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A cow on the iPhone

adrenochrome says:

In the scheme of things, this is a pretty minor request, but what about a different icon for the program on the iPhone? In a business environment, a cartoon cow is a little unprofessional, especially if you're showing something on the phone to someone. "You manage your tasks with a cow?"

Obviously, the cow is RTM's logo, but since the iPhone app is free, what about another version of the program - exact same program, but with a less cartoony icon?

Posted at 4:40pm on December 8, 2008

jhollington Pro says:

I'd second this request, actually, for pretty much the same reasons.

I love RTM as a solution for managing my tasks, but the one thing I don't like about it is the cow icon, and it was enough of an issue to make me hesitant to switch over from OmniFocus or even Appigo's To Do app, both of which provide much more professional-looking icons.

Posted 5 years ago

will.s.brown says:

+1

Posted 5 years ago

richstyles says:

haha, yeah it's a bit embarassing. Change it to Bob the Monkey.

Not sure if the iPhone SDK would allow something like Icon preferences but would be nice. Having said that, this is an integral part of RTM spirit. This is a seriously powerful tool but these guys don't take themselves too seriously and that's one of the reasons I like this service.

Posted 5 years ago

naked says:

Hum, I'd be all for custom Icons, or at least some different options for personal preference. Jailbreak your phone and you can use different themes, and I think changing the icon would be easy.

Posted 5 years ago

wgarth says:

If we focus on the functionality of the program and get past the icon, we'll all be more productive, which is what RTM is all about!

Personally, I was so excited to see the icon/app that I have showed it to everyone that I can. I have also mandated that all business team leaders in my company install and use this app.

I also had a web-link icon to the regular i.rememberthemilk.com and was quite content with the cow.

Posted 5 years ago

johnwin says:

@wgarth - I'm with you. I show my cow to anyone who will look, and a few who don't want to!

Posted 5 years ago

matthew.e says:

when trying to decide between "Things" and RTM for my iPod, my wife told me to "get the one with the cow"

Cow should stay.

Posted 5 years ago

willw says:

I agree, the cow is a perfect addition to my iPhone home screen. It adds some light amongst the more dull/boring icons of everything else I use.

Posted 5 years ago

amswitzer says:

Save the cow!

"Mr Switzer, we were about to promote you to the position of VP Marketing, but then we because aware of a delicate issue that prevents us from advancing your career and in fact may lead to your dismissal. Apparently, there is a.... oh how can I say this?..... COW on one of the icons of your iPhone."

Not.

Posted 5 years ago

jhollington Pro says:

It has more to do with the nature of the icon than the fact that it's a cow. The reality is that it looks like a *game* and not a *productivity* application, and like it or not, many people will make a judgement call on the basis of something that silly without you even knowing about it.

"That Switzer guy does nothing but sit around and play games all day... Look at that cow icon that he puts down in his main iPhone dock. Seems that playing games is more important than doing his job. Hmprh. (grumble, grumble)."

To be fair, it's not *that* big of a deal to me.... I'm a freelance consultant and therefore don't work in a politically-charged business environment, but I have many clients who *do* and one or two of them already commented on the fact that they would never be so brash as to have a *game* installed on their mobile device (this was before explaining to them what RTM actually *is* at which point they just kind of rolled their eyes). In fact, I know of at least two organizations that have a policy against games on corporate mobile devices (although to be fair, these outfits also issue Blackberry devices and not iPhones :-) ).

In my case I've just put RTM and Evernote beside each other. Might as well keep all the mammals in one place.

Posted 5 years ago

eric.hohmann says:

I think this thread speaks to a broader issue. Remember The Milk is a serious productivity application, perhaps the best in the category. It's multi-platform strategy is brilliant. But the branding of Remember The Milk is not in sync with the business effort. I know the ethos of the founders is light hearted and fun, but the branding (logos, the name, the monkey) should be much better. The branding should speak to the product. In fact, I think the shortening of the name to RTM is a tacit admission of this fact. IMHO the logo and the product name confuses the marketplace is limits the adoption and potential of the product.

(BTW, Toodledo isn't any better in this regard)

Posted 5 years ago

amswitzer says:

OK, some good points raised by eric.homann and jhollington. The point about the name and the icon actually downgrading the image of the application as being unprofessional is quite legitimate.

