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Regina's personal blog

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Those Live! Hotel Construction Photos

Big things are happening in my hometown, and especially the business community. The latest, the opening of the Live! Hotel complex adjacent to the Live! Casino and Arundel Mills.

Briefly, construction milestones for the hotel:

  • Groundbreaking Celebration, September 13th, 2016
  • Official Opening, June 6th, 2018
  • Grand Opening Celebration, Wednesday, July 11, 2018

In that I live within 2 miles of the new hotel, over the last year I tried to stop by at least once a week (starting in June 2017 and ending in June 2018) to capture construction progress photos.

Hanover Maryland has grown into an attractive place to live and play. The thriving local business community that was in place before the mall, casino, and hotel openings- has only benefited from the extensive growth in the area since 2001.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive

Over the weekend I received a package containing a new drive for my android and a case for my RCA Cambio Windows 10 Tablet/PC. I am so pleased with both items.

First the tablet case. About 3 weeks ago, a spilled coke splattered near my Windows 10 Tablet/PC causing the plug-in keyboard that came with the unit to malfunction. Luckily, I had an extra Anker Bluetooth Keyboard which works great.

The old keyboard was part of the casing for the device, so the new case now holds both the tablet and bluetooth keyboard that I am using as a replacement. This also, worked out well.

Now the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive. My Android operating system version is 5.1.1. Shortly after getting the device, I rooted it enabling print service to a USB printer via an OTG connector and USB cable. Initially the root process also allowed me to use USB flash-drives with OTG cables and hubs.

Recently, I somehow changed a setting that although continued to provide printer support via an OTG connection, disabled access to USB flash-drives. I tried any number of things to correct this problem, however was unsuccessful.

After reading reviews for the SanDisk Dual Drive m3.0, I was hopeful that I could once again port items from my Windows10, WindowsXP and Android using one drive and was pleasantly surprised when the SanDisk Dual Drive did the job.

I added the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive to these stores: Items I Have and Computer Electronics/Home Office.

What else have I been up to?

Also, you may have noticed I added a new category to this blog, Finance, so I have been thinking about relevant material as related to both business and personal finance that may be interesting.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mini Lemon Loaves & Surround Sound

Last Tuesday, I noticed an interesting email from, highlighting Lemon Loaf Recipe ideas. Today, I decided to test one of the recipes (most who tested it, loved it.).

I am delighted with how these lemon loaves turned out. I only had a slight deviation from the original recipe. The recipe called for milk in the lemon glaze and I had none on hand, so I used half and half instead. I especially love the lemon glaze and the substitution did nothing to lessen the flavor.

The recipe also called for the zest of one lemon. After using a micro-plane to grate the lemon, I used a sharp knife to finely mince the zest. I have found that when a recipe calls for lemon zest, I tend to like it more- when the zest is minced a bit more.

I have also been cleaning out the basement and moving things around. I put components from an old stereo system in the guest bedroom and began testing the separate units. There may be a problem with the phonograph (turntable), however the other components are working fine.

I have been looking for new speakers to use with the system [currently using a pair of old headphones to check things out] and these caught my attention.

I think I am going to add the speakers to my Computer Electronics/Home Office store, listed below.

I love watching movies at home with stereo surround sound effects. Most of the televisions I use- have a stereo amp and speakers connected to the Verizon Set Top Box.

That said, I have been researching the Sound Bar offerings from Sony and Samsung which enable the same surround sound effects when combined with some of the newer high definition televisions. The new Sound Bar offerings enable more hook-up options i.e., bluetooth, HDMI, wifi, etc. than older amps and look pretty impressive. Is your den in theater mode?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Alexa Echo

I have not done a video in awhile, so I decided to demonstrate some of the things I have been doing with our new Alexa Echo. The video is a bit longer than some of my others- and of course I am still coming up to speed with taping, editing and using video in blog posts.

New holiday gifts were added to the "Items I Have" list. Are you taking advantage of some of the great after Christmas bargins?

