October 8, 2017

Usability Fail - MyDocBill

Paying a medical bill online is becoming a common occurrence these days.  I came across one usability issue when trying to pay a bill through MyDocBill.com.  They ask for an account number, client ID, and date of birth.  The client ID is already filled in.  The account number field gives a watermark example of 123456, but clicking on the question mark next to the account number field gives a screenshot of an example bill, pointing to the area in the following screenshot:
Numbers, followed by a dash, followed by letters, all surrounded by a red rectangle.  In a box called "ACCOUNT NO."  Typing in what shows up in the bill results in a failure.  Just typing in the number part works. 

Interestingly enough, they use the same screenshot for the question mark next to the client ID field gives the exact same screenshot.  Recommendations: Just surround the number in the account number screenshot and the letters in the client ID screenshot.

December 25, 2016

Moto X Pure Edition: One Year Later

I've had the Moto X Pure Edition for a year now and wanted to share my thoughts about it. My previous phone was the original Moto X, a phone I love.

The Moto X Pure Edition is fast. It is nice to get in my phone much quicker than the Moto X.

The Moto X Pure Edition is too big. It does not fit into pockets as well (though it does fit), but I've had the phone slip out too many times, one time cracking the screen which had to be repaired, as it messed up the touch interface.

The Moto X Pure Edition is randomly rebooting for me too often, has lost a paired Bluetooth device multiple times, and is not experiencing a flaw where the screen gets white lines and whites out the screen (like increasing exposure on a photo). This is related to colder temperatures - in warmer temperatures the problem disappears.

I'll try to deal with this phone one more year and hope a new phone is out then that I'll love.

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.