Alaboutnothing Official Blog

January 7, 2017

My Uber Journey Journal Entry – New Year 2017

Filed under: UBER Journey — alaboutnothing @ 1:35 am
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uber_logoWell folks, we saw a article that said the Uber will be giving about 15 million rides over New Years Eve and we made sure we were part of it.  It proved to be an interesting experience and we even did some research prior.  We found the between 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM we were taking party goers to the various parties through out this area.  Then we took a few hours off and started driving again at around 1:00 AM.  All of these trips were taking many happy and one fairly “woozy” passenger home from the parties.  As usual we met some awesome folks and had some great conversations.

New Years Day Revelation —  I don’t know if it was because this was the first day of a new year, but it seems that two Prius drivers broke out of the normal slow speed syndrome and decided to live on the wild side.  I was on I-280 doing about 5 MPH over the 65 MPH speed limit when a Silver Prius passed me like I was standing still.  I was stunned when I realized when had just happened.  I figured that it would never happen again, so I gave a chuckle and drove on.  Then later, I was on the Dumbarton Bridge doing the posted 55 MPH when a Blue Prius passed me doing about 65 mph.  Now we were double stunned.  We thought maybe 2017 marked the start of some secret rule that the Prius community should start speeding, but that came to and end when I had to swerve around a Prius doing 45 MPH in the 55 MPH zone.  Still an amazing start to 2017 we must say.

Google Alert – We had a passenger (Denali) today that we picked up at Facebook and it turns out that Denali just had completed an interview and was seriously looking for a new position.  We asked Denali if Google was on the list and Denali said that she was waiting for Google to get back to her, but late next week she was going to an interview down in Venice Beach.  So to GOOGLE we say “Hey! Denali is a Northern California Native and is well qualified based on my conversation I think Denali would fit nicely in the Google community.  We can’t let a So Cal company steal Northern California techie talent.”  It’s now on you Google, don’t blow this.

Driver-less Car Conversation – The driver-less car conversation goes on and now the question has arisen that if all the cars are built identical then they will all perform the same.  We thought a great test would be to take some of these vehicles to a drag strip and race them against each other.  If they are all in fact the same, then the final race result will always be a tie.

New Uber Driver Alert – Hey Nigel get it done!

We have nothing else to report at this time, but we will be posting the Google result on the Denali interview later this week.  We are in the middle of starting a Twitter movement to get Starbuck’s or any other coffee café to give San Francisco Uber drivers a discount.  (Peet’s Coffee are you listening?)

February 4, 2011

Browser Dilemma — Review

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 5:11 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

We have been “battling” with which browser to use for several months.  We tried “Chrome” back then and found it to have issues.  We tried updating Explorer 7 to Explorer 8 back then and had some major problems so we kept Explorer 7.   Recently we tried again and the update worked without any problem.  So now we are running three different browsers and here is our review of the current browsers.

Microsoft Explorer 8

This browser does everything we require when we go out to the web.  The only issue we have is it is the slowest of the three.  We also think this browser is the most stable of the three.  We rarely get an update, maybe once a month and that is usually a security update.   The other good thing about Explorer 8 is we always come back here when one of the other browsers doesn’t work knowing that it will do what we need.

 

Mozilla Firefox 4.0 Beta

We have been using Firefox for about a year.  Firefox 3.6 seemed to work just fine with only a few glitches.  Then we updated to 4.0 Beta.  When we see the word “Beta” we make the assumption that there are some problems and that the folks at Mozilla are still getting this browser up to speed.  So we expect that we will have some issues.  What we like is the fact they state its in “Beta” and it’s a “work in progress”.  Also we like the fact that when there is an update it’s done automatically.

 

Google Chrome

This browser is by far the fastest of the three browsers we use, but on the other hand it “crashes” daily.  We see “Aw, Snap!” so often we are suspect that when we don’t get it.  About 50% of the time we get the “Aw, Snap!” we also get the “Kill Pages” button.  So we believe that the Google boys are in denial that Chrome is really in a beta state and don’t want to admit it to the public.  We find updates on Chrome at least once a week.  We say we find, because Chrome does not automatically update, we have to go look for updates.  The trigger for when we go look is when we get the “Aw, Snap” several time in a row or the web page we are currently on is doing some strange things. We wonder why the Google boys don’t add “Beta” to the Chrome name display.  We also wonder who came up with the “Aw, Snap!”. Is this meant to be cute way of saying “You are about to loss everything you just updated on this web page”?  I know that when we see “Aw, Snap!” we don’t think it’s very cute.  They should just change the “Sn” to Cr” and that would be closer to what we are thinking.

