The Heartbreak of Heartbleed

Originally posted on LibrarianShipwreck:

Periodically when a person uses a computer one may receive notifications that contain phrases such as “do you trust this connection” or “do you trust this site.” While it is unlikely that such prompts are intended to send users tumbling into an existential abyss they nevertheless carry a very important question bundled in the guise of a simple yes or no (“allow” or “don’t allow”) moment. That question: “do you trust…”

Well…do you?

Using technological systems in contemporary society (in particular “high technological” systems) is often premised upon an oft unspoken level of trust, which relies as much (if not more so) on subconscious consent. We trust that our devices will function the way we have been led to expect them to function, we trust that the applications we use will do what they advertise, we trust that the passwords we use are being kept secret by the sites to…

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Collaborative Bloggers Wanted!

I’m looking for people interested in being a part of a collaborative contributing blog. Any and all subjects are welcomed. The more diverse the better! Contact me at riterrick@outlook.com for more info! Thanks!

Gone Haunting

It's been a long time since I've posted anything here. That's the bad news.

I've been out and about, doing my share of haunting. That's the good news.

What's that mean you ask?

It means I've been spending a lot if time Ghost Writing! I had no idea it would be as fulfilling and downright fun as it is! If you've considered it in the past or if it's something you've put on a back burner for awhile… (Wait for it)…

DO IT!

For obvious reasons, I can't repost what I've been writing or list clients but it's been an incredible few months. I get the thrill of seeing my writing in print and the security of not having too much concern if anyone is critical of it.

Are you interested in ghost writing? I've got few tips to get you started.

What's ghost writing?

Simply put, it's a method of writing you see and read probably everyday.

You undertake the task of writing for someone. Almost on their behalf, but not quite.

There are a variety of subjects you can ghost write. The most important part though is gaining rapport with your client. And by client it can be a friend, a co-worker, relative. Just about anyone.

You have to gain their…style. This is the most crucial aspect of ghost writing.

I've read it being called “speaking in their voice”. Which is fine if you plan to do a cheap imitation of your client. I rather explain that it's better to gain their style so you can employ not only their voice into your work, but their mannerisms and dialect as well!

I didn't want to ghost write at first.

I was holding on to the silly stigma of deception that's still common today. I learned that this was not the case. It's interesting, but I was afraid to share my interest in ghost writing with anyone else.

When I shared my love of ghost writing, I realized many more people were hiding out their like (desire) for it.

It wasn't until I read someone else's blog, with them sitting on that cliff, wanting to dive into the murky waters of ghostwriting that I looked at myself…sitting on that same cliff.

Fear of the unknown…

Why be afraid? After all, it's…unknown!

Do you think so many people would be doing it if it was so scary? To me it's the bravest form of writing out there! You want scary? How about writing something, slapping your name on it and letting others read and comment on it? Something like, oh I don't know…a BLOG perhaps?

Ghost writing is the most secure way to write. You get to look from inside without anyone being the wiser!

I know how it is because I was one of you! I wanted something written. But I was working on other projects and didn't have the time at the moment. I wrestled with the thought for awhile, then decided to go for it because I wanted this project done. Much like getting the grass cut. I could cut my own grass, I have the ability. But it's better for me to hire someone to take care of that for me so I can work on other things. Same goes for writing projects. Don't fear the ghostwriter. And ghost writers…don't fear the writing!

To anyone considering hiring a ghost writer, I say this:

HIRE ME!!!!

“I am willing to do what you want, how you want and when you want! Ok, that's not entirely true…although it's not entirely NOT true if you're looking!” (Shameless Plug)

If you'd like more information on ghost writing, please contact or comment me! You can also visit my writing service site here!

 

Mac Mini And Me

The following is redundant if you're smart enough to already know about Apple's Mac Mini. You can skip this blog. Or better yet, read on and discover how I got my smart on!

I had the opportunity to get my hands on a Mac Mini for an insanely low price. (Low price relative to what I was assuming to pay for an Apple computer.) Not that I’m a stranger to Apple. I have an Apple TV. I’m an iPhone and especially an iPad fanatic. I know Apple's devices, not their computers.


I’ve been using a PC for as long as I can remember. I've never owned an Apple computer. But this tiny aluminum box beckoned me. With the help of a very persuasive, and informative, salesman I might add.


Up until now, I never gave the Mac Mini much thought. I knew it was a small box that could be attached to what…an Apple monitor or a TV? I saw it as a consumption device, nothing more.


I’m happy to say I was wrong!

 

Earlier I told the salesman I might be interested in purchasing a PC. I have keyboards, mice, and monitors galore.


I was informed that for close to the same price, I could get a great deal on a Mac mini.


“Are you kidding me? I’ve priced macs! They appear to be great computers, but they are expensive!” I said to myself, waiting for the salesman to return.


