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Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Sitewide Java Servlet Issues

The upgrade to the Java JDK and Private Tomcat Instance used by qisoftware.com did not go as planned. You may notice issues with some of the tools and interfaces installed on WiredPages and the main site area of qisoftware.com.

Running several errands today, so my communications with my web host may be delayed. Hopefully, the problems will be ironed out by the end of the week at the latest.


Tuesday, September 01, 2020

What part of no- is hard for you?

Normally, I love this time of the year. Well, that's to say Autumn, but it will be here soon.

I used to look at my site stats and think, DOJ, affiliates, lawyers were good for their word. Their claim- "we are trying to clean up a lot".

Normally, around this time of the month, I hear about the number of people who did not get their first of the month check. Supposedly, because he or she interfered with me or my business. I do not want to explain the other reasons-- but have you noticed the difference in my recent photos versus from 5 years ago?

Nevertheless, I often hear- "yes we do owe and yes this will be cleared up". No, I did not hear of any recent firings. Yes, all the time I hear about how much my sites are making. Do you want to see my earnings from those sites?

DOJ-- did you want the screen-grabs? I am not demoralized. I want these issues resolved. I want to walk away. I said no.


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Accepting Mobile Payments

Recently, I acquired an EMV Chip & Swipe Card Reader for mobile business payment processing. Allow me to back up for just a moment, and explain, I have had a PayPal business account since 2005 or so, which enabled easy sign up with PayPal Here, the mobile payment processing service.

I use PayPal for most business payment processing tasks, however there are several other great options, including (list focused on mobile payment processing services):

Most major banks also offer merchant services for business banking customers, however I do not have enough in the way of monthly sales revenue to justify this more costly option. At this time, PayPal is a more cost effective solution for my business payment processing needs.

To be able to to accept credit cards at the Point of Sale (POS), you will need new equipment. I have compiled a list, I believe to be a good starting point for research into this area.

Partial List of Available POS Payment Processing Equipment
Payment Processing Equipment ios android all-in-one solution ApplePay GooglePay PayPal

FD150 EMV Secure Credit Card Terminal with WiFi

Clover Go Contactless Reader

PayPal Chip and Swipe Reader Black

PayPal Chip and Tap Reader Black

PayPal Chip Card Reader

Square Terminal

Bluetooth Thermal Receipt LOSRECAL Portable Printer

Star Micronics SM-T300i Ultra-Rugged Portable Bluetooth Receipt Printer

Interesting articles about card readers and related card processing services:

Before purchasing credit card processing equipment, research the payment processing service, i.e., PayPal, Clover, etc., you are planning to use to insure your payment processing requirements qualify for the type of service being offered. For example, PayPal requires applicants to either have a PayPal business or premium account to activate the PayPal Here mobile payment processing service.

Also, before signing up with a new payment processing service, understand the fee structures. While researching for this post, I found one of the biggest complaints from merchants with established Point of Sale (POS) payment processing solutions, was the hidden costs.

Printing customer receipts at the point of sale (mobile) is also something that should be researched thoroughly before purchasing equipment. The PayPal Here service offers either a text or email receipt, in the way of other options.

In the table above, I list a thermal printer for Android users of PayPal Here, however my own experience has been "enlightening" to say the least. No, I did not purchase the printer I listed. I will discuss this further in a later post.

I am a small business owner and have to justify my business expenditures. To date, my total cost to be able to accept most forms of payment while on the go, is under $100 USD. Research into the purchase of POS services and equipment is important.

Now, I am thinking about a yard sale. Even looked into tax related issues. What else? Photography, WiredPages Business Directory listings, on-site software consulting fees...

For legal reasons, I provide demonstration of my software tools (core business), on my sites, e.g. WiredPages, however I have to be more selective where direct client support is involved. Liability is to easy to assign in the online services game.

At this time, I rely more on the advertising associated with my sites. I need a more stable legal solution.

