Time to clean up your social media hot mess

BunnyChair

Here is your year-end IT guilt trip if you post content, photos and videos to social media: clean up your hot mess at least once a year by deleting things you should not have posted to begin with like things you did not have explicit permission to post (photos/videos of other people), content that contains false information and content that contains the embarrassing dirty laundry of your 3rd cousins nephews son who got into a fight with another customer at the pack n’ go over the last pack of smokes on the shelf.

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Social Media Complainers and In-Person Complainers

complain

I only know a few people that consistently complain in real life as well as on social media regarding topics of pet care all the way to politics. Their level of complaining in-person is high and is fairly consistent with their level of complaining within social media platforms. In the years I have known them I have noted two discouraging behaviors:

  1. They continue to complain regardless of whether the problem they are complaining about is solved or not.
  2. They put forth very little or no effort towards a meaningful resolution to the problem they are complaining about.

These observations, over time, have left me with no patience when listening to or reading complaints from anyone about anything.

A constant barrage of complaints can make for a terribly negative atmosphere where nothing other than rage and impatience are accomplished.  If you find yourself frustrated with complainers in your own life, look to science for solid suggestions on how to change your own behavior to better communicate with unproductive complainers. Science peeps have spent a lot of time studying humans and have really helpful suggestions on how to make things better (example: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201107/how-deal-chronic-complainers).  As opposed to my method which is normally a snarky rebuttal like “you know, I have a feeling you would complain about winning the lottery” which often garners a shocked and hostile response of more complaining. Yes, I am the worst example of how to interact with other humans – this could explain why I don’t leave the house much:)

Tips if you want a computerized sewing, quilting or embroidery machine

Computerized sewing, quilting or embroidery machines are fascinating tools that intimidate some and fill others with crazy glee.  This article is for the intimidated ones:)

If you enjoy sewing and have been out of your crafting cave for any length of time then these machines have probably peaked your interest.  If you have no desire to operate computers, iPads, iPods, iPhones, Androids, PC’s, Surface’s, Alexa’s, VCR’s, toasters, the list goes on and on and on and on and on – then my guess is your curiosity with the machines ended with an eyebrow raise when you saw one on display somewhere.

If you need an extra nudge or if you want to purchase one of these machines for someone in your circle of peeps, then I strongly suggest ignoring all hype, all advertising, all skywriters and all web sites that drone on about how fabulous one is over the other.  I suggest just writing down a list of machines in your price range and then carefully review the user manual for each one and research the reputation of the manufacturer.

If the user manual is easy to understand, has clear diagrams and pictures and has detailed instructions then you will understand how to successfully use the machine, it doesn’t matter if you are tech savvy or not.

I work with so many users who are intimidated by technology, the intimidation crosses over to when they read manuals.  They just refuse to read the manual because they automatically think it will be too hard to understand or too lengthy and boring to dedicate any time to.  The manual is your pathway to understanding a seriously fantastic tool, jump in and do it!

The manual for any device is also important for this main reason:

If you follow the manual to the letter when attempting to use equipment you are not familiar with, and you get a result not covered in the manual, then this is an indicator that something is wrong with the equipment.  Faulty equipment is a rare event but if you understand the manual before using the equipment then you are armed with knowledge that will help you quickly determine if the equipment is functioning well or if the equipment is faulty.  You will also be able to effectively communicate with user support should you encounter problems if you understand the user manual.

There are two computerized embroidery machines I have experience with and I like them both.  I have included direct links to the user manuals for each machine so you can see how well-written they are.  Be sure to read the user manual for any machine you are researching and you will be ready to hit the ground running when you purchase one:

Bernina 500:
https://www.bernina.com/BERNINA/media/Support/Sewing_Quilting_Embroidery/5_Serie_NEW/BERNINA_500/Documents/EN/1028895_0_04_web_B500_2017_08_EN.pdf

Husqvarna Designer Diamond Royale:
http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/getattachment/Machines/DESIGNER-DIAMOND-Royale/Designer_Diamond_Royale_manual_ENG.pdf.aspx

Fitness trackers and their wicked lies:)

It is tempting to believe the cute little mobile app when it tells me me I’ve burned 570 calories in the last hour when I know the only thing I’ve done for the last 60 minutes is laugh on the phone with my sister while eating a snow cone.

Fitness trackers are fabulous though some are not entirely accurate.  Keep this in mind if you use one.  Several studies (this article goes into detail about one: https://www.livescience.com/59242-how-accurate-is-your-fitness-tracker-really.html) have demonstrated just how inaccurate data from fitness trackers can be (like calories burned). Until these mainstream devices are consistently providing valid data, avoid making decisions regarding your health and/or diet based solely on the data received from these devices.   Privacy may also be a concern in regards to the data collected on users of fitness trackers. Data regarding vitals, location and level of activity is valuable and could be used in a variety of ways that you may or may not approve of (e.g. investigations, estimating lifespan, and determining eligibility for programs).

Email Signature Quotes: unleash the hounds of mockery

Here is an example of an email signature quote:

John Doe
Vice President of Marketing, ABC Corporation
mobile: 999-999-9999
desk:  999-999-9999
“Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Email signature quotes often include some type of idealistic or moralistic message.  These messages will often receive a very warm reception when they are delivered by those who are globally held in high regard due to their lifetime contributions to society but when they are delivered by a person who does not meet this criteria the tone of the entire email changes.

