Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kissimmee Giant Balloons

I've mentioned before that one of my clients offers Giant Balloons to businesses in Orlando Florida. One might have guessed that the same would cater to Kissimmee and St. Cloud.

I'd like to ensure that anyone following or finding my blog knows that Giant Balloon Rental serves the entire state of Florida from Alachua and Altamont Springs to Zephyrhills and Zolfo Springs.

Seriously, the  ENTIRE state. If you're still in doubt, give them a call: 407-968-5139

Altamonte Springs
Anna Maria
Atlantic Beach
Avon Park
Bay Lake
Belleair Beach
Belleair Bluffs
Belle Glade
Belle Isle
Boca Raton
Bonita Springs
Bowling Green
Boynton Beach
Bradenton Beach
Cape Canaveral
Cape Coral
Cedar Key
Center Hill
Cocoa Beach
Coconut Creek
Cooper City
Coral Gables
Coral Springs
Crescent City
Crystal River
Cutler Bay
Dade City
Dania Beach
Daytona Beach
Deerfield Beach
De Funiak Springs
Delray Beach
Eagle Lake
Fanning Springs
Fernandina Beach
Flagler Beach
Florida City
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Meade
Fort Myers
Fort Pierce
Fort Walton Beach
Fruitland Park
Green Cove Springs
Gulf Breeze
Haines City
Hallandale Beach
Hialeah Gardens
High Springs
Holly Hill
Holmes Beach
Indian Harbour Beach
Indian Rocks Beach
Jacksonville Beach
Jacob City
Key Colony Beach
Keystone Heights
Key West
La Belle
Lake Alfred
Lake Buena Vista
Lake Butler
Lake City
Lake Helen
Lake Mary
Lake Wales
Lake Worth
Lauderdale Lakes
Laurel Hill
Lighthouse Point
Live Oak
Lynn Haven
Madeira Beach
Marco Island
Mary Esther
Mexico Beach
Miami Beach
Miami Gardens
Miami Springs
Moore Haven
Mount Dora
Neptune Beach
New Port Richey
New Smyrna Beach
North Bay Village
North Lauderdale
North Miami
North Miami Beach
North Port
Oak Hill
Oakland Park
Orange City
Ormond Beach
Palm Bay
Palm Beach Gardens
Palm Coast
Palmetto Bay
Panama City
Panama City Beach
Pembroke Pines
Pinellas Park
Plant City
Polk City
Pompano Beach
Port Orange
Port Richey
Port St. Joe
Port St. Lucie
Punta Gorda
Riviera Beach
Safety Harbor
St. Augustine
St. Augustine Beach
St. Cloud
St. Marks
St. Pete Beach
St. Petersburg
San Antonio
Satellite Beach
South Bay
South Daytona
South Miami
South Pasadena
Sunny Isles Beach
Tarpon Springs
Temple Terrace
Town & Country
Treasure Island
Vero Beach
Weeki Wachee
West Melbourne
West Miami
West Park
West Palm Beach
Wilton Manors
Winter Garden
Winter Haven
Winter Park
Winter Springs
Ybor City
Yeehaw Junction
Zolfo Springs

Centenary Post

No, I haven't been around for a hundred years!

This is my 100th post on this blog, according to my Blogger dashboard.

It has taken me almost 8 years to reach this milestone. I have, of course, posted several times in other blogs, but this is the first one I started. I would expect now to reach 200 much faster since I am blogging on a much more consistent basis.

One thing I've noticed is that the more I blog the more hits I get, not just on the blog as a whole, but on individual posts. It's like all my activity brings in more visitors to more pages. I did not set out to get rich blogging, but it would be great to see enough traffic on at least one of my blogs to enhance my income through AdSense or some other ad network.

I blog about a lot fo different things. I have a few clients that I promote by talking about how great they and their products are. I am a bit of a geek, so I blog about geeky stuff. When a product or service makes a strong impression on me, I'm likely to mention it, whether it's a positive or negative impression. I have kept my political stuff off this particular blog, but I blog my personal stuff on my other blogs. (See "Tecbrat's Blogs" on the right.)

My next post will be about those giant balloons that you see all over the place advertising things. I've posted about them before, but I need to tell the world that my client covers more than one market.

Friday, April 24, 2015

I am usually very happy with GoDaddy

...but not today.
(Read all the way through, they turned it around.)

