Saturday, August 20, 2016

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Microsoft vs. MacIntosh: Why Microsoft was preferred





In all fairness, the only Apple product that got any attempted use from me was the IPod Nano. It now resided at my mother’s house because of the difficulty in using it with my computer. When it came to whether one was better than the other, here were some facts one should consider:
The MacIntosh computers had a different type of operating system. Those that had to switch from Microsoft would have to learn a whole different set of rules and or commands. Unfortunately, this was my problem. All of the computers owned by me were completely Microsoft-based. Keeping this in mind, some Microsoft programs were not compatible with the Apple Mac computer. My printer/scanner might’ve become a casualty as it may not have been compatible either but it was replaceable.

Microsoft needed the internet to upgrade their programs and anti-virus software. It had an open door policy when it came to using their programs so there were always problems with malware, adware, and all types of computer viruses, and trojans. Apple Mac had a closed door policy, so online threats like this were avoided, leaving computer programs intact and minimal or no damage to the computer.
It still baffled me as to what went wrong the last day in January this year when starting up my mother’s laptop and getting a black screen. No one in my family knew how to fix this problem without being here. Most of the people known on the outside would have to have been here too. My sister’s friend had the ability to remotely enter the laptop and fix it that way, but they have not responded to my e mail at this time. My brother knew tech people at his job that were able to do this, but they would have to train him.

Getting three quotes from the Geek Squad didn’t make me feel any better. They compared this laptop to a 90 year old man. If they came to the house to fix this laptop, the cost started at $250 assuming it was a virus that was causing the start-up malfunction. At the $150 option, they could take it, fix the diagnosed problem, clean and upgrade it. At the $100 they could do what they needed and it would cost $10 a month on warranty. That would’ve made it healthy and still 90 years old. All of these options required the use of a credit card. Neither of these were affordable by me at this time. 
     
Older computers were less compatible with newer computer programs and their operating systems. It was well-known that a newer more powerful computer to do my job at Yoboogle was needed. Granted, unless there was remote support, reformatting my mother’s laptop was an option. Having an Apple Mac would’ve meant no family support. My brother knew nothing about these operating systems. If it went down, the Geek Squad would’ve been my only resource other then the Apple Store. The only good thing about them was there were no costs given until the diagnosis was made.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fighting back after getting burned on line

This summer wasn't considered the most defining of my life, not that it was all that bad, but it wasn't anything to brag about either. The only thing learned by me was how to survive financially after being burned on line twice in the same summer.

I have made and lost a job in the space of three and a half months. Jobz For Writers was a great place to work, provided the employee was available to take on projects last minute, due within five hours or less or a 50 page project with the expectation from the client and employer that it be completed over night including the research..The people who made the decisions as to who got what assignment took too long. They sat on the assignments for at least two days before they were given out. Even though my last client was in the Masters program, they didn't understand the easiest of questions, like:

  1. What direction was the paper to go?
  2. Where would one get the articles needed for this piece?
 For the medical journals one had to buy the articles to use them.  It took the client two days to download information needed to write the paper.

There was no way to write this paper in two days time after all the smoke cleared. My computer crashed the day before the first deadline. I got burned again twice with this trying to get the problem fixed. but by the time the smoke cleared here, there were three on line companies that were vying for repairs on my laptop. They were none too kind when my phone call came through to cancel all three because of my financial problem. There was a light at the end of the tunnel. because it taught me two things:
  1. Never let anyone over the phone scan the computer for problems that didn't exist.
  2. Know one's rights when agreeing to services offered by a third party. 
Even though all three companies told me it was known what was offered, [they read a statement over the phone stating their position] one of them coerced me to take extra coverage for a computer that was not in use.This one gave me some of the money back to avoid getting a black mark over their coercion. It wasn't the service offered it was the price.Since my phone call came through the tech assigned to help me got their $99 regardless. The last was a scam because no one from the company they represented or the one called by me to get things going right again, knew who they were so my refund here was in full .

Waking up to $1.70 in my bank account on August 20, made me start to economize in order to pay bills for the next few months by cutting unnecessary expenses. reducing the cost of some services and, paying out of pocket by buying on a need only basis. While it saved me from being evicted from the apartment, it left me with some serious concerns on what to do next. In spite of my efforts to save and the big chunk left in my account, it still left a big gap in my cushion.

The truth was, while all this was going on, my VR Counselor informed me that there were two weeks left in our association before they had to close my case on September 8. Since it was already known by me how to:
  1. write a resume and cover letter
  2. handle myself during an interview
  3. follow up with a thank you letter
There was no need to pay another vendor to help me job develop.They had no idea that Work Services did this the second time. If my mother hadn't found the job as a part time tutor at the Eastside Girls' and Boys' Club, the nine year disaster with the first counselor would have occurred again. Even if there was a job outside the home, the two jobs occupied by me took half my paycheck. Even though both were around the corner from Mom's house, the money I made went to the cab company. A lot of the customer service jobs they recommended were out of the county like Richland Hills and Corral, Texas. Most of the greeter services offered at Walmart, IHOP, and the like were cut because of the economy. The ironic thing was they didn't know this. After nine months of listening to how they knew what I went through and how hard things were here, it felt like I was lied to.Contractual work was great but at this time it wasn't lucrative.

