According to Jim

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Flying United Airlines

Spent the weekend recovering from cancelled flights and flight changes. Friday morning started with difficulty in getting online confirmed seating boarding ticket on a United Airlines nonstop flight that I had for Saturday morning from PIT to SFO. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with customer service and then the IT department before I got a confirmed seat assignment. I guess they were starting to have computer problems with me at that time. Then, at about 3:00 PM, I get a call from United saying my Saturday 6:00 AM flight was cancelled. They wanted to know if I wanted to leave earlier at 5:30 AM. Which would have meant getting up at 2:30 AM to get there in time. Why even go to bed? I said no way. This by the way, was after United had moved the flight from 7:00 AM to 6:00 AM a week earlier. So, they put me on a flight at 10:00 AM to Chicago, and then had me switching planes in Chicago to SFO.

When I got to the Pittsburgh airport for check-in, the lady behind the counter insisted that I could check in myself with the kiosk. I told her that I was told that someone would have to help me. She continued to insist that I do it myself. However, there was another agent that assisted me, and entered my code number into the machine, but there was a problem. He said, someone will have to help me. I thought to myself, no kidding!

So, the main lady from behind the counter comes back over to me, and says, “this is the morning from hell!” I didn’t find out till a bit later, that United was having major computer problems. She started keying in my flights and after a few minutes I sensed there was something wrong. I asked her what the problem was. She informed me, the first flight was delayed an hour due to the flight crew having to wait their appointed resting time. This however would mean that I would most likely miss my connecting flight in Chicago. So, she actually double booked me (with an upgrade to first class) on a second flight out of Chicago to SFO, which was scheduled to leave an hour later.

Okay, now I am leaving an hour later from Pittsburgh, and of course, I arrive in Chicago an hour later too. However, they end up delaying the other flight leaving Chicago by almost an hour to accommodate the late arriving flights. Since both flights I was booked on were now set to leave nearly at the same time out of Chicago, I figured it sure would be nicer to fly first class on the second flight, instead of a center seat assignment on coach for the other flight. Now I am talking with another agent at the gate flight check-in counter. I tell her my story, show her my paperwork, and ask if I could just go on the other flight since I already was booked there too. She thought that would be fine, and proceeded to cancel my one flight and confirm me on the other. This is where another round of problems started. Once she unbooked me from the one flight, she could not confirm me on the other flight, even though I had paperwork to show that I was booked on it. She actually couldn’t understand how I got to Chicago, due to the paperwork not showing up properly. I told her, the whole story again and said, I simply checked in at the counter. So, she pulls another agent over, and they talk about the issue. She decides to give me a first class boarding pass for the other flight and just signed it herself.

It wasn’t until I was on the other flight, seated in my first class seat, that I felt comfortable that I was in fact heading to San Francisco.

I do have to mention, I could really get use to first class flying. I think I really like being pampered on the airlines. The service, the wine, and the meal were terrific. And, my knees did not hit the back of the seat in front of me. Much more comfortable!

Apple iPad 2 Writing a WordPress Blog Post

Well, I’ve had my iPad for about two weeks now and I thought I would see what happens to my voice dictation when I’m recording using an application called “Dragon Dictation” to automatically go from voice to text. That first sentence was entered into this blog posting using the dictation mode and then editing a few of the words as I went forward. I would start by hitting the recording button and then I would stop that after one or two sentences and go to keyboard mode and place periods and punctuation marks as required. It actually worked pretty good except I know that I would pause (with rather long pauses) and try to gather my thoughts together. I think part of the problem with dictation, it’s hard to keep your thoughts running along in a progressive manner which makes what you want to say sound logical. Keep in mind you can not dictate directly into WordPress. You must first use the app to do your dictation note, then copy from the app to WordPress.

I started off this sentence by saying, “new paragraph” to see what would happen. I also added the word “period.” Believe it or not it got the word period correct to add a period (.).

From here forward I started typing on the iPad keyboard. In any case this was a test of the free “Dragon Dictation” iPad app, blogging in WordPress (WordPress also has a free iPad app), using the keyboard, using the free iPad app “Terra” browser, copy, paste, fine keyboard edits, and scrolling in the WordPress edit window (tip: use two fingers, close together, to scroll in a division or text box inside a web page).

One of the nice features with Terra browser (unlike Safari), is you can have multiple tabs open at the same time. This makes it quite convenient to go from one tab to the other. Right now, I probably have a dozen or so tabs open.

I did notice that WordPress doesn’t seem to display properly in the “Visual” mode, but it does seem to display semi-properly in the HTML edit mode. What happens as this article got longer, WP edit window would run down longer and longer, to the point you would have to scroll up the entire page to see the editing tools at the top of the WP edit window. Maybe this has to do with the default number of lines in the editor.

The issue with the visual edit mode is that the editor goes wider than it naturally should. It goes behind the right column items. I suspect that is because this version of WP wasn’t exactly designed around the iPad. However, I certainly could see the iPad used to quickly gather your thoughts in more ways than one. The free WordPress app doesn’t have those same issues with the display mode. I’ve tested the WP app a little, but until I use the WordPress app to write a compete blog posting, I won’t be able to give you the details of how well that app works.