Posted 5 years ago

vamshikk Pro says:

Love the cow. The icon is so distinct that I can spot it fast on the iphone screen :).

Posted 5 years ago

subvert says:

I actually like the cow.

I track both personal and business tasks with RTM. I don't think I would ever have the occasion to show anyone my iPhone screen. I may bring it up for reference while at work, but no one is gathered around to read it with me.

If there were an RTM enterprise that was a hosted service for a business then I would concur that an option of icons would be a good idea.

Everyone at work who I have mentioned the tool to loved the name "Remember the Milk" and no one has ever come back to me to talk about the cow.

But this is coming from a person who has Linux penguins and FreeBSD devils on their desk, so I'm not averse to cutesy branding on products that I use at work.

Come to think of it, I never like the spotted cow boxes that Gateway computers used to come in (maybe still do, haven't purchased gateway in a while).

Posted 5 years ago

inkygirl says:

I like the cow! As users have pointed out above, it's easy to pick out the icon from amongst the boring corporate-looking icons, and it gives RTM a personality that (again) others tend to lack.

However, I can sympathise with those who work in a more corporate environment (I work at home). Plus I do confess that one of the reasons I originally passed over RTM was because the icon did look as if it was designed to appeal to children...so I assumed that the app itself didn't have the functionality I needed. It was only after I read reviews that I decided to check it out.

The problem with having multiple icons in the app store, however, is the risk of causing user confusion about which app to get, plus I can't help but think that it dilutes the RTM brand somewhat.

I like one user's suggestion above about giving users the option to change the icon after downloading the app, if that's possible).

Failing that, perhaps consider revamping the icon to make the cow more stylistic / polished? Example of a stylized chimp logo: http://tinyurl.com/chimplogo -- The logo still has personality, but looks professional.

Debbie

Posted 5 years ago

dosomething says:

I vote to keep the cow!!!

Posted 5 years ago

adobkin says:

This is of course a silly topic. I sympathize with those working in such a ridiculous corporate environment where others actually have time to care about what your software icons look like. I have worked in environments like this too, so I know what it's like. But I do not think that RTM should change their logo or icon just to please these people. The iPhone itself is considered a hip device, partly designed for entertainment reasons, and all other cell phone companies now see the value in this, even RIM (BlackBerry). Should Apple start changing their icons, like the pretty flower for photos, or the TV screen for YouTube? Tell your co-workers to get a life!

Posted 5 years ago

vagabond99 Pro says:

Jailbreak your phone. Change the icon to a ... I don't know, Pencil ... whatever. Otherwise, The Cow is a Cow. When you push the cow, all the little tasks you have to do show up. When it comes down to it, you're using it on a device that has a piece of fruit with a bite taken out of it on the back.

Posted 5 years ago

johnmsch Pro says:

-1

All you cow bashers - GET A LIFE!

RTM is awesome. The icon could be a steaming pile of horse hockey for all I care. As long as RTM continues to improve, I could give a dang about the icon!

Posted 5 years ago

binaryeric says:

- infinity :)

It seems pretty sad that the reaction of users to the shallow or judgmental around them is to demand that RTM change their branding / icon / name and entire personality?

Branding isn't always about falling in line... it is also about being unique and standing firm in your purpose for existence. I don't think that "Remember the Milk" is intended to replace Microsoft Exchange, Blackberries, Sharepoint, or any other "suit" (aka usually boring, unnecessarily complex, and bug ridden) application.

RTM is, in my opinion, a fantastic web service for normal everyday people with things to do. I think they have the right target market.

I would hate to work somewhere where having a cow icon on my phone means that I am somehow a bad, lazy, or unproductive person.

Posted 5 years ago

jhollington Pro says:

Well, as eric.hohmann pointed out earlier in this thread, there is the question of professionalism in the branding.

Again, I don't necessarily care myself, as I've seen the benefits of RTM, but I've had a *really* hard time convincing many of my colleagues to even look at it, as the branding (the name and the icon) seriously detract from RTMs image as a professional-quality application.

