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Computer Changes?

Sun 28 February 2010

It was a nasty day here yesterday but now it's sunny and bright albeit cool at 50F this morning. Today I'm copying the whole folder known as "Bill" - which is mostly "My Documents" - from my Vista laptop onto one of my external hard drives. Why you ask? Well, it's always a good idea to back-up your files but in this case I'm doing it because I think I'm going to install Windows 7 on that laptop totally erasing Vista from the hard drive. I never liked Vista so with all the good things I hear about Windows 7, I thought I'd give it a go. When talking to one of my buddies in Atlanta yesterday the conversation let to asking why I've not already done it. Huh? That's a good question - maybe I will.

Yesterday I watched one of my downloaded movies called, "The Lazarus Project". It moved fast in the first 10 minutes then was slow until the last ten minutes - I'm glad I was able to hang on because the ending was good. Would I watch it again .....no - I know the ending so the rest of the movie would be dull. I would, on the other hand, watch Star Trek again because it's full of action start to finish. Maybe I'll; watch another movie today.

Last even the Baptist church across the street had a young people's (teenage to early twenties) party with music playing rather loud. Normally that would really piss me off except I liked the music and it calmed down by 10pm. I remember those teenage years when I went to dance parties OT wanting to dance but tried anyway. My secret was to get in the middle of everyone so my clumsy dance moves couldn't be seen by others. You boys and girls remember Surf's Up A Go Go over on Royal Palm close to where TB used to have an apartment. If you do remember, you're old like me!!

Somehow I got onto the Pallidia channel on Comcast's High Definition lineup as I was walking out of my royal bedroom suite into my office. About ten minutes later I heard what surely sounded like Reggae music coming from my bedroom so I walked back in - I do like Reggae and I can blame Syp for that. It turns out to be a band called Jam Band O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) playing a concert at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. I watched for the next 45 minutes because I really liked their music. It was sort of Dave Mathews type of band which include horns. They were damn good and to my knowledge this was the first time I heard them. Some of their songs have that very recognizable Reggae organ beat which I like. Have you dude and dudetts every heard of them?

Tomorrow after coffee I'm going to TB's office to install the additional memory I ordered for him. This will double the RAM from 512mb to 1gb. This should make Quick books easier to run on that machine - it's amazing how much difference added memory can make to performance.

I've bought 5 Dell computers over the years so I'm on their mailing list for sales and that sort of thing. You know I've been thinking about a new desktop with Windows 7 and more horse power but I've not ordered one because the desktop I have is damn good. Simply put, I don't need another computer. But then Dell puts they type of computer I want on sale this weekend at 30% off the regular price and because I've priced them in the past I know what the regular price has been. The question is should I spend the money just because I have a itch for a Dell Studio computer? I've been thinking about it since Friday when I got the e-mail. I've got until the end of this weekend to decide. Stay tuned.

Posted at 10:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

This Week

Fri 26 February 2010

Alright already - I know I've been MIA for a couple of days but I've been unusually busy helping others with their computer problems and/or websites. I'm not unhappy because I like the challenge of building a website or repairing a computer. In fact, I'm convinced myself when Obama takes my stuff to give it to someone who wants my stuff, I can set up shop and charge for my expert advice.

Thinking of my comment about people wanting my stuff I'm reminded of a philosophy put forth by Atlanta radio talk show host, Neil Boortz. He used to say that if you take all the stuff from people who earned it then give it to those "less fortunate" who want it within a short period of time, the ones who had stuff will have it again because they know how to earn it while those you were given the stuff would eventually lose it. Makes sense to me - how about you? That's one of the reasons why socialism does not work all that well - unless you work and earn stuff, you're always under the control of those in power who can take your stuff to give it to someone else.

Yesterday I got a call from Syp just to say hello and that he was sending some new pictures of his sons, Yari & Djem. My have those boys grown, huh? Of course Syp 7 Sjak see them everyday but I only see them every few months when their pictures are sent to me. Spy reports the boys are growing like weeds (no, not that kind of weed) and they are interested in everything going on around them.It seems that Djem is also blessing Syp & Sjak with some nightly feeding and playing requirements between 9pm and 6am. Just wait until they are teenagers and they'll sleep all the time. Cute kids, huh?

