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Clean up your ACT!

December 31, 2004

One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2005 is to keep better track of my clients so that I can contact them more regularly. Let’s face it – without clients, a business doesn’t really amount to much. I decided to invest in software to help me out so that I don’t have to hunt for contact information when I want to send out materials to individual clients or groups of them.

Having used previous versions of ACT! I knew the basics of how it worked and already had many client records in that format, I decided that getting the latest version of the software would be the most logical choice.

The software installed without a hitch. Then I ran it for the first time. To my surprise I was greeted with the following dialog box:

I had to read it again, just to be sure I was reading it right. Yes, that’s right. The dialog box reads:

The color setting on your computer is greater than 16 bits per pixel. As a result, some icons in ACT! may display incorrectly. For best results, select the High Color (16-bit) setting.

Surely, you must be joking? I’ve never seen this on any other piece of software that I’ve installed, ever. You want me to change my settings from True Color (32-bit) to a lower setting, for your icons? That just doesn’t make sense. I’m sure it has something to do with transparency – at 32-bit color all of the icons have black squares surrounding the icon.

Why is that best software, the company that makes ACT!, doesn’t seem to understand that part of software development that every other company ever that builds software gets? Can anyone think of a sensible reason for them to have done this?

I’m at a complete loss… Why would any business design software this way?

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4 Responses

Comment by Mike D. — Dec 31 2004 @ 2:07 am

Complete guess here, but I wonder if it was something as simple as a bumbling programmer doing something like this:

if (not 16-bit) {
then (show error);

instead of:

if (less than 16-bit) {
then (show error);

Simple logic error. In a poor testing environment where no computer was set at True Color, maybe it slipped through. You’re right though… it’s pretty damned ridiculous.

Comment by Mike D. — Dec 31 2004 @ 2:11 am

Uhhh, nevermind… I just read the error message more carefully. It indeed knows exactly what it’s doing. Well, now, yeah, I’m at a complete loss too.

Comment by GaBuBu — Dec 31 2004 @ 2:56 am

Uninstall, get your money back!

Comment by elakin` — Jan 20 2005 @ 4:20 pm

Act was written by a couple in TX, they later sold it to Symantec which has mostly dropped the ball in terms of new development. It’s a cash cow.

A better simple contact manager is Goldmine.