In fact, I also suspect that many of the people complaining about the costs are also being somewhat influenced by this.... The cow, Bob the Monkey, and the name "Remember the Milk" all present a connotation of a fun and simple little service, so people are coming to RTM expecting a basic little to-do app that they can use just to track a couple of tasks a week and not really understanding (or bothering to explore) the real power of it. The result is that they fail to see the value of the app, and end up whining about the fact that it costs $25/yr to get mobile capabilities -- a cost that is significantly cheaper than any other solution that can do even half of what RTM does.

I suspect there would be far fewer complaints about the price if people's expectations were properly managed, and the branding really is a part of this. I don't see nearly the level of complaining about apps like OmniFocus, which sells at $80 for the desktop and $20 for the iPhone app.... That may be a one-time fee, but it's also *four years* of RTM service, yet people are happily paying it.

To be fair, this is a more philosophical discussion than anything else, as the RTM folks seem to have built a reasonable business model and may not care about attracting a different user base, so in that sense it really may not matter. I'm happy with RTM and I'm not about to drop the service just because there's a cow on the icon, but at the same time I can tell you that I'm having a hard time convincing most other people I know to even give it a look.

Posted 5 years ago

ian.sharman says:

I enjoy the cow icon, and it sits on the task bar of my iPhone.

I hear the arguments for a 'corporate' icon, but this makes absolutely now difference to me personally.

My iPhone and its contents are my business and I know which applications are productive and which are for my own entertainment. I'm not ashamed of, nor do I measure my own worth by, either.

I have absolutely no desire to convince anyone else to use the application nor RTM, but if someone asked why I was so productive (and they do not!) then I would point them in the direction of RTM.

It would be an equally hard 'sell' of the paper-based personal organiser, yet the majority of people I know that produce real results on a repeated and sustained basis seem to be drawn towards paper-based organisers (regardless of their covers!)

Start dates and sequencing of tasks are an issue for me, and though I use RTM, would not even begin to advocate it until these features are provided.

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

Love the cow!!! Leave it alone

Posted 5 years ago

procrastinot says:

I am so glad I don't have a job where I'm so worried about what other people think that I would actually post a request for them to change the icon. Good lord, people! Worry about something important, will you?

SAVE THE COW!!!!! The icon is so distinct, I have no issues locating it visually. That should be the main concern. Not what Bob the VP thinks.

(And before you ask, I have a great job, with a large salary. I just don't care what some Shmo in a meeting thinks of my iPhone apps!)

Posted 5 years ago

cyberetto says:

yes, save the cow!! It's adds a smile to my day

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

Hail to the cow! Muuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!

Jokes aside, I also have a great paying job and I love eye candy. The cow fills my need for something funny, nice and useful.

Posted 5 years ago

micfitz says:

Well, as we are talking about a cow logo: what would you think about an apple logo? Lack of professionalism?

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

Well, as we are talking about a cow logo: what would you think about an apple logo? Lack of professionalism?

Very well put!

Posted 5 years ago

manning999 says:

I like the cow. Please don't change it.

Posted 5 years ago

kilsey says:

I'm not sure why it's an all-or-nothing decision. Why not have an option to set the cow logo or not?

I'm glad a lot of people think it's ok, and they don't have to deal with other people judging the logo, but the fact remains that some people have this concern.

I can't share lists with professional clients with a cartoon cow logo if I wish to be taken seriously. Give me the option to change it to something else (even a milk carton would be better!) and I can espouse the app and drive adoption in my company.

Keep it as is and I (and others, it seems) will have difficulty evangelizing this great product.

(Features/functionality are primary but aren't everything, design and perception count too!)

Posted 5 years ago

dan.julian says:

Why not have a generic box with a check mark in it so that people don't know what service we use? That would be nice.

I'd also like Dunkin Donuts to brand their cups & bags with a "Nature's Delights Organic Hippie Treats" logo so that I look like a caring, environmentally sound person, not like a person that loves a double chocolate donut for breakfast.

This is fun. I'll have to make a list of logos I'm embarrassed by that are used by companies that help me and provide me good services, and then go to those companies and harsh on them.

(Keep the Cow)

Posted 5 years ago

kilsey says:

@dan.julian That was a pretty weak attempt.