Eariler this week I uninstalled the Quickbooks 2002 I put on TB's computer - this is the program Kathryn gave me. It was too old - it could not be updated. So I installed 2010 on his office computer from my house using TeamViewer. However, I had to go over to his office because Sally couldn't find the model of the computer I needed to order more memory. It turns out poor Sally was looking on the monitor for the model and not the computer tower - a mistake most anyone could make who's uses a computer but knows nothing about a computer. I think most computer users know how to do the things they need to do on a computer but are clueless about the machine and software itself - the exception to this would be your students or other young people who've grown up with computers.

The hot water coming out of the facet when I shave in the morning is very noticeable without any order or smell - the new filter is doing it's job. My hot water without the filter has sort of an "old" smell to it probably because of the old pipes through which it flows. This was noticeable when I shaved or took a shower because hot water produces water vapor to carry the smell when cold water does not. I don't have a cold water filter because I can't smell the water.

Remember the computer my landscaper (Walt) left here to see if I could fix - I got it fixed yesterday by installing a new power supply which by the way was easy to do. I think the computer still has problems but at least it works now - Walt is a very happy camper. The next thing I'm going to do is double the memory from 512mb to 1gb as soon as I exchange the memory I ordered for it. I ordered SDRM memory when it needs DDR memory. Frankly I thought I looked on the original memory to see what it needed but apparently I over looked that important detail. No worries, I'll get it exchanged in a week or so. I ordered more memory for TB's office computer - I hope I got that one right.

Posted at 10:21 am in General | Comments (0)
Disabled

Peaches

Tue 23 February 2010

I've decided to take this afternoon off from my computer projects and watch one of the movies I've downloaded. I'm amazed at how easy it is to find movies with the exception of some rather obscure movies in the past like "The Bank (2001)". It's rare that I don't find a movie I'm seeking. Heck, yesterday I downloaded the Sherlock Homes movie which was just released in December. Somehow there are folks out there who have the ability to get DVD's before they are released to the public.

Yesterday Ace came over to do a few things for me to include painting around the light switch in my office, install a new kitchen vent fan, and replace my house water filter. When he went to replace the kitchen fan, we discovered we could just take out the old motor then put in the new one - this saved a lot of additional mess and painting. He took my old water filter out - I was amazed at the debris and black gook in the old filter. This is city water which I know was full of chemicals but I didn't know about the solid matter. The new filter Ace put in is even a better filter than the one removed - I can only image what a mess it will be when I replace it. Jeez!

We've discovered the old QuickBooks software I installed in TB's office computer is so old, it could not be updated. Since Kathryn gave it to me to install I assume it would work. Wrong! In fact, after some research, the inescapable concussion was a new 2010 QuickBook Pro was the way to go - Sally is to pick one up at BestBuy tomorrow. Sally wants to "practice" on the old version for a few days before I uninstall it then put the new version on the computer. This new system will be much more affective than the system currently in place both in price and functionality.

You know how much I love fresh fruit, right? Well the fruit in the markets now mostly comes from Chile. To my surprise, the peaches and grapes from South America are much better than the peaches and grapes I get from US farmers - why is that? One would think fresh peaches from Georgia would be better than peaches from Chile but that's not the case at least for this year. The Chilean peaches are very good - full of flavor and very juicy.

I've been having second thoughts about the Creole lady's website in that I'm getting uncomfortable about the shopping cart. I've never done a shopping cart so I'm really flying blind. What's got me worried is the potential liability facing me if something goes wrong with the credit cards, etc. I don't see that happening but it's still n unknown. I'm beginning to believe Linda and I would both be better off if she actually pays someone to do a shopping cart for her. I've sent her an e-mail and I'll call her soon. This project has grown way out of proportions based on her initial desire for a "simple web page or two". I don't mind building the site but at the same time I don't want to get sued.