That said, I am coming up with other ways to use my new mobile payment processing capabilities. Can your business justify the cost? Here is another solution- PayPal.me.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

New Instagram Interface- HanoverBusinesses

Earlier this month, I had an issue with the Instagram interface I developed for demonstration purposes. You may recall, in June [2020], I migrated the original interface from the Instagram API platform to the Facebook Instagram API environment.

The recent issue involved token authorization and expiration dates, which I incorrectly assumed worked in the same manner as the original Instagram API. I found the correct developer documentation article via a Facebook Developer Group and was able to correct the problem in short order.

After looking into this issue, I decided to create another FB Instagram API interface (Java Servlet) using another of my Instagram accounts, HanoverBusinesses.

I created the HanoverBusinesses Instagram account to use with the HanoverBusinesses Facebook page app.

The app shown on the FB page is offered by Woobox. At this time, I cannot afford to host a Java Servlet (app) that is accessed by a Facebook page, however I do offer demonstration tools that are accessed exclusively by pages on my sites.

Also note, the Instagram Widget in the sidebar of this blog is another external app created by LightWidget.

My Instagram interfaces (shown above and this link) are only meant for demonstration of the type of custom interfaces I develop. Do I offer more options? Yes, however Java Servlet hosting for use with a popular blog- might be costly.

Legal issues prevent offering, a similar interface using PHP or other open source development resources.



Saturday, August 22, 2020

Apple Upside Down Cake

Last Sunday, with the remaining Gala apples, I made an apple upside cake. The cake turned out well, so I thought I would share the recipe.

First allow me to explain, I found this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake on Food.com in December 2015.

The thing I noticed about the recipe, the way it incorporated the flour mixture in three parts with the milk in two parts, starting with the flour. From past experience, I have had a lot of success with cakes when I combine the milk and flour ingredients in this manner.

After I made the Pineapple Upside Down Cake, using slightly different ingredients (I like unsalted butter for baking- I keep this item on-hand frozen, until I need to use it), I decided I liked the way the cake turned out and the amount of batter was perfect for the smaller two layer cakes I prefer to make today.

Over the years, I have tweaked the base cake batter recipe until I am pretty pleased with the results. Below, the changes I made to the original recipe to get the basic cake batter recipe I use today.

My Basic Cake Batter Ingredients For Two 7" Layers
  • 2 tablespoons margarine Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ingredient
  • 9 pineapple rings Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ingredient
  • 9 maraschino cherries Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ingredient
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ingredient
  • 1/2 cup soft margarine unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (added 2 tablespoons of sugar to the 3/4 cup)
  • 2 1.5 eggs, beaten (see note 4 below)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (new ingredient)
  • 1/2 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons of club soda (some like adding this to help the cake rise, mix in the buttermilk)

Follow the instructions for the original recipe to mix the ingredients for the batter. One note, the first step, when mixing the butter and sugar- I cream the unsalted butter for about two minutes then slowly add the sugar. I then let the mixer cream the two ingredients (butter & sugar) together for at least 3 minutes.

The other note, I bake the two 7" round cake layers (shown above) in a 350 degree oven for about 26 minutes.

For the Apple Upside Down Cake I made last Sunday, I only used about 2/3 of the batter in one 7" cake pan. I sautéed the Gala apples for a couple of minutes adding sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and cornstarch then drained almost all of the juice off before layering the apples in the bottom of the sprayed cake pan. I then spooned the cake batter over the apples and baked for about 28 minutes.

Note 3, I like Baker's Joy baking spray to insure my cakes do not stick to the pans.

Note 4, the cake is much better if allowed to sit for at least 4 hours before cutting. Cutting the cake before that, in my opinion, leaves a more eggy aftertaste, the reason- I reduced the amount of beaten eggs in the recipe.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

My Apple Pie Success Secret

Yesterday, I made an apple pie with Gala apples.