Happy New Year!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Thingamablog: Tech Savvy & Secure

Many are aware- I use Thingamablog as the content management platform for both my business and personal blogs. I started using Thingamablog in 2010 when Blogger decided to discontinue FTP support for users who hosted their blogs on private domains.

Thingamablog runs standalone on desktop computers and requires Java installation, if not already installed on the system.

In my opinion, the Thingamablog platform offers more security in that the entire application and post database are maintained off line. What this means? The master copies of my blogs are maintained off line and are tamper proof.

This also allows for easy backup to external storage devices of the off-line applications and databases, as opposed to online site backups.

That said, in my case I also backup my entire website so snap-shots of both the and sub-domains where I maintain the blogs, are also backed-up when I perform full-site backups.

Useful links:

In 2010, I also established the Facebook group [referenced above], for Thingamablog users. We are always looking for new members, so if you are interested in this blogging/content management tool, please join us.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Credit Card Rewards

One of my banks offers rewards for using their credit card. I love this concept and pay for most purchases with the card.

This month, charges itemized on the bill included:

  • Eye Glasses & Contact Lens Prescriptions
  • Contact Lenses [2 boxes]
  • Three new domain registrations totaling about $35
  • Web Hosting
  • Cell Phone
  • Mother's Day Gift for my Mother

Total charges last month; about $397. This added about $4.00 to my rewards account balance bringing it to $44.82. The credit card issuer will send a check when the balance reaches $50.

Noted in the illustration above, this morning I paid the entire card balance. This ensures I do not incur interest charges on any carryover balance, making the cash rewards the card offers even more attractive.

Last month, I noticed Amazon also offers a similar cash rewards [Visa] card. I have a great card, however this appears to be something worth looking into-- Amazon Rewards Visa by Chase.

Friday, May 12, 2017

New Condenser Microphone

In March, when I ordered my new camcorder, I did not order a backup battery nor a condenser microphone. A week ago, I ordered those accessories and yesterday the purchases arrived.

Check below for links to the specific camcorder accessories I ordered:

Amazon order:

Short video demonstrating the difference between using the camcorder with and without the condenser microphone.

What else have I been up to? Actually several projects, however I will have to update this later.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Is this about the grill?

About a week ago, most of my family went out of town. Before leaving, the fridge was stocked and I have been testing different recipes almost everyday.

One of my favorites- a roasted chicken breast with olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt, and the original chicken seasoning by McCormick. I roasted it in the convection oven-- according to the instructions in this recipe and added sides of fresh cranberry sauce and white rice.

Today, I grilled a steak on an indoor grill I purchased last year as a holiday gift that I decided to keep. The price on the grill was such a great deal, Amazon does not even list it with the order. Check here for more on the grill.

Short video capturing the grill in action today.

My new Canon camcorder produces MP4 and AVCHD [MTS] video files. Often I use the AVCHD setting for the higher resolutions. The camcorder has a built-in utility enabling quick conversion of AVCHD videos to MP4.

I also found a great video conversion utility which works with the MTS [AVCHD] video files, allowing for slightly higher file resolutions than the camcorder's built-in function.

Here is a screenshot of the AVC program.

This week, I also made a video showing how to make fresh cranberry sauce with frozen berries, however that video was 35 seconds and the steak video only 15, so I opted to use the shorter to discuss the AVC utility program.

By the way, I also love the grill.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Old Music & iTunes

All day, I have been updating my iTunes Library with old CDs from my extensive collection.

I had separate iTunes libraries on my Macbook and Netbook, so earlier this year I decided to put everything in one location and maintain the actual music library on a 32GB SD card shown as an inset in the illustration below.

Most days when I want to listen to my music, I use the RCA Cambio Windows10 platform with my TaoTronics Stereo Bluetooth Speaker.

Below, short video showing my work environment today, while porting more "old" music to my iTunes Library.

I love having all my old CDs digitized and available whenever I want to listen.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Digital Video Cameras, What Do I Really Need?

I have been researching digital video camera options, and recently added two new cameras to my resources.

  • Action Camera-- it is so small and light I actually carry it in my purse.
  • Dash-Cam for the car.