Take John Doe for instance.  If John is known for gossiping about others or berating employees who take a lunch break then quoting Gandhi in his email signature is probably going to unleash some serious mockery.

Proceed with caution.

ACRONYM

Dear ACRONYM,

Thank you for your consistent overuse in the workplace.  Side effects of no pharmaceutical drugs in our solar system can compare to the thick atmosphere of confusion you create on a daily basis.

I particularly enjoy pausing at various points throughout my workday to reference copious amounts of old documentation in a futile attempt to find your true meaning.

Please keep up the good work.  Continue to blanket my world in meaningless character combinations until one day I snap and speak only in numbers for the remainder of my days.

Sincerely,

 

TCTIGTKY

 

Visual Studio 2015 and Web Deploy v 3.6

After installing, uninstalling, reinstalling, cussing, taking periodic naps and then tearing up just a little, I finally gave up trying to install Web Deploy v3.6 with Visual Studio 2015, it just isn’t going to happen in my lifetime.

Just in case you run into this same issue, the information below may help you.

When attempting to install Visual Studio 2015 and Web Deploy v3.6 (as administrator), I received the following errors via the interface and logs regarding Web Deploy:

  1. Registry key not found. Key = ‘SOFTWARE\Microsoft\IIS Extensions\MSDeploy\3’; variable = ‘webdeploy_x64_en_usmsi_902_DetectKey’
  2. There is a problem with this windows installer package the script required for this install to complete could not be run.

After following 809 centillion online suggestions to no avail I finally gave up and instead installed Web Deploy v3.0 with Visual Studio 2015 and all is right with the world.   As of August 2017, Web Deploy v3.0 is still available for download here:  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30436

 

Jenny’s Wild User Guide Tirade

CosmoHalloween

!@$#%! #42! @#$%$! &^53!!

The expletives noted above are the nicest thing I can say about the user guide I read today.  An hour of my life gone.  Why? Because the user guide was incomplete.  Oh the horror of it all!

I could have used the hour in question to eat ice cream, do volunteer work, knit badly, play my guitar even more badly, plant flowers or read a sweet book.  Instead I wasted the hour wandering aimlessly around in a user guide thinking the answer I sought was hiding in there somewhere.

It all started when the “Status” of my web application document transmission was “Not Detect Four”.  Hmmmmmm.  This status left me with only questions.  I really had no idea what this status meant, so I gravitated toward the beacon of false hope:  the pretty blue user guide link.

I was giddy with delight when the user guide actually opened.  Within it I found an entire section dedicated to “Document Status”.  A detailed list of each document status and the definition of each one was neatly aligned within a gradient table.   Five different status scenarios were listed but was the status of “Not Detect Four” listed? Of course not.  Do you know why? Because some little weirdo maniac who wrote the user guide years ago intentionally left our the status of “Not Detect Four” in a sick attempt at driving everyone in the future mad.  Success.

After all these years of writing applications, creating user documentation and using applications, I believe I have completely misunderstood the true meaning of the user guide.  I was under the impression the user guide was the end all be all of an application.  This is an incorrect assumption on my part and I have corrected my internal definition of the user guide to mean a nice fluff piece about any random event occurring in space and time within the boundaries of our universe.

Adobe Acrobat Out of Memory Error: Endless Pit of Horror

We recently went through a great deal of troubleshooting for an issue surrounding the scanning of, and later the unsuccessful attempted viewing of, an Adobe PDF. Below I outline the exact issue and resolution that worked for us in case you encounter the same problem (in an attempt to prevent you from drowning in the same pit of horror that we endured, I can’t believe we didn’t die).

USER ACTION:

  1. User scanned a 2 page document into Adobe Acrobat Pro (the issue occurred with multiple versions up to and including version 11)
  2. The size of the resulting PDF was very small: 100KB
  3. User uploaded the PDF to a web environment

ISSUE:

  1. The user was unable to view the PDF from the web server via a browser (the user would get a clocking white screen)
  2. The user was unable to view the PDF from the web server via Adobe Acrobat (the user would get an Out of Memory error)
  3. All other users experienced the same symptoms as the original user when attempting to view the PDF from the web server via a browser or via Adobe Acrobat

INVALID SOLUTIONS WE ATTEMPTED:

  1. Verified the auto rotate feature was turned off in the scan settings
  2. Verified the orientation of the scanner matched the orientation defined within Adobe Acrobat
  3. Uninstalled, reinstalled 4 centillion versions of Adobe Acrobat on user machine
  4. Verified Adobe Reader was not present on user machine
  5. Cried a little
  6. Uninstalled, reinstalled the scannier 8 billion times

SOLUTION THAT ACTUALLY WORKED:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Pro
  2. Select Edit > Preferences > General > on left select Internet > Deselect “Allow fast web view” > on left select Documents > Deselect “Save As
    optimizes for Fast Web View” > select OK
  3. Rescan document with these new settings

NEXT STEPS:

  1. Go on a really, really, really long vacation and do not send a holiday greeting card to Adobe this year

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