Posted at 02:09 pm in General | Comments (0)
Disabled

Liberals are Watching

Sun 21 February 2010

Yep...you guessed it - I'm up to here in projects. Every time I turn around, another project request comes my way. I guess the word is out that I've been able to fix computer problems - before the word was I can build websites. I guess I'll create a business entity called Bill's website development, computer repair, and bullsh*t service. BTW, do you know why I put the " * " in the BS word - it's because the web server I use will filter certain words and I don't want to offend my many followers. If you put in words which may be used in a elicit way, the post will be filtered.

This past week I was able to save Captain Matt's computer - it was a real learning experience for me. His computer would boot then immediately produce a blue screen no matter how you tried to boot it. What I ended up doing was to remove the hard drive, put the hard drive into an encasement, and then download his documents, music, videos, etc to my computer. Then I replaced the hard drive and performed a basic reinstall of the operating system which fixed the problem. Then I took his documents, etc. and put them back onto the new, clean hard drive so now Matt's machine is perfect. In the process, I also increased his RAM by 50% from 1GB to 1.5GB. The only thing Matt needs to do now is download programs he may want which were erased in the reinstall.

The real cool thing I learned is just how easy it is to recover data on a machine that will not boot. This process came in real handy Friday night when my landscape guy - Walt - could not boot his computer to do his payroll and other business functions. He brought his computer over to my repair shop and after unsuccessfully trying to boot his machine I decided to take the hard drive out and put it into his new computer which he left with me earlier to check and update. We ran into a road block because his new machine uses a IDE hard drive and not a SATA hard drive. No worries, I put his hard drive into one of my SATA machines, downloaded the needed data, and then transferred it to his new machine with the IDE drive. It worked.

Walt left his sick machine with me and the hard drive from the machine which by the way was is horrible shape. The drive was just full of crap, was slower than molasses in a Michigan Winter, and was barely functional. I spent most of the day yesterday uninstalling about 50% of the programs on the computer, I defragged the hard drive (it may never have been defragged before), cleaned all the cache & temp files - were're talking GB's of data - then scanned the machine for everything. Like Drew's computer, it had never been updated so I installed Windows XP SP3 and the 50+ updates after SP3. I now have the hard drive running much better and it's now useable again. Now the trick is top see if I can put it back into his old machine and get it to boot. Unfortunately, I don't think it is a hard drive problem keeping it from booting - I think something else is failing like his mother board, BIOS, etc. Stay tuned.

Yesterday afternoon I took a break from my computer shop to watch a movie I download called Mercury Rising with Bruce Willis - I like Bruce Willis in most everything he does. The move was good but not great - I am glad I watched it. Then I watched another episode of Midsomer Murders before cooking a steak for supper. I found rib eye steaks on sale a Publix this week at $6/pound off the usual high price. Very good indeed.

Did you hear about the school district in Michigan (I believe) which passed out laptops to their high school students but didn't tell the students or parents the school was using the laptops to remotely view the students through the built in web cam?!? This makes my blood boil!!! How dare this holier than thou elitists liberal school system spy on the privacy of their students while the student is at home! It's this sort of "I know better than you or your parents know" which permeates throughout much of the education system. Don't get me wrong, there are many fine, qualified teachers un the school system but I can not say the same for the administration. If this had happened to my kid, I'd spend my very last penny going after the individuals, school system, school board, county, and state in which this occurred. If this is not a true life manifestation of the Orwellian attitude among liberals I don't know what is!! I hope the perpetrators of this grossly offensive act get fried and banished from the community!

To take this one step further, I think the Obama Administration acts in this grossly offensive Orwellian manner as well. It's Obama and his elitists thugs who have an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past. I have great disdain for Obama. the thugs in his administration, and those who support him - as a group they are trying to destroy this country as we've always known it. Shame on all of them.

I think I'm going to chew some nails now.

