Today, I got another lame form letter as a response to my report that yen currencies should not be shown with decimals:

Dear Ryan,

I really appreciate your taking time to make suggestions to improve the Plimus system.

I have forwarded your suggestions to our development team.

Please know, we take every request and suggestion seriously and make every effort to accommodate our vendors.

As you are no doubt aware, some changes take longer than others, but we will strive to implement them all as soon as is practical.

Regards,
Max-Plimus Vendor Support

The thing is, this is not a feature request; it’s a bug report. Showing yen with decimals on a payment page is just wrong. So OK, I understand you’re busy, but why not acknowledge the bug before blowing me off?

Since a big portion of my sales comes from Japan, I’m going to have to look for a new payment processor if their Japanese support stays this lousy.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in e-commerce | 2 Comments »

Creating a demo

May. 13th 2008

I just got through my first attempt at creating a demo. I made the demo using Camtasia, which is very easy to use and has a generous fully functional 30-day demo version.

It’s kind of funny — I’m pretty used to public speaking, and don’t get all that nervous doing it, but I was nervous creating the demo. Maybe because it’s kind of creepy to just be talking to yourself.

Overall the demo was pretty easy to make, but the audio has some pretty bad popping. It’s due to the cheapo mike I’m using: in order to get enough volume on the sound, I had to get the mike close to my mouth, which picked up all those lovely popping “p”s and “t”s.

I’ll get down to the computer shop tomorrow and shop for a better mike, but for now I think I need a nice cool beverage to wet my whistle.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in website | No Comments »

Plimus’ lackluster Japanese support

May. 12th 2008

Alas, I’ve hit the first bump in the road to my software empire :(.

I’m using Plimus as my e-commerce provider. All in all they’ve been great, but I’ve run into a couple of snags with their Japanese support.

The first is with Japanese text. Plimus provides localized versions of their payment forms, including Japanese, and does a decent job at it. But they don’t support Japanese elsewhere on the page — like in the <title> or <h1> tags. That text gets garbled.

I reported the issue to support, and they told me they’d pass on the issue to their developers:

Unfortunately we do currently not support localization of the product name order Japanese characters in the order page design HTML code field.

However I really appreciate your taking time to make suggestions to improve the Plimus system.

I have forwarded your suggestions to our development team.

Please know, we take every request and suggestion seriously and make every effort to accommodate our vendors.

As you are no doubt aware, some changes take longer than others, but we will strive to implement them all as soon as is practical.

Hmm, I give them a B- on this one. Luckily, the issue is pretty easily fixed by replacing the Japanese text with images, although it’s a pain. Here’s the result. Of course, the <title> tag can’t be fixed this way.

The other issue is with Japanese currency. There are actually two problems. The first is that Plimus displays all currencies to two decimal places — so $50.00, or £20.00, etc. And ¥1,000.00? Sorry, but the yen is the minimum unit of currency in Japan. You can’t pay someone a half a yen.

The second problem stems from Plimus’ rounding system. You can set up the system to round currencies for a better appearance, but the number of digits is the same for all currencies. Unfortunately, rounding to the nearest 100 yen is much less of a difference than rounding to the nearest hundred pounds! I also opened a support request for this one, but haven’t received a response yet.

Here’s hoping.

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in e-commerce | No Comments »

Felix is born

May. 12th 2008

Felix actually started out as another product, named TransAssist. I developed TransAssist for about 3 years before making it a commercial product, and then sold it through another company, Intermedia, for 4 more years.

My original goal was to concentrate only on development, and outsource all the marketing, sales, and other gicky stuff. What I found, however, that in order to truly control my product’s destiny I needed to step up and take control of the whole shebang.

I decided to change the name of the program to Felix because (1) “TransAssist” is kind of a boring name, and (2) I wanted to avoid any IP problems that might crop up in the future (Intermedia actually registered for a Trademark for TransAssist — in their names…).

So, here I am, stepping out into the cold, cruel world of software marketing. Wish me luck!

Posted by Ryan Ginstrom | in Felix | No Comments »
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