The secret to great apple pie using fresh apples? Allow thick apple slices to sauté in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and cornstarch to release most of the juices from the apples. You only want to release the apple juices so do not sauté on the stove top for too long. Use any highly rated apple pie recipe as a guide for the ingredient amounts and then add to suit your own taste buds. I like cinnamon and sugar.

Spoon only the apple slices into the crust lined baking dish. Bring the remaining apple juice concoction to a boil. Let it thicken, and then pour over the apples in the baking dish. Top with the upper crust and bake.

I love Apple Pie Alà Mode.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Insult to Injury...

Recently, I have been working on a post about my research into EMV Card Readers. Hopefully, I will have the post up shortly, however due to shipping issues-- and perhaps the current health crisis the post is late because equipment I ordered is late.

Sometimes, I notice the interference with my business and other issues, and feel at this point, these issues should have ended long ago.

The FBI has the specifics of my case, and I am told working the issues. In the mean time, I have been putting feelers out for a project I am working Hanover-Magazine.com.

I have also been getting messages from DOD contracting types who are interested in working with me. FBI-- these contracting agencies and direct employers are interested and I am not getting more feedback from you? Contracting folks need clearances... and they want to use me again? FBI, what are you looking for... I want to understand why I am in the same situation... yet contracting people want to hear from me? (I can prove this with screengrabs.)

I said no, and the Department of Justice and FBI owe me... not DOD contractors.... Been there, done that.

I know you have some idea of the problems I am facing, interference with my business, etc. I want it over. I said no.

Frustration after frustration... when all I do is work. I said no.

Have you heard of my case? Most local folks know of me. Why do you suppose these local contractors have no idea about my case?

In May 2012, I was told the US government owed me between 1.5 and 2 billion dollars. I negotiated the settlement for a lot less. Now government contractors want to hire me? When do I get to retire?


Sunday, August 02, 2020

Buttermilk Pancakes

I made my favorite buttermilk pancakes for breakfast this morning. The recipe, one I mentioned here. Note, rather than cooking spray, I use vegetable oil in the pan.

Actually, this is the third or fourth time I have made these pancakes since mid July. Did not want to waste the buttermilk and this "from scratch" recipe, is very easy. Briefly, the recipe calls for:

  • Cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Teaspoon of baking powder
  • Half teaspoon of baking soda
  • Quarter teaspoon of salt
  • Cup of buttermilk
  • Lightly stirred egg
  • Teaspoon of vegetable oil

Mix in a bowl with at least a 2 cup capacity, the first 5 ingredients. In a separate bowl (I use liquid measuring cups), mix the buttermilk, oil and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well. Pour on a hot pan with oil and wait until you see the bubbles. If you like buttermilk pancakes you will love these.

Did you know you can make buttermilk with plain milk and vinegar? See this post.


Thursday, July 02, 2020

Ann Taylor Heist

I am always looking for affordable business styles, and Ann Taylor has always been a favorite- reference post.

Two weeks ago, an Ann Taylor blouse I bookmarked over a year ago, went on sale. Shown in the images below, the Lush Lagoon Tie Neck blouse.

The other two tops were also on sale. Though out of season now, in the coming months, I will be able to pair various pieces I already own- with the new tops.

I tend to know what works for me, however sometimes, I miss on prints. I was pleasantly surprised, the tie neck geometric print blouse, works with black- in suits, skirts and high waisted slacks.

As things slowly begin to reopen in my area, I am doing more in the local business community with a project I have been thinking about for awhile (did you know I registered hanover-magazine.com and hanovermaryland.org a couple of years ago?).

I want my style to suggest, I really mean business....


Thursday, June 25, 2020

WiredPages News Headline Feeds- Status

Late Friday, June 19, 2020, I noticed a couple of issues with several of the news headline feeds maintained on WiredPages.

Over the weekend, I had most of the issues worked out, however decided not to install all of the updates, because I wanted to thoroughly checkout the new resources.

