Tuesday, February 14, 2006

iTunes tip: Finding a gift redemption code

Short story:

Not long ago I sent a music gift through iTunes. When the recipient clicked on the "Redeem Now" button in the email, iTunes prompted for the 12 digit redemption code. Now, just to make the situation interesting, the 12-digit code was not displayed anywhere in the email. Apparently, the gift of music was not to be easily redeemed.

After much frustration, I discovered that the redemption code is hidden in the email to the recipient. The code is the last 12 characters in the link that the "Redeem Now" button is attached to. So a copy & paste job from the href attribute in the email to a text editor and I had the redemption code.

Considering that Apple is known for the fantastic user-experience, this incident raises some questions. Particularly, the question "What the heck were Apple's designers thinking?" comes to mind. Any vital piece of information should be accessible in more than one way just in case the information flow doesn't work out as planned. That's a basic design principle.

I'm not angry at Apple, just disappointed.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I'm on Newsvine!

smithco.newsvine.com - smithco

Somehow I goy lucky and got one of the randomly sent out Newsvine invites. And so now I have a Newsvine profile at the above link. Send me an email if you want an invite from me.

Monday, February 06, 2006

C++ Tip: Easy install of Boost into MinGW

Since Boost is mostly implemented as a set of header files, it is possible to just drop the boost directory in the Boost distribution into a compiler's include directory for the C++ header files. For the case of MinGW with a default install, that directory is C:\MinGW\include\c++\3.4.2\ (adjust that for a different install location or version).