The salesman returns with a plain white box. Inside was a shiny Mac Mini. No monitor, no keyboard, no mouse.


What was I supposed to do with that?


He said if I have all that stuff at home, all I have to do is connect the Mac mini and I would be all set.

“Yeah, right! I'll be all set to bring this thing right back to you with the first sign of trouble I see!” I said to myself as I read the box.


I took him at his word, and with the knowledge I’d be able to bring it back within 30 days if I didn’t like it or I couldn’t get it to work. Which is what I was anticipating.


I thought right off the bat that there would be issues. I got an Apple product for less than PC. Something has to go wrong. Negative thoughts went through my mind the entire drive home…

“This isn’t an iPod, iPad or iPhone by any stretch of the means. Why can’t we enjoy OSX on iOS and vice versa?” Then I started quoting reviews I read… “Don’t be misled into thinking if you can use an iPad you can use OSX. It’s a completely different system altogether!” From there my PC thinking kicked in…

“I have a windows tablet that is perfectly capable of running RT and a full version of 8.1 with little to no problems. What’s wrong with you Apple?” It was a long drive home. I'm surprised I didn't turn around right then and there.


First things first


I was under the impression that I’d have to get the more pricey Apple brand monitor, keyboard and mouse because hey, it’s an Apple. I was told I didn’t have to. I have many keyboards, mice and monitors at home. I'll put this notion to rest once and for all!


I get home and unpack the Mac mini. I use the included HDMI cable to plug into my non Apple Monitor. Power cord plugs in. I have a non Apple bluetooth keyboard and mouse ready. I press the “on” button on the Mac mini.


The monitor shined brightly with the Apple logo as the mac mini was booting. I figured I had some time with the booting process so I got up to get a drink. I was prompted in less than 30 seconds to either enter my existing iTunes account information or create a new account. I entered my existing iPhone/iPad information. Next thing I know I'm looking at desktop screen!

A few seconds later I saw a mouse icon with the word connected below it. I wiggled the mouse and sure enough, connected!


Now, I will say this. There was an issue (a very small one) with the keyboard set up. A small screen popped up to confirm what kind of keyboard I was using. It wasn't even that big of a deal because all I did was hit the enter key and I was on my way!


I was expecting compatibility issues…There were none…


I was in Apple’s ecosystem!

With my own keyboard, mouse and monitor!


The resolution is excellent. The mouse I have, actually works better than the official brand. (Right click *hint, hint*) The keyboard was the only exception. And really it wasn't an issue. To be fair, the keyboard is a hybrid that I was using in between my PC and iPad. So I knew it was comparable with iOS.


Some Minor Issues And Personal Decisions


First thing I noticed was 4 gb of ram. I wanted more! I didn't need more. And I knew this is where Apple was going to get me.

I look online and I discover ram is compatible between Mac and PC. There is no special “Apple Ram”.

I have a laptop PC with 8 gb ram. I exchanged the ram in them. Works perfectly!


My Mac mini model came with a 500 gb hard drive. More than enough for me. I did some research and discovered that I can reformat an external drive to be readable by both PC and Mac. I have a couple of external HDs so I'll probably do that in the near future.


I failed to mention that the Mac mini comes with NO DVD/CD drive! Certainly I would be forced to buy an Apple only drive right?


Wrong!

ANY external optical drive will work with the mac mini. The one I have works well, with absolutely no issues! I plugged it into a USB port and it reads it as a writable drive!


With all of that out of the way, I can tell you now, I’m a sold customer!


Everything just works!

This has been a great experience so far. Every app/game/program I’ve downloaded works with little effort on my part! No having to download additional drivers. Adjusting graphics simply means if I want high or medium resolution. OSX did have a bit of a learning curve. However, the learning curve wasn’t difficult, it was de-PCing myself that took time. I was sure I was going to have issues and I didn’t. The Mac mini is a welcome addition to my computing needs.


Oh, and it runs so… quietly!

For now, I’m a kid playing with his new toy. In the weeks to come, I’ll share my thoughts on software (can't wait to try Scrivener and Storyist!) and optional hardware.


So there you are, my initial overview of Apple’s Mac Mini. In my case it was good for business as I can take care of as many clients as possible now. (I’ve had a few clients ask to send them documents in OSX format.)


Hopefully I’ve shed a little light on the mystery of the Apple Mac mini.

As always, if you have questions, suggestions or just want to give your opinion of what you think of me, bad or good, you're invited with open arms…and minds!



Pros: A wise choice for this old scribe

-A great entry into the Mac world.

- This old scribe has learned some new tricks.

Cons: Should have done it sooner.

iPad Air? Cool, But I’m Good

I've got that feeling again

Today Apple announced new iPads. I'm sitting here going through a touch of laryngitis. Thankfully, there's nothing to scream about with the new Apple iPad Air.

