Gearing up for a new year

So it’s that time again to be able to look forward to the new year. I have been trying to start work again as a cable contractor and so far I did work for one company in the Phoenix area, without any real good results. I will say that the company does not have a good management team working, especially if they keep moving around or making it harder for techs to do their job faster and better. 

I will say that the company that I work for now it’s a lot better managed and the way the techs are treated and able to do their jobs without having to send in a lot of emails is very encouraging. I am looking forward to working with them and seeing how I can make some serious money and be able to catch up with my bills and other things that I am wanting to do. My biggest issues is to catch up on past due bills and also start paying off on this truck that I recently bought with my girlfriend. 

Other things that have been happening recently is that after moving back to Tucson, I have a few run ins with former friends. Which I could care less really. I moved mostly because my ex took my kids to Phoenix to live with her mom then down to Tucson. Since I wasn’t able to spend time with them in Georgia and the court or the judge wasn’t willing to listen to me without a lawyer, I was forced to move and be able to spend time with my kids. What a waste, but goes to show how much my family was willing to help for me to get a lawyer( I still haven’t gotten one).

I am past all of that and able to spend time with my kids and looking forward to being able to find a way to lower my child support and also maybe see if they wish to live with me. My ex isn’t helping much in relations with how my kids act or behave. I’m not saying I could do any better, but I do pay more attention to them and that is what they are really craving. 

So with the new year coming up and I am thinking of doing some camping locally and also taking my girlfriend out to a few local places that we wish to try out and venture to. I think it will be fun to explore some of the places that I either have been to or haven’t been able to visit. This way we both can experience something new together that it would make for a better evening. 

What else can I think of that I want to accomplish in the new year?

I am thinking of trying to find property to start building a house out of the metal shipping containers and living off the grid. So that is one goal that I am willing to work on while I’m in an apartment and do on a small scale to get me going for now. I am looking forward to making this work and able to live off the grid. 

Only a few weeks left to see how this is all going to play out for the new year….

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Google ChromeBook

My girlfriend bought a new chrome book, the one without the SSD (solid state drive). So far far it has performed rather well. Since it don’t have all the extra stuffing that Windows tends to have, it starts up real fast, and have a few things that windows don’t have. Android works flawlessly with it! I logged into my account through it and it pulled up all my saved pages and other stuff from my phone without hesitating.

Now mind you Windows finally entered the cell phone market a few years ago, but Google and its Android OS have been doing it for several years now. Even Apple don’t really swap info quite like this. Google has been on the forefront of such technology being available across different devices. Security is still there and good, so no worries about that, while even having a cloud storage for any sort of data being there when you start an account is also great. I do see that there are limits to what apps are running on the Chromebook  but that is slowly gaining steam every day. For general use like doing documents or presentations are there. Google made sure that there docs and other office applications are able to be assimilated with Apple and Windows without any real issues. Which is what makes the Chromebook a better choice for students to get work done, without having an issue with other distractions. A GUI(graphic user interface) is simple and menu based, but not chaotic like Windows can be.

This isn’t an unbiased review of the Google Chromebook, but what I have seen so far using it. I still have my Windows laptop, but that is mostly for work and developing. So far I haven’t seen if the Chromebook can do any developing, will have to check out the Play store and find out. I would recommend it if you looking for a cheap alternative to a laptop without having the need to put in a CD or DVD into a laptop! The Chromebook is here to take advantage of Cloud computing while it’s in it’s infancy and all the apps through the play store since having any external media, besides USB sticks is becoming obsolete  A good showing to how cloud computing can be used and Google is driving the bus for now!

Servers and social media

While I was getting off of work, during the Super Bowl, it was fine to tweet and such. It was a problem once I  got home and to check in for what I was drinking and other apps on my Droid phone.

