July 2, 2016

A failed, unwanted Windows 10 upgrade turns into a Linux install

My mother-in-law's Windows 7 Dell desktop upgraded to Windows 10 without her giving the OK. It ended up having the "black screen" issue. Despite trying different methods to fix this, including trying to go into safe mode to try reverting to Windows 7, nothing worked. So I ended up installing Linux Mint 17.3 for her and she has been very happy with it - stating that it was faster than Windows 7.

Her Western Digital Passport external hard drive wasn't cooperating and seems to have issues, as it couldn't be opened by Linux, OS X, or Windows 8 or 10. She has the files from there on an older desktop that also had issues to cause her to buy her current desktop, so I'll try going in there at some point to grab her files off of there.

June 21, 2016

Major League Baseball blackouts in Hawaii

I found out during a recent trip to Hawaii the ridiculousness of the Major League Baseball blackout rule when I learned that the San Francisco Giants are blacked out there.

It turns out that it is more ridiculous than I thought through this Sporting News article.

Really?  Would MLB really lose that much by not having any blackouts in Hawaii?

April 1, 2015

More Hunter, Less Mike

More Hunter Pence, less Mike Pence
Too much of Mike Pence in the news lately. Hunter Pence needs to recover and play ball!

July 13, 2014

The Resurrection of my Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9

While cleaning up some things on my desk, I decided to try plugging in my Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 for one last time before disposing it in some way, figuring that it would not work. It was a year ago that it would not turn on or show anything, even when plugged in. To my surprise, the screen lit up, eventually showing the charging battery. I booted up the tablet and saw that it was at a 1% battery level. I was thinking that maybe the battery would not hold a charge, but the battery level continues to go up and the tablet did not automatically power off when I unplugged it as a test. The date was reset to December 30, 2003 and I had to reset that and reboot before I could successfully re-connect to my Google account (I had suspended rights from the device when I thought it would not work ever again). It's gone through a lot of application updates. So for now, I guess this will be the back up device unless I decide to experiment with it - trying to install CyanogenMod, for example.

June 28, 2014

Accessibility/Usability Fail: Hotel Checkbox Selection

While trying to get quotes for a hotel stay, this particular hotel site offered checkboxes for the room preferences. The only problem was that clicking on the checkbox itself would not set/unset the checkbox. Only clicking on the label for the checkbox worked. At least they had that working, but I've never seen clicking on the checkbox itself fail.

Problems with hotel room preferences checkboxes.

November 3, 2013

Out With the Old Fitbit, In With the New Fitbit

My old Fitbit, which I think they call the Fitbit Classic, but looks like the Fitbit Ultra, started being problematic at least 6 months ago. Even though it had a full charge, it would randomly and suddenly not track steps and I would have to plug it back into the charger to have it work again. Once or twice I even had to press a button on the charger to get the Fitbit to "reset" itself. Then, starting in September, the Fitbit would constantly not track steps, even though plugging it into the charger would show that the Fitbit was charged. It was becoming annoying. Plus, the holster for the Fitbit had chipped off a bit a few months before hand and had a sharp edge. It was time for a new Fitbit.

A friend of mine has the Fitbit Flex, but as I already wear a watch, I really didn't want to wear more than one thing on my wrist. I could have gone with the Fitbit Zip, but was more inclined to go with the Fitbit One, as it would also track the number of stairs that I take. The sleep tracking capability really isn't important to me. I used it once on the old Fitbit, but trying to wear something on my wrist as I sleep is too annoying.

The Fitbit One has some improvements over the Fitbit Classic that I like - the charger is a shorter dongle that is much easier to pack than the old one. The holster is more of a soft rubber sort of material - similar to the OtterBox I used on my old Samsung Droid Charge phone. It can be a bit challenging to get the Fitbit completely in there at times and I wonder if the holster will become very loose to where it does not hold the Fitbit as well as it does now. Removing and reinstalling the OtterBox on my phone caused it to become looser. So far, after a month of use, I have not seen that problem.

The Fitbit One is supposed to sync via the Fitbit app for various Android phones. I haven't gotten it to work yet on my Moto X or Nexus 7, but another page (which is not easy to find) listed a problem with the Bluetooth drivers on Motorola devices and that a bug was submitted for Nexus devices. I hope this gets remedied soon, as it will be nice to sync my steps if I am away from my computer for days at a time.