I like using resources in multiple environments and have found I can use each new camera as a webcam as well. Shown below, photos of the dash-cam as a webcam.

Another set of images showing screen-shots of the Camera application [app] I use with webcams. The screen-shots show me as depicted by the webcam and my environment when working just off the kitchen.

Late last year, I posted a video to one of my social media accounts that was so grainy, I decided I needed a new video camera. I like the action cam and dash cam, however there are limitations to the types of video I can shoot. Also the new cameras support resolutions a lot higher than that of my older digital camera, the Canon Powershot A590.

Currently, I use my digital camera for both video and still shots. What I love about my camera? Its many features and the low resolution options for videos and images. Like most who pay for web hosting for their domains, I have limits to the amount of storage I can use. Videos and photos can take up a lot of storage- quickly.

Important features I am looking for in a video camera:

  • Optical zoom at least 20x
  • External microphone support [already have a stereo microphone]
  • Macro lens support.
  • Full HD recording

My research has led me to some interesting finds-- and I have listed some of the results in my stores under the "Just Want" Category and the "Computer Electronics & Home Office" Category. [New finds added at the end.]

I think my finds can provide a good basis for your own research and help in determining what you need based on your requirements. For instance, you may not have my concerns about storing videos online. You may only need a great video camera for life's moments or a vacation. There are a lot of great options.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Apple iPhone 7

Sunday, my Mother had to get a new cell phone. What did she get? Apple's iPhone 7.

I have to say, this phone is pretty impressive. Features include...

  • Full HD Video
  • Display 1920 x 1080 pixel-resolution.
  • 12MP Camera-- wow is that camera nice.
  • 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom.
  • See the specs for yourself here, she opted for the 5.5" with 32GB of storage.

She is still playing around with the many features and is extremely pleased with her new hardware. Yes, I think this should be my next phone too.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Camera Lighting & Dash Cam...

Early this morning, my mother and I took her car out to test the new DVR Dash Cam. It was one of her Christmas gifts.

I like the features on this dash cam and everything is so clear. It was also easy to install and mount. Because of the many features-- the learning curve for the seven buttons on this cam might be a little intimidating, however well worth the effort. I think I have got it, however she seems a little concerned.

In addition, today I received the LED light I ordered. Hoping it will lighten up my photos and videos. What do you think?

Yes, I like this new light a lot. Are you ready for the new year?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hardware Issues This Week...

I have had a number of issues with my hardware this week, including:

  • My Android would not auto-rotate.
  • An issue with new USB Mouse used with my RCA Windows10 PC/Tablet.
  • Camera Date/Time Settings.

Starting with the camera. I purchased my Canon PowerShot A590 in 2008 and use it almost daily with very few issues. That said, about once a week, I replace the two AA batteries that power the camera.

This morning when I turned the camera on, the Date/Time Set Menu appeared automatically. I thought it somehow reset itself to the factory setting. Resetting the date and time did not correct the problem.

Awhile back, I took out the disc battery and discovered I reset the date/time for the camera-- so I decided it is time to replace that battery after almost 8 years. Easily found the battery on Amazon and since I am in "Holiday Shopping Mode"-- just added it to my cart.

The Android Tablet auto-rotate issue? I researched any number of fixes, including:

  • Using the Google Now Launcher
  • Clearing the Cache Partition at the Android System Prompt

I actually installed the Google Now Launcher App, however this option did not work. What did work? I started the Verizon FiOS Mobile App and selected a program to watch in full-screen mode. This worked.

I have had my Android Tablet since Feb. 2015 [2 years in February 2017] and have had very few problems-- even though I "rooted" it. I use a bluetooth keyboard and do a lot of site maintenance, shopping, bill paying and social media tasks with my Android-- so I use it like a mini pc rather than a tablet in that I normally have it in landscape mode. This means I need that auto-rotate mode to work.

Because I "rooted" the Android-- I am hesitant about trying things at the system prompt, the reason I did not try the "clear cache partition" option. If you are having a similar issue [auto rotate not working]-- you may want to look at this option.