Even Untappd was apologetic for their server issues and trying to get a badge or even check in. While drinking during the Super Bowl is not uncommon, it seems that some businesses that have apps on a platform like Droid or iOS seems to have some sort of server issue from all the people trying to access it. I am not sure how cloud services would help in that, but from this Super Bowl it sure does seem that Social Media has gotten a bit more involved with big events more than….say last year. Even though Twitter has been around for a few years, they didn’t have too many issues, but also knew in advance to what may happen. Biz Stone was smart to use all resources for server management. I am not sure about how Untappd dealt with that, but they are working on it. I even asked them about letting me help them about it.

I think that cloud management or even Cloud as a service is something that needs to happen. Except that nobody has any real answers to how to use that. I have been thinking of how I can create a small server in my home to use for computing power and storage for others on the internet…as a cloud! It’s been suggested in shows and even video games! An example is in Star Trek: The Next Generation about using cloud computing and in Mass Effect for how a hive type mind works using the computing power to create a cloud like exsistence in order to use that computing power for dealing with large amounts of data.

I can see how cloud computing, using trace amounts of space on everyone’s computer to store data and all kinds of other information to put it in a basic metaphor like throwing a book in a lake. Something that everyone can access, what’s in the lake and around the lake. To have this kind of cloud computing would bring so much computing power to everyone that they only need a small computer to access it!

I am trying to find a way to figure that out, but I am sure that I am not the only one thinking of this. I sometimes wish that I could get in touch with others thinking of this to maybe throw out my ideas. I may not have a degree dealing with this kind of thinking, but sometimes going to school doesn’t always have this kind of thinking. Free realm of thinking is what drives technology and advancements in social engineering.

I will keep up with this thought, even in my other blog, as to see how others think of this. I am sure that the consensus is that if they don’t use any social media besides hollering or just physical visiting that using any digital technology would be lost and that they would either be prepared for all electronic devices to go down or be left behind.

While I sometimes take a day or two to just unplug when I can, it can be hard. I do sometimes miss the old telephone system without caller ID or voicemail. I see that I need to go hiking more often, to leave the cell phone behind. Yet I love the technology, but still need to connect with nature more than just an app!

Catching up….

Even though my website is now down and gone, I haven’t had much time in finding a place for it again. I believe that I may need to rethink how I want the website to look. Since I am finding myself working a full time job, going to school and also working a part time job that will eventually lead to work while I devote full time to my IT contracting business. 

I am still going to have an emphasis on web development and even some app development, but that will have to wait till the begining of next year. I am still working on keeping the information going with web development, but once I have my days freed up and can do school work and develop more, then I can honestly say that I have found a way to make it work. 

Using a work platform for my contracting work is great and I keep working on gaining skills and taking tests to gain more work, I will strive to achieve a status of working for myself in this endeavor. Even though I can cook, and love that more than anything, but IT work pays a bit more. We all been there, and I am making it work to my advantage. I will one day say that I don’t really work for anyone but doing 2 things that I love and is achieving it the best way that I can.

Media in general

It seems with the new shows and such coming out before fall season, there has been a lot of hash tags in the lower corners of the screen. This is because Twitter has now gotten a bit bigger and now a lot of other social media companies are getting in on the act. It does give you a chance to see more about the tv series and the channel its being aired on. Take AMC and how its using Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Mad Men, to help advertise and get the word out. Sometimes its a shotgun approach, other times it does work. With the way social media is becoming ingrained into our viewing habits the more popular it can become.

There is also the new integration of payments being used on Twitter as well. This mostly done by hash tags. While I haven’t looked into it further to be sure, I can see how that can work if your company is using twitter for a lot of marketing strategies or even to do payments or donations. I am sure that by using Twitter with your crowd funding campaigns that it will help get the word out and even get a few extra dollars!

