Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Issue # 0 of FreelanceMag has just been released

Issue # 0 of FreelanceMag, “the first magazine dedicated to translation and to the freelance translators community” has just been released. FreelanceMag will be published both on paper and online.

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago, and asked to contribute an article. I didn’t have time to writing something new, so I contributed a post I had published here some time ago: “A marketing kit for translators”, which has now been titled “Marketing Tips for Freelancers” in the new magazine.

You can get Issue # 0 for free from the FreelanceMag Website.

You can freely distribute this first pdf issue of the magazine:

Please do not hesitate to distribute the PDF issue to all your contacts to help us getting known in the industry.
Please also note that we offer free advertising in our magazine to people/companies who subscribe to the one-year paper version of FreelanceMag.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The quality of SDL (paid) technical support

Last year, for the first time, we decided to pay for SDL technical support.

We did this mainly because the maintenance agreement includes the upgrade to the next major version - we calculated that by upgrading all our licenses to the current version by the April 15 deadline for the discount pricing, and by paying at the same time for the one-year maintenance agreement, we would get Trados 2009 at a convenient price.

So far the quality of paid support has been generally good: accurate and quick response in helping with the installation and licensing of the various components, good suggestions (in general) about how to overcome certain problems (e.g., the suggestion about how to use Trados 2007 with Office 2010), some less than good suggestions (suggesting that in order to speed up downloads one should disable firewall and antivirus is not what I would call a good idea), and one thing we really appreciate: almost all our support tickets are apparently handled by the same person, so we don't have to explain everything again every time we open a ticket (tellingly, it was not our favorite support person who suggested we disable antivirus and firewall to speed up the download).

Things that I find should be improved: the web interface for entering support tickets is overcrowded and clunky. The quality of the articles in the knowledge base seems to be hit or miss: there are many helpful articles, but my impression is that a non-technical user would be at a loss.

Overall, I would give SDL tech support a B+ grade (higher than the grade I would give to SDL's software, as a matter of fact)

SDL: please get some bandwidth!

I've recently had to download several large files from SDL (we finally got round to install Studio 2009, now that some customers are asking that we use it).
I found the download from the SDL site extremely slow.  I checked, but the problem was not on our side: downloading even large files (e.g., the complete Open Office installation package) completed in just a few minutes from other sites. Nor was it a transient issue: when I saw how painfully slow the download was, I aborted it, to try again the next day... and the next one. No changes, even after opening a support ticket to complain about it (the very dubious suggestion from SDL was to disable my firewall and antivirus software. As I have no desire to also download malware I decided not to follow their suggestion).
In the end I bit the bullet and downloaded all files: it took some seven hours in all, but the download eventually completed.
Now I'm again downloading something from the SDL site: a mere 18 MB for the UE auto-suggest English Italian files. A download that should take just a few seconds took more than five minutes to complete.
SDL is clearly not paying enough for bandwidth.