No one is asking for a name change, and the service isn't called "Doofy Cow Logo." Corporate users who appreciate the service and pay for it want to be able to evangelize it. And your short-sighted dismissal of the importance of being taken seriously while doing so in no way mitigates the fact that a large cartoon logo looks pretty stupid when you're talking to a C_O-level executive.

I'm not sure I understand why so many people are against choice - asking for the option to change something is very different than demanding it be changed for everyone.

Which is, more or less, what you're doing by insisting we're wrong for asking. What gives you the right to decide and not me?

Asking for an enhancement isn't "harshing," and the existence of an "Ideas" board certainly suggests that they are indeed looking for feedback and enhancement requests. (ultimately, it's up to Emily, et al)

This is fun, I'll have to make a list of replies to other RTM posters who think they know best and should dictate what other people want!

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

Keep the cow!

Oh, and by the way, I use it and I am a VP in a Fortune 500 corporation and we love the cow!

Posted 5 years ago

kilsey says:

@gui.azurdia That's awesome - I'm glad to hear it :)

(I'd still like the option to change it though!)

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

davidkilsheimer

you've got a valid point. Now my opinion is...if RTM staff does not even address tiny issues, is there a chance they will work on this iteM? No way!

Posted 5 years ago

procrastinot says:

Strangely Imperious Statement: "Corporate users who appreciate the service and pay for it want to be able to evangelize it. And your short-sighted dismissal of the importance of being taken seriously while doing so in no way mitigates the fact that a large cartoon logo looks pretty stupid when you're talking to a C_O-level executive."
Reply: I could take your statement more seriously if you knew how to use the word "mitigate" properly. Or "evangelize" for that matter.

Sanctimonious Question: "What gives you the right to decide and not me?"
Reply: Nothing. I haven't read anyone claim such right. Except you, of course.

Mean, Sarcastic Statement: "This is fun, I'll have to make a list of replies to other RTM posters who think they know best and should dictate what other people want!"
Reply: I agree - it is fun. But no one's trying to dictate what you want. I'm just making fun of you for being so uptight.

The cow just wants to love you, man. Why can't you love back?

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

Love the cow!

Posted 5 years ago

fric says:

Personally, I don't mind the cow, but I don't like seeing "Woohoo!" when I have no incomplete tasks.

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

fric Pro

Love the cow! Hate the Whooooo! Who said that? Homer Simpson?

Posted 5 years ago

kilsey says:

@procrastinot

Clearly you didn't read the post mine replied to.

In (relatively) short:
- Yes, that's an acceptable use of evangelize. Mitigate too, really. Feel free to contact me @gmail if you'd like to discuss it further.

- When I mention that corporate users wants this, it's clearly stated throughout the boards that some corporate users are asking for this. If you're picking on my not phrasing it as "some corporate users," then you're being a little nitpicky, no?

- With regard to the sanctimonious bit, plenty of people who insist the cow is work-friendly are also saying those who would like an option to have something else are wrong. Scan the thread and you'll see what I mean. I'm still not sure why so many refuse to let others have the option to change it.

- With regard to the sarcastic bit - I was simply giving back what I got from the previous poster. I'd love to see your critique of their points.

I don't think it's a matter of being uptight - clearly I'm using the service despite what I perceive as a handicap in the branding. The point in asking for the option is to spread the word. I just tried to share a list with a client and they were not very amenable to it, simply due to their perception of the service being a toy and not a serious tool.

I don't like the branding, and am only asking for the option to switch it or have a personally-branded version. When people infer that asking for this is wrong, they are, in fact, dictating what I want.

Thanks!

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

"a handicap in the branding"

man, clearly you haven't done your homework! Read a few of the hundreds of reviews on RTM and you'll see the cow and the name are reason for praise! It is a marketing success!!!

Not meaning to incite more controversy but take it from a guy who just moved over to the competition yet still appreciates a fantastic logo and marketing concept even though the company behind it does not live up toit!

I do not use RTM nor will I use it until it is upgraded in many fronts but there is no denying the power of the cow!

Posted 5 years ago

procrastinot says:

Hello again, David!

I have no interest in becoming your pen pal.

