Written: April 21, 2015
I used LinkedIn for both a personal account and a company page, so one of the first things that I do after meeting a new person and receiving their business card is to connect with them on LinkedIn. Yesterday I met Kate Johnson from LegalShield, and sent her a request to connect which she did. When I used LinkedIn and searched for her profile this morning, I expected the status to say that we were connected however I saw the familiar blue Connect button still displayed indicating that we weren’t connected yet.
Looking at the fine print under the Relationship tab it does indeed say that we were connected on 4/21/2015, but the bug persists in showing the blue Connect button. So even high-tech companies like LinkedIn have bugs in their cloud-based software as a service.
I recommend that you consider using LinkedIn as a way to showcase both your own professional accomplishments and those of your company also. Even with the occasional bug LinkedIn is still quite a useful networking tool that builds awareness for both you and your company.Tags: LinkedIn
Written: April 9, 2015
Over the past few decades I’ve owned laptops from Zenith Data Systems, Toshiba, Dell, HP and Apple. I’ve known that the reliability of laptops in particular is quite low because of how tightly packed the components are, leading quite often to heat-related failures in the CPU, GPU, DRAM or other chips mounted on the logic board. Last week my 2011 MacBook Pro with 17″ display decided to flake out and stop working after annoying graphical glitches and constant freezes and reboots.
Thankfully, I’ve been watching the Apple forums and heard about an official program dubbed, “MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues“. It turns out that the graphics chip is attached to the logic board with lead-free solder, and that if not applied properly will eventually begin to fail after so many heat and cool cycles.
Related – A Brief History of the Apple MacBook Pro
I did a quick Google search for, “lead free solder failures” and it returned some 940,000 results, so this is a big topic not just limited to Apple’s MacBook Pro product.
Some related articles about lead-free solder failure:
Prior to the Apple repair program you had a few choices:
Apple is wisely offering to repair at no cost to the owner affected MacBook Pro laptops that were sold from February 2011 and December 2013:
To see if your MacBook Pro qualifies, see what year your laptop is by clicking on: Apple> About This Mac
I was able to phone my local Apple store at Bridgeport Village, confirm my serial number, then make an appointment with the Apple Genius Bar to drop off the laptop. Since I wanted to keep working while my 17″ MacBook Pro was being repaired, I decided to buy a used 15″ MacBook Pro from a local Craigslist listing. After just five days of use my 15″ MacBook Pro died this morning in the same manner as my 17″ in for repair, so today was not a fun day for me. I traveled to my Apple store with the dead 15″ MacBook Pro and the Genius Bar guy noted, “Oh, your 17″ is back from repair”. Now that was perfect timing, so I’m typing this blog on my recently repaired 17″ MacBook Pro, and waiting for my backup 15″ laptop to be repaired in about a week for the same failure mechanism.
I’m not sure of the exact economic cost to Apple for implementing this MacBook Pro repair program, but online there was a petition started to recall these failing MacBook Pro computers and over 38,000 people had signed it. In California and Canada class action lawsuits have also been filed to address this consumer product failure. Let’s take a guess and say that up to 100,00 MacBook Pro owners have this work done and that it costs Apple $500 to repair each unit, that would make the cost about $50 Million, and maybe it will also stop the two class-action lawsuits.
The one Apple person that I spoke to on the phone about my failing laptop wanted to know if my machine was stock or had been modified. I admitted that I had replaced the hard disk drive with a Samsung 500 GB SSD, and upgraded the DRAM to 16 GB. At first he wanted me to return all components to stock, but I pushed back and pointed out that my SSD used less power than a hard disk drive, and actually made my laptop run cooler, plus the DRAM was testing OK and was not causing these failures. He finally relented, and said that he was making an exception for me. Uh huh.
Related – A Brief History of the Apple iPod
The good news is that Apple is the largest consumer electronics company in the world, and they finally decided to help out distressed MacBook Pro owners like myself by admitting that there was a reliability issue, then offering a free repair program. I’m still undecided if I will continue to buy Apple products because it has been such a hassle for me to have two failing MacBook Pro laptops plus an iPad 2.
My iPad 2 was out of the 2 year Apple Care warranty period, and it continued to freeze and reboot sporadically. Maybe I just have to wait long enough for Apple to have a free repair program my iPad 2, just like the MacBook Pro.Tags: Apple, GPU, MacBook Pro
Written: March 27, 2015
The Tualatin Chamber of Commerce has an annual event called Celebrate Tualatin where there are awards given to members within multiple categories. There are two ways to nominate a person:
For the online form task we decided to use Google Forms, because of how easy it is to visually create a Form and it collects all of the responses made by people nominating. Here’s what the finished form looks like:
To create the form you login to Google Docs and add a new Form, then start to fill in the details:
I gave our form a Title, and the first question was a Multiple Choice with six options, and it’s a required question:
All of the remaining questions were Text fields, and there are many other choices for the type of field that you can have:
It’s easy to rearrange questions by just moving your cursor over the question, then dragging and dropping to a new location:
We wanted to be notified by email whenever a new nomination was made with this form, so we installed an Add-on called “Form Notifications”:
When a form is filled out, then our recipients get an email notification and a Google spreadsheet is updated with the new info:
To get this form into a WordPress page or post, while in Google Docs we choose: File> Embed
I just Copy this HTML code, then in WordPress I edit my Post, view in Text mode, then Paste:
There you have it, how to make a Google Form and embed it inside of your WordPress page or post. Enjoy building your forms and analyzing the results in Google Docs.
Tags: Google Docs, Google Form, WordPress
Written: March 7, 2015
I’ve been helping the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce for several years now with their membership site, and they need to have web features like:
The Chamber selected WebLink International as a system to handle these features, while the actual web site was built with WordPress. We integrated WordPress with WebLink International two years ago, and let the contract with WebLink expire on Mach 1st, 2015. Why will I never use WebLink International again?
That’s about enough for me right now, but you do get the general picture of why I will never use WebLink again, and why you should really dissuade anyone else from ever signing up with this outfit. Our users in the office had such an adverse experience with WebLink that the nickname became WebStink, now that description is appropriate.
I can say one thing that WebLink excels at, and that is they know how to sell their product and promote their product. You have been warned.Tags: WebLink, WordPress