Don’t Believe All Marketing Hype

Written: September 29, 2013

This past week Apple announced a refresh of the iMac computers, their all-in-on design with 21.5″ or 27″ displays. I’ve owned an iMac before but never got used to the glossy display because it was like looking into a mirror at myself all day long. The marketing department at Apple made a bold claim about he newest iMac display:

“How did we make an already gorgeous widescreen display even better? By making it 75 percent less reflective.”

OK, that got my attention because I have a MacBook Pro laptop with a 17″ anti-glare display, along with two external 24″ matte monitors which provide me with three screens that have no glare, meaning that I can look at my work, not my reflection.

I visited my local Apple store this weekend at Bridgeport Village to take a look for myself at the 75% less reflective displays. To my immediate shock and dismay the new displays were just as glossy and reflective as the previous models. I could easily see myself in the displays along with every product on the wall behind me. The clerk tried to minimize my displeasure with, “Well, this store is brightly lit.”

I walked out of the Apple store knowing that I would never buy the “new” iMac because the display glare is still not acceptable for my use. So, don’t believe all marketing hype, look for yourself before investing in a new computer or display.

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Tablet Owners Beware

Written: September 6, 2013

Every day I use my Apple iPad and Google Nexus 7 tablets, side by side, mostly for email, calendar and social media like:

The Apple iPad uses an operating system called iOS, while the Google Nexus 7 has the Android operating system. Both tablets are useful, reliable and have plenty of Apps to make my work and play life more productive.

Beware that you think that either table is perfect. As an example, when I upgraded the Nexus 7 operating system to Android 4.3 it suddenly became so sluggish, like 20 seconds to do anything, that it was unusable. A quick Google search revealed that many other Nexus 7 owners had the identical experience. The fix for me was quick and simple – reset the device. The down side of reseting a tablet is that you have to:

I’ve owned the iPad for a couple of years and also had to reset it after an OS upgrade, so it was the same issues that took my precious time to get the tablet back working again.

Yes, I’d buy another iPad or Nexus tablet again. Just beware that you will have to reset the device to fix an upgrade, sooner or later.

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Beware of LinkedIn Phishing Scams

Written: August 20, 2013

I use LinkedIn every week to keep in touch with business contacts and network with other freelance professionals. Today I received an invitation to connect on LinkedIn and it looked 100% legitimate:

LinkedIn Phishing Scam


Without even thinking about it I clicked on the link: View Profile

This link went to some scam site in Russia.

I had been fooled by an official-looking email that looks 100% legitimate, like a real email from LinkedIn. Had I taken just a second and hovered my mouse over the link View Profile, then I would’ve discovered that this email was instead a spam:

View Profile scam


I love being connected by email and LinkedIn, but I don’t like wasting my precious business time by clicking links to Russian spam sites.



Meals on Wheels

Written: August 7, 2013

In my networking at the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce I met a business owner from Lake Oswego who introduced me to the Meals on Wheels of Lake Oswego, a volunteer group that feeds seniors and community members during the week. This is a very worthy cause, so I offered to setup, design and develop their first web site pro-bono.

Meals on Wheels

We used 1and1 for our web hosting and domain registration services because they offer good uptime, low prices, and excellent service.

Next, we setup a PayPal account so that this non-profit could start accepting donations on their site.



There’s a blog feature, plus a contact page that sends out an email message without revealing their email address.

To make updates easy, we used WordPress as the Content Management System. Their volunteers use a web browser to maintain and update their new web site.

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