"If it works, don't mess with it." This advice, long shared among offset veterans, will get you a puzzled look from the digital crowd. Seems that for computerized printing equipment to play nice with the latest drivers and software updates, having to mess with it comes with the territory.
Our own troubles tend to run somewhat deeper. Developers get giddy just thinking there might be a couple of loose bits left to mess with. Witness Google's March edict that says all web sites must be mobile-friendly by April 21 (yeah, 2015, that April 21), or else get dropped to the bottom of the search engine rankings. That's more than a fresh coat of paint. Making a web site "responsive" means starting from scratch, which we had to do this month with our online Morning Flight Shop.
Then there's Microsoft's recent surprise announcement of UWP that will pull together disparate computing platforms so developers can write a single program running on all flavors of the OS. The plan is that by this time next year, a new Windows app intended for desktop PCs will also have to run on smart phones, tablets, Xbox game consoles, even embedded devices. Commendable and sure to benefit developers in the long run, but now we get to throw away all the books and code libraries we bought in preparation for porting Morning Flight to the cloud.
There's a 600 foot long bridge in the Thousand Islands three hours north of here, linking Hill Island to Constance Island on the Canadian side. When you pass under that bridge on one of "Uncle Sam's" boat tours, expect to see a work crew hanging off both sides painting it. The reason they're as regular a fixture as Norm was at "Cheers" is simple: When they reach the end of the bridge, it's time to start over.
I try to visit the islands at least once a year, and can remember feeling bad for the painters. I don't anymore. Yes, it's a long bridge, but the length is anchored in cement and unlikely to change. And they get to live and work in the Thousand Islands, one of the most magical places on earth.
Unitac International Inc.
New Morning Flight Shop
As luck would have it, we had just completed a total "responsive" makeover of our main website when we received news of the impending changes to the Google search algorithm. No rest for the weary, but at least we were able to put our newly developed mobile-first skills to work replacing our aging Printfire Store.
The new store is called the Morning Flight Shop, fully responsive and open for business since late May. We'd love to have you stop in for a look around. The old store will close in July, once existing user accounts and orders have been transferred. If you're unable to download a program from a previous order, please email us and we'll send you an updated link.
To streamline technical support, all downloads, including no-cost orders for demos and the Starter Edition, will from now on be processed through the Morning Flight Shop.
Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?
While the handwriting may have been on the wall, it's safe to assume Google's recent directive for responsive web design caught many website owners off guard. "Responsive" means the website must seamlessly adapt itself to whichever device it is being viewed on. Here is part of an article published on March 26 by Forbes:
"Beginning April 21, Google will use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, rewarding websites that are fully optimized for mobile platforms. Most modifications to the all-important Google Search Algorithm have only a low-weight impact on search results, however Google says the effect of this change will be profound. It is very important for any business owner with a website to respond accordingly."
Click the link below to see how your website stacks up. You can test a single page or all pages to see what Google’s search algorithm is looking for.
Tip of the Month
Question: If an application attempts to store data under Program Files in Windows 7 as Morning Flight does, the files are diverted by the OS into a Compatibility files folder. I no longer see the Compatibility files button in Windows 8. Has this been changed?
Answer: We haven't been able to find anything official from Microsoft on this, but the consensus seems to be that the Compatibility files button has gone the way of the Start button in Windows 8. However, the virtual store (where these files would be located) is in the same place in Windows 8 as it is in Windows 7. To back up your Morning Flight data files, navigate to it as follows:
32 bits: C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Printfire\MorningFlight
64 bits: C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Printfire\MorningFlight
If UAC (User Access Control) is turned off, the data files will be in the same folder as the program.