And lastly, for some reason there is a conflict with the new USB Mouse and the RCA Windows10 PC/Tablet. I was using an older USB mouse and did not have an issue, however I want to continue using the new mouse so I had to find a workaround. The fix? Unplug the mouse until the system is started and then plug the mouse in.

I have also been researching external power banks for mobile devices. A relative recently purchased a BlackWeb 5200mAh for a trip, however never used the device. I decided to test it.

I plugged it in to my Android about 3:15 pm yesterday. I turned off my Android about 7:00 pm last night, however plugged it back in about 12:30 am this morning. I have been using my Android for most of the day-- including the early morning hours. I update my Amazon Stores in the early morning. About 10 minutes ago [2:30 pm, almost 24 hours later] the BlackWeb power-bank started flashing [indicating the power was low] so I plugged it in to the wall. I think the amount of time I used the external power bank over the last 24 hours is pretty good.

I have added a number of new items to the Computer and Home Electronics Store, including power banks that have been tried and tested. The power banks I have listed are slightly higher in power output than the BlackWeb Power Bank I tested. That said, I think these are great devices.

I am always concerned about the on-board battery life for my mobile devices and these power banks allow me to stay powered without electricity. My Android is always plugged in-- and when its not-- I have about 6-9 hours of battery life using the on-board battery. Even though my Android is almost 2 years old-- I have great battery life because I use electrical power most of the time. If I do not have electrical power-- these power banks will work too-- allowing me to use my on-board battery only when I absolutely have to.

To see all my stores- checkout the list in the upper right sidebar of this blog.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Beautiful Weather Here...

Ordered my Mother's gift for Mother's Day last week and the package arrived yesterday.

Included in the package was a USB stereo adapter I wanted for my Netbook because the onboard system connectors are a little unstable. I think something is loose, however thought I might have done more damage if I opened the case to investigate.

This seemed like a great idea-- and yes I was right. The gadget worked straight out of the box. My 2010 Acer Netbook does not support Bluetooth.

The weather is great... I have been sitting near the open back door, working and listening to music.

Other things I have been up to...

  • Added a great video capture utility [AZScreen Recorder] to my tablet. [see video below]
  • Potted the Marigolds in various outdoor planters.
  • Movie: Cinderella w/Cate Blanchett
  • Movie: Lilith w/Warren Beatty

Still looking for Mother's Day gift ideas?

National Zoo's Cam a little fuzzy when I grabbed this video..

Hope you are having a nice weekend.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Activities Around My Neighborhood

It has been raining a bit this week and everything is in bloom.

Over the last week, I have been out taking photos of beautiful Spring scenes in my area, however over the last two days- capturing short videos of things going on around here.

About the videos [in order]:

  • April 7th, 2016 downpour spout on the house
  • Workmen removing Harmans RD closed sign, April 7th, 2016. Yes, Harmans is open again.
  • State workmen working on the street drains, today.
  • Professional lawnmowers working at the house behind us, today.

What's interesting about these videos? I converted the AVI footage from my camera to MP4 format with a new APP I installed on my Android, MediaConverter. I had to install this APP- because Instagram does not upload AVI videos. I then ported the converted videos to my Netbook where I maintain this blog [Thingamablog - desktop publishing via FTP], so that I could publish them with this post. Yes, I know these videos do not work with all browsers.

Plans for the weekend?

  • Season finale of Billions, Sunday Night @10:00 on Showtime
  • Finals for current tennis tournaments.
  • Buttermilk Pancakes on Sunday for breakfast.
  • Maybe some gardening.
  • Shopping for Mother's Day gifts. Do you like this? Other ideas.

Used to create webm video files.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

he is a cutie

A couple of days ago, I found this video on Instagram and decided to check in on Bei Bei via the Smithsonian Zoo Cam links for the Giant Pandas.

I started watching the live video last night around eight I think, and Bei Bei was just about to fall asleep. So this morning around 6:40, I waited and he and his mother started moving about around 6:50 or so. Mei, his mother came in to the area where he sleeps twice before he decided to join her in the larger area.

