Update on the Aeron chairs

15 10 2007

Ten days ago I reported that my Aeron chairs had arrived. Ten days on and all I can say is that they are GREAT!

While they seem to be really expensive, I figured that I’d already spent almost every working day since 1992 sitting in front of a computer, and was likely to continue to do so for many more years yet. And all that time I’ve sat in cheap, crappy chairs that did nothing for my back or posture. If I think how many cheap office chairs I’ve purchased for myself in the past 15 years (plus all the cheap ones provided at my various workplaces), I reckon I’d have paid for an Aeron and a half by now! Aerons have a 12 year warranty. If you amortise the cost over 12 years, they’re not so expensive after all. And if you also save on chiropractor or masseur bills, the cost is even less. It sounds like I’m justifying the cost – I guess I am! But one chair for 12+ years, compared to three or four chairs over that time plus chiropractor bills and the Aeron doesn’t look expensive at all!

I’m not saying that these Aeron chairs will suit everybody, or cure any back ailments, but in my opinion they are WAY better than any other work chair I have sat in. And my husband agrees – he loves his Aeron too!


New toy!

15 10 2007

I had heaps of loyalty points and got a catalogue of what I could buy with those points a few weeks ago. Normally, these catalogues just go straight in the bin as I usually convert my accumulated points to Frequent Flyer miles about once a year. But I’ve got nearly half a million Frequent Flyer points, so I decided to see if the catalogue had anything that was a ‘nice-to-have-but-I’m-not-going-to-spend-my-money-on-it’ item.

Sure enough, there was! A KitchenAid mixer!! The big mother of all mixers. Until now I’ve been making do with a hand-held electric beater which sparks every time I turn it on. It’s not that I use a mixer very often, but those little beaters have sure had their day. And now maybe with a decent mixer, I’ll make blueberry muffins and the like more often.

Last week my lovely new KitchenAid (as used by Martha Stewart and many many others) arrived. I could’ve chosen one in a really bright colour, but went for boring old cream/vanilla as it will match any future kitchen I have. See my Amazon store for details – including ALL the colours! If you’re in the US, you can purchase it from my Amazon store; if you’re not in the US, you’ll have to source one from your local kitchen store.

Very cool business card designs

14 10 2007

Found this while catching up on some RSS feed reading today: http://creativebits.org/cool_business_card_designs. It’s pictures of some really creative and very cool business cards. I’m not sure how practical some of them are, but most of them are very clever.

My favourites? The dental ones, the cat tail, ‘blind date’ theme, the x-ray, the acupuncturist, and the divorce lawyers and post-marriage counselling ones.

Quilting Tip: 5

13 10 2007

A vote for Sew Easy’s “Clear Grip”, electrostatic plastic you add to the underside of your quilting ruler to stop the fabric from slipping ever-so-slightly when you’re cutting ‘width of fabric’ pieces. You cut it to size and it sticks to the ruler.

A similar product is “Invisigrip”, though neither of these products are available on Amazon that I could see, so I couldn’t add them to my Amazon store.

Search MYOB Help files

11 10 2007

UPDATE: The information below only applies to versions of MYOB prior to v17. I received v17 the other day, installed it today, went to make these modifications only to find that MYOB v17 now uses the excellent Zoom Search (I installed Zoom for a previous client’s intranet – it works really well and I can highly recommend it). The new MYOB search now allows you to specify the number of results per page.


Another thing I don’t like about the MYOB Help is that only 10 items per page get displayed when you do a search. This means a lot of clicking if the results are well over 100, for example.

So I’ve fixed that too! Here’s how:

  1. Go to where your MYOB program files are stored (e.g. C:\MYOB16; NOTE: the information below is not applicable to MYOB 17 or later).
  2. Open the Help folder.
  3. Find the searchtopframe.html file and open it in a text editor. (NOTE: I use EditPlus but any text editor will do; I just prefer text editors with colour coding as the syntax is easier to read.)
  4. Near the very top of this long file, find the line that starts var displaymatches = 10; (it’s around about line 18).
  5. Change the value from 10 to whatever you like – 25, 50, 100, or however many results you’d like to see on a single page of search results.
  6. Save your changes.
  7. Refresh your MYOB Help window.
  8. Do a search for something with a lot of results, such as balance. You should now see the number of results you asked to display on a single page, with appropriately labelled Next and Previous buttons.

Woohoo! I’m on a roll!

MYOB Help files

11 10 2007

I’ve been using MYOB for my business and personal accounts for some years now. And it does what it’s meant to do, though there are times the user interface is frustrating. Anyhow, as with most software, you eventually learn to live with it and work around it.

Some versions ago they made all their Help browser-based. Which is a good thing (even though it takes up most of the installation time of upgrades!).

What’s NOT a good thing is how these MYOB Help files resize your default browser window on opening. To hell with whatever your browser has open right now, or how you’ve resized your window to fit how YOU work – no, MYOB ‘knows better’ and resizes your browser for you… to a ridiculously small size!! (350 px wide, 600 px high for those of you who know what these dimensions mean; and 350 px wide and 500 px high for the Search window—which opens in a new browser window too, by the way)

I put in a complaint to MYOB’s support team about this a couple of years ago in January 2006 and suggested that users get the option to set their own browser window size, or, even better, for MYOB to open in the browser window size you currently have set (<sarcasm>now, that’d be novel!</sarcasm>). I got the most ridiculous answer (reproduced here with typos and all):

Although the code supplied would generate a new browser if you where using it in the HTML code of a website, when asking a program to open a website the program has no HTML code and simply asks Windows to open a web browser.