It seems that the more you type on the iPad, the more proficient you become at using the virtual keyboard. Note that there are portable Bluetooth keyboard options available through third party manufacturers that could make things go a lot faster. That would probably be a good idea if you were to use the iPad as your main input device. With the long battery life, and the portability of the iPad, I think it is a really cool device for doing some amazing things.

I have downloaded a ton of free apps already. Some of my free apps are: Compass HD, Planets, Google Earth, Pandora radio, Craigslist app, ABC player, HBO GO, Netflix, XFINITY TV, Google Books, Kindle, Free WiFi, KNBR, WordPress, a bunch of free games apps, several free browsers (I really like the Terra browser app), Dragon Dictation, NASA, Weather apps, Calculator Pro, Logos, and others.

The iPad that I have is the 64 GB, Verizon 3G version. I have used it both in WiFi and 3G modes. I have to say I really like having access to the web with Verizon, no matter where I am located at the time. The iPad is great for business and personal use.

Well, that is just a short overview about using the Apple iPad to write a blog posting in WordPress.


PS. I did not cheat when I wrote this blog post. Everything in this posting was done from start to finish with the iPad. I even used the add link hyperlink to my signature “Jim” with the WordPress editor and also copied the video link and YouTube embed code for posting the video at the top of this article. Though, I have to admit that it took me some time to figure out where the YouTube code was hidden.

Note the YouTube site knows you are using an iPad browser, so it brings a slightly different user experience. I had to change the settings in the Terra browser to make YouTube think I was using Firefox so I could get to the embed code. Google’s engineers need to think through that YouTube embed video code into a blog posting process a little more.

Installed 1 TB Hard Drive on My PC

After nearly two months of having the hard drive in the box, I finally got around to installing the hard drive in the PC computer yesterday.

The hard drive I purchased is the Hitachi Deskstar 3.5 Inch 1 TB 7200 RPM SATA II 32 MB Cache Internal Hard Drive 0S02860

Using my SATA and PATA to USB internal hard drive desktop adapter, I was able to do a complete clone of my old 400 GB internal HD with the new drive hooked up to the adapter and a USB port. Prior to cloning the HD using the backup software Acronis, I first formatted the new drive using the administrative tools, in the control panel, and navigated to the computer management, disk management area to format the hard drive. Note that the hard drive is a virgin drive and will not be seen properly by the operating system until it is mounted and formatted.

Once the hard drive is completely formatted (which I think took more than an hour and a half),I  then used Acronis backup and cloning software to make a complete image backup. When doing a clone of a HD, everything is exactly the same as the original, expect for an increase in the storage capacity from the old to the new.

The version of the cloning and backup software I am using is: True Image Home 2011 Plus

Acronis Product Features Include:

  • PC Backup and Recovery of Systems, Applications, and Files – Have you ever accidentally deleted a file, had a virus corrupt your files, or had a disk fail?
  • Fast and Easy Backup and Recovery – Acronis True Image Home 2011 provides complete system image backup and recovery of your home PC’s operating system, applications, settings, and personal files.
  • New Windows 7 Integration – True Image Home 2011 scales to the needs of novices and advanced users alike
  • New Graphical User Interface – We have redesigned our recognized user-friendly interface with new features like Drag and Drop for faster navigation.
  • Continuous Data Protection – Acronis Nonstop Backup automatically creates incremental backups every five minutes allowing users to roll back their systems, files, and folders to any point in time in the past.

After the cloning process was finished, I then shut down the computer, pulled the old drive out and installed the new, turned the computer back on, and voila, the computer had 1 TB of HD storage space instead of the 400 GB and all my programs were as they should be.

It is interesting to note that the old hard drive was a IDE cable parallel ATA “PATA” type, and the new HD is a serial ATA “SATA” type. Since my motherboard on the computer had the capabilities of running either the old PATA or SATA HD, this was the first time since I had last built the computer that I was installing a larger hard drive. The old drive was actually out of my old last generation computer. Once the new hard drive was installed, I definitely noticed speed improvements to the system. I plan on using the 400 GB PATA drive in the old external HD case which has a USB port on it.

Speaking of computers, it is somewhat difficult to tell what generation of computer I am using at any given time. Here I am typing away using Windows Live Writer (which only runs on Windows operating system software), on my MacBook Pro, running VMware Fusion, running Windows 7 Ultimate, on the MAC OS X Snow Leopard operating system software, with 8 GB of RAM (which I just upgraded from 4GB to 8GB).

I am very impressed with VMware Fusion 3 for being able to run all the PC based programs that you can imagine. It is actually cool to be able to run both the Apple OS side and the Microsoft Windows side at the same time. I tend to run these programs in different spaces (Apple OS feature that lets you have multiple desktops in four different quadrants, with different programs and files open in each space). It can get a bit confusing when trying to remember which system I am using at any given moment. Windows updates just like on a PC, and Apple updates on the other side too. In fact, Windows 7 just came out with a major update in the form of “Service Pack 1.” This took a bit of time to download and install. It required turning off the virtual computer and then virtually rebooting. I did not have to reboot the whole MacBook Pro.

Once I had performed the updates on my MacBook Pro on the Windows side of the coin, I felt it was important to do a Time Machine backup on the Apple side of the coin. Any case, it is like having the best of both worlds on this computer.

OK, that is the computer story of the day. Now is the time to get your website found online. Professional Web Services provides Internet marketing services and SEO services for all types of B2B and B2C businesses on the web. Visit us today for your business solution.

Jim Warholic

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