Adios, Polytrope. Howdy, Rucksack Texnology!


Effective September 1, 2013, Polytrope has begun the winding-down process with an eye to closing completely as soon as possible. All of Polytrope’s operations are being taken over by Rucksack Texnology.

RUCKSACK texnology

Please visit the contact page on Rucksack’s website to get our new email addresses. We will of course get your mail even you send it to, at least for a while. But responses from now on will come from Rucksack Texnology.

The blog at this address (the Polytrope blog) will remain online for a while, to support old links to my reviews and other articles.

Polytrope had a good long run, by the standards of very small technology companies. Whether you are a Polytrope consulting client or a licensee of CMAssistant or Guidebooks, you’ll be working in future with Rucksack Texnology — and you’ll continue to get the same outstanding service you’ve been getting for the last decade.

P.S. If you’ve been paying attention you will have noticed a certain zig-zag quality (to use Brit Hume’s wonderful phrase) to the naming process. You can read about it on the new blog, here.

Get Go 11, before it’s gone!


FileMaker Inc has announced that FileMaker Go 11 for iPhone and iPad will no longer be available in the App Store on your Apple mobile device after September 30, 2013.

You should be aware that version 11 FileMaker product line is already quite old; FileMaker 12 has been out for quite a while. My recommendation is that you upgrade all of your FileMaker Pro, Server and Go products to version 12 — although users of our databases should contact me first.

Anyway, if for budgetary or other reasons you just can’t consider upgrading any time soon, be aware of this coming deadline for getting the old software. If you’re registered with FileMaker Inc you are probably getting these messages yourself, which is best.


Kissell on Passwords


I want to recommend Joe Kissell’s book Take Control of Your Passwords to all of my clients. Odds are, the passwords you’re using are lousy. Check out Joe’s book to find out what’s wrong with your current password security setup, and what you can do to make things better. Reading it has completely changed the way that I work. I still have trouble sleeping at night, but at least I’m no longer (very) worried about getting hacked by an amateur.


Polytrope closed 8/13/12 through 8/24/12


Polytrope will be officially closed from Monday, August 13, 2012, through Friday, August 24, 2012. During that time I’ll be hiking in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and will therefore be very hard to reach. I will have a computer with me and will check email when I have access to the Internet but it surely won’t be daily and I won’t be able to do a lot.

I’ll be traveling 8/9/12 and 8/10/12 but expect to have phone and email access so, while I’ll be out of my office, I’ll still be trying to respond to email as quickly as I can. But on Monday, 8/13/12, I’m going dark.


I use this occasion twice every year to remind you that backing up your databases is YOUR responsibility and one you should take seriously. Data matter to you? Of course it does. But disasters DO happen, and more often than you’d think. Your databases can be seriously damaged by something as simple as a power outage during a thunderstorm. Check with your IT guy. He doesn’t care about your data. It’s your data. Make sure it’s being backed up, make sure you know where it’s being backed up and how often, and find out how to access those backups if you ever need ‘em.


And say a prayer for me that I don’t get eaten by bears.


Back in 2 weeks. — WP

When is a phone not a phone?


John Gruber at Daring Fireball:

This explains everything that has happened to both the computer and phone industries over the past five years. The iPhone is not and never was a phone. It is a pocket-sized computer that obviates the phone. The iPhone is to cell phones what the Mac was to typewriters.

Interesting point. Probably true for most users.

Not for me, though. After being the first person on my block to have an Android phone (the original G1, followed by a couple more), I gave up on smart phones and am now aiming to be the last person on my block to get an iPhone. I have an iPad and when I need to test something on an iPhone, I borrow my wife’s.

The problem I have is, I need a phone and I need also a smart mobile computing tool — but my iPad is smarter than my wife’s iPhone, so I carry it around with my Samsung dumb phone. I mean, how many devices can you really carry around? I’m already feeling pretty schizophrenic, working sometimes on my iPad, sometimes on my Macbook Air, and sometimes on my iMac. I do as much work as possible in Google Documents (now Google Drive, I think) because, well, iCloud is simply not getting the job done. I don’t want my documents synced. I want one copy in the cloud that I can access anywhere.

Today is World Launch Day for IPv6


Today isn’t just the memorial of D-Day, it’s also World Launch Day for IPv6, the first day of a new era on the Internet. This is a big deal, even though you may never notice that anything changed. You can read a short, user-friendly article about IPv6 here:

In a nutshell, it’s as if the 10-digit phone number system we’re all familiar with here in the US had suddenly changed to a 16-character system that used letters as well as numbers. Except that you often have to dial phone numbers, while you probably very seldom actually use IP addresses.

Using FileMaker Pro 10, 11 or 12? Nothing to worry about. The last three versions of FileMaker are ready for IPv6.