It is infact windows that is fiinding an open browser and using this.

All programs when opening a web page will simply ask Windows to load the webpage and Windows finds an already open page.

For example i selected Help and then Online help in Microsoft Word and it used my Browser that was already open.

However that beinig said we only support the operation of MYOB not its interaction with other programs and this information may need to be checked with an IT Professional.

Even after trying to figure out what it meant (!) it still didn’t answer the question or address the problem.

So today I opened MYOB Help looking for how to do something, and the browser resize p***ed me off that much I decided to find the cause and fix it myself if it was something I could do.

A little bit of digging into the Help file code and I found the culprit – and fixed this window resizing once and for all (until the next upgrade anyway, when I’ll have to spend one minute changing these settings again).

For those who want to do this themselves, here’s how:

  1. Go to where your MYOB program files are stored (e.g. C:\MYOB16).
  2. Open the Help folder.
  3. Find the webby4menu.js file and open it in a text editor. (NOTE: I use EditPlus but any text editor will do; I just prefer text editors with colour coding as the syntax is easier to read.)
  4. Find the text that starts with self.name in the Exposed Menu Events section. NOTE: Make sure you’re at the real code, not the commented out ‘self.name’ bit above it. For those unfamiliar with JavaScript, any line starting with // is a ‘commented out’ line – ignore those lines.
  5. Change the values in self.resizeTo(350,600);self.moveTo(450,25) to something more reasonable, like self.resizeTo(950,900);self.moveTo(250,25). The first set of values specify the browser width and height; the second set the position of the browser window from the top right (?) edge of the screen – these aren’t as annoying so you can leave them if you want.
  6. Go down a couple of lines to the search window specifications, and change the height and width (500 and 350 respectively) to something like 900 and 750.
  7. Save your changes.
  8. Refresh your MYOB Help window (or open MYOB Help if it’s not already open) and you should see the contents in a decent-sized window. Yay!
  9. Adjust the height and width settings to suit, if the ones I’ve documented here aren’t quite what you want.

Hopefully this will help someone else who is as equally annoyed with this ‘feature’ of the MYOB Help. Let me know how you go!

Tech support

11 10 2007

If you’ve EVER worked on a Help Desk or in technical support of one form or another, you should enjoy this YouTube video (6 mins). I especially loved the “12 o’clock flasher” reference!


Portland, OR

9 10 2007

Woohoo! I got an email on Sunday accepting my proposal to speak at the WritersUA Conference in Portland, Oregon next March. Now to get started on the preparation…

Meantime, the most recent thing I know about Portland are the lyrics from the Loretta Lynn/Jack White duet “Portland, Oregon”:

Well Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz
If that ain’t love then tell me what is
Well I lost my heart it didn’t take no time
But that ain’t all. I lost my mind in Oregon

In a booth in the corner with the lights down low
I was movin’ in fast she was takin’ it slow
Well I looked at him and caught him lookin’ at me
I knew right then we were playin’ free in Oregon

Next day we knew last night got drunk
But we loved enough for the both of us
In the morning when the night had sobered up
It was much too late for the both of us in Oregon

Well sloe gin fizz works might fast
When you drink it by the pitcher and not by the glass
Hey bartender before you close
Pour us one more drink and a pitcher to go

And a pitcher to go [repeat]

Our conferences really aren’t like that – or at least, not the ones I’ve been to! Maybe I’ve been hanging with the wrong crowd… 😉

It’ll be interesting to see Portland again. I can’t remember if I last saw it in 1986 or 1993, but it was a while ago. I just remember the azaleas and the drive up Pacific Highway 101.

Password madness

9 10 2007

A work colleague sent this link around the team today: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q276304/

The support title says it all, really:

Error Message: Your Password Must Be at Least 18770 Characters and Cannot Repeat Any of Your Previous 30689 Passwords

Yeah, go figure!!

A rambunctious dog’s life

5 10 2007

Last night I finished reading a great book about an ‘energetic’ dog and its journalist owner: Marley and Me.

It had me in tears of grief at the end—not because of any cataclysmic event in the story, but because of the memories it evoked. I read somewhere recently that we are never really given time or permission to grieve for a beloved pet; there’s always that “Oh, you can get always a new dog/cat/whatever.” But the grief is real, and it lasts for a long time.

In this case I was grieving for my childhood boxer—Cassie—who I grew up with and who had to be put down the afternoon of my Year 12 Ball (Senior Prom for the Americans). I sure didn’t enjoy that night, but I held in my grief as it wouldn’t have been cool to be in tears the whole night.

And I was grieving for Anouschka, my beloved cat for some 17 years, who I held in my arms when she was put to sleep in 1995.

The grief never goes. You think it has, then you read a book like this, and it comes welling back up.

Update (19 February 2008): I just read that this great book is being made into a movie, starring Owen Wilson.