Below, illustrative examples of the feeds that were not installed, however ready for live production.

Currently, the following WiredPages are using live versions of new headline feeds:

In total, there were 8 pages affected by the Friday night outage, so I was happy to find solutions as quickly as I did.

Another major issue, I had to switch the (site) server for the new Java Servlets used to provide the news headlines. qisoftware.com is my main site, however when I have SSL protocol issues, I have to move programs and applications to my hosting site-- hosting-q.com.

This the other reason, I am holding off on installing all of the new programs at the same time. I am always concerned about server overload, so I am installing one or two updates at a time and checking. I am not sure why I have site load issues. According to most statistics related to my sites, I should not have any. Why the conflict (FBI)?


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Instagram API Interface Migration

In July 2018 (blog post), I developed an Instagram API Demonstration Interface to showcase how social media API resources can be customized for individual sites and blogs.

Last fall, I noticed Facebook had taken over management of the Instagram API, however I thought- because my interface only accessed QiSoftware's Instagram data, there would be no need to migrate the tool to the Facebook platform.

I noticed something in a forum post last week, so I checked again and decided- to be on the safe side, I would migrate the interface to the Facebook platform. Spent most of the day (today) on this project.

This was a little more effort than I thought it would be, however when I realized my mistake, the task became relatively easy.

Another easy thing today- lunch.

Yesterday, I made enchiladas and tacos with enough in the way of leftovers for lunch today. So in between debugging and playing with Postman, in an attempt to figure out why I could not set up the correct access tokens for the Facebook/Instagram Graph API platform, I did not starve because I forgot to eat. I could not wait for lunch...


Thursday, June 11, 2020

My New Business Heel

For business, I tend to purchase suits, dresses and heels in the same muted solid colors; blacks, browns, caramels and olives. Since I am more conservative than not, this has worked to my advantage in that most of my business wear has lasted through the years.

My business heel? Since high school a 2-3" skinny heel, that suits my rather small ankles. Toe coverage is minimal, meaning just enough leather to hide them.

That said, these days, I prefer a wider, more sturdy heel, to my old standbys. The Amazon orders shown on the right, illustrate how I acquired the recent additions to my wardrobe. I love the new heels because they are so comfortable.

The illustration below, top row: shows the older version of heels I wear with business suits and dresses, and the lower row: the new heels I began purchasing last fall to accommodate new style, as well as a physique that is no longer between 120-130 pounds.

So how is it that I can wear all of my old fours, sixes and eights if I am no longer between 120 and 130 pounds? Okay, I cannot, however (1) I plan on reaching that size again, and (2) I have newer (with vanity sizing and stretchable rayon) items, in my color palette- that will work for the time being.

Either way, my new business heels should work.


Saturday, June 06, 2020

WiredPages- New Tools Ready For Installation

I mentioned in the last post, there are several new tools ready for installation on WiredPages.

The following summarizes each tool, and provides illustration as to how the new tool will appear on each page.

The WiredPages Home page will get a Market Indices bug, which will provide timely information about stock markets.


The WiredPages Real Estate page will get a Mortgage Calculator.


The WiredPages Business & Markets page will get the Market Indices bug along with a Biz Zip Search tool.


The WiredPages Style & Events page will get the "This Day In History Calendar". Click on any day and the tool provides important events in history for that day.


The WiredPages Media page gets the NPR One StationFinder interface.


The WiredPages Health & Wellness page will get the FatSecret Nutrition Information Search tool.


The WiredPages Arts & Entertainment page gets the Youtube Music Video Search & Playback tool.


The WiredPages Reference page gets the World Factbook interface.


The WiredPages Technology page will get the Alexa Site Rank tool.


There are several other tools in the works, however the tools listed here are ready for installation. Why not install now? Security and potential server load issues. Why continue to develop new interfaces? I hope my issues will be resolved and quite frankly, I love developing new software tools for WiredPages.