Taking the steps

As with any new project or business venture, you want to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row. Well i have started to find funding to get my web development business off the ground. All the while trying to get a few clients and add to my portfolio as well. Which can be difficult if your not sure where to start. My suggestion is to start by asking family and friends. Sometimes by tapping into your local network you can gain other contacts or even future business. Just get the word out and it will come. In the meantime keep polishing your skills and if you have a web site, create a few templates for sale. This will drive potential customers to your site and gives you clients and a bit of money in the process of waiting for a good paying client until then. Not only will you be making a bit of steady cash, you are also helping yourself in keeping your skills current and sharp. Having a good web presence is good, but ignoring your social contacts, whether online or not, you will lose out by not utilizing these tools that don’t cost you anything. Unless its your favorite Aunt wanting you to help with the dishes!! The main point is to take the first step. Once it has been taken, you’ll be off and running in no time!

Still using a Fax machine?!?

Ok, all you businesses that are using the latest technology out there. Why are you still using a fax machine to have clients and such to send you things when a simple email with self-zipping attachments be a lot easier??? If you’re using such great technology elsewhere, why a fax machine?

In my opinion they should be destroyed on the spot and no longer used. A scanner with a DPI of 600 is photo worthy copying and can make your pages look so much better than through a blurry fax still using dang 14.4k dial up speed! Seriously, why on earth would you still want something that is archaic instead of something you can get receipt information. With email or even using cloud type of service like Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Cloud Storage, would you need to use such things? If you already have a smart phone and use it regularly then what’s the deal?

The way I can see using a fax machine is because the places that tend to use them the most, have limited budgets and don’t want the hassle of actually getting up from their desk, to have to retrieve their printed page from the printer(when it might be in their office), than going down to the room where the fax machine is actually in. Which if it’s a government type of facility then it’s usually in the records room. Not to mention that you do have to sit and wait for all of the pages to

 

go through the fax machine, meaning your loosing productivity since your waiting on the pages to be downloaded and sent, literally bit by bit, than by megabytes. This also doesn’t mean that you are going to have all those pages sent correctly or have a few dropped. Which then means you have to re-fax them the missing pages.

I sense a loss of productivity here, that the US and a lot of businesses are either creating or the enablers of this crazy contraption in being still produced. I try to fight it if I can, and on numerous occasions I have called and ask the company about using a fax machine when an email is better. I asked that since just about all your email clients have been updated recently over the past several years in being able to unzip a document if it’s already zip when it was sent. Like in the case of Google Docs, you just have to click on it and it will open it through their if you have a Gmail account. Even Hotmail has this ability! This was one of the reasons why I went to Gmail is to use the Google Docs feature.

Yet, businesses are still using faxes and making us pay about a 1$ per page, and then having the risk of not all of it being sent. I even used my last employers printer, which is a big Xerox one with networking and such for a large office to scan my pages and then fax them to somewhere, and it worked out great for the most part. I didn’t have to pay the 1$ a page or most of the time didn’t send any blurry pictures of the scanned pages either. Still had the issue with missing pages, since it had to dial a phone number connected to the fax and pray that the phone number wasn’t disconnected or down.

I have a scanner and use it quite regularly in order to send documents to places that need it. I just call and make sure that I can email them the information before I attempt to fax it to them. This way I know it will get to them, since most of the time email doesn’t drop a page or two when being sent somewhere, it just might drop a part of the packet and part of the page will be missing something and not the whole page!

My suggestion for anyone thinking of the same thing is to start asking if you can email them instead of faxing the pages. If you are a business then I suggest you start hitting your fax machine with a softball bat immediately and say that if you want my info, send me a Self Addressed Envelope or give me an email address to send it. Lets keep the mail service in operations with the sent mail and the few email companies (other than Outlook) going as well.

Choosing Between Making Money and Doing What You Love – Leonard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer, and Paul B. Brown – Harvard Business Review

Choosing Between Making Money and Doing What You Love – Leonard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer, and Paul B. Brown – Harvard Business Review.