Check out this live-chat: (Emphasis mine, only in Blog as such is not available in the Chat)

A product expert will be with you soon. Position in Queue is 1. Thank you for your patience.
You are now chatting with 'Sam'
Sam -
Hey there! Thank you for contacting Sales Chat. My name is Sam, who am I speaking with today?
you -
Good morning Sam.
you -
I am Corry.
Sam -
Hello Corry!
Sam -
how can I help you out today?
you -
On this page:
you -
There is a tab "Domain Deals"
you -
It says"Get the domain that will never go out of style. Just $2.99* was $14.99"
you -
I stepped through an order all the way to the checkout (stopped before processing) but did not see that discount applied. It was $9.99 for the first year and $14.99 for each extra.
Sam -
That is a viral promotion that runs periodically for browsers. We don't have the ability to add that special on our side, but if you find the URL for the special, it allows you to add the domain name to your cart at that price. Those viral promotions are time sensitive and normally are only valid for one-time use. I do not have any more info on that promotion
you -
It's live on your site right now!
Sam -
It's a page that shows up depending on your browser and how you visited the site. I have no ability to add that promotion on my end. It could also be a cached page on your browser, or it could have already been used before.
Sam -
Is there anything else I can help you with today?
you -
You're just going to dismiss me like that?!
Sam -
How else can I help you out today?
you -
"Is there anything else I can help you with today?" is a not so polite way of sing "Go away"
you -
So, your site advertised something, failed to give it to me, and you just don't care?
you -
you -
Can I chat with a supervisor?
Sam -
You can if you'd like, they would also have no ability to add that from our end. Again, it is a customer side only viral promotion.
you -
Let me talk / chat with a supervisor.
Sam -
It can be up to 5 minutes while I get my supervisor for you. I appreciate your patience. One moment

Sam -
Still getting my supervisor, in the meantime I'm checking on what we can do for you.
Sam -
Do you have an account open with us already?
you -
Sam -
May I please get your Customer Number or username, and 4-Digit Go Daddy PIN number to validate into your account?
you -
hold on a moment
Sam -
Sure thing
you -
My account number is ********
you -
I don't know my PIN
Sam -
Click here to find your PIN (link to account security settings)
you -
I'd really rather not type that in chat. I'm in a public place.
Sam -
This chat is very secure, also the PIN is only used by us to validate your ownership of the account. It would help assist you.
you -
But anyone walking by me right now will see my PIN. Tell you what, I'll go to my account and change it, and then change it back later. Just another moment.
Sam -
Sure thing
you -
I just set my PIN to ****
Sam -
Checking on this now. One moment


Sam -
Back on 8/11/2014 you used the $2.99 promotion for That promotion is a one time use only. As a one time courtesy we were able to find and applicable discount for you. That would actually give you the first year for just $1.99
Sam -
Two years would be just $12.34 for (This actually ended up as a better deal than I was looking for)
Sam -
Did you want that on the MasterCard ending in ****?
you -
No, I need to use a ****** card.
Sam -
Click here to show your current payment methods or add a new payment method. (Link to payment methods)
Sam -
Please let me know when you have that added
you -
I was signed in when it showed me that offer. Your system needs an update if it can't tell when an offer has already been used,and therefor not show it to a user.
Sam -
I will notify the appropriate personal with that suggestion.
you -
On second thought, please go ahead and use the MC ****
Sam -
You are accepting our Universal Terms of Service Agreement
Sam -
Domain Name Registration Agreement
Sam -
Can I proceed for the $12.34?
you -
Sam -
That is done and I have sent out a receipt
Sam -
have a great rest of your day!

Actually getting views

This is a bit of a meta-blog post.

My blog has been viewed over 3000 times!

I was very happy to see that my recent posts are actually getting double digit views. Those that have been seriously blogging for a long time might see this as such a small thing, but for me it is significant improvement, and inspiration to continue. After years of neglect and sporadic updates, I finally have content that is generating hits. I hope someone is getting something of value from my posts.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Apple FANBOI glurge

I'm sitting in the library waiting on my computer to run a backup, so I wondered over to the Dewey 005 section. (That's where the computer programming and similar items are shelved. I had to look it up.)

Because my church uses Macs, and I "grew up" on PCs, I picked up a book called "How to Do Everything Mac, Second Edition". I skimmed over the About the Author and About the Technical Editor. Suffice to say that these two people should know what they are talking about when it comes to Macs.

Then, I got to the Introduction. (Page xxi) The first paragraph was such a FANBOI glurge attack, I almost puked myself! It contained phrases like "(new users will be) light years ahead of (PC users)" & "If you're a seasoned PC user, the Mac is so elegant and simple...(your expectations) will change forever" & "It's hard to get pumped up about a PC, but we're talking about a Mac!"
You can read the full intro here

This was almost enough to make me put the book back on the shelf. Sure, there are things I hate about Windows, but the little bit I've used a Mac, there are already things I hate about it. But, if there's any substance to this book, I don't want to, as my church family says, "throw the baby out with the bathwater". I'll either post an update to this, or edit this post if I actually get more into the book.

