bill-shockDear Reader,

I wound up switching from an unrestricted Internet Provider to a restricted plan because I needed a better connection.   For the first time I encountered datashock.   Once I called up my provider and increased my data for the month, I had to figure out which device was the guilty party and how to manage my errant devices.  For those of you who don’t know data-saving tactics, here is a brief run-down:

  1. Close all your apps. If they are left running in the background they will use data while you are not watching.
  2. For a machine running Windows 8, you can set your metered data settings. Tutorial available here.
  3. Windows 8 also has a built-in function to show estimated data use.  Pull up your networks in the charm bar, right click your network and show data use :Screenshot (19)
  4. For Mac users, its a bit more elusive.  Groovin’ on apps wrote a great post here.
  5. There are a couple free apps in the Apple store Mac users can download to monitor data usage including Onavo:

Screenshot (20)

  1. Make sure apps are not updating automatically if possible.
  2. Video streaming of any kind is your worst enemy.
  3. Make good use of public networks if possible.  Now is the time for a coffee shop or restaurant with free wifi.   The price of the meal is less than your data plan.

Happy surfing!

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imageDear Reader,

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
―     Apple Inc.

Steve Jobs was a visionary.  He resurrected Apple from the dead, he successfully competed against Microsoft, and he innovated culture.  The naysayers could not tarnish Apple’s reputation.   I remember the line outside the retail store on a Friday night waiting for the latest iPhone.   Apple managed to build up a fan following similar to a popular band — that line was reminiscent of people lining up to get tickets to a sold-out show.

2010’s headlines included:

What of Apple today?   Two years into “The Year of Jobs?”

2013’s headlines include:

Additionally, Apple’s stock is not remaining strong and its new product launch at this year’s WWDC met with lukewarm reviews.  I’m left wondering, WWSD (What Would Steve Do)?   We don’t know.   Is this turn of events the beginning of a downward trend for Apple?  Apple users are a tremendously loyal bunch — almost to the point of a cult-like following to an iconic brand.   A good bit of that has to do with the exceptional customer service and support at the retail stores.

However; if Jamie Dihiansan, a self-admitted life-long Apple Guru found reason to switch to PCs, what of less involved individuals?  Apple products have become average among the competitors they inspired.  What is tragic is that Apple would attempt to damage Samsung in a lawsuit rather than raise itself to new excellence on its own merits.  Cruel irony would be that Apple crumbles as Steve Jobs commented on in 2004.

“And how are monopolies lost? Think about it. Some very good product people invent some very good products, and the company achieves a monopoly. But after that, the product people aren’t the ones that drive the company forward anymore. It’s the marketing guys or the ones who expand the business into Latin America or whatever. Because what’s the point of focusing on making the product even better when the only company you can take business from is yourself? So a different group of people start to move up. And who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy. John Akers at IBM is the consummate example. Then one day, the monopoly expires for whatever reason. But by then the best product people have left, or they’re no longer listened to. And so the company goes through this tumultuous time, and it either survives or it doesn’t. Look at Microsoft — who’s running Microsoft? (interviewer: Steve Ballmer.) Right, the sales guy. Case closed. And that’s what happened at Apple, as well.” – Steve Jobs, Business Week.


DSCF7321Dear Reader,

Here it is, the last day of Give Camp.   We have approximately 4 hours to finish up our work…  much like Celebrity Apprentice or Face Off! some of us are frantically coding DSCF7320and putting on the finishing touches of our work in the final 4 hours.  It’s been another crazy, while awesome adventure as always.  What is different than other years is engaging in this event in the shadow of the events of the Boston Marathon only a week past.  The impact on our non-profits and this event has been profound.   Profoundly good.   In addition to our technical work, we have raised funds for the victims of the bombing and for Sean Collier.   Catching Joy spearheaded creating cards for all the wonderful protection and support people of greater Boston.   Catching Joy’s growth as a non-profit has been skyrocketed this year with an overflowing of interest from children wanting to better the world and not knowing where to start or how.   TDSCF7336hey will be holding 26 special events during the coming year in anticipation of the next Marathon and in memorial of this last one.  Catching Joy’s entire impact will be on the very young children of the area and growing them into adults who know how to redirect the negative back to the positive.

There were two terrorists for those events.   Give Camp had 23 nonprofits + approximately 150 volunteers + many corporate sponsors.   Although the impact of the terrorists was profound, our impact will be greater.   I always tell my friends that this weekend is good for my soul.   It refreshes my humanity and reminds me of the beauty of the world around me.   No year has this ever been more true than now.


Dear Reader,

My latest project is to expand my creative side in internet land.   So… I am working on a demo website to showcase the artistic side of technology using Dreamweaver CS5 and Gimp.     I create my home page and a nice .css[2] file to format it and provide the same look across the website.   So I happily add the images I’ve been editing using Gimp (for those of you wondering why I don’t use Photoshop, more information is at the end of this article.)  I added a couple buttons and links to go from one page to the next.   The home page worked just fine.   The next page after that worked just fine.   The third page… oddly enough… no images!  WTF?!?  I closed the browser and went back to the IDE[1] where I had the page open.   The image was there on the page.  The .css stylings were showing ok in both the browser and the IDE.  Instead of starting at the home page, I loaded the individual page into the web browswer using the F12 key to do it.   The page displayed just fine.   Images and styles from the .css.   So…. I hit the F12 key from the home page… followed the links… my images were gone… but the styling was there… HUH?!? Having hand-coded all my websites, I wasn’t sure if the .css connection was messing up Dreamweaver.   I separated the offending page from the .css.   Ran it the same way I just described and got the same results, but without the .css styling.   Images haunting my webpage in honor of Halloween!

