Monday, January 22, 2007

Google Mail & Your Google Account

I've had a Google account for some time. With it I manage my company Adwords account, check up on client sites using Analytics, publish my calendar, etc, etc. Running an web design business, its an invaluable tool.

Recently a friend sent me an invitation to open a gmail account, which I duly did. Everything went tickety boo. Then I was locked out of my Google account - Analytics, Aswords, Blogger, etc, were all inaccessible using my normal login. So, I whizzed off an email to Analytics support. Back came the response that I'd changed my account email address - which is also my login.

No I hadn't, not least to my knowledge. No, I had - least my gmail login is now my Google account login! This is done automatically for you it seems. That was the first I'd heard of it & I can't remember reading in the Gmail info anything that said this would happen. Perhaps I'd ticked some box without realising the 'global' implications of so doing.

Whatever, just be careful. Signing up for Gmail may have ramifications for your existing Google account!

Star Office Support Bugs Me

Yesterday I had to apply a patch to Star Office 8 - saw a story on The Register
telling of a vulnerability. Even though I'm a paying customer of Star Office (or Sun), no product notification was received. No mention was made of this issue on the Star Office official site either. Not good customer support!

And then the Sun support site is horrendous. The actual patch is delivered to Windows users as a .jar (Java Archive) file, which means didly squat to most Windows users. How user unfriendly is that? Only after you've unzipped the jar file do you realise its got a .exe file within it. How many average users would even know what to do - the readme file is pretty oblique too.

It's often the little things like this that kill off a really good product. Star Office (& its free counter part Open Office) are really good products - they're more than adequate for at least 90% of the Microsoft Office user base. Yet, poor support will cripple it.

It's time that Star Office came with some form of auto update facility, so that users don't have to search the Sun/Star Office support site to apply patches.