A few days ago, I discussed the importance of continuity - generally as it related to movies and television. But continuity is important in applications, too - perhaps even more so.

Let's take a look at LinkedIn as one example. For a long time, LinkedIn has offered recommendations, but those are free-form endorsements, and as such they are not as easily searched and indexed, so the company decided to add "skills" to profiles. You can add skills yourself to your profile - as many as 50 individual skills that you believe represent your skill set.

There is a (somewhat outdated) SBS 2003 server on our network, and as we have discovered, the License Logging Service keeps wanting to restart. It is generally not possible to stop it for any length of time. Even disabling it doesn't work - it keeps coming back on. It isn't that we're trying to get around any licensing requirements, but we are trying to upgrade to a new server, and it seems that SBS doesn't want any part of that process.

Luckily there is actually a way to stop it, get rid of the warnings and keep SBS from complaining.

Enough talk about government. Instead, let's look at software. Specifically, why does it have to be so dang complicated? Take updates. It has become fairly commonplace to get them. If you use Windows, there is even a utility helpfully called Windows Update. On a regular basis, it provides updates to Windows - or something. Generally we have no idea what it updates, but we are simply to sit back and suffer through updates (and often the associated restarts). As an aside, I have been working in this industry long enough that I recall when we were told that installations and updates would not require as many reboots. I can only imagine what it would be like if it required more. But I digress.

As a recent gift, we passed down a laptop to one of our kids. Don't give me that look. There is nothing wrong such a thing. The laptop is perfectly fine for regular use, and in fact should serve him just fine for a while, and means we don't have to go out and buy a new one.

I noticed the other day - okay, it has probably been a couple of months and I'm just getting around to addressing the problem - that Quicken has started to miscalculated the principal and interest on a loan (specifically a mortgage - I don't know if it's a problem on all loans).

So I did the first thing most people will do: I searched online for the solution. The most common suggestion was to remove the loan and add a new one. While that will work, it means at best that you get a new loan, and I don't like that. It's messy.

Luckily, there is another answer.

Another week, another software problem. But this one isn't coming from Microsoft. No, this time it is Logitech who is causing issues.

Though I waffle between keyboards from time to time, my mouse is almost always Logitech, because they are just so comfortable. These days it is really difficult for me to use anything else. And that means that I am almost always using - or installing - their SetPoint software.

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally decided to give up on WS_FTP. It started when I kept running into the Failed to Load OpenPGP Keys from Keyrings message last year. It isn't a bad message, it's just one of those things that really irritates me. It came up every time I started the software and I couldn't get rid of it. Then it went away and I forgot about it, but I would remember it every time I went to start up again. I would dread starting the application. It's a shame, really, because I had been using the software for a really long time.

Even though I found a solution to the problem, it had become time to move on. I had just grown up from the simplistic software that had carried me for so long, and it was time to find a new utility for my FTP needs. More importantly than the message that had dogged me for months and months was the fact that FTP was born of a time when I didn't really care - or really think - about security, and now I tend to think about it all the time. So I wanted to approach it from that angle instead.

Now that we've taken a look at getting a handle on our email spam, it's important to try and figure out how to really get on top of it. Sure, we can manage the spam process, and try to make sure that it doesn't get the better of us, but to make the most of it, it is important that we understand how email works to get the most out of the process. Since I use pair Networks, this will naturally look at it from that angle, but much of this can apply to any service.

First, of course, you have to be aware of the spam that you are receiving. We have already talked about that. But then you have to make sure to do everything in your power to keep from receiving more of it. While I know there are lots of people who swear by GMail for it's effectiveness in fighting spam, I have to say that I really don't find it any better than any other tool. You just have to find what works best for you. That doesn't mean that GMail is bad - it just means that is isn't going to be the best because someone says that it is the best.

One of the most annoying items that we all face is undoubtedly email spam. Unfortunately, there is little that we can do about it, and so I figured that it was time to try and understand it better. Not so long ago, I made two changes that made this not only possible, but useful. First, I switched from using POP3 email to IMAP. This in turn led to the other change, which was to (finally) dump Outlook and start using Thunderbird exclusively. In fact, the only time that I've used Outlook in the last few months was to help a family member figure out what was going wrong. But that's a story for another time.

What these two changes have done has allowed me to look at email spam differently. You probably already know that Outlook handles junk email. I've mentioned it before. More than once, actually. Unfortunately, the Outlook junk filter doesn't have much of a brain to it. I'm sure it does something, but it doesn't seem to ever tell you anything about it, and operating in a void doesn't help anyone. Thunderbird, meanwhile, doesn't tell you a lot either, but it does interact with the most popular spam filter on the planet (SpamAssassin) and it also allows you to tag items as junk and not junk, which supposedly will help future items. I don't know if that helps or not, but it feels like it does, and sometimes that makes all the difference.

It seems like I just can't seem to get rid of an annoying error that crops up every once in a while where I'm unable to delete AVI files through Windows XP. To be fair, I should probably elaborate and say that I'm unable to delete AVI files through Windows XP when I'm using Windows Explorer. Were I to use the command line, I'm sure that it would be just fine.

I think that I might have finally managed to lick this problem - though at this point I'm really suspecting that it has just gone into remission, so I don't know for sure. If you've seen it, then you know what happens. You try and delete (or move, which involves a delete) an AVI file and you get an annoying message telling you that the file is in use. You can kill the file handle using something like Process Explorer, but it would be so much better to not have to worry about it.

Now that I've mentioned what would make TypePad really rock because those features are things that I run into every day, and also came up with a few features that would make TypePad just a bit better with some features that I run into, but perhaps not quite as often, you might be thinking that I don't like TypePad.

That's actually not the case. In fact, the more I work with it, the more I like it. Sure, you can't do PHP on TypePad, and using PHP makes managing sites easier. But you can use SSI, which is awfully close. In fact, since you use the blog name in SSI calls, all you have to do is substitute one blog's name for another in the SSI and you suddenly have a module that you can easily include on multiple blogs. This isn't quite the same as having a module that you can include from multiple places, because you can't actually parse the content for template tags, but it's close. It isn't Movable Type, but there's a lot to like in there.

Perhaps this is in reverse order, since I first mentioned what would make TypePad really rock, but hey - those are the things that I run into every time I use TypePad, so they were foremost on my mind. This next batch of items are things that are high on my list, because I get them a lot, but I don't necessarily see them every time I log in. They are just little nitpicky items that I'd like to see go away.

In all honesty, it would probably be better to address these first, because like most things, it's the little things that will get you. In life, you can often deal with the largest of problems, yet you're only too happy to let the small stuff build up and build up until you just can't take it any more. This list is all about the small stuff. The items that you only see from time to time, but that - if fixed - would make using the service just that much better.