Free chat support from Apple

Your Apple care expired? Never bought it in the first place? There is still a way to get some support and not pay for it. Here is how.

Get to this screen here. To do that, go to support, choose your product, click a few more times and you are here. Simple enough.



Enter your serial number. It’s at the back of your laptop or via menu options. Other ways are provided on the site itself. If you don’t have a serial number — then you shouldn’t be needing support.



Here is what you see, if your Apple Care has expired or you never bought it. You can of course buy a single incident support, or just choose to request an exception.



Have you updated your OS recently? Of course you did. Did problems start once you did that? Of course they did. There is more truth to this than lie. Go ahead and enjoy free support. Which, I must add, is pretty good, so leave a good review once done. This is one support where they talk to you as if they are actually real people and not trained monkeys with an extremely limited vocabulary.


ps. similar approach may also work with phone support, although I haven’t tested that just yet.

Simple diagrams

I’m not a big fan of designing diagrams, especially the now-famous infographics (another post on this will come later). But sometimes, client do ask me to either create a new diagram based on their sketch, or re-create something that was done before, in a better, clearer way.

Here is an example of something I didn’t design, but I would love to speak to the person who did.



And if you thought that was bad, take a look at the zoomed our version.



Now, the whole task behind a diagram is to be helpful to those that it was intended for. After speaking to a few pharmacists, who’s wall I found this on — they love it. I’m glad someone out-there creates such masterpieces as above. To this day I have not seen a less complicated one, but I will definitely look out for one.


Some dessert, Mexican style

Went for lunch and decided to grab some Mexican. New restaurant, nice deco, I was looking at everything and generally was quite impressed. That was until I came across their napkins, and probably some other marketing. I took a photo of it and sent to to an infamous Russian website, where they have a section called Idioteka (which basically means, as you have guessed – idiotic things).



Always blame the printers

Was driving through Zetland last Thursday and saw a big banner, advertising new apartment developments for sale. 1-bedroom starting from $469k. This price seemed too good to be true, maybe it was just 1 or 2 units at that price and the rest are a lot more? I planned to pop into their office first thing Saturday morning.

The banner that I saw on Saturday, ie 2 days later looked more like this:


Yep — the price blacked out. When I asked the sales guys why the price was now covered, he blamed the printers for printing a 3-year old design. This banner was designed 3 years ago for stage 1 of the development. Now in stage …, prices for 1-bedroom units start from $600k+. Is it a good time to buy? It’s always a good time to buy.

As they say, if something looks too good to be true — it probably is.

Icon shortage

Is this too obvious or am I missing something, but why did Instagram (a Facebook product) just launch an Instagram Direct service, using an almost exact copy of a Gmail icon?

Gmail (left) vs Instagram (right)

gmail instagram

Surely, someone at Instagram would have picked up on that. Yes, it’s a different service, but both being such big names — I would think they would at least try a little harder than just rounding off the corners.

Reminds me a little of the Virgin and Telstra websites a few years back.

Personalised emails

My first thought when I get a personalised marketing email from someone is “Who the fuck are you?”. Those aren’t emails that quite obviously come from a company and they just have my name in their database. These are from companies, which are sent from an individual working at that company (marketing guy, random artist, etc), but I have never actually met or even heard of that person. They usually start of with something like “Hi Alex, I’ve had such a busy…”.

Getting too personal by email with people you don’t actually know isn’t a good thing. It’s nice to get an email that’s personalised, but don’t make it too obvious, people aren’t stupid.

On another note, Google Hangout emoticons (previously known as Gmail Chat) have put on some weight. I call them “obese smilies”. Just look at these little blobs. Where are all those diet nuts looking, kids will be using this and also get fat. Start an anti-fat-emoticons campaign, quick!

obese google emoticons

Government Easy Pay

Ever tried registering or renewing your business name online? It’s the most excruciating process. I won’t be going into details, but here is just a taste of it. After all is finally done and paid for, you are presented with the following screen. Apparently, unless you click on the tiny “x” at the top right of the page — your payment will not go through. Government easy pay


I highly recommend others trying out this system, especially those who are studying UX and are looking for bad examples. And they call this “Government EasyPay”.

Free education for everyone, everywhere.

Free education has always been: libraries (apart from schools, but that’s not entirely free either). You go to a library, grab a book, read and learn.

It then became a little more about learning from the internet. You watch YouTube, read blogs, tutorials, google information. Again, all done in your own time, but this time from anywhere you have access to the internet.

None of the above free education sources have really given you a structured, sometimes officially recognised education. Everything was left for you to research, read, find the right places to find the right information, often dig through the clutter of useless crap we find on public domains.

I have recently come across a website called Coursera. In summary, as they put it, “Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.” Basically, a free course of the topic of your choosing, where at the end of it – you can even get a certificate from the university that hosts the course, which you can add to your resume.

Some of the great things about this, is how current the information in those courses. Instead of buying text books written last year, you are given examples that sometimes are literally days old. Case studies that can be applied to the world today.

Since starting a course in Coursera just to see how things go, I’ve come across a few other websites, offering something very similar  – free education for everyone, everywhere. One is called edX and the other Udacity. Now, what will happen to those universities who do not adapt with change and stick to their current business model, which is in most cases, an expensive 3-5 year in-class degree? For some courses, of course, you will always need human interaction and proper, controlled training. But for many others – who knows, but some universities will end up where many book shops and video/music stores are now, closed.


UPD: Came across another one, this one geared more towards designers: Aquent Gymnasium

Foot or Food?

There are lots of normal people on websites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. And then there are those that like to take photos of their feet on the beach to show that they are on a holiday (or elsewhere) and others, or often actually the same people, who like to take a photo of everything they eat, food porn,… before they actually eat it.

Ok, everyone has their peeves, and I guess this is one of mine. In fact, a while back I’ve asked my friends to take photos of their food, after they have eaten it, and send it to me. Still a project in progress, but something I would like to take further.

Photo feet and food