We have nothing to add at this time and hope your browser is working great for you.  If you get an “Aw, Snap!” while you’re here, please come back and make a comment as to what you were really thinking when you saw it.  We think the Google boys might want to know that Chrome has a little bit of tarnish on it.

 

<—- This would best describe the “Aw, Snap!” look on our face when we get it.

June 3, 2009

Windows XP Registry Woe’s

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 12:27 am
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regcure

 Ever since the Explorer 8 Fiasco a few weeks ago I have been having “quirky” problems with other applications so I decide to check my registry and “bingo” it was a mess.  So I sent my buddy Marty, the Cabana Geek an email asking about how he “fixes” his registry or if he had a recommendation for some software that would clean up my registry.  He got back to me and said “I manually remove unwanted applications from the registry and would assist me in doing the same if I wanted.”  Well, I know one thing and that is if you make a mistake manually changing your registry you can cause BIG problems, problems I don’t even want to thing about.  So I answered that I will pass on that and go looking for a registry clean up program on the web.  I checked several; and found “Regcure” to be ranked one of the best and found that if I bought now I could get some extras for free.  So I bought it and it came with “Launch Data Recovery”, “Drivercure”, and “XoftSpySE”.
 

 So once it was installed and registered I ran the registry clean up and it worked great.  It fixed all the current problems, but I found that an immediate fix did not fix everything.  What it did was brought to my attention some applications that needed additional attention.  As I “fixed” each application I reran the registry clean up and now my P/C had picked up speed and most everything seems to be working.

 
 Then I ran “Drivercure” and to my amazement found several applications that had out of date versions installed.  Because this application allows the user to update only the selected “out of date” versions I began going through the list and updating the selections.  I did not do one and that was going from Explorer 7 to 8 for reasons already explained.

 
 Then I ran “XoftSpySE” which is an Anti-Spyware program and I did not think it would find anything because I have “AVG Anti-Virus” installed and have not had a problem with any viruses.  Well, guess what, it found five “high risk” and several “low-risk” files, all of which I removed with the application.  I guess “AVG” does not do everything, but I will keep it anyway.

 
 So now I am feeling good about my new full time job compliments of Microsoft.
 

 Then I see a Java update is required so I go ahead and run the update. I get an error in the middle of the run.  Well, you would think you can just go ahead and run it again, but you would be mistaken. I tried to run it again and began receiving and error 25099.  So off to the web I go and found that the best way to “fix” this was to remove the entire “Java” directory and its contents.  When I attempt to do this I found that I could not use the “Add/Remove” in the control panel because “Java” was not on the list.  Ok, I do know how to manually remove directories and there contents so I did that and found that everything except one file could be removed.  When I attempted the one last file I received a message that it was in use.  A simple CTL + Alt + Delete showed that the file was on the list of applications under the “Process” Tab.  I highlighted the task and clicked the “end Process” Tab.  Then I went back and the file was manually removed without a problem.  Finally I could now go to “Java.com” and do the install, which went fine and is now working without any problems.

 
I ran “Regcure” again and fixed a few minor registry problems, but nothing like when I started.

 
 One interesting thing I found when addressing the “Add/Remove” problem with applications not showing up on the list is there is a Windows program named “Windows Install Clean Up” that is suppose to clean up this problem.  I installed this program, but after reading all the warnings, did not use it.  I might in the future, but for now, I will wait until it becomes absolutely necessary and at that time I will confer with The Cabana Geek before I do.

 
If you’re having registry problems I would strongly recommend purchasing “RegCure” and using it to “fix” your problems.  Other than that I have nothing else to say except I can hardly wait until Google comes up with a new Operating System so I can start gaggling. 

May 28, 2009

Google Operating System?