I will be posting the answer to this in the next couple days.   Have fun if you want to take guesses at this one!  I will also post the link to the finished website once its published on the internet.

Notes:

1.  IDE means integrated development enviornment.   Link throughfor more info atWikipedia.

2. .CSS is a refrence to a cascading style sheet.   A cascading style sheet is used to apply formatting to a webpage to control the look and feel of it for the user.   Link through for more info at Wikipedia.

My budget for my small one-person startup, Livant Enterprises, does not allow me to purchase the entire Adobe Suite of products for this kind of development work.   It’s not that I would not like to use the products.   I was fortunate earlier this year to run across a kind investor who was willing to purchase Dreamweaver and donate it to me for my development work in recognition of my hard work.   I also refuse to use pirated or stolen software in my business.   It has cost me business I could have gotten otherwise, but my ethics matter to me.   My company is comprised of soley myself and my reputation is the only one I have to work with.


Dear Reader,

In a 1985 interview Steve Jobs said, “I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort
of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back.”

I find myself much more moved to tears than usual at the passing of an American Icon because my father also died earlier this year.   Steve Jobs died far too young at the age of 56.  I was angry that the world would go on as usual without much note about the passing of my father.  But I was comforted that he was 83 before he passed.  The world will pause at the passing of Steve Jobs, but his family has lost 30 years that I was lucky to have.  I wonder if the collective memories of this man offer much comfort to his loved ones?

The fabric of my father’s life was woven into the people around him who remembered all the joy he brought them.   We spent time at my father’s service sharing the memories longer than the road that lies ahead.  The fabric of Steve Jobs’ life was woven into his monumental impact on our culture through its technology.

What memories remain?

  • Google’s Dedicated homepage to Steve Jobs.
  • Countless news articles and blog posts and photojournalism memories.
  • You do a Google search today on Bill Gates and an article about Steve Jobs turns up.
  • In 2007, he and Bill Gates shared a stage and talked.
  •  Wikipedia has already been updated.  Steve Jobs.
  • The Wall Street Journal published a statement from Bill Gates on this occassion of his passing:Mr. Gates’s full statement:“I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our
    sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched
    through his work.Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues,
    competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had,
    the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely
    great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”

On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home

We’re going home
Better believe it


Dear Reader,

Go Daddy!

I just picked up web hosting. Who did I go with? GoDaddy, of course.

Over the years, every phone call I ever put into them ended well.   I never got a dumb person on the other end of the phone and they were actually able to provide me near-expert level information about what I needed to do and provide for me the exact information I needed.   Additionally, they gave me valuable account information necessary to running the business for a company that I supplied in-house technical support.

I have had the misfortune of doing business with other providers while working for other people.   The tech support ranges from non-existant to email only to lacking in basic technical skills which cost me hours and days and loss of expensive business time.   I told one competitor that I would pay the higher rate of fee for service rather than switch to half the cost.   Besides, $8 / month hardly seems outrageous.

So I got to wondering… where did their name come from?   A cute idea from inside the company before they were famous. [1]

What I didn’t know was the following statistics that make me even more of a loyal customer than before:

  1. Go Daddy has grown to become the largest ICANN-accredited registrar on the Internet.
  2. In 2007 and 2008, the company lobbied in favor of legislation that would crack down on unscrupulous online pharmacies and child predators.
  3. In March 2010 Go Daddy stopped registering .CN domains (China) due to the high amount of personal information that is required to register in that country.
  4. In 2010, Go Daddy ranked as one of three finalists in the BBB of Great Arizona Business Ethics Awards. BBB’s Board of Directors and Foundation established the BBB Business Ethics Awards to recognize those firms whose business practices and related activities exemplify the BBB’s mission and principles and to ensure the marketplace remains fair and honorable.[

There was much more in the Wikipedia article than what I’ve put here.
Notes:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_Daddy


Dear Reader,

It’s become generally accepted that Wikipedia is a universally accepted source for information such as dictionaries and encyclopedias.   Generally, this seems to hold true.   After I watched Good Night, and Good Luck about the legendary McCarthy hearings, I Googled it and read the Wikipedia entries.   When I wanted to learn what the top films were for 1987, I Googled it and read the Wikipedia entry again.   Wikipedia seemed to have all the information!   It was a gold mine.   Until….

One of my readers complained about Cambridge Who’s Who referring me to Wikipedia.  In this case, it looks like whatever system produces the majority of the good articles in Wikipedia failed.   This is a biased article written with insubstantial facts.   Worse yet, linked to this is an article on Fradulent Who’s Whos saying that legitimate organizations were hard to find.  I remember those books being in the reference section of the public library.  A representative from Cambridge Who’s Who told me they are in active litigation about the damaging article.

My father mentioned a book he had read years ago, None Dare Call It Treason, that was very popular at the time.  I decided to order the book and read it.   Once again, I decided to read about it on Wikipedia.  Although the book never appeared on a best seller list, it was widely published and sold — my father remembered the impact it had.   Wikipedia disclaims the amount of the sales.   I got an original copy in the mail and found that it had been offered for bulk sales by political organizations and others.   It is entirely possible that Wikipedia’s inference that the book didn’t sell that many copies is wrong.

Nothing has changed since I was a kid in school.  Always double check your references and facts.

Notes:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_in_film

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Who’s_Who

4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who’s_Who_scam

5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Stormer