5/19/2015 UPDATE:
I haven't allowed myself the time to dig into the book yet, but I skimmed the beginning a little and found this hilarious nugget: "Apple's consumer products are intended to be ...stylish...and, above all, affordable." {emphasis mine}

Market Watch says Apple's first affordable product is; it's stock, after a 7:1 split.

I'm going to have a hard time taking this guy seriously if this tone of Apple worship continues.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Be mindful of your personal information

I'm writing this just after tax season, but it'll be here for next year and for years to come. I hope this helps someone.

Identity theft is an issue year round, but it has a peak around tax season because the criminals do everything they can to use your information to defraud the IRS.

Back in 2011, it was reported that over Five Billion Dollars were stolen by ID thieves through the IRS. The problem has ballooned since then. I saw one report that put a 2300% increase on the problem between 2013 and 2014!

I think most of us know to keep our information safe by shredding documents and keeping our computers updated and protected.

Another preventative measure is to file your taxes as early as possible. If a fraudulent return is filed after your legitimate return, it will be rejected as a duplicate. The problem is, the fraudsters know this too, so it's a race.

  • Protect your data
  • Shred your documents
  •  Keep your computer updated
  • Run a good anti-virus and keep it updated
  • File your taxes as early as possible

Read more about how to protect your Tax Refund here: Avoid Tax ID Theft

Windows 8 doesn't suck bad as I thought it would.

My biggest frustration with my previous limited experience with Win8 was the complete change in UI. (that is, User Interface)

Since I was and now am using it on a laptop, and not a touchscreen device, The Start Screen interface felt clunky and odd. I used to be a technician back when Win9x was king, and I really knew my way around that interface. With XP and 7, I would do everything I could to bring my UI back as close as possible to Win98. I like my start button. I like my QuickLaunch area. I expect certain things to be available when I right-click.

Win 8.1 brought back a "Start" button, but it isn't the same. It takes a person to a Start Screen. If I gave it a chance, it'd probably be "okay", but it's still foreign. Fortunately for me, my Toshiba Satellite laptop came with a program called "Pokki Start Menu". It's not a clone, but it's close enough to be familiar. It would be even better if it could replace the start button instead of sitting beside it.

Win 8.1 also allows a user to set their system to go to the desktop by default at startup. Also, clicking the new start button will toggle between the start screen and the desktop as will windows-key+D. So, now that I have my desktop back and I have a 3rd party start menu, I can begin to get over some of my frustrations with the new OS.

As a technician, I have not formed an opinion. I have had little opportunity to do any work on it. I hope it stays that way. As a user for just under a week, I am forming the opinion that Windows 8.1 does not suck as bad as I thought it would.

I do have a bit of a gripe. I assigned IrfanView to open my MP3 files. When I shift+right click an MP3 file now, I don't get an "open with" option. Haven't cared enough to deal with it yet. Other filetypes seem to allow that action / option.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Samsung Galaxy Avant in Windows 8.1 shows "This folder is empty"

So, I was trying to multi-task and do a little work while on a conference call. I plugged my phone into my laptop (Toshiba Satellite, running Windows 8.1) so it could charge. I hadn't done it before, so I also wanted to verify that it was working as a data device. I went to "This PC" (That's like "My Computer" to us old Win9x guys). There it was, "Brat Phone" I double clicked it and got "This folder is empty"

So, I started doing Google searches for it and found pretty much nothing. I was starting to think there was some kind of compatibility issue between the Galaxy Avant and Windows 8, but figured that if there were, someone else would have blogged about it or asked a question in a forum by now.

Then it crossed my mind, During a phone call, the Avant (and presumably many other Android devices) will go to the lock screen. The call continues, but all other functions of the phone are locked. As soon as I put in my unlock pin, and then went back to "This PC", the folders were available on my device. (actually, the device shows up, when you click it there is a drive "inside" it, and there are folders on that drive.)

Problem solved.

Make sure your phone is not on the lock screen when you are trying to access it through Windows 8

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What is a business coach, anyway?

I've mentioned in a couple of posts that one of my clients is a business coach, but I'm not sure if I made it clear exactly what that means.

So, what exactly is a business coach? What does a business coach actually do?

A business coach is someone with knowledge and experience who can look at a business with an outside perspective and find areas to improve that the business owner might not have seen. Often, a business owner is skilled in a particular field, but has no business training at all. A business coach helps to fill that gap. The business coach can get the business set up with easy to use accounting software, get the software set up correctly, and teach the owner and employees how to use it. The business coach will also implement accountability systems to keep everything running smoothly. Monthly follow ups are often used to monitor and adjust a strategy.

Business coaching is often thought of as something for struggling businesses, but any business can benefit from the expertise and understanding of someone who's made a career out of helping businesses to prosper.

Of course, I'm talking about Cynthia Alloway of Common Sense Business Solutions.