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All posts for the month June, 2015

I myself see patterns, causes/effects and hierarchies everywhere. I’ve mentioned how open I am to new ideas, and acknowledged how fluid my relational thinking is. I can take one reference and smash it together with another reference, so when 2 seemingly disparate ideas intersect through a cognitive relational leap, I synthesize a new link at the junction. This starts me thinking about my own mind. Did my R-side push these two things at me? Yes.

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I love music, but I only know about a 10% of the lyrics of the music I listen ot if that. Sure I can (try to) sing Assimilate but invariably get at least some lines wrong or can’t remember them at all — or the singer is behind an even thicker wall of vocal distortion. So, When I can I look up lyrcis and paste them into my music files.

But with literally hundreds of GBs of music, I can’t take the time to lookup every song’s lyrics and paste them in because it’s at least a 5 step process. The thing is steps 1-3 involves simply looking up the lyrics which I always WISH I could skip. I found a way to do just that using Alfred’s powerpack workflows. If you want to know more, make the jump through hyperspace & I’ll tell ya’ on the other side (assuming we don’t bounce off a solar flare or get sucked into a black hole, kid)…

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For years I have told people about Quality of Service (QoS) and how it relates to gaming, mostly in person or via chat. Often to help a fellow Clan Lord player iron out the cases where someone on their connection is watching video or their local network (usually a WiFi LAN) has maxed out its bandwidth.

I have been long meaning to write this out. But rather than reinvent the wheel, I found this well illustrated guide explaining QoS while trying to help yet another CL player understand how to fix his “someone watching Netflix is causing too much lag to play” syndrome.

Note: manufacturers call it various things: QoS, Port Priority, “Gamer class/grade”, even “Media Router” etc. It’s all basically the same thing: prioritizing ports to guarantee certain types of traffic is prioritized by port number to guaranty a certain level of quality of that service.

http://www.howtogeek.com/75660/the-beginners-guide-to-qos-on-your-router/

Dear all you great companies making awesome products,

For most of you, I like to be informed of new products, and some I already bought your product and really don’t NEED to know about promos for gadgets & software I already have. So, If I were running the communications for the company, I would do what I have done on my blog, but better. Read on for my idea of how to make the most of your communications.

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I’m a freelance IT consultant. I So, get asked a lot of questions. Unfortunately, I wish people would ask me what the last article addressed more, but this is about how I handle calling tech support. Clients pay consultants for answers and output, but often the online knowledge bases for larger companies are labyrinths of outdated dead ends and no way to filter as fine grained as advanced/extendable schema database apps can be — I know, I’ve designed a DB that could reduce and search to one text entry and 2–4 clicks. It’s crazy only a few web apps have this — well, kind of.*

I’ve been a fairly successful consultant who gets most of my business by clients referring me to someone who needs my skill set. My years as a support tech taught me how to quickly sync with a mode of communication the client understands to quickly gather symptoms and explained things in concepts they can grasp. In short, I handle clients at various levels — from SoHo end users to local businesses of various sizes.One skill I have from working in many shops is calling tech support…

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I’ve been at my present address less than 8 years, and for about half of them I’ve been  looking for a ISP that doesn’t throttle, scan packets for the MPAA, nor overcharged for decent internet speeds. Unfortunately, until this past month, I was stuck with a slower connection since dealing with the high price and horrible customer service from a certain very large cable and internet provider was something I didn’t want to deal with both personally and professionally.

Professionally, someone is paying me to call ISPs* and handle setup and outages.

In business paying a $120/month for a monthly business-class ISP is not really that much considering business speeds, but $60–$100 for something they use a few hours a day, mainly for simple communications and entertainment, it’s pretty steep.

So, at home I went with DSL, with its more modest bandwidth (<8Mbps) & $25/month that went up to $35/month. Considering Comcast (now Xfinity) charges $50+equipment rental fees of $7/month–$14/month, and after adding in fees and taxes the bill comes out to being in $60s per month for that speed (despite what it’s introductory pricing says). However, many people want faster speeds such as 50Mbps than DSL can offer. So, they go with Comcast where it’s not uncommon for people to pay at least $70/month for faster speeds.

I signed up with sonic for their introductory DSL package switch over that simply meant paying sonic the same price for faster speeds. AT&T was providing 6mbps as well, but it would have been $35/month (up fro $30) vs. Sonic’s 12 month $10 discount to more up to that speed. So, we saved $60 in a year while upping our speed from 3Mbps to 6Mbps. This is where it stayed until Sonic’s Fusion (up to 50Mbps) bundle became available in my neighborhood this past quarter. Again, I am finally able to switch to a faster connection and bundle in phone service (with 8hr/month long distance free) for ~$45+. The difference: $10/month more. But it got rid of the $36/month AT&T bill. So, we will save $25/month.

So, in total if I had Comcast ($66) & AT&T ($36) instead of Sonic (~45$), I would be spending over twice as much for pretty much the same thing. I just wished I could have gotten this when I heard about it, I could have saved over $1500 by now. My hope is that they continue to expand and reach more people. If you want to save money or like all that sonic wants to do: make internet better in both speeds and money for everyone, vs. what everyone else is doing: increasing rates with each speed boost and slowly over time. (when I first moved in we had a Comcast bill half of what it was when we cancelled them a year and a half ago)

*More about this later…

Disruption, not the tech type that changes industry, but the “hey you got a minute?” or “Hey, this is your gamifying app (or actual game) here, can you stop what you’re doing and use me?” is as fatal to productivity of creative people, be they artists, musicians or engineers.

If you are a creative type, you might already understand that the altered mental state you reach is one of crystalized concentration. If not, then trust us on this: interrupting a person when in the state of creative “flow” (or whatever those of you that have given a name call it) can be devastating to productivity as much as a hard drive that dies without having a backup. I am currently reading a really good book that touches on concentration as a part of it called “Pragmatic Thinking and Learning” by Andy Hunt [@PragmaticAndy]  (More on that later or in some other post…)

If uninterrupted time to focus is known to be such a boon to productivity, then why must every app (and their crappy “lite” version) automatically load itself into the notification center of your platform?

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