Clearly, you need to spend a little time with a dictionary. The word "evangelize" is used to refer to the action of proselytizing religious beliefs - particularly those of Christianity. Sure, Bob the VP may use it to enthusiastically recommend someone's product, but it doesn't mean he uses it correctly. Language is fluid, not stagnant, but it still requires a fairly widespread alteration in usage to change a word's definition. That has not occured with "evangelize."

Regarding "mitigate": the word is used to mean lessening the severity of something. If that's what you meant in your post, I stand corrected. But I think, instead, you were trying to say, "...does not 'change' the fact" not "mitigate" the fact. Were you really saying "...does not lessen the severity of the fact..." ? Really?

The fact that you didn't even get why I mentioned the corporate users quote is indicative of why you deserve the chiding. I wasn't taking issue with the content of the statement. I was pointing how audaciously imperious the language of the statement is. But then again, you probably don't know what "imperious" means.

Regarding the sarcasm, I guess two wrongs *do* make a right, eh, Dave? Finally, the fact that you don't get why you're coming off as uptight makes the whole thing that much more amusing. Despite your subpar language skills, and your extreme arrogance, I hope you manage to have a good day. Thanks for the laughs!

Posted 5 years ago

kilsey says:

@procrastinot
Ah, so you're a troll with a dictionary. I stand corrected.

I'd still argue the points, but it's clearly not worth it. Grammar trolls never lose, do they?

As an aside, noting my supposed arrogance and neglecting your own in doing so is amusing to me. I think it's rather arrogant that you are walking around the internet with a dictionary and splitting hairs on message boards, but everyone needs their hobby, eh?

The fact that you not once addressed the content of what I was saying, and instead only attacked the format says volumes, I suppose.

Have a wonderful day.

@gui.azurdia
I agree that many people are fans of the cow logo. This thread is truly evidence of various levels of zealotry surrounding it. I only said that it is what *I* perceive as a handicap, based on my *my* experiences in a professional context.

I love the functionality, and want to spread the word. That's not in question. The reception I've received is the only issue I face. That many people here (and just on this thread, not necessarily the RTM folks) refuse to even allow for the option to switch the branding is puzzling to me. I do not understand why having a choice is an issue for so many. More likely, I'm guessing that they aren't reading that far.

@all
I see that asking for the simple option to change the brand will only be shouted down by others, so I'll refrain from posting again in this thread. Thanks.

Posted 5 years ago

dan.julian says:

@davidkilsheimer
Grammar trolls only lose if they're wrong.

But the grammar's beside the point, as you said, and I'd like to address your concerns seriously, without the sarcasm that came across in an offensive manner--my apologies for that, by the way. It was meant to be in good fun.

Anyhow, you've stated clearly that you would like the choice to remove the branding from a service that you enjoy. I can appreciate your feelings--some executives might be taken aback a little bit by the Cow. However, I can't support your solution, which is for RTM to allow users the option of the removal of their brand. In fact, I so oppose your solution that I think it is appropriate for me to ask that the choice not be given. You are essentially asking RTM to undermine their own business--to handicap themselves in the marketplace.

You might respond that allowing for this removal would increase users because people enjoyed the added functionality, but in reality, the advertising benefit from this branding is preferable. It's highly unlikely that a Lifehacker post stating "RTM: Now with optional Cow!" is going to drive droves of corporate types to RTM. On the other hand, a conversation between colleagues about the Cow is likely to drive new clients to RTM. ("Thanks for the list, John, but what's this cow?" "Oh, it's the RTM logo. I use it to track my tasks and it's great--better than Outlook. You have to check it out.")

You may not appreciate the comparison (heck, RTM might not appreciate the comparison), but if someone were to shop at Walmart, but expect them to provide bags that say, "Executive Grocers," or even just bags that were blank, no one should expect Walmart to provide that. In this case, they would be asking Walmart to spend the money on shipping, storing, stocking, and selling the product, and then to provide a blank bag so no one knows where you bought it. If you don't want Walmart's logo on your bags, don't shop there. Pay the extra money for a logo by which you won't be embarrassed. (This analogy could apply to Target or Banana Republic or wherever. I'm not saying that RTM is the Walmart of task list management, except insofar as it provides a lot for very little cost.)