This is so true these days. While our current president and some of the government has stifled small businesses, If your an American willing to just go out there and go for it, then you have nothing really to lose. Since basically a lot of us are already at the bottom! I know, because I’m there, trying to make ends meet. My current educational field is competitive to say the least. Being a web developer is hard to get decent wages, because of the influx of overseas PHP developers from India, and Asia countries. I feel that this tide will eventually move back to American shores. My other passion is to cook, and have a lot more expreience in it than than developing web pages. Like the article mentions, I may only work on my passion for a little at at time, I am doing the web development to bring food and shelter to my family. Even though Web development is my other passion. Cooking drives me more to the point where I even do it at home!

The main point is to follow your dream, but also keep in mind that you do need to provide for your family even if it’s a part-time job till your passion starts bringing you better money to be able to provide for your family!

Red Sun development update…..

I lately have been working on my portfolio for a web developer position within a temp agency. So far it has been a hard road in getting it going and done. I also have been trying to work for free in gaining a bit of experience in developing web pages.

I recently have been using Twitter and even GetGlue to get a bit of help from other freelancing developers in gaining some tips, help, and other insights to how to build and do freelance work. It has paid off a bit so far. I have recently have gotten a few more contacts going through the same thing as me. I will say freelancing is hard work, but it can be rewarding. While I am actually working a full-time job and going to school doing something other than web development, I am still active in getting my web site completed. I have solicit help from CoffeeCup software and using their S-Drive service to host a free blog/page to learn a bit more about HTML5. This will help me in learning about the new HTML format and even give me a chance to eventually move this WordPress blog over to the WordPress.org site. Once my home server is up and running, one for the house and another for work purposes.

I will recommend that if you are a budding developer, do some work for free to gain experience, have a plan laid out with milestones. This will help in meeting deadlines in the future for paid work.

One thing I have learned about developing pages, is to keep in touch with your client about what they want for a page and to show them what you may have as well. If it helps write it down and you can even use an interview format in order to accomplish that. This will help in keeping a good line of communication with the client. This also helps in keeping tabs on what the client wants and if there may be any changes during the development process.

Having learned from a few mistakes along the way, I can pass them along to others so to not make the same mistakes or at least be able to learn from it. By no means is it a bad thing, but something you have to deal with, since a lot of the time you will be developing with a tight deadline.

In summary, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions, and to talk with the client about what you are planning. Keeping a constant communication throughout the process helps in completing the project faster and you can get paid sooner rather than later!

Tutorial: Take your minimalist web design from Photoshop to HTML, part 3 | TechRepublic

Tutorial: Take your minimalist web design from Photoshop to HTML, part 3 | TechRepublic.

This tutorial is very helpful for those wanting to add a nice contrasting type of footer. You can use this to have a cleaner place in which to add your links for other blogs you take care of or even to other pages for more information. This is a good section in which to add your links to other pages within your website and help those who do visit your page how to participate in your blogs and other things going on.

Since this is the third part of this series, I will locate the other parts and post the links in a comment. I feel that those who are learning about the web development process and looking to just make a good clean page that is easy to navigate.

I, personally have been trying to gain entry into the web development business. So far it’s been slow going, mostly because I don’t have any work type experience. I also don’t have the favorite HTML 5 experience that everyone else seems to have, nor the PHP that India seems to be overflowing with lately. I am learning HTML 5 now, since I already know about the earlier versions and have been dealing with it since 1999! I first made a page when I first started my generic website through Yahoo when they had page builder. I love how the process is and how it brings forth such information through a browser.

In my opinion this tutorial just takes that step closer for anyone to start designing their own pages without the having to hire someone. Even though I may be talking myself out of a job, I still want to help those that are willing to find the time to take care of their pages. You hire a web developer when you can’t do the upkeep or have enough time to redesign the whole thing and need a cleaner look. Hiring a web designer takes out the need to find a graphics designer, programmer, web developer, etc. They already have those contacts already.

Take from this a way to spice up the bottom of your page and have a cleaner look and have a more professional look to your page.