Filed under: General Nothing — alaboutnothing @ 11:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

cloudos-screen

 I have been reading some “Techie” Blogs for a few days and I found that there is a rumor that Google is going to be coming out with a “Google Operating System”.  Now I didn’t give this much attention because I think Google want to be everything for everyone and besides, it just a rumor.

 Then yesterday I was on “Craig’s List (SF)” checking out the job postings and under “Software Jobs” I found this listing:

 Craig’s List Job Posting: “Google/Stanford/MIT Startup Seeks QA Manager (palo alto)”

Join a world class team of engineers from Google, Stanford, MIT, and Cal. We are close to releasing our beta. We are using PHP, so you should have experience with that. If you are brilliant and you don’t have experience with PHP, you should still apply since you could learn quickly. This is an equity only opportunity plus salary once we are funded. Our beta will be released end of June; ……

  Well this did get my attention because when I saw “Google”, “Stanford”, “MIT”, and “Cal” all together on one line and referring to “releasing our beta” I immediately though about the “Google Operating System” blogs rumor.  These are the “big guns” when it comes to technology and if they are working on something together, it must be BIG.

  Also on “Craig’s List” there are a number of Google ads for “Marketing” positions, which tends to make me think they are going to be promoting something very soon.

  Just think, a “Google Operating System” that would compete with Microsoft, UNIX, etc.  Interesting I must say. 

 I think they should name it “GoOS” pronounced “Goose”.  Then if you are multi-tasking they could call it “Gaggling”. 

 If you receive an error on one of the applications you could say “When I opened the third Goose application it laid a goose egg and failed with an error = honk.”  (They could have a “goose’s honking” audio playing in the background over your speakers.)

  They could come up with a marketing slogan “Have you been GoOS’d today?”  This should get some attention don’t you think?

 I have nothing more to add except that maybe this is all really a rumor and the beta software coming soon is for a valid “Google.com” email address that allows users to contact Google directly and be able to respond back without getting the “No response”.

May 13, 2009

A Nothing Techie Limerick:

Filed under: I.T. — alaboutnothing @ 6:44 am
Tags: , , ,

I once met a programmer from Google in the Silicon Valley
I needed an application that was right up his alley
He sent me the “APP” program code
I found it to be over-load
Then I sent him a “Yahoo”** email saying that I don’t want to dilly-dally

 ** I would have said “google.com” here but as we all know, it’s impossible to find a Google email address.

Nothing more to rhyme at this time.

May 8, 2009

The Dark Side of Google continued…

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 6:18 am
Tags: , , ,

googleToday I went searching for a “Google.com” mailing address and I used “Google.com” to search for the address.  What I found were many other folks who with the same problem, “I can’t find a Google email address to ask a question.” 

I found one that had an address was where Google sent some one and email and the return address was accounts-noreply@google.com, which the person could not respond too.

There some others but nothing specific.  Then a friend told me that you can send an email to “Google” Support, but after an hour looking for where it was, I gave up.

On most sites when you go to a “Support” Tab or “Contact Us” and click, they give you the option to send an email with a question.  Also on these sites these tabs are usually on the link you are in.  You don’t have to go searching like you do on Google

The other day I went to Google to look for a problem I was having with a Google Toolbar.  I started with a link that led to another link that led to another link and so on for five more links.  At the fifth link I found I needed to go back to where I started and try a different selection.  This after reading every link I came to before continuing.  “What a pain!”  So I went back and tried again following more links with NOTHING getting accomplished.  I spent a good hour looking and this is exactly what I am talking about.  I don’t want to “waste” an hour looking for a “fix”.  I want to send an email, wait for and answer, and while I am waiting move on to other tasks.

Now I am drawing the conclusion that Google is creating technology for an “Exclusive Community”.  This community is all “techies”.  The average user has been forgotten, lost in the corporate spaghetti of links on “Google.com”.  I consider myself an average user and I know may folks who are far less as technical as me.  I wonder what they do when they go to Google looking for a fix of a problem.  My guess is they get frustrated much quicker than I do and end up calling some one like the “Geek Squad” and paying for something that should be free and easy.

