About Betalogue

My Internet connection is finally real broadband, but my computer system is in what amounts to permanent beta form (Mac OS X 10.8.3 and counting, still full of flaws and bugs, like all the software that I use)…

My life is in beta form and will probably always remain so…

It is thus only appropriate that I call this endeavour a… Betalogue.

Welcome to my beta users.

My name is Pierre Igot. I was born (in 1967) and educated in France, but moved to southwest Nova Scotia, Canada in 1994. Since moving here, I have been working as a certified translator, writer, Macintosh technical support provider, web designer, graphic designer, systems administrator, etc.

I maintain my own web site of literary, visual, and musical creations at www.latext.com, and this blog at www.betalogue.com, as well as a French-language site devoted to what we call “faux amis” between English and French.

History

I started Betalogue in February 2003. This blog primarily discusses issues relating to Macintosh computing, but not exclusively. The list of categories in this blog should give you a good idea of what my interests are.

I first used Radio UserLand as my blogging engine, but soon decided that a server-based engine was the only viable solution and switched to pMachine. This was OK for a while, but then pMachine (the company) discontinued pMachine (the product) and launched a new, much more expensive blogging product called ExpressionEngine.

I stayed with pMachine for a while, but also had the opportunity to explore other solutions as part of my job setting up a server and developing a dynamic web site for one of my employers. This gave me the chance to try out the open-source WordPress blogging engine.

In July 2005, I decided to switch from pMachine to WordPress, and move the site to its own permanent domain name at www.betalogue.com.

Discussion

And that’s where we are now. The best way to keep up with what’s going on at www.betalogue.com is to subscribe to the RSS feeds. (See “Syndication” in the side bar.)

If you have a question or comment, feel free to communicate with me (see “Contact the Author” in the side bar).

I used to have WordPress’s discussion features on, which enabled users to register and submit comments for all to see, but ended up turning the whole thing off because of issues with hackers. (See the “Blogging” category for more information on what happened.)

Existing posts still feature the old discussions that took place before I closed the comments feature, but you cannot add anything to them. If you want to discuss anything, please contact me directly.

Bug Reports

You might notice that this blog includes a lot of posts about bugs in Mac OS X and other software titles. It’s quite intentional. This is a Betalogue after all. But is it useful? Or am I just shouting into a vacuum?

Well, for one thing, even though I don’t always mention this in the posts in question, I almost always also report the bug directly to the software developer — as long as they provide a decent facility to do so.

The only exception is Microsoft. While they do provide a web page where you can submit feedback on their products, there is no facility for reporting Mac-specific bugs. If you select the “Send Feedback about Word” command in Word 2011’s own “Help” menu, you get taken to a web page with a simple form, which does not offer the option to include any attachments, and which specifically asks you to check a box that says, “I understand that I will not be contacted in response to my feedback.” In other words, Microsoft is saying, “You can write to us if you’d like to, but it’s unlikely that anyone will ever read what you have to say, much less do anything about it.

I have submitted a number of bug reports to Microsoft via such facilities in the past, and I have never received any indication that any of these reports ever reached the MacBU at Microsoft. Microsoft is the only company that has never responded to any of my bug reports or given any sign that these bug reports are taken into account. And the fact that almost none of the bugs that I have reported have ever been fixed also seems to confirm that trying to report bugs to Microsoft is pretty much a waste of time.

So when it comes to Microsoft, I don’t bother anymore. But for all the other products that I use, including Apple’s own software, BBEdit, Interarchy, NetNewsWire, etc., if you see a report on a bug on Betalogue, usually you can be sure that I have also submitted a bug report to the company in question via the appropriate channels.

Why am I reporting them on Betalogue as well? For a variety of reasons. One is that it can be useful for other users to find reports describing bugs that they are experiencing, if only to reassure them that there’s nothing wrong with the way that they are using the software, and that it is a problem with the software itself. Sometimes I or other people might come up with solutions or “workarounds.” Sometimes the feedback of other people makes me realize that I was mistaken and that what I thought was a bug or a flaw actually makes sense.

And then, you know, sometimes expressing one’s frustration with the world of modern computing just provides some kind of release. I don’t feel that there is anything intrinsically wrong with that. I don’t force anyone to read this blog. All that I ask for is that, if you do respond to what I wrote, please keep it polite and try to be constructive.