An hour later he was outside climbing a tree.. He is really kind of funny.

Around 3:00 pm this afternoon, Mother and son were having a meal and both fell asleep when they finished. Screengrabs taken after they finished their meals:

I watched as Bei Bei pulled his fresh bambo into the area where I saw him sleeping last night, eat a bit, roll around, and then fall asleep. His mother was already eating in the larger area where Zoo keepers had placed a lot of bambo [no I did not see that], when I tuned in. She ate a lot more than Bei Bei then fell asleep. I guess it takes a lot of energy to eat all that bambo.

I am researching live video capture on my Android-- so I decided to post this Instagram video to test compatibility issues with older browsers. I used the Instagram Embed code offered-- but I am also looking into capturing live video from the screen.

That said.. I really like the Giant Pandas at the National Zoo and the technology that allows me to check in to see them.

Monday, February 01, 2016

old is new again.. what else do I have to sell?

The other day, I was watching television and a commercial featuring Wallapop, caught my attention, so I decided to look into how this service worked.

After a bit of research, I found there are several services [new to me] that allow users to buy and sell in their local communities or regions. Some of these include:

So after downloading one of the apps I took a look around. Then I decided to go through my closet and look around. I found these shoes:

and this outfit I wore to a Washington, DC- Al Jarreau Concert in 1987 or so.

Styles always come back-- and although this outfit is old-- it is actually very becoming on. The dark velour/velvet like skirt comes about 8" inches from the ankle and looks very elegant with heels and long rhinestone earrings. The top is again in style with the peplum [bottom edge] detail.

I love clothes and keep most of the things I purchase, except when given no choice. I am an organizer's nightmare, however since I tend to buy more in the way of classic styles- I would probably pass on their advice anyway, in that I tend to think they are more likely to be trend setters and would want to keep nothing unless "current".

The outfit for the Al Jarreau concert does have details that tend to be more trendy [especially the top], so it is not exactly a classic-- however I could use the skirt in different ways. It is a junior 9/10, meaning it is not cut for a fuller figure and vanity sizing today would probably make it a 7/8 without the popular stretch element many of today's garments feature.

The shoes? I walked around in them for a couple of hours today, and decided they were so comfortable I would keep them. The shoe upper, mostly "just" leather with nothing to make the shoe stiff. I consider these classics, so I can pair them with many of my spring/summer dresses. Yes, I buy a lot of black for summer too.

So, I decided not to try to sell my old things. I do have one or two miscues, purchased online- that still have the tags, that are really nice-- but just do not work for me. I think I will try selling those items with one of the services.

Have you tried selling, using one of these services?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Are you seeing this too?

This Spring, homeowners in my neighborhood are having solar panels installed. From the window in the den, I have watched two new installations. Yesterday, I went out to get a closer look.

When I drove down the nearby street, I found three homes with new solar panel installations within the first block. I love this idea, and have noted as described by bloggers and HGTV episodes, that RV owners and custom home builders are doing more with solar panels.

Sophisticated solar power controllers are now offered for RV and homeowners which allow for more efficient use of multiple sets of batteries. When one set of batteries is being charged via the solar panels another set is used to supply power. Then when the charged batteries run out the other set is swapped in for power while the discharged set recharges. See this:

For some reason, I get excited about things like this. Youtube Solar Panel Link.

Recently, I also downloaded the EarthCam app Apple Store/Google Play to my tablet.

I did not get into Washington to see the Cherry Blossoms this year, however my Twitter stream [source: Patch] provided information about a new EarthCam camera in Washington. I wish they would put one at the City Dock in Annapolis. It is so pretty there and sometimes you see the cadets.

Also, watching a lot of tennis and the arrival of Spring. News from Washington? I am told the United Nations is involved.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Last Weekend...

Easter was nice. My blooms are starting to come out. Watched the Finals in Miama [Tennis].

That evening, after dinner and the men's final in Miami- I watched Lucy with Scarlett Johansson. I thought this movie was pretty interesting.. here are some scenes.

The next morning, I used a tablet app-- "Screenshot Easy" to grab these scenes from the movie.

