Which way would you like to login?

Which way would you like to login?

I am evaluating methods to add extra login security to the site.  First and foremost, the site is secured 100% with an SSL certificate, which encrypts content to and from the server and your computer.  This helps scramble your password you enter in transmission to the site.   This helps protect your logins from potential 'eves-droppers' from reading your password if they should spy on you in the coffee shop, or another open wireless network.

In today's day and age though, scrambling your password is not enough and it is vital anymore to use multi-factor authentication.  I touched upon it about a month ago, I am still searching for other methods which would be easier to use and less cumbersome.

There are options to use QR Codes which you scan on your phone to authenticate you on the system using an app such as Google Authenticator on your phone.  When you

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Sick and tired

Sick and tired

Since Friday, I have been fighting a bad cold of sorts which has taken out my office and co-workers for days at a time.  At the very start of it, I had a raw throat and came home mid shift because talking on the phone for a living and sore throats just do not mix well.   I immediately hit it head on with copious amounts of Echniacea and Vitamin C to head off the impending attack on my body.  This usually shortens the length of an average cold I might have to be around 1 day or so out of 4 that it would normally last.  Today, marks day 5 of this stuff.   I keep dosing with the stuff and overall, I know it has helped quite a bit, and am hoping to be rid of this stuff soon. 

I woke up this morning as I have for the last

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2 years already?

2 years already?

Earlier last week, I completed the second year of employment at my job.  I work there as a sort of a help desk technician for the automotive service industry.  This job is the secondary reason for moving to the Portland area.  This last not only marked the second year at my job, but also the second year of living here in the metro Portland area in a nice suburban area.   We live just under 2 miles from the Portland city limits and often travel into the SW portion of the big city to go to one of the Safeway stores or to the children's hospital as needed.  Instead of traveling 5 hours north to see the specialists there, we can simply drive about 20 minutes give or take to Doehrnbecher's hospital.    This - was one of a few a major factors for moving here.

When we lived in Medford, toward

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My new phone and troubles

My new phone and troubles

Three weeks ago, I wrote about my new phone number, and switching over to Cricket Wireless.  I wanted to share some info about how their company works and how so far, they have started to lose me as a customer.

The phone I bought is the one you see in the picture.  It is a ZTE Grand X4 phone.  The main selling point for me appealed to my inner security geek with it's fingerprint scanner.  The minute I saw it on their site, I knew that is the one I wanted.   When we made the switch, I happily brought the home and enjoyed knowing that I had enhanced security on my phone.  About a week ago, I started to lose the ability to receive certain security messages from Google.  They send them in as a "Short Code" SMS or one that would come from a number like "548187"  Regular messages

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Advertisements on Devices

Advertisements on Devices

As a consumer, I have always been bombarded by advertisements in print, on the radio, TV, and even movies.  With the advent of the Internet and ad-blockers, I was prompt to install one and have been spoiled by how 'clean' the web appears without advertisements.   When we started having smart phones come onto the scene, it was immediately a new avenue for advertising revenue for the developers of applications and Google (for Android), and the increase of advertisements in apps has become a nuisance.   I think most of us are used to or have become so numb to them invading our apps that we do not care about them that much.  

I have never and will never place advertisements on my web site for any reason. 

At Christmas time, I was at family member's house and they were complaining about how their phone would blare advertisements at night

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Weekends are too short!

Weekends are too short!

I had to work yesterday which took the majority of my day.   Up at 4:30am work at 6:30am to 3:30pm.   After work, I went to the auto part store to purchase a replacement blower motor for the car.   Over the last month or so, it was starting to make noise, louder and louder.  I knew that a bearing had come loose or something along those lines.   In my years of car ownership, this would be the second one I have replaced and it just so happens, both cars that I have done this on have been SUV's.  

I spent today installing or attempting to install the blower motor.  I found some guides on Youtube which went over how to replace them on the car I have.  I had the basic idea, and it was enough to get me started, the guide said I would need a 7mm socket.  I did

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A New Secure Login Method has been added

In short, I am going to be rolling out a stronger security sentry for this web site.   I have implemented a service called "SecSign" into the login area. Let me go over some basics of how it works.

You install their App on your Android (Play Store Link) or Apple device (App Store Link) through your play store and create a user id inside the app.    For example, you can use Jdoe or FancyUser or whatever you want it to be, once it validates that it is not taken on the server, then it will have you log into their site as a test.  It will give you file storage for following the steps,  which is up to use with whatever you want to do with it. 

After you complete these tasks, you can log into your account here, click on the Edit My Profile link:

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Tinkering with a small computer

Tinkering with a small computer

A quick primer on the Raspberry Pi for those who are not familiar with it.  This is a small credit card sized computer which runs on 5 volts of electricity and allows you to use it as the core computer in projects, or even a project itself.   Students all over the world have used them to create robots, while hobbyists have attached cameras to them and turned them into a wildlife cam which connects to a network and sends photos to their email.   Others have used them to create full fledged arcade machines capable of playing 100's of games all inside of a standard arcade cabinet.   The array of projects available to this little computer is only limited to the owner's imagination.

At the price point of $35, the cost of ownership is welcoming for those on a limited budget.    My work has partnered up with a company which uses

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Checks and Balances

Checks and Balances

When I was in school, we learned all about the checks and balances system in my Social Studies class.  With the recent political change we have had in our country, I have finally seen it in action.  No matter what political view you have or who you support, you can easily see what has gone on and no matter what your view, the nation is seeing the system come into use more than ever.