Posted at 10:40 am in General | Comments (0)
Disabled

Computer Repair

Thu 18 February 2010

Where have I been you ask? I've been working on one project after another this week from the time I get back from coffee until it's time for my much need beauty rest. Who ever knew retirement can include so much work? I'm not advertising or asking for projects but I guess the word is out about what I do. Don't get confused however, if I find I don't like something I promise I'll stop. The learning process is something In really enjoy as it relates to all things computer.

This week I worked on the laptops belonging to Drew and Matt - Drew's is on it's way back to Atlanta but I'm still working on Matt's laptop. For Drew, all that was needed was a update of virtually every program on the computer - it looks as if Drew hasn't updated a program since he bought the computer. The major update was to install XP SP3 and the 65 updates which followed after SP3. His Firefox browser was so old (version 1.5) that it would not update and I had to uninstall to put in version 3.6. There are other examples of updates particularly with security software but now it's good to go. After 2 complete scans, I only found 3 nasty little virus/malware.

Matt's computer is a whole different story - it will not boot without a BSOD in any mode I tried including the safe mode. One error message I found when I did boot into his BIOS is there is more demand for memory than the amount of memory installed. During the research process on the error code of 0X0000007E I discovered a lot of new things including how to run diagnostic tests on his system - a 5 hour process I might add. This produced a "IDE device failed: Blank media or no media is present in optical drive". All my research suggests a hard drive failure, a mother board failure, or a control device failure - none are good. Yesterday I ordered an external housing for the hard drive so as I can download from it onto my computer - either it will download or it's fried...we'll know in a few days.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I installed the computer I got from Kathryn into Tommy's office - I reinstalled the OS first so it's like it was out of the box except older. I had to go back yesterday because the wireless adaptor we got for it would not connect to the router in the office. It turns out the password we were using w2as incorrect so eventual I logged onto the router and changed the password. It's all good now.

Some good high school friends of mine are coming into town for a visit so Gene Waddell is hosting a dinner party on March 7th - I plan to go. I've not seen Barbara Clay and Collins Cavender (they are married to each other) since high school. I've seen Collins on Facebook and to me he looks the same but ve not seen Barbara since 1966. I used to date Barbara in high school and Collins was the guy who always set the class curve. The three of us had most of our classes together - back in the old days we were put into "sections" and each section usually had the same schedule. I'm looking forward to seeing them and God knows who else from my high school days.

Today I'm back to working on the Creole lady's site - I hope to have it done soon but there is still the shopping cart issue. Linda wants to change her cart to include various shipping rates - the one I have now set a rate per item. This should be interesting.

Posted at 10:15 am in General | Comments (0)
Disabled

Nice Weekend

Mon 15 February 2010

This was a nice weekend in part because my migraine headache was gone by Friday afternoon. In addition to that, the weekend was relaxing - the projects I'm on were put in a holding pattern over the weekend. Today I'll start on a new project and perhaps pick up an old one again as well.

Saturday morning I was able to fix a cross-browser problem I had with the Atlanta Creole lady's site which is still in progress. You see, Internet Explorer is very forgiving when it comes to sloppy code where as Firefox is not. That's why I always start testing code with the most used browser - IE - but then correct the code using Firefox - if it works in Firefox, it will work in IE. The issue is finding the coding error in the first place.

This week, Linda is to get me more information she wants on her site. This project started with, "I just want a very simple site with a couple pages" to a website that now has 5 pages and growing. Also, this is no longer a "simple" site with the addition of a 'contact us' page using .PHP and for the first time, a shopping cart. I'm still not 100% sure I'll be able to successfully complete the cart with the shipping variables Linda wants to include. This week should be interesting and challenging.

Late yesterday Ty brought both Brother Drew's and Captain Matt's laptops for me to work on. I've not started yet but I've been told Matt's may not even boot and Drew thinks his is full of crap - most computers are full of crap after several years of usage. I'm pretty sure Drew's will be ok but I'm not nearly as confident about Matt's until I try to boot it later this morning. After my coffee meeting, Drew has asked me to join him for some Cuban coffee and then I need to go to Wally World and Publix - I won't get started on Matt's machine until late morning.