Have you researched the new Chromebox offerings-- [see here]? Just started looking at these.

My tablet has become an invaluable asset. The Chromebox is similar however more a desktop [stationary] offering. Verizon FiOS allows me to watch many things on my tablet [WatchESPN, FiOS Mobile, TennisChannel, etc. FYI: Watched the movie Lucy with my Tablet] and a desktop version would enable greater resolution and a larger picture.

I also updated my Amazon Computer and Electronics Store, listing a more enhanced version of a Chromebox- than the one I reference in this post. Check out all of the offerings to see the different options. Just think, all of your favorite tablet apps running from a desktop.

News from Washington? Lots, just not worth repeating here. Is there an end in sight? Not sure. ACLU guy is back... yes, some relief from those using government issued consoles.

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 20th Weekend...

Photos from this weekend and today.

Things I have done over the last 4 days...

  • Made pot roast on Sunday... having leftovers this week.
  • Watched Tennis- Indian Wells Semi Finals/Finals
  • Watched a bit of March Madness; Georgetown vs Utah, NC State vs Villanova, Michigan St vs Virginia
  • Read a little...
  • Learned how to use my tablet's 5 megapixel camera insofar as uploading to my new Instagram account..
  • Backed up both sites: and
  • Installed software updates on tweeted.
  • Preparing for the Miami Open which starts this week.
  • Updating my Professional Tennis Spreadsheets with the servlet data...

Below, screen shot of my homepage on Instagram. When I thought of signing up a year ago, I did not realize you needed a phone or tablet to use Instagram.

I am not sure how I will use Instagram, since I do not like posting anything, including photos on anything but my sites-- [legal concerns]-- however since I have relaxed some of my concerns with both my Twitter and Facebook accounts-- I am sure I will start using it more. Yes, I am concerned about the amount of space I use on my domains for post images-- however, I don't think I will be using Instagram to host my post photos.

Friday, February 13, 2015

OfficeSuite 8 Pro

Since I have been using Microsoft Office for years, I try to stay compatible with this productivity suite as related to software I install on all of my computers. My latest acquisition, the tablet- is no different.

After research, I downloaded the OfficeSuite 8 App to test drive. I was not disappointed, however could not do much, in that- it is the limited free version.

OfficeSuite 8 Pro [Apple App Store/Google Play] is the non-limited version and provided more of the power I need, which also enables me to stay compatible with my other Microsoft Office Suite installations.

I must admit, I do find it easier to create templates and documents using the full Microsoft Office Professional Suite installations rather than on my tablet. That said, what's great about my new tablet software [OfficeSuite 8 Pro]? It is easy to port Microsoft Office documents and templates to the tablet-- in case I need to do something on the fly and pulling out the tablet the easiest thing to do.

QiSoftware Business Letter Template:

Professional Tennis Stats Spreadsheet:

Most of the Microsoft Office customization features are converted upon import to OfficeSuite 8 Pro file formats.

Some of Sample Templates that came with OfficeSuite 8 Pro:

I have also been doing a lot of research on printing from my new tablet and will post about that later.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I didn't think I needed a tablet...

I am still downloading and configuring apps for my new Tablet. I downloaded the OverDrive app the first day [last Thursday], however did not get a chance to look around more thoroughly until today.

The OverDrive App allows Public Library Patrons to borrow and download eBooks to their tablets. The following illustration shows the two books I have on hold.

I took the above screen shot with another tablet app I downloaded called "Screenshot Easy".

Other things I have been up to:

  • Updating my Amazon Stores
  • Watching Tennis Tournaments
  • Playing around with Google Analytics... Noticed the other day, that ShareThis is reporting has a 154 SQI rank-- while nothing on this domain, i.e., See email below from
  • Playing around with my pro tennis stats spreadsheets... contacted one of the reporting agencies about getting up to date data...
  • Syncing my contact lists and removing redundancy from services I use, i.e., Facebook, Linkedin, Skype and Verizon- that maintain their own lists... Also, added bubbles for my chat dialogues [see below].