There used to be an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement in the air at this time. At one time it meant that we’re about to be inundated with a slew of innovative ideas.

Now it means I’ll be able to purchase last year’s model for $100 less.

But, I still got that feeling again. And I'm sure I wasn't alone.

That was the main thing about Apple and their products. It made us feel like kids again. Wide eyed with an awestruck look in our eyes. We were witnesses to something NEW. We had the stories of how life was before iPads. We were officially filling our Back In My Day journals to share with generations to come.

Since that time however, a lot has changed. We have a growing number of companies that took to tablets as well. I myself was knocked off my iPad high horse by none other than Microsoft.

With the release of their Windows 8 tablets, it’s taken me away from the wonderment that was the iPad. Gone are the days I used to sit and watch those keynotes with baited excitement. I keep my eyes on those developing Windows 8 tablets with the same (almost) enthusiasm.

The main objection for me and my personal usage for iPad was the fact that a lot of documents, pictures and music seemed trapped in Apple’s environment. I needed so many apps and had to take so many steps for the easiest of tasks. My content took on a celebrity status when produced through an iDevice. It felt as though it was an honor for my work to be there.

Not anymore

Today I am leaning more and more toward Windows tablets for productivity. Not one time did I feel an honor of my content being there. On the contrary. It felt as though it was beckoning to be sent forth and shared with others. I didn’t have to search high and low to use the correct app for creation. Then send it to another app for formatting and finally settling on an app to get it out there. Either publishing or emailing others through my Windows 8 tablet is a breeze.

I’m still in awe stage that I’m carrying around my entire Microsoft Office Professional suite with me everywhere I go! I can access Outlook to check my email. In the palm of my hand! I can and I am using the actual MS Word to type this blog and share with the world my findings. I can use One Note. Not an adaptable application but the real deal to sync my notes as I go along my daily grind. Yes, things like this make me happy, and productive.

The iPad will surely not be put to rest. It’s a fun…and I never thought I’d say this…it’s a fun TOY. Something for me to play around with, it has the best games around and more apps for manipulating photos than all other competitive tablets combined. I still browse through the App Store searching for that elusive perfect app! No need to do something like that with the limited number of apps in the Windows Store! (Turning a negative to a positive moment)

Am I going to invest in a faster, lighter iPad for entertainment purposes? Not until I see what others are doing with their tablets for productive purposes!

Meanwhile, back at home

When my kids see me on my iPad, they’ll ask me what game I’m playing or what I’m doing. They’ll come look over my shoulder. When they see me on my Windows tablet, they know that dad is working on something important. He’s being productive. I’ll wait until later to ask him for a few dollars.

I thank the proverbial fanboys for this opportunity. Some get so caught up in the techno battles that people like me can simply sit back and reap the rewards. I wouldn’t say those of us waiting on the sidelines are completely there yet, but by all means, keep the fight going! In the long run, it’s all of us that benefit from it the most!

The new iPad Air is a cool device. But it's not for me. Is it for you? Let me know what you think of Apple's latest iDevice!

 

An Update To Windows 8.1 Update

I did say I was going to get back with you after I updated to Windows 8.1 and I didn't. My procrastination won out once again. But all wasn't bad. In fact, it was the first time I updated a Windows product without a hitch! The entire process took about 2 hours. After which I watched as the friendly folks at Microsoft informed me that they were automatically updating my apps (so nice of them). Once it was complete, my tablet rebooted all by itself and I was presented with…

Windows 8.1!!!

A deep sigh later…

I suppose now would be the time to talk about all the differences and such, but truthfully, there isn't much to talk about.

Yes, we got our “Start” button back. Which is about as anticlimactic as it can get. It serves absolutely no purpose in itself. The home key on my tablet, as well as the ever present windows key on my keyboard serves the exact same purpose. However, if you right click (gasp, the horror) on the start button, you'll get a friendly pop up menu that almost looks like what you've been used to up to Windows 7, but you'll quickly get that you can't go back home feeling when you do. You can also get the right click effect on tablets by touching and holding the start button icon on desktop. Admit it, touching and holding are the first two things you want to do when you think about the Start Button anyway.

The Windows Store received an update. I can't say that it was a complete overhaul, but it is a step in the right direction.

Microsoft also debuted its native Facebook app because other than the start button, that's been the next highest priority. Yeah, I know, right?

Don't get me wrong. True, the anticipation of waiting for Windows 8.1 was far greater than actually using it. I guess I expected more than what was delivered. It's a very good upgrade. I still feel distance though.

Comparing Apples To Oranges

I can say this though. This update went smoother and I was much more satisfied with the results than the iOS 7 update. I never experienced any dizzy spells from icons rushing