Over the weekend I watched one of the dozen or so movies I've downloaded via my torrent program - the movie was Star Trek. This 2009 movie was a great movie full of action from start to finish. At no time did I want to leave the room it was so full of action. I liked the plot and the actors in the movie which by the way resembled the original cast of the 1960's TV series. This is a movie I'd recommend.

The BIG news I have to report is I received a letter from the Social Security Administration recognizing I'm official "old" and eligible to receive SS retirement benefits starting the 4th week in June. I must say, from the time I submitted my application online until I got the approval letter 8 days later nothing could have gone smoother. It's too bad the rest of Government doesn't work as well. Now let's see if I really do get a check deposited into my account in June.

Posted at 07:58 am in General | Comments (0)
Disabled

Migraine Again

Sat 13 February 2010

The last few days have been rough in that I had a bad migraine attach that started about midday on Wednesday then lasted through Thursday afternoon - the some what usual 24 to 36 hour pattern. By Wednesday afternoon I could not do anything except stay in bed and try to sleep. As often happens with the "bad" migraines, I got nausea and the pain medication just did not stop the headache - only the passage of time helped me. I've been thinking about going to a neurologist but I've just not gotten around to it yet - maybe now I will.

In the midst of all this, I still had a lot going on. I had Walt my landscape guy come over to survey the area where I used to have tall cherry bushes but now they are 3' tall and look bad. I think I want to pull those out and replace them with plants more similar to the rest of my landscaping. Because of the freezes, the availability of landscape plants is lower than normal which suggests to me the prices will be higher than normal. Walt is to look around and then get back with me.

On his way to Vero yesterday, Drew called to ask if I could help both he and Captain Matt with their laptops. Drew just thinks his laptop needs to be checked & cleaned but that's not the case with Matt's machine. Apparently, Matt's laptop won't even boot - it goes to a BSOD, If it will not boot at all, that's not a good sign - maybe some hardware has failed. None the less, I'll see what , if anything, I can do. Drew is in town until Monday but I don't think Matt will be down this weekend.

I've run into some shags with respect to the website I'm building for Linda. She wants and needs to be able to include the shipping charges based on the total purchase - I'm not at all clear the shopping cart program I used will work as she needs. Also, I can't get the shopping cart to render properly in Firfox - it looks great in Internet Explorer. Maybe I'll work on it later today but then again maybe not.

Posted at 08:10 am in General | Comments (0)
Disabled

Scampi Grill

Wed 10 February 2010

Yesterday afternoon, Mary Ann called to invite me to dinner with her and Tom at the Scampi Grill - I've been wanting to try the restaurant and of course catch up with Tom and Mary Ann. We went between 6:30 and 7:00 to find a mostly full restaurant but Mary Ann called for a reservation. This place was really cozy, quite, and neatly decorated - so many restaurants are just plain loud these days. It had that gold-yellow color reminiscent of a villa over looking Lake Como in northern Italy ( yes I've been there). The best part about the place is their dishes and at a rather modest price for that kind of restaurant - I don't think any entrees were over about $20 when I would have expected $28+ like every place in the Keys. We all had the daily special - a sauted grouper...mmmmmmm. The whole even was very enjoyable for me and the Scampi Grill will see me again.

Tom and Mary Ann have been here in Vero for about a week but will go back to Atlanta a week from tomorrow to attend a baby shower for Heather and Ryan's new baby - the baby is due in April (best month of the year in which to be born or in my case hatched). BTW, I've not been told if the baby will be a boy or a girl...I think it's a secret. They should name it Billy - a name that both men and women use. Tom by the way is doing quite well.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with the onset of one of my headache events. This morning as I'm typing this I just took another strong pain pill and likely will need a couple more during the day. Hopefully it will be gone by tomorrow.