I said that I can't support your solution, and this is why. It's bad business for a good company. And this is also why I must oppose your request personally--because I want a good company to remain active and capable of providing me the services I am very happy to enjoy. If they engage in faulty business practices, it will only hurt me as it will undermine my ability to use an excellent resource. I oppose the choice because I want RTM to continue to succeed, and the unmovable Cow is part of its success.

Unless you can provide a business-friendly, sound reason for removing the logo, you're unlikely to persuade many people. I'm not saying there is not such a reason, or that there will not be such a reason at a future point in time. I'm only saying that at this point in time, it doesn't seem like there is such a reason.


Posted 5 years ago

kilsey says:

I'm breaking my own promise, but due to someone actually addressing my points, I cannot help myself :)

@dan.julian
Firstly, thank you for re-engaging me on this and addressing my points - I appreciate that you've done so, and I apologize for my reactive post. Sorry for that.

I certainly recognize and accept your arguments - when you're building a company, brand recognition and equity is a major concern. I know that RTM is a startup company making its way in uncertain economic times, so consciously giving over their branding may not make business sense for them.

That's a fair and reasonable point.

I would bring your attention to what the 37 Signals folks do for their Basecamp product, which is to allow personal branding with a "powered by" glyph in the footer (I believe that's the deal - seems so from their FAQ). I wouldn't suggest that RTM simply hand over their branding for nothing, but perhaps offer another tier wherein the re-branded or co-branded version of the application could be made available. Or even just for shared lists (so that we can control what others see). Moreover, if it just said "Remeber the Milk," it would probably work.

And going further, I'm not against the cow logo for myself - I may not think it the best logo, but it doesn't affect my usage of the service (which I'll be renewing in a couple of months). My concerns are more with sharing my lists with clients and others in my company. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, yadda yadda, but I really have experienced reluctance from clients. You're right in that it may make not make sense for RTM as a company, but I'd like to think the corporate-acceptability point is recognized by those on the side of the cow as well. To address the Walmart analogy, I'm asking for the option to pay extra to use my own bags. I'm compensating Walmart for their costs, and paying extra for a benefit I would like to enjoy (which could also have an indirect positive benefit for Walmart).

When it comes down to it, there's a means to monetize a co-branded version of the service, and driving adoption can potentially help boost RTM as a service and company. I do enjoy and pay for the service, which I use every day. I accept the cow-love shown here, but again, am only asking for an option, which I'm willing to pay an additional fee for.

That RTM's features and befits are class-leading is without question. I just dislike the logo ;)

(as an aside, I recently had to change my username due to other circumstances - didn't want anyone to get confused :) )

Posted 5 years ago

dan.julian says:

@Kilsey

Thanks for the response. I agree that a "Powered by" glyph would work pretty well too. To that end, as long as there is a means for RTM to maintain some level of visibility in our usage, I'm cool with cow or monkey or text or whatever style logo works.

It's always nice when the internets get friendlier--thanks for your decent interaction.

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

Not wanting to dwell further into an already exhausted topic but, how about suggesting the same to that comany with its dreadful apple on every thing they manufacture? You know, the one with the weird flat phone that allows a cow to be displayed on it!

Love the cow!

Posted 5 years ago

bigmichael says:

I am a pre-Pro user. I like the cow but it doesn't remind me of what it does.

Why not just add a small checked box or even a check mark in the corner area of the icon to make it clearer. The cow can stay and the icon can make a clearer impression.

Save the cow & make it better!

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

Don't mean to sound mean but consider this:

How would Mercedes Benz react if customers requested for the choice of removing the star? It really doesn't say much! Guys, live with it! The cow is your friend. It patiently waits to nurture us! The cow is minimalistic (very web 2.0)

Cow power!

Posted 5 years ago

bonni Pro says:

RTM is an incredible brand. Congratulations on coming up with something so memorable, connected to your brand personality, and to your target market.

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

bonni

well said! I may bitch about almost everything here but leave the cow alone!!!

Posted 5 years ago

linuxfanboy says:

I like de cow. Save de cow!

Posted 5 years ago

gui.azurdia says:

The cow rocks!

Posted 5 years ago

jplumey says:

I'd rather see an updated version with fixed and new functionality than a new icon.

Posted 5 years ago

This topic has now been closed automatically due to a lack of responses in the past 90 days.