 Mom mentioned other state services, but knowing what I did about them, I'd have to be homeless and penniless before I qualified for them. Even Section 8 housing required a part time job while living on their rosters and meeting income requirements to boot.Since finding these services were harder because of the economy, it might have been wiser to stay with contractual work like writing. At least it was something that bought money in.

Hopefully, there won't be any more burns suffered by me if my wits were kept. Only God knew what was.


   

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Knowing people by their fruit: On line advertisers not honest all the time

Knowing people by their fruit: On line advertisers not honest all the time

While it was great getting another writing assignment from Jobz For Writers, some of the mistakes made me feel like an idiot. My having to buy, Flash Fiction Forward, 80 Very Short Stories, edited by James Thomas and Robert Shapard, was as expected. Nothing was free anymore. Every site visited by me that had that book in .PDF format, wanted a fee to download it, supposedly for free. It cost more on those .PDF site than where it was purchased by me.

Stealing and faulty advertising was a breach of the eighth and ninth  commandments. It sounded like the phone app on one of the sites that was supposedly free only after signing up for three offers that weren’t needed. One site promising free .PDF downloads let me have the book, but told me to sign up for three offers before releasing the password. The other site requested membership then asked me to pay $1.99 for the download. My login was declared invalid on part of the site. It wouldn’t take any of my credit cards either. The only thing wasted here was time. My sin would’ve been in not reporting this snare.

This bad experience was not to turnout like Academia-Research because the book was in stock on Amazon.com. There wasn’t to have been any Inter-library loan or use of the local college library either. Books-A-Million had the book, but it was not known if the store in the mall had it. There wasn’t enough cash on hand for cab fare and purchase of the book. In order to have had it here before the holiday, the two-day shipping price was almost double. Luckily there wasn’t more than one copyright date on the book above.

My ads weren’t working. It was a simple error made by me. My not knowing how to circulate my referral link got one of them banned on one of my affiliate sites. The goal was having them posted on the different affiliate sites. E-mails could’ve still been sent. In a way, what was done by me was also wrong. No one clicked on my ads because they were already members of the site they were being referred to. At least my account wasn’t suspended because of these mistakes.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Paper, pencil, and pen vs. smartphones, tablets, and computers

Was there any need  for paper, pencil, or pen  now that there were computers tablets and smart phones? Some would say no, others would say yes. For me, this was a “middle of the road’ issue. There were times when electronic gadgets were loved by me, other times my wish was that they worked better.

When there were activities at church with my Sunday School Department Fellowship next week and my class Fellowship Dinner next month in Decatur Texas, putting these things in my phone saved me the trouble of keeping track of sticky notes or finding a pencil with a point or a pen that works in the kitchen. In doing this, it also worked with other appointments made with doctors and my Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor because the office location was shown on a map. Sometimes, this helped the cab driver in knowing the best route to take. Unless the note was in front of me on the side of the microwave, that was the only reminder available. With a smart phone reminder, there is a sound that went of other than the basic default whistle when one got mail or other notifications.

Other times, my wish was that these electronic devices worked as well as they were supposed to. My on line writing depended on internet access. There were three times last year when my internet access was needed and was not working. It was important for me in keeping the encyclopedias my brother kept insisting was no longer needed now that there was on line access. My distrust of my internet connection justified my keeping those books. They held up the second to the last shelf with my jewelry boxes on it. The shelf supports gave out before my sister moved in 2005.

1.  February 14-21, 2013 Problems with setting up the appointment on the customer service line almost cost me my job with the Examiner. After complaining to a supervisor, Time Warner Cable gave me a discount on my bill until February this year.

Last April, while talking to my Aunt on the phone, two of my WordPress blog posts were written like that before. It gave me something to do while waiting for the problem to be fixed. While this issue got fixed, there were other blog posts  and pieces for me to start.

2.  May 6, 2013 After getting my smart phone, someone in my apartment complex cut my cable wire and hooked it to their box. The technician told me not to pursue the people who did this because an inquiry took too long. It was a prank done during graduation week  at MSU and there were a lot of people moving out anyway. I got a credit on my bill for the two and a half days of having no internet access.

3.  October 5, 2013 Sometime during my mother’s visit that afternoon and 9:30 p.m. there was no internet, cable or wi-fi access. With all of the Sunday School teachers unable to teach being otherwise occupied either in another part of Texas or another state entirely or physically hurt, this left us with no teacher or prepared lesson. Without internet access, there was no way of my teaching the lesson on adultery that Sunday. The lights went out three times before the technicians got it right. Working in the dark was not easy anyway. The light from my phone kept me from panicking.

Like a Girl Scout, a writer was prepared  always keeping paper and pencil or pen handy to jot down their ideas. Stephen King wrote a review of a long ago popular movie using plain notebook paper and pen. My uncle, who resided in Florida, still wrote his blog posts longhand, in draft before typing on a computer. There were benefits to  this “old fashioned” way of doing things.



It helped me maintain the old time skills of writing learned in elementary, junior high, high school and college. One of my college English professors told me my writing skills propped up my grade in class. Another told me that there was no need for the evening class another professor was trying to get me to take. With my command of the English language, there wasn’t any need for Structures of the English Language, taught after the current class by the other teacher who gave that compliment.

Today was a good day for doing things semi-old fashioned way, hence my “middle of the road” answer. My use of Microsoft Works to set up my next few blog posts made it that way. Because one might’ve needed their cell phone to call a cab to get home, it was better carrying pen and paper in jotting down information. One needed to conserve the battery.

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