Here is one suggestion for Google.  When some one who is obviously a “non-technical” user starts to look for a “fix” on “Google.com” add a new page that simply says “May God be with you in your search for a solution.  (Last time God was here looking he/she found NOTHING.) Good luck!”

 Now you might ask how Google would know when a user is a “non-techie”.  The answer is easy.  Since Google tracks everything a user does when they use “Google.com”, they could write a script to analyze the contents and in the script create a formula that make decisions based on the results.  They are technology leaders aren’t they?

 Another suggestion is to survey “non-techies”.  I see ads for Google surveys all the time around here.  What they could do is gather up about 200 “non-techie” users and get some feed back on the Google site.  An even bigger leap for Google would be “non-techie” users over fifty years old.  I doubt if this leap would ever happen because based on the age of the “Exclusive Community” at corporate headquarters they may not be able to talk to older people.  (Of course, they could bring in interpreters.)

April 28, 2009

The Dark Side of GOOGLE

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 10:58 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

If you graduated number one in your class from the following list of colleges with a Computer Science major and wrote a 1,000 page thesis all in binary then you might be eligible for a few the jobs posted on the GOOGLE web-site.

Stanford University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of California – Berkeley
Carnegie Mellon University
Cornell University
Princeton University
University of Texas – Austin
University of Illinois – UrbanaChampaign
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Harvard University
California Institute of Technology
Brown University
University of California – Los Angeles
Yale University
University of Maryland – College Park
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Rice University
University of Southern California
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

If you do not fit the description described above and you are looking for a non-hi tech position at GOOGLE, then you will be entering the dark side of GOOGLE.

In many of my blogs I promote GOOGLE as being a leader in the technology and environment arena’s and I applaud them for that accomplishment, but when I went looking for non-hi tech job at GOOGLE I found it to be an impossible task. There is NOTHING on their web-site for these types of positions and then I began to question their self acclaimed “community” service.

Start here “GOOGLE Jobs”.

Then click on “Life at Google” link.

Then under “Why work at Google?” click on all or some of the links and as you go through each link, count how many folks you see over fifty. If you get to double digits, please post a comment, because I did not see very many. I would have thought that the “Google celebrates Diversity” Link would show a few older folks, but all I saw on that link was one possibility. So where is the “diversity”? I guess the diversity in not in the people, but in the business applications.

Then go back to the “GOOGLE Jobs” page and click on “mission” and “values” and all you find is talk about technology.

When you are done with those two links click on the “Jobs” link, pick a location, and then continue on and look for jobs like Mail room, Executive Secretary, Janitor, Window Cleaner, Housekeeping, guru, etc. And if you find any at all, please do let me know.

Your next challenge as you wonder aimlessly through all the links is finding an email address to contact someone at GOOGLE to ask a simple question about your search for the non-hi tech positions. I did not find one! Even on the “About GOOGLE” link there is a “contact us” and that does not have a pure email link, what it has is GOOGLE “forms” for specific product information, but NOTHING for any kind of “outlook” email format for your questions.

Here is a prime example of using the “form” as an email notification to GOOGLE and not having an email address. My wife uses GOOGLE extensively and has found spelling and grammar errors several times on various pages. To notify GOOGLE of the errors she has to use the “Form” and, based on the feedback, the error does not get “fixed”. So far she has sent at least 10-15 suggestions and she has received back NOTHING, not a “Thank You”, not a “Great Catch”, zip, Nada, NOTHING. (Maybe they don’t want to know or don’t really care).

Based on this information I can only conclude that GOOGLE should changed the wording on their site and anywhere the word “community” is found change it to “Exclusive Community”. Then under jobs they should add a paragraph that says “If you are looking for a non-hi tech position, you have to know somebody that is already employed with GOOGLE or is a personal friend of the founders and they you might get an interview. We do have a diverse Exclusive Community, but if you look old, your chances for a position here are nil.” (“nil” being the total opposite of Googol).

Finally I remember way back when GOOGLE was a “start-up” and they had an office on University Ave in Palo Alto we were going to dinner and saw a GOOGLE sign on a door as we were walking. We then took the time and went up the stairs to the GOOGLE Office where we met the founders and several other people working. We said that we were big fans of their new search engine and we just wanted to stop by and say “hello”. From those humble beginnings, they’ve emerged as one of the most powerful entities in the world.

