My circle of peeps since as far back as me being a kid in Lima, Ohio, and playing heated games of softball in the boulevard after school, have always been a mixture of active and/or intelligent humans with an over-the-top zest for life.
My first FANTASTIC introduction to video games during my childhood, Atari, never pulled my focus away from living in the real world for long each day and why would it? How could it? With the sun shining, the birds singing, bugs biting and bikes to ride, it never dawned on me (even as an introvert) to hide on the couch and jump into digital make-believe for hours at a time.
I reflect on my childhood now when I read the news and when I listen to some of our friends complain of their children’s descent into long periods of digital nothingness. I worry humans are becoming more and more detached from society. I understand the attraction of the digital world because reality is difficult, scary, painful and messy with the rare and perfect sprinkle of fabulous that makes it all worthwhile. But I also understand, as does the scientific community, what happens to humans and animals long-term when live social interaction is significantly diminished: physical and mental health deteriorate.
If you or your children are descending into a nothing abyss via the Internet or video gaming highway, make a resolution to makes some changes. Nothing drastic, it can start with taking a walk each day or pick up the phone and call your Great Grandmother Mildred who is probably cursing you right now because she hasn’t heard from you in 5 years, or get a hamster – http://www.myhamsterzoo.com. What are you waiting for?
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).
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:
- Registry key not found. Key = ‘SOFTWARE\Microsoft\IIS Extensions\MSDeploy\3’; variable = ‘webdeploy_x64_en_usmsi_902_DetectKey’
- 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
!@$#%! #42! @#$%$! &^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.
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 scanned a 2 page document into Adobe Acrobat Pro (the issue occurred with multiple versions up to and including version 11)
- The size of the resulting PDF was very small: 100KB
- User uploaded the PDF to a web environment
- The user was unable to view the PDF from the web server via a browser (the user would get a clocking white screen)
- The user was unable to view the PDF from the web server via Adobe Acrobat (the user would get an Out of Memory error)
- 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:
- Verified the auto rotate feature was turned off in the scan settings
- Verified the orientation of the scanner matched the orientation defined within Adobe Acrobat
- Uninstalled, reinstalled 4 centillion versions of Adobe Acrobat on user machine
- Verified Adobe Reader was not present on user machine
- Cried a little
- Uninstalled, reinstalled the scannier 8 billion times
SOLUTION THAT ACTUALLY WORKED:
- Open Adobe Acrobat Pro
- 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
- Rescan document with these new settings
- Go on a really, really, really long vacation and do not send a holiday greeting card to Adobe this year
When a user experiences a problem using an application, the list of possible issues can be lengthy depending on the complexity of the environment(s) and dependencies. If the user is unable to clearly articulate to the help desk what application is broken or where they are when issues arise then this is a clear indicator that the training, documentation and application itself are not all using the same language.
Make things easy for your users by following these simple steps with every application your write and/or support:
- Give the application one name and one name only. In this example we will give our application the name “Blue Safari”.
- Place the name of the application prominently on every page of the application. This means “Blue Safari” is on every page of the application. (not “Bls Version 2.0” but “Blue Safari” or “Blue Safari Version 2.0”)
- If your application is a web application, try to place the name of the application somewhere in the url if possible.
- All shortcuts or hyperlinks that take users to the application should be the name of the application (i.e. “Blue Safari”)
- In all documentation and training for users and support staff, refer to your application with the same language. This means all references to the application will be stated as “Blue Safari”.
If you give your application several different names then several problems arise:
- The user either doesn’t know what to call the application when he or she calls the help desk to report the problem or the user calls the application by a name that no one at the help desk recognizes.
- A significant delay occurs before the issue is resolved simply due to the time spent sorting out the confusion over what exactly is broken and where it is.
Avoid contributing to the overall mayhem of our existence, it will only end badly, we both know that. Unless of course your help desk gives out free ponies and chocolate ice cream with every call, then maybe as a caller I will not care so much that I am unable to clearly tell you what is broken. Now I want ice cream.
I was so pleased to see I could replace the standard alarm wav files on my Microsoft Surface with custom alarm wav files of the same name (C:\Windows\Media\Alarm01.wav). Who wouldn’t want to hear their cat meow every time a dental appointment looms on the horizon? Or hear their cute little one shout “Chwweeerios” on birthdays?
However, I am a little puzzled as to why the capability to record simple wav files is no longer standard within the Windows environment (example: Sound Recorder). The only thing I can find standard on the Microsoft Surface for audio recording is the Voice Recorder and it only records in the m4a format. So of course if I use the Voice Recorder to record my rabbit snorting like a pig I will now need to download additional software to convert the m4a file to a wav file and then place the wav file here to replace an existing alarm wav file: C:\Windows\Media.
This entire process is fine for me but it is too time consuming and complex for our business users and even if they were willing to do it, I am not keen on introducing a third party product for something that does something so mundane as converting a m4a to a wav, it would need to do more like also bake chocolate cakes or somehow make my pale skin a pretty tan color.