Note, the overlay for each tool is larger for illustration purposes.


Sunday, May 31, 2020

SQL Driven World Factbook Preview...

Some of you may remember, the WiredPages Reference page maintained a mini version of CIA's popular World Factbook.

The original interface, parsed the actual World Factbook site files to provide abbreviated data for WiredPages' visitors. As soon as they redesigned the site, my interface was dead. However, I have the original code for proof.

Several years ago, I found online, a 2013 SQL database of the World Factbook. Periodically, I work on the new interface, a Java Servlet that incorporates JDBC to access the underlying SQL data tables.

I am in no hurry to install the interface because my online server is too open and not secure enough. I have no desire to provide the data nor my interface to anyone who wants the data. Some justify, access to my servers by claiming an ongoing investigation. I have reminded the FBI and other legal authorities, they claimed in 2012 a huge mistake was made and they were looking at cleanup efforts. What are they investigating where I am concerned? I said no, I do not authorize illegal access to my sites. I repeat, FBI what questions do you have for me?

I am told that Q's Wire has been tampered with so much, those hoping to claim a libel suit, cannot, because the FBI knows about the tampering. My Thingamablogs [this blog, Remix] are maintained off-line so I do not have the same concerns.

That said, I keep all of the original text files for all posts to any blog on qisoftware.com. So, I can prove what I wrote and what I did not write. The other problem? Timeliness. There is a statute of limitations on a libel suit. I am also not malicious. I wanted others to notice the odd things about my case.

In any case, I stopped posting to Q's Wire long ago, however will add a post every now and again. This post is typical of the type of post I used to post to Q's Wire.

That said, as I have done with many of the interfaces ready to install however sitting safely in my briefcase or a hard drive that goes where I go, I provide a preview of what I am doing and how it will work.

This morning, I did a little more work on the World Factbook interface.

I did not anticipate any problems with development of the new World Factbook interface, just how to get it done in my local environment. You might be surprised by how hard it is to work in a secure area even in my local development environment.

I am pretty pleased with the number of interfaces I have ready to install on WiredPages. Part of the problem, malicious users might take my server down just playing around with the many tools. The other problem-- just too many have too much access to my online sites, and I said no... FBI this is repeated here.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Eating In...

I have to be honest and explain I have been eating in- for awhile now, even before most U.S. and world communities began observing stay at home guidelines. The main difference in my situation- given the global health concerns, I rarely went to the market to shop before the guidelines were in place. Now, I do almost all of the shopping.

This to explain, why many of my old favorites from restaurants and Mom's kitchen have been part of my meal planning for years.

For example, I loved Duck Chang's (in Annandale, VA) and their Kung Pao Chicken and Sweet & Sour Pork entrées. So about once a week I make Kung Pao Chicken (once a year Sweet and Sour Pork). Photo below from Tuesday's lunch.

Another example, I loved the Western Omelets the JW Marriott (in Washington, DC) offered as part of their brunch service on Sundays. So, Wednesday for breakfast, I decided to make my own version.

Favorites from my Mother's Kitchen, included:

  • Enchiladas
  • Fried Chicken
  • Roast Beef
  • Chili

Though Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce has never been a favorite of mine it was one of my sister's, so growing up it was always on the menu. Sometimes, after I moved away from home-- coming home for dinner was just the best, even Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce. I rarely cooked when I moved away from home. Young, single, career minded. Actually, did not know how to cook.

Anyway, recently I purchased a four pound pack of lean ground beef that was on sale for $12, normally $20. I love catching deals like this. Before putting the meat into the freezer, I divided it into four, 1 pound portions and one quarter pound portion. I vacuum sealed each portion, and began planning what I would do with the meat.

This week I decided to try my Mother's Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce.

Earlier this month, I tried my version of her chili and enchilada recipes using ground beef I purchased in early March 2020. Did not take photos of the enchiladas.