As a search engine of the highest order, try to find something on their massive site. It might take hours, even worse, you may never find what you’re looking for. You may come up with NOTHING. Is it too simple for them to realize that a directory might help us and them? Sometimes the average “Joe” can be a lot smarter than the Stanford hi-tech grads.

I have NOTHING to add except I wish all of you out there in cyber space good hunting

April 6, 2009

Your Medical Records

Filed under: I.T. — alaboutnothing @ 7:21 pm
Tags: , ,

 Just recently a friend of mine was telling me that his doctor sent him to a specialist for some additional tests.  He said that the specialist did not have access to his medical records and needed to rerun some of the tests for the evaluation.

 

 Now I find this ridiculous.  No wonder health care costs are so high!

 

 With the technology we have in this day and age, there must be a way to combine the data in to one database for sharing essential information.  Then today I saw on the “Official Google Blog” that they are addressing this issue.  Here is the link – Click here

 

 I have to say that “Google” seems to be on top of things that need to get done.  I say “Way to go Google!  No wonder they are on the leading edge of technology.

 

 When Google first came to my attention several years ago I visited their office on University Avenue in Palo Alto.  It was a friendly visit and I said at that time “I thought their search engine was by far the best available.  Good work!”.  (I wish I had known about IPO back then).  Now I think when it comes to technology their motto should be “There is nothing we can’t do.”

March 9, 2009

Google…

Filed under: General Nothing — alaboutnothing @ 1:13 am
Tags: , , ,

I have mentioned “Google” in some blogs because it is simply the best search engine on this planet.  I have tried others, but “Google” is by far the best.  What I like is it’s simple to use, the screen is not cluttered with a bunch of advertising and once you start the search, it stays nice and clean and you rarely get nothing in the search results.

 

I recommend getting a “gmail.com” account with Google because then you can set up your “iGOOGLE” home page ( http://google.com/ig ). You can set up your “iGOOGLE” page with as many “widgets” as you choose. Click on the “Add Stuff” tab at the lower right of the top panel of your theme, which you can also change as you please. Once set up click on “My Account” and they give (for free) the Google Product line of applications.

 

I especially like the “Google Desktop” for searching for documents on my hard drive or anywhere else the keyword you entered is found. Simply hit the “Ctrl” Key twice or if you have installed the “Google Tool Bar”, click on the “Google Tab on the Task Bar and a small search window pops up. Type a keyword and it searches your hard drive and the web for the keyword you entered. Then you get a Google style listing where on your hard drive or the web the files that contain the keyword are located. “Sweet”! This has saved my day on many occasions.

 

If you have Google “gmail” and “iGOOGLE” a must have is the “Google Tool Bar”. I need to warn you about one of the icons on this Tool Bar. There is a Google “Pop-up Blocker” Icon that works separate from the normal security “Pop-up” Blocker. If there are sites that suddenly stop working when you install the Google Tool Bar, this is where to look. This happen to me and because I wasn’t aware of the icon and I spent a few hours attempting to figure out what was going on. Then I did a “Google” search and found the answer and that was when the “Popup” window appeared at one of the sites I was on, I simple clicked the Icon on the Tool bar and this allow the page to continue as normal. I must say at this point, if I would have watched the tutorial on the “Google Task Bar” after I installed it, I probably would not have wasted the time it took to figure out what was going on.

 

For just “messing” around I also use Google “Earth” and Google “SketchUp” These two applications work together if you so desire, but that is something I am still learning how to do.

 

Try this on Google “map”, enter “google ca” and zoom in on the “A” highlighted tab. This is the Mountain View Google Head Quarters. Click the “satellite” tab when you get zoomed in as far as you can go. Then do the same thing with Google “Earth”. When you get zoomed in you can change the way you view the site you are looking at. This is “way cool”. You can do this on any site on earth. I am not going in to any of the details (of course) you just have to try it. There are so may features on Google Earth I can’t even start to describe what you can do. The same with Google “SketchUp” . On both applications there are so many options that learning the application is best done by watching the tutorial, especially for Google “SketchUp”.

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