I am not sure where we will go as a country, or where we will be in the next 4 years as one, but I know that we will be in a safe World War free position.  I have not been very political in the past, and may not be right now.  We all vote in the elections to choose our officials and we stand by them.  When September 11th hit, the nation united.  I will

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Thank God its Friday!

What a week!  From power outages to a couple of medical issues in the family, to various stressful events, I am glad that the weekend is now coming upon us!

I was in a conversation with a co-worker the other day about T.G.I.F. from ABC which used to air in the late 80s and 90's.  It still runs today, but it is not broadcast like it used to with the theme music and intros.  He is about 15 or more years younger than me and his recollection of those shows are different than mine.  But we both had the same feeling, that it was a good time and the shows were way different than they are now.  They were family oriented and had good comedy in them.  There was no violence, sex, drugs, or other things we see on TV these days. 

I sometimes yearn for those days as life

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Power outage last Monday

Power outage last Monday

When I wake up at 4:30 on weekdays, I rely on my alarm clock to do it's job.  We have had very unreliable alarm clocks for a while, one I have had for 10 years that auto set's its time using the Atomic clock signals.  That one has flaked out and rarely would go off, and the display had an odd flicker to it.  It had served me well with it's blinding blue light that was in fashion back then.  I ended up replacing it with another clock that was supposed to auto set, but it never has.  This one has a nice pleasant green display.  Lo and Behold, the alarm sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.   Mandy ended up buying a Timex one for me which we have been using for the last several months.   It is the one you see on this page, except for the phone of course!

Monday

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Why I have made the permanent switch to Linux

Why I have made the permanent switch to Linux

Since I have moved to the Portland area, I have experienced several hardware changes - my laptop died which had Windows on it, my spare computer I was using died, and so I was left with my current system which is an older system, but still quite capable.  Windows 10 runs on it fine and there are no issues with it.  With that said, the change to Linux has been more or less motivated by how much I have grown in it.  When we moved to Portland, I started working at my job which dictates that you have 'command line' experience in Linux.  Having run a web hosting company in the past, I had that experience, and was able to get around in Linux, but I never really gave it much thought for daily use on my end.  This changed with my job.   While we use Windows 10 there, we

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My history with computers

My history with computers

cocoii

TRS-80 Color Computer II

When I first started using computers, I was 12 years old in 1984.  That was a magical time for me and I have very fond memories related to them.   It was then, that I remember us going to Radio Shack at the mall and my parents picking up a TRS-80 color computer II with 16K of memory and it hooked up to the TV.   It came with a tape drive to play cassette tapes which held programs and was at the time, a very amazing system.  It was this system where I started to learn how to type and became immersed in the wonders of being able to manipulate the computer to do what I wanted it to.  Along with this system, I had a text adventure game called Bedlam which was about waking up after having a frontal lobotomy in an insane asylum.  While I

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New Start - New Look

New Start - New Look

With the new year starting, I thought that it would be a good time to finally revamp the web site.  2016 has brought many things with it and we are all very glad that it has finally come to an end.  I think it is safe to say that we all know someone who has faced trials and adversity, or maybe yourself.  In 2016, we had our fair share.

I look forward to 2017 being a better year of prosperity, good health and peace for everyone.

More posts to come soon!

 

 

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Things you may not know about tech support

Things you may not know about tech support

I thought it would be fun to share some interesting notes about tech support people and what goes on during the calls. I am a tech support operator and have come to these realizations from both a customer's point of view but also as a phone operator myself.

1) If you hear us typing in the background, it is because we are actively documenting our conversation we just had with you and what steps we took to troubleshoot the problem. We are also probably conversing with others in a local office chat interface to get assistance or answering other questions other techs have while we are waiting for you to come back with the serial number of your product.

2) Long pauses and dead air are very common in this industry. It is not because we are ignoring you, it is because we are probably looking at our help resources

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What's up?

What's up?

Alright, so we have not been around for a long time on the site.  There is a long story behind this, that is for another day.   Mostly, though - I have put the site back up and hope to add more posts in the future sooner than later.  As a more introverted personality, these things are just not a natural thing for me to do.

In short - from the last post here -

We virtually were cooked in our new apartment at the start of summer and were quickly faced with the reality of the fact that stores around here generally carry 10 or 15 air conditioners in inventory and are usually sold out before they hit the sales floor.   We finally did though, manage to snag a small 5100BTU A/C and install it in the back bedroom where we were able to.   Since the apartment has sliding patio

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Ten things I learned as a traveling technician

Ten things I learned as a traveling technician

In my brief time as a traveling repair person for point of sale systems, I picked up a few neat tricks along the way that I thought I’d share:

1) You can pretty easily walk into the back of the store without being noticed.
2) No matter how many times you set the inventory alarm off with your tool bag of tools, they never give a second look. This goes with #3 below
3) If you look like you know what you are doing, they leave you alone.
4) You can be researching on your laptop how to repair a product, and people think you are filling out the paperwork on it.  Nobody ever thinks twice.
5) If you have to take an extra hour to repair something and make a mistake, they do not know any different and it looks like you are working.
6) The back of department

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We are back better than ever!


 It’s Fresh!  It’s New! It’s Wonderful!


 

A fresh new look has beheld this web site.  Since we have moved to the Portland area now, I have decided to start the web site fresh and clean with a new look.  The skyline you see above is of Portland’s skyline at dusk taken by an unknown source on Wikipedia.  I thought it was a good representation of the area we live in.  With our move, we have made some personal changes in our lives as well which we feel will make us better in the long run.

I will be adding more photos than ever before starting with our wedding photos from August 15, 2009.  I am in the process of editing those and you can expect them soon!


Registration is back – for a limited time


With the new design, I had to remove the user accounts that were

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