I have tracking scripts installed on most of my website properties including:

  • Google Analytics
  • Quantcast
  • Compete
  • ShareThis
  • Alexa Bugs

It is odd that Sharethis claims SQI rank for my little blog however nothing for the other properties [on, including 3 of my blogs and the forums], which also have their scripts installed.

Yes, earpiece confirmed long ago-- the US Government interfered with my sites and online business presence. Phones and websites.

Talk today is still going on that this will end with a settlement. Most are saying these numbers show part of the problem and will be cleared by the settlement. Why these odd readings now, and why report them to me? Did you overlook your own numbers for my site []?

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Learning About Tablets, iPads, Androids...

As I explained in an earlier post, I watched quite a bit of the 2015 Australian Open, both via the Tennis Channel and WatchESPN. The latter, via my mother's Verizon Ellipsis Tablet.

I was so impressed with how well the tablet worked, running the WatchESPN app- as compared to my netbook and browser, I decided to get my own, i.e., tablet.

Resolution and data processing speed- keys to why my mother's tablet was clearer with fewer digital hiccups. The comparison relied on the same WiFi offering [Quantum Speed Verizon FiOS], so it was easy to surmise- the browser and the netbook's resolution the reason the picture was less than that of the tablet.

My purchase choice was based on available funds and tablet resolution [and though I am happy with my choice, have decided to provide no further details, other than to say, I also purchased a Bluetooth keyboard].

The tablet arrived Thursday, and I have been busy setting up all of my accounts.

Initially, I had a problem connecting both WindowsXP systems [Netbook and Desktop in my office] to my new tablet. To resolve the problem, I downloaded and installed the following files on both systems:

One pro amongst many, as related to the purchase of my new tablet; my location is always being broadcast [via the tablet's on-board GPS]. I also have the Skype app installed, and it is always on. What does that mean FBI? It means-- others should not be picking up my calls. Neither on my Skype line nor my mobile line. Yes, I do have a dedicated Skype Phone and my netbook, when I have it on-- also boots with Skype on. Unfortunately, because of security concerns, as related to my work-- I cannot open up the netbook nor is GPS installed on my netbook. I can leave my new tablet open.

Also this week, I started a new project. With all of the professional tennis I watch, I have become more interested in statistics. Tournament prize money being one, so I developed my own spreadsheets and Java Servlets to help me track the data.

This week was an odd mixture of productive projects-- and irritations beyond belief. I am hoping the irritations subside very soon.

Sunday, February 01, 2015


In the summer of 2012, I noticed that the Windows98 platform in my bedroom had a serious problem. The system was originally a Windows95 platform and in the late nineties I upgraded to Windows98, put in a CD Writer [that was way to fast for that system], replaced the 3.5 inch floppy drive, upgraded the Pentium Chip [with a faster overdrive chip], upgraded the Fax/Modem card and added a second hard drive.

The serious problem? The second hard drive I installed crashed in 2012. [Yes, those of you who know about the summer of 2012 should surmise there was interference. [Earpiece supplied explaination.] The full JBuilder compiler seemed important to someone. I do not have a full compiler on the Windows98SE [recently upgraded to WindowsXP] system in my office-- so it was explained, the government employee thought he was protecting my software development environment. I am not sure if he replaced the hard drive or just rendered it dead. Why is this important? I write and compile code to work on old and new systems and the JBuilder installations on my older Windows systems worked well. I am thinking whoever did it, did not understand-- NetBeans could be set up to do what the old compilers on those systems did.] Anyway, amongst many things that summer, I lost a lot including the Windows98 system in my bedroom due to the hard drive failure and it was not worth it to do anything else with the system.

That said, I never added an ethernet card to the old Windows98 system in my bedrook but did add one to the Windows98SE [now a WindowsXP system] platform in my office. I primarily used the system in my bedroom to write or compile code [old JBuilder Installation] and did not need internet access for that platform. I always disconnect from WiFi or the Ethernet cable if I am writing code on any of my systems. The old one in my bedroom I did not have to worry about.

