How Long Should Hardware Last?

Written: July 16, 2013

In my small business I buy computer hardware to help me communicate with clients, do work and keep informed. Recently my Apple magic mouse died after only about three years of use.

apple magic mouse

This Apple mouse is a thing of beauty, and like most Apple hardware it’s pricey at $69.00. My short-term remedy was to swap out the dead mouse with a Logitech wireless mouse and then plan a trip to my local Apple store at Bridgeport Village.

logitech mouse

 

I’ve been using Logitech mice for decades and never had one die on me, oh well.

The amount of time required for me to buy the replacement Apple magic mouse was a business loss, and hopefully one that will not happen again. I’m thankful that my computer hardware and software enable me to run my web development business very efficiently, it’s just when something goes down I lose my productivity gains.

Current trends say that we are replacing our laptops at a slower pace now and choosing to hold onto them longer than before.

I’ve been replacing my laptop every two years for a newer model, although I still buy used laptops like the MacBook Pro to be fiscally conservative. What has your experience been with hardware reliability and upgrading?

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Mobilizing Your Web Site

Written: June 20, 2013

The mobile phone market is booming which means that businesses need to consider how to present their web sites on a mobile device. Bridgeport Travel is a local travel agency run by Shelly Pawson and we just created a new site for her that looks great on:

For Desktop visitors we use the full display and add eye-catching photos on the Home page that rotate.

Bridgeport Travel, desktop

 

 

On a Tablet a visitor is using a slower WiFi connection so we simplify and concentrate on content, forgoing the slideshow on the Home page and minify the menu bar.

tablet

 

Finally, on the Smart Phone we use a single column of content, keep the logo, minify the menu bar, and only use vertical scrolling.

SmartPhone

 

For both the Tablet and SmartPhone the menu opens up when touched.

SmartPhone menu

 

Using this approach Shelly can update content using just a web browser and WordPress software, then present her web site on three different sized devices.

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Even Big Companies get Web Security Wrong

Written:

My son wanted a new bike so we found a wonderful deal at www.target.com and received the bike just fine.

Target

When I received my new REDcard from Target I signed up to manage my account online, however their SSL security certificate was invalid, as reported by my Google Chrome browser:

bad security at target.com

Even big companies like Target have issues with their SSL certificate.

If you ever question if a site is safe, then just click the https icon and get more details:

ssl details

 

I then tried browsing the Target site with Safari, the default browser on a MacBook Pro, same error message as Google Chrome:

Safari Mac error

Oddly enough, two browsers had no complaints:

 

I did follow up and report this to Taget both by sending an email form and spending 16 minutes on the phone with tech support. Ironically the two phone support people simply told me to try another browser, in spite of my attempts to ask them to submit this serious security bug to their technical department.

HP Cloud Service Has Epic Fail

Written: June 6, 2013

HP is a trusted and giant computer company with a number one position in laptop revenue worldwide. I’ve been using their HP Photosmart printer in my office for several years now and enjoyed using the ePrintCenter.

Tonight HP sent me an email with a free offer to upgrade to HP Connected, their cloud storage. It sounded attractive so I gave it a try.

HP Connected offer

A cool-looking sign-in page appeared:

HP ConnectedI typed in my Password and clicked the big blue button, hoping for the best however the login simply failed:

HP system error

If this were an amateur web site then I could forgive the entry-level web programmer for making such a gaffe, however this is a multi-billion dollar leader in our computer industry, so I expected so much more.

Many other reliable suppliers have already provide me with free cloud storage:

I wish HP all the best in joining the cloud party, however they are terribly late and ended up at the wrong house tonight.

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