Jul
31

For those that may not know, I manage the development department at Nashville-based Dealerskins, a leading provider of Internet solutions to the automotive space. We've been working on something very exciting that until today has not been public knowledge: we've been named the preferred Web site provider for Mazda North America. This means Mazda North America has chosen us to create and host Web sites for nearly 700 dealers. We're incredibly excited by the opportunity to serve Mazda in this capacity and we look forward to working with Mazda North America and their dealers. The full press release is included below.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 30, 2008 Dealerskins, (www.dealerskins.com) a division of Dominion Enterprises and a leading provider of automotive dealer web solutions, has announced that it has partnered with Mazda North American Operations to create uniquely-branded, independent websites for Mazda dealerships.

"Mazda has a great reputation for performance and excellence, and we are honored they have entrusted us with such a critical web marketing initiative. We are committed to earning that trust each and every day by providing outstanding support," said Kerry Cave, Dealerskins national sales director.

As the preferred provider of web solutions for Mazda dealers, Dealerskins will create custom, expertly designed websites for each dealer, and will provide training and support. Mazda dealers also will receive Dealerskins' proprietary sales tools including its Ups! search engine optimization and keyword report, Redline Configurator, Autobahn Inventory, and CarFax vehicle history check. Dealers may choose from three packages, each offering a variety of tools that maximize site traffic and leads, and convert those leads into more sales and service opportunities.

"We are excited about this partnership with Dealerskins, as it will give many of our dealers an interactive edge in the digital space. With more and more consumers researching automotive brands online it is important that our dealers have a strong web presence," said Rudolph V. Privitelli, group manager, Relationship Marketing of Mazda North American Operations. "In many cases, a consumer decision on whether they visit a dealership is made from their experience online. Our dealers invest a significant amount of money, time, and care into their facilities to deliver the Mazda brand promise of Zoom-Zoom. In this new shopping reality, that same care and attention must go into the design of their website - their virtual showroom."

Jul
30

Tomorrow night (7/31/2008) Mark Mandel will be presenting Introduction to Building Applications with Transfer ORM. Here's the description of Mark's presentation as reported on the NCFUG Web site.

When developing an Object Oriented web based application, it is normal to have a database with relational tables and a series of objects that represent that data. Often, the amount of time and effort it takes to manually map these objects back and forth from a database is large, and can be very costly. Object Relational Mappers (ORM) were developed to cut down the amount of time this process takes, and automate the translation between a relational database and an Object Oriented system. Transfer ORM's main focus is to automate the repetitive tasks of creating the SQL and custom CFCs that are often required when developing a ColdFusion application. Through a central configuration file Transfer knows how to generate objects, and how to manage them and their relationships back to the database. This presentation will outline the basics of what an Object Relational Mapper is, the use case for using one within web application development, as well as taking a code centric, step by step view of how to install, configure and use the basic functionality of Transfer ORM.

WHEN:
July 31, 2008 at 6:30pm CDT

WHERE:
Dealerskins
404 BNA Dr. Building 200
Suite 600
Nashville, TN 37217

ADOBE ACROBAT CONNECT:
http://mmusergroup.adobe.acrobat.com/ncfug/

Jul
27

I've been into this productivity thing for quite some time now. Implementing GTD in all aspects of my life has increased not only my productivity but my sanity as well. Add to that my affinity for gadgets and the iPhone and it's easy to see why I was thrilled to learn the fine folks at OmniGroup were releasing OmniFocus for the iPhone. I bought OmniFocus for the mac well over a year ago and found it easy to drop $19.99 on the full-featured iPhone version. Yea it would've been nice to get a returning customer discount; you can blame Apple's AppStore for not building this functionality into the store.

I've had some time to take the OmniFocus iPhone application for a test drive and here are my favorite features.

Continue Reading

Jul
27

New E-Mail Address

Posted by Aaron West at 11:44 AM in Personal, MobileMe

I e-mailed a slew of folks earlier notifying them of a few e-mail address changes and thought it pertinent to blog it as well. With my recent sign on to Apple's MobileMe and Viacom's lawsuit against Google the e-mail addresses I use are changing some. I'll still be using trajik210 [at] gmail [dot] com as a secondary account, but my primary personal e-mail address is now a.west [at] me [dot] com. Even if MobileMe isn't "true" push the cloud integration is still very nice. If you have me in your contacts or address book, update your data yo!

Jul
20

MobileMe Problems Resolved

Posted by Aaron West at 11:02 PM in iPhone, Personal, MobileMe

For the past 8 days I have tirelessly attempted to get MobileMe working on my personal Macbook Pro (Leopard). I have followed several threads on Apple's forums where many others were experiencing the same issues. I've been active on this thread and this one as I attempted various things and worked with other users on the problem.

Within the last 15 minutes I was successful syncing to MobileMe. This is what worked for me.

According to others on the threads, Apple has recommended folks try and sync from a fresh user account. Well, I have a second Macbook Pro (office computer) so I decided to sync from it. I went into System Preferences, selected .Mac and waited for a minute. When the MobileMe update showed up I installed it. I then quit System Preferences, then immediately relaunched it. I entered my MobileMe username (without the @me.com) and typed my password. I noticed something odd, that my password seemed shorter than what I had entered on my personal Macbook Pro. Nevertheless I signed in, checked the box for "Synchronize with MobileMe" and it in fact worked. I was able to select a syncing interval (I chose Automatic) as well as Calendars, Contacts, and Bookmarks. I then switched over to my main (personal) Macbook Pro and went through the same steps, manually typing my MobileMe password, choosing sync preferences, and then doing an initial sync.

Within one to two minutes I was logging into me.com and verifying my Calendars and Contacts were online. Oddly, I don't see a place where Bookmarks show online. I then set up my iPhone and configured Calendars, Contacts and Bookmarks for push syncing. This caused all three types of data to be overwritten with data from MobileMe. It all seemed to work very well.

So what was the problem? I use an /excellent/ password storage program called 1Password. It makes it super super easy to use really strong passwords on every site. Since 1Password also stores a bookmarklet in Safari on the iPhone I'm able to easily log-in to all my Web sites without having to remember nearly 100 passwords. Sidenote: 1Password has released a new native iPhone app that will be available in a week or so from the App Store. What I realized, is that every time I was trying to sign-in to and sync with MobileMe from my main (personal) Macbook Pro, I was copying the password from the 1Password OS X app using a little "Copy" button the software provides. I was then pasting the clipboard contents into the MobileMe sign-in screen. While I have verified the 1Password copy button was not adding characters to my password (by pasting into TextEdit), it does not work with the MobileMe sign-in screen. After typing in my MobileMe password by hand I was in business on my personal Macbook Pro.

I'm confused as to whether the MobileMe sign-in screen was actually signing me in correctly, or just allowing me to see my account info and then passing an invalid password when I attempted to synchronize (as this was the error that showed up in the OS X Console). Regardless, I FINALLY have everything working now.

I would be VERY interested to hear from any other users that may be using 1Password and performing the same steps I was. If you fall into this category, reply to this post and let me know.