Somethings you may want to consider for your own menu planning:

Okay, with all of this shopping and cooking, do I find time for other things? Yes, the shopping takes up a lot of my time, however I am getting other things done. Many of my new tools and interfaces are ready to be installed on my sites, just looking at the same security issues and eating a lot...


Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend Eats...

We decided not to venture far from home for the Memorial Day weekend, so we stocked up on a lot of favorites to insure we had plenty to eat.

These days, I do most of the shopping and though I try to include a wide variety for meal planning, I think I am purchasing more sweets than were purchased in the past.

We are now purchasing meats in bulk and using a vacuum sealer to repackage smaller portions for daily meals. I like the choices this affords when planning meals.

For example, the meal today consisted of two ½ inch pork loin chops, purchased from Costco in bulk a little over two months ago.

I like the vacuum sealer I purchased as a holiday gift for the house several years ago, however only recently started using it on a regular basis. Shown below, the sealer I have (no longer available) and a very popular unit- slightly more expensive.

I consider a vacuum sealer a great investment, and as I have already mentioned, love the fact I now have options in the freezer for meals.

Hope you are having a wonderful Memorial Day. Weather here- beautiful and I am finding lots to do around the house.


Friday, April 10, 2020

NPR Station Finder Demonstration

As I have already mentioned, I have been working several projects including a new tool for the WiredPages Media page, the NPR Station Finder.

Work on the new interface, a Java Servlet is mostly complete and ready for installation however, a slight delay because I am still checking for any issues that might be problematic.

The following graphic, illustrates how the tool will render search requests based on location.

The video, demonstrates the tool running in local mode from the Netbeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

The video suggests a demonstration of the portable features of my development platform is in the offing however, is provided through the following photos.


Friday, April 03, 2020

The Bathroom Project

In early March [2020], I discovered because of corrosion, the faucet in the main upstairs bathroom would have to be replaced. We ordered a new faucet (PARLOS Brushed Nickel) and also decided to use Amazon's Home Services to have the work done.

The plumber who performed the initial work, although installing the new faucet, also explained the corrosion was more extensive than we thought. We would need a new sink as well. So I took measurements and went over to Lowes to get a new sink.



While at Lowes, I also found a Dracaena Trifasciata (mother-in-law's tongue or snake plant, similar Amazon offering) that I decided I had to have. When I left home right after college, my mother gave me one she had had for years, so I was happy to find another at a very reasonable price (under fourteen dollars).

This post was going to be about all of the projects I have been working lately, however the bathroom project was a big one and took a lot of time to complete. The repairs were completed by 11:00 am Wednesday, however the sink was not usable until the following morning to give the epoxy a chance to set up.

Of course, the current situation with COVID-19 a factor in scheduling of repair services--- even with our hustle to purchase the hardware that was needed for the repairs. Just happy to have that sink working again.


Monday, March 30, 2020

NPR One API Interface

Recently, when I finished work on the new Amazon Product Advertising API interfaces for WiredPages, I decided to continue with other software projects, specifically an effort I put aside sometime ago.

The NPR One API resource is an interesting project, and quite frankly when I signed up over a year ago, I thought I would get back to the project a lot sooner. Part of the problem, it took longer than usual to set up the correct authorization procedures. When I finally "correctly" initialized all of the codes, I felt most of the hard work was done and it was only a matter of writing the interface.

Below, illustration of work completed on the project, with still lots more to do...

One of the biggest obstacles, I thought I could use HTML5 audio features to enable live streaming of radio programs. I could not. So I spent most of the weekend coming up to speed on a popular jQuery Player.

Over the years, I have decided against using cutting edge technologies like JQuery and AJAX because a lot of my development hardware is older and cannot support those newer technologies. However, what this has enabled me to do, is insure my sites work with both new and old technologies. My old desktop Mac can still run most of the tools on my sites without issues. Today, there are very few sites my old desktop Mac computer can visit.

