Please Please Me4 Oct 2021Please Please Me As you all know, Facebook is now in control. Facebook owns WhatsApp, Facebook owns Instagram.But now, it is also trying to own your time.Yesterday, yet another band pleaded over the microphone for your life to be spent in Facebook's world."Please, please like us," said the singer.Which was weird, because I already did. But I was liking them in my own time.What the singer really meant was, "Please spend your time in the world of Facebook."No.___Mac, short of precious time
Rotten to the core30 Sep 2021Rotten to the core So, I now have the duty to clear up my late father's business affairs, and, guess what? Most companies are helpful and sympathetic, and happy to help. But Apple hasn't even thought about this. Instead of being able to simply cancel my Dad's subscriptions, Apple have put every possible obstacle in my way, making me wait... (wait for it)... 2 weeks to prove that he has passed away.Their caution could be understandable, but I suspect that their delay policy is there simply to squeeze more cash out of their customers, dead or alive. My dead father's account will be charged for some Apple TV product in 3 days' time, a product that he (obviously) can't enjoy. No other company has been so unhelpful as Apple.Of course I'm upset. You would be too, if your Dad had just died. But what makes me rage is that Apple, a world leader in super shiny sexy technology, has made it painful for everyday people to get help with their personal tragedies.Shame on you, Apple directors. Shame, shame, shame. You have to do better than this.___Mac, not usually this direct.https://www.apple.com/uk/leadership?shame
Dream, dream, dream...22 Sep 2021Dream, dream, dream... I had this dream.A band wanted to play at their local pub, so the singer goes along and tries to persuade the landlord.You bring a crowd?Yeah, we're very popular.You on Lemonrock?No.Well you're not playing, then. How's everyone going to know that the gig's on if you don't advertise it in the place where everyone looks?It was a good dream.___Mac, not dreaming at all
What On Earth?12 Sep 2021What On Earth? Back in 2000, I was 40 years old. I needed a break. I had been working as a software engineer on a big mobile phone project.I was a good engineer, but I didn't want to work for anyone else any more. I was ready to start my own business.So - and regular blog readers will know this already - I registered a domain name, learned how to program in HTML, and set up a brand new web site called "Lemonrock".I had no idea what I was doing.All I knew was that I wanted to get into the fascinating world of the Web. I was already a programmer and an engineer, and I was sure that my background would help me to create something new. But what?Over the next few months, I read many books on web design. Eventually, I garnered the courage to write a few web pages, and published them online in June 2000.During these first months, I would chat with my Dad on the phone."What are you up to, son?" he would ask me. He didn't really understand what I was doing with my life."I'm working on Lemonrock," I would reply. "I'm trying to make it easier for people to find out what's going on in their local area. It's interesting, and it's fun."And then, after a few seconds' silence, my Dad would say something about maybe getting another job, another contract, something to keep the income flowing. And I would deflect his doubt and say something like "Well, we'll see how it goes, Dad."I stuck to my guns, and my Dad probably stuck to his doubts for some years afterwards. A few years later, when Lemonrock had started charging for memberships, but still wasn't making much money, we had another conversation, up in Scotland, at his home."It's going OK," I said, "but it's not working out the way I wanted.""So," he said, "what are you going to do?"And I thought about what I should do. Give up this badly-paid entrepreneurial website nonsense, and get a well-paid job as a software engineer, or continue with this mad, foolish, unprofitable business called Lemonrock.Three days ago, my lovely Dad passed away.A couple of months ago, on one of my more frequent trips to Scotland, my Dad and I were sitting on the sofa, late evening. Mum had already gone to bed. I told Dad about how Lemonrock was going, and how much money it had made over the years. I think he was impressed. I know that he had really wanted me to be a professional golfer, or a successful sportsman of some kind... or something that was relevant or meaningful to him. I don't think he ever understood the world that I had inhabited... software, programming, music venues, live bands...We were quite different, but in a way, also very similar. Perhaps if he hadn't questioned my sanity in the beginning, I may have abandoned the totally stupid idea of setting up a new type of gig guide...Here's to the memory of my father, Allan Jardine Dickson MacLaren, 1934 - 2021. In a way, a co-founder of Lemonrock (but he never knew it...)___Mac, Allan's boy
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