Yesterday I delivered a image file for a poster Kathryn wanted me to "fix" - the poster image was made by someone Kathryn knows. The issue was typing errors and location of the text on the poster. Kathryn could have fixed it herself except the image was made in Photoshop and can only be edited in Photoshop - a program she does not have but I do. I've never really used Photoshop before now so I wasn't sure I could make the edits - I was able to figure it out enough to make the edits before Kathryn had time to get home from my house. Now I'm interested in learning more because of this effort - I wouldn't have gotten into Photoshop without Kathryn's request.. Cool.

While at Kathryn's office yesterday, I picked up another older computer with the intend of re-installing the operating system the deliver it to Tommy to use in his office. BTW, the computer Sally uses in Tommy's office is so out of date I'm surprised it worked at all. The hard drive is 20GB and the processor is .8GHz - I've never seen such a slow processor before but then again, I just started fooling with computers about 7 years ago. Now her comes my current quandary - I was able to wipe the hard drive clean and install XP but the machine will not connect to the internet and the monitor screen resolution can not be changed - it looks like the computer was booted into the safe mode with big letters and icons. I worked and worked but gave up when we left for the Scampi Grill.

Overnight I thought about what might be causing the problem and I think I know what it is. Even though I successfully installed Windows, I don't think the drivers needed were installed at the same time. The other 3 re-installs did not have this problem so this is new to me. After I post this I'll see what I can do to resolve the issue or make the computer totally unusable.

Posted at 10:38 am in General | Comments (0)
Disabled

Shuttle Launch

Mon 08 February 2010

In case you're wondering, I did get up at 4 am this morning to watch the awe-inspiring launch of the space shuttle which by the way was the last night launch of the shuttle. I didn't know it would be the last until I heard it on the news after the launch. It was spectacular in every sense of the word. The sky was crystal clear and there was a crescent moon - it could not have been any better - warmer maybe - but not better. Unless you actually see one of these launches you can't really understand what an extraordinary site it is to see. I'm very pleased I set the alarm to watch this event.

I remember when I was in grade school at Rosewood elementary school when our teacher took us out to the playground to watch the launch of the first astronaut - John Glenn - for his 15 minute trip into space. I was amazed then but really couldn't grasp the whole meaning of sending men into space. Of course I thought it was a good idea so America could get ready for alien invaders - the only alien invaders which we have had since then are from south of the border.

Yesterday I decided to watch another of the movies I downloaded called "Push". I watched it from start to finish - I liked it. There were lots of twists and turns in the movie with plenty of action and surprises. It was not boring nor was it 'familiar' like many movies seem to be. I'd actually pay money to see this one which I can't say about the last two duds. Downloading movies via a torrent is pretty darn neat - that way you don't end up paying for crap.

Today I may work on the site I've been building for Linda but first I want to hear back from her. It would be my luck that I start off in one direction while she has another direction in mind - I've done this before. I'm hoping to complete this project soon - like the next couple of days - but I can't do much more until I hear from Linda.

It's still rather cold (for Vero) - it was 42 F when I went outside to watch the shuttle launch this morning. It seems the weather forecasters are calling for even colder weather mid-week. Of course none of this is like Atlanta in the Winter but it certainly much colder here in Vero this year compared to last year. Oh....it must be that global warming thing!

Posted at 10:14 am in General | Comments (0)
Disabled

District 9

Sun 07 February 2010

Have any of you folks seen the highly promoted movie called "District 9" ? If you have you'll know what I mean - if you haven't seen it, your time would be better served watching paint dry or grass grow. This movie really, really sucked from start until I just could not tolerate watching it anymore. First, the main character spoke an English dialect from South Africa which was very hard to understand. Second, many scenes had other African-English dialects even worse. It was filmed as if it were a live news report which means the camera constantly bounced around - you could get motion sickness just watching it! The plot sucked. The characters sucked. The filming sucked. The sound track sucked. Thank Buddha I didn't actually pay money to see this movie.

This District 9 was the second movie I've watched in the past week which I though would be good but both were really horrible. There is a great divide between the promotional ads you see on TV and the actually movie itself. Trailers make the movies seem really worth watching when indeed they are not. I've got more movies I've downloaded via my torrent client - I'm hoping they are better which by the way would not take much.