The Windows98SE platform in my office upstairs was newer and originally came with a CDROM and CDWriter. Both CD Drives failed on that system sometime ago-- and I purchased an external PlexiWriter in case I needed to access CDs. I use the external CD writer with my Acer Netbook and the Mac desktop also in my upstairs office. I broke the CD drive on the Mac desktop sometime ago when I incorrectly put a disc in.

I store a lot of my code on 3.5 inch floppy discs and cds-- so I have both external CD and 3.5 disc drives that can be used on all of my systems, except the older older Windows98 system in my bedroom which did not have USB ports.

So with the recent upgrade of the Windows98SE system in my office to a WindwosXP system-- I decided to take the Memorex CD 48X Write, 24X ReWrite, 48X Read drive from the old Windows98 system in my bedroom and put it in the newly upgraded system. You might ask: If the PlexiWriter External CD Drive worked-- why? Yes, I did install WindowsXP from the external PlexiWriter CD Drive. That said-- the PlexiWriter is only 24x, 10x, 24x even with its own electrical source. If you have found your USB power driven CD drive is a little slow-- consider getting one with its own power source.

Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon taking the fast Memorex CD writer out of the old system and installing it in the [new] WindowsXP system in my office. I also had to remove the old CD Writer from the XP system.

Keep in mind the reason I started upgrading the Windows98SE sysetm in my office was because I found a great deal on a color laser printer that did not have a driver for Windows98SE. I also did not have the old Windows98se system discs but did have a great desktop publishing platform-- that worked with my copy of MS Office Professional-- so these upgrades have been worth it for me. I have spent about $200 for a Color Laser Desktop publishing environment and I am very happy.

Also this week, while watching the Australian Open-- I was able to get the last of my computers to work with the new color laser printer. In December, when I first got the new printer, only my Acer NetBook worked. Then I found a work around for my Macbook [10.4.11]. I then upgraded the Windows98SE system to WindowsXP and it worked well with the printer manufacturer's supplied driver.

So the only system that did not work was the Mac desktop [also in my upstairs office] and this week I finally found the right combination to get it to work. The Mac desktop is running 10.2.8 and it took awhile to find a fix. [GhostScript, Magicolor 1680mf driver,].

Over the last month, I feel I have upgraded my productivity environment a great deal. Now, I am working on something else. With the Tennis and the use of my Mother's Verizon Ellipsis Android Tablet to access WatchESPN and watch any match I want-- I have decided I need my own. I have been researching for this purchase.

BTW: Yes, I could have moved that CD Writer Drive long ago-- but just got around to it yesterday... Procrastination.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mom's Birthday... 2014

Today, is my Mother's Birthday. I think she was happy with her gifts. Later today, She has plans with the rest of the family.

This year, I decided to make her a card using Microsoft Publisher and the color printer she got for Christmas last year. Keep in mind, if you have a Macbook, you can use iPhoto [software that comes with Mac computers] to make cards and calendars, however I went this route because my Netbook is lighter and easier to hookup to the color laser printer located in her bedroom. Microsoft Publisher is a separate software purchase.

Also been tending to a new plant:

It's rainy here today. Normally, the weather never bothers me. Today, I am in a bad mood, but really don't think the weather is the issue. More, upcoming jury duty [which I have yet to see a just kidding notice for], jammed my finger Friday night-- and it is still black and blue, lot of abstract noise.

That said, happy my Mother liked her card and gifts. My Mother makes me laugh. She has all of the latest innovations, i.e., iPhone, desktop and notebook computers, two tablets-- yet when I gave her, her new flashdrive [one of her gifts] she asked what she should do with it. I am not sure if the Ellipsis Tablet can read it-- but everything else can. Me or someone else in the family, insures she is up to date-- insofar as digital technology and computers.

Did you know Amazon allows you to subscribe to books and videos for mobile devices? I wanted to give her a year of free reading for her new Ellipsis tablet. What I did not know was you cannot give the subscription as a gift unless you do it with a gift card. That said, I have been updating my Amazon Stores. Check out the Brass Section and Gift Ideas.

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