Now, I do have access to newer hardware, however up until recently, my newer hardware was for testing and not development work. These days, I am using a Windows 10 Pro mini for a lot of development efforts. Updates to SSL protocols left me with little choice but to afford a newer development platform-- see the Items I Have link for more information.

So, back to my efforts this weekend... I am pretty happy with the jQuery Player I will be using for the NPR One API project, and will have to get over the fact that some of my hardware platforms will not be able to provide the live radio streams from NPR's network of stations.

The new tool is a Java Servlet and will be installed on the WiredPages Media page.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Amazon PA API5 Updates

Earlier this week, I noticed I had access to the Amazon PA API, so I decided to take the opportunity to convert my old PA API 4 tools, to the latest release (PA API 5). Efficiency guidelines, periodically disabling the resource, so this was my first opportunity to work with the new API.

I am not sure why, I thought the new release of the API would be easier to use, as related to development efforts for Amazon Product Search tools. In my opinion, the earlier release, PA API 4 was easier, especially the signing process.

That said, after some research and testing, I was able to get three program versions working using different frameworks:

  • Java Servlet not using the Amazon supplied SDK
  • Java Servlet using the SDK
  • PHP Version

When I install the new tools on WiredPages, I will be using the Java Servlet version which does not incorporate the Amazon supplied SDK. The following graphics illustrate how the new tools will look on the site, however [shown below] running in local mode from my IDE (NetBeans).

If you are familiar with my earlier Amazon Product Search tools, you will note the new tools are similar to the old. Updates also included new search categories. I will probably release the new tools sooner rather than later, however I am still researching security issues. Think I have found most of the program bugs.


Saturday, February 15, 2020

New Tool in the Works, Alexa Rank Check

Yesterday, I completed most of the work on a new tool that will provide Alexa Rank information for a specified website.

Plans are to install the tool on the WiredPages Technology page, however not sure when this opportunity will present itself. Related issues include; (1) Access to Amazon Web Services (AWS) data is billed based on usage, (2) the popularity of a tool like this could affect my web hosting plan and (3) security is always an issue for me. At this time, too many have access to areas of my site, which I cannot prevent.

Keep in mind, I am a sole proprietor and have no business partners as related to software development (see Business Partnerships for more details). I do maintain several advertising affiliate relationships as outlined in my disclosure policy.

Also note, the tool is still in checkout mode so I may change elements of the user interface, i.e., graphics, font sizes, etc., before the actual installation.


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Ham & Cheese on a Croissant...

Yesterday, I stopped by Costco and Safeway. I thought I would be doing all of this shopping on Friday, however weather forecasts though calling for rain, seemed to indicate the precipitation would begin late in the day, so I thought I could get most of this done by noon. Actually, arrived home after two, so it took longer than I expected.

For some reason, I have been craving a ham and cheese sandwich on a croissant along with a strawberry milkshake. So along with necessary staples, i.e., bottled water, paper products, coffee, etc., I thought I would get the ingredients to satisfy my cravings.

Strawberries were a little more expensive than I thought they would be, so I did not get the ingredients for a shake but did get everything I needed for my sandwich.

The croissants and pepper jack cheese purchased from Costco, and the ham, lettuce and tomato picked up from Safeway.

Other things I have been working on?

  • Updating my local master copy of the Celebrity Birthday Database (security issues preventing the online installation of the master version of the database). The almost 4000 entries included in the offline version are being checked for dead biography.com links which are being replaced with Wiki links. Very tedious process, however the database should be pretty robust by the time the work is complete.
  • Researching a problem with the "Who Are My Legislators?" interface accessed from the WiredPages Government page.
  • Reading, "Secrets of a Charmed Life" by Susan Meissner

Things are working out with my new Windows10 Mini insofar as duplicating my software development environment. Working a number of issues and ensuring I can duplicate development efforts normally worked on my older Mac system.

The cost to provide this duplicate development environment, given I needed new hardware and operating system to work effectively with newer technologies, was something I could afford at this time.


Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Current Reads, FICO Scores, etc.

I use the OverDrive App to borrow books from the Maryland Digital Library. Just finished the latest Grisham release "The Guardians". Now reading "The Silent Wife".

Also happy to report, I am done with my 2019 taxes. Any refunds due, already deposited to my personal checking account.

Here are recent photos from other things going on around here. Lunch today, cookies I made Monday, watching the banana plant I moved to the guest bedroom flourish.

Other things I am watching? Recent news reports indicate FICO score computations are changing. One of my credit cards provides free access to my personal FICO score and my business bank provides reports about my business scores (in my case these scores should be the same because I am a sole proprietor and use the same tax information for both personal and business accounts).

That said, I noticed a 13 point drop in the FICO score being reported by my business bank in early January 2020 and think this may explain the change. The fluctuations seem to be more reflective of spending. Holiday spending using credit cards may have been used in the business FICO score, however I always pay the entire balance on my credit cards so I think the new computations maybe a little trigger happy.

Are you noticing changes with your FICO scores?


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

!Rockin The Gray

For various reasons, when I make or notice changes to my appearance, I publicize the differences. For instance, I always like to provide recent photos, to insure the effects of aging are noted and current.

Over the last two or three years I have allowed my hair to grow out. At the same time, I have not dyed my hair so the advancing gray I wanted to be more a striking accent to my appearance- turned out to be, anything but. Did you see Poltergeist? By the end of the movie, JoBeth Williams' character had striking gray effects in her hair. I think, the natural state of my hair should look more like hers at the end of that movie.

The photos below were taken January 26, 2020 and show the enormous amount of gray in my hair:


Yesterday, I went to the market for my mother and also picked up a box of dye. I have to admit, I purchase things because they are on sale, so the box of Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Creme, 50 Medium Natural Brown (Truffle) I purchased was more because it was on sale and not because I did any research.

That said, I love this brand. I loved how easy it was to apply, I loved the smell, I loved the way my hair felt after blowing it dry, and this morning after I took out the rollers.

The photos below taken this morning after I combed it out (camera flash highlighting the conditioner in my hair, most of the gray covered):

My natural hair color tends to have lighter brown/blonde highlights mixed in with the darker brown. The new color is a bit more auburn (especially where the gray was covered), however I like it.


Sunday, January 26, 2020

How Do I Keep My Curls?

On Friday, January 17, 2020, I placed an order with Amazon comprised of the following items, which arrived, Thursday, January 23, 2020.

On Friday, January 18th, a huge spring on one of the garage doors broke and though a relative looked at the door and said it could be used without repair, I decided to research, and have the repair done. It turns out, if the spring is left unrepaired, the release latch that allows for manual operation, is useless because the door is to heavy to lift without the spring and both cables. One of the cables also snapped.

So, for the last week and a half- major projects included:

  • Research, purchase and installation of 500 GB Harddrive for mini computer
  • More software installed on new mini computer, i.e., Thingamablog, iTunes, etc.
  • Garage door repair research
  • 2019 Tax Returns (Federal & Maryland) Filed

I needed a new desktop calculator with a small footprint and I am pretty happy with the Casio HR-10RC Printing Calculator I ordered. Below is a 9 second video demonstration of the calculator.

My mother has a slightly larger Casio Printing Calculator (Casio HR-100TM) which is also pretty good, so below, I am providing links to both calculators.

The installation of the Seagate 500GB harddrive was pretty easy, however it did not automatically show up as a new drive. I had to add the device under the Windows Control Panel Hardware tab (showed up as hardware that needed to be added).

These days, storage on harddrives is easy to purchase, and you may notice that I tend to purchase devices with lower storage amounts. This is on purpose. I try to purchase what I think I will need, not how much I can get.

P.S. I also use a Conair 1" Curling Iron which in combination with the items shown, help to keep my curls in place all day.




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