There was to be a shuttle launch this morning at 0'dark hundred but it was postponed for a day due to clouds. The launch is scheduled for 4:14 am Eastern time tomorrow - I plan to set my alarm. I've seen a night launch of a shuttle before - they are spectacular beyond my ability to describe them in words. This launch may be the last launch of a night shuttle launch because the shuttle program is ending - Obama wants to spread the wealth rather than fund research and exploration. My plan is to set my alarm to watch it tomorrow morning - I've even thought about filming it but my Cannon probably doesn't have the lens to make it worth wild. No matter how many times I watch the shuttle launch, I still get goose bumps (chicken skin for you Dutchies) when I see this astonishing rocket soar into space. TV doesn't even get close to this awesome sight - you got to see it in person on the beach.

Yesterday I sent a link to the site I built for Linda (the Katrina victim) - she was amazed and so very grateful for my gift to her. She thinks I'm a saint sent by God to help her - I didn't want to tell her I am God! HaHaHaHa Am I full of crap or what? I did tell her my reward is the satisfaction of helping someone who's trying to help themselves rather than expecting a handout. My efforts are a hand-up not a handout.

I was still disappointed I'd not figured out how to get a shopping cart to automatically complete PayPal purchase forms . So what did I do you ask? I researched and studied the problem and I think I've discovered a solution that will auto-transfer the purchase data to PayPal. In stead of collecting all the shopping information - including addresses - on the shopping cart I built for her site, I can create a shopping cart on her site that gathers the items in her cart, calculates the total price including both shipping & taxes then transfers the data to PayPal where a buy can then input his or her details about addresses and credit cards. Frankly, I believe buyers would prefer this confidential data completion on a safe, secure PayPal HTTPS page than on Linda's open pages. I need to do more work but I'm pretty sure I've got the shopping cart issue resolved.

Posted at 08:55 am in General | Comments (0)
Disabled

Busy Week

Sat 06 February 2010

I know you wisdom-deprived readers must be close to going into a coma because I've not been here for a few days. Once again I found my new project so time consuming there wasn't much time for anything else. Once I get started on a project, I want to keep on that project until it is finished or at least finished for the first time.

I've been building a website for a lady who was a Katrina victim who is trying to start all over again after losing her New Orleans restaurant. When I say "build a website" I mean starting with a blank notepad then coding everything myself from the HTML in the pages to the CSS file. Pictures needed to be resized and the picture backgrounds needed to be removed leaving only the focus of the image. There were two false starts because I decided what colors and style to use but of course what I used was very inconsistent with "New Orleans - Creole" colors - did you know New Orleans has its own shade of red and green? So after a couple false starts, I got the colors Linda wanted - not my choice but she likes it.

In this process, my knowledge of cascading style sheets (CSS) expanded a great deal. The really 'new' thing I've tried to do for Linda is to include a 'shopping cart' on her site - up until now e-commerce was something I avoided but because I wanted to help Linda, I decided to give it a go. Do you have any idea how many shopping cart software packages are available? Jeez! They range from a free open source package to packages costing thousands. Linda wanted 'simple' and for me, simple is where I needed to start.

After a week's work, I've produced a site which works as it should except for one thing - when a buyer gets ready to check out, he or she needs to enter the total amount into a PayPal account or use PayPal as a credit card source. Getting the amount to automatically enter the PayPal site alludes me at the moment. First, you need to have a PayPal business account to which the info from the shopping cart can be transferred and you need to have some knowledge of a language called .ASP - I know nothing about .ASP at least not yet. The point is we've got something on which to build - I'm going to send Linda a link to what I've done for her to see later this morning. Want a peek? Look here.

This week the City of Vero Beach sent me a registered letter informing me I must cut my cherry bush hedges on the West side of my property to no more than 3' high - they were about 5' high. It seems some gutless neighbor complained to the city about his or her ability to see on-coming traffic. Well, there is zero problem in seeing traffic if you first stop before entering the street. It seems the complainer did not want to have to stop before entering 23rd street. Had the spineless neighbor simply asked, I would have trimmed the bushes - bring the city in was not necessary. Frankly, I think the lower hedges benefit me as much as anybody because I can better see people walking on the sidewalk especially kids. I got the job done.

Captain Matt sent me an e-mail from Vail where all the Barnes -Brennan boys are skiing foe a week. I've tried skiing and could do it well unless I had to turn or stop! Whatever it takes to ski, I don't have it. This trip Matt, et. al. are doing is a regular thing for them. Hopefully they'll bring some pictures back for us.

My cousin Alice gave me her old HP laptop after she got a new one two weeks ago. This HP laptop is about 5 or 6 years old, was slower than molasses in Winter, and full of years of accumulation. The only sensible thing to do was to start all over which is what I did. I removed everything on the hard drive then re-installed Windows XP which now puts the computer back to the way it was coming out of the box. I removed a lot of the needless programs which come pre-installed from the factory and now it's running like a new computer. The draw back is the computer does not have the horse power of newer machines - it has a 1.6GHz processor, Ram upgraded to 512MB from 256MB, a 20GB hard drive., and no wireless card. Nonetheless, for every day use, it will be just fine.

Today's image was sent to me by Matt & the boys - they think of me often but then again, who wouldn't?

Posted at 10:16 am in General | Comments (0)
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My Weekend

Mon 01 February 2010

Contrary to the rumors, I'm still alive and well although very busy. Every time I finish one project, another pops up out of the blue. There are other self-made distractions and projects as well - let me mention a few.

John came into town on Friday for a long weekend - his mother said he left today. Fortunately, he came for a visit Friday afternoon - I find if I don't see him when he first gets here, I may not see him at all. He comes into town without plans and within a few hours he's scheduled this, that, and the other thing. He was coming over for a steak & potato dinner on Friday but was a hour late and didn't have time to eat - I ate the steaks over this weekend. I can report John is looking healthy and he says he's doing well. He wanted me to download the first two seasons on "Breaking Bad" which I did and transferred the files to his external hard drive - I've learned how to track down just about any video one might want.

My cousin (the backer) gave me her old, slow laptop this weekend so I can play with it -I've not had time yet. My thinking is I want to re-install Windows if I can find the disks - short of that, I'll wipe it as clean as I can then set it up for a new user. Alice and I will look for the Windows operating system disks in the next couple days.

Between projects I decided to watch one of the 8 movies I downloaded via a torrent. The movie was called "The Fourth Kind" and was highly rated on Amazon. The synopsis was that a few years ago in Canada there was an incident concerning contact from aliens - it was suppose to be from true events. True or not, the movie really sucked! I kept watching hoping it would get better but it did not - what a waste of time! Jeez!

Next I get a call from a lady in Atlanta who moved there after she "lost everything" in the Katrina event a few years back. She had a successful Creole restaurant but it's gone now. She wants to start selling some of the sauces & seasonings she makes herself to restaurants and hotels in Atlanta but she also wants a website as well. A friend of a friend referred her to me - when we talked in the phone she couldn't have been nicer. I could hear the stress of the situation in which she finds herself in her voice. But she's pulling herself up and with the help of her kids and her strong faith she's moving ahead. She called expect I might be able to help and that she might could afford me. Today I blew her mind when I said I'd do what I can and I'll not charge her - I'm willing to help anyone willing to help themselves. More to follow.

Starr brought me some nice fresh grouper she purchased in Ft. Pierce today. There's a market right next to the docks where they sell very fresh fish - I plan on broiling it tomorrow. I really cook fish for myself but when I get some wonderful grouper I can't pass it up.

Kathryn is back and safe. Where did she go you ask? She got on a plane last week and went to Haiti to help. To Haiti! I admire her commitment to helping the down & out but at the same time I believe Haiti is dangerous. I think she has a fund-raising project in mind because she asked about buying some domain names. I smell another project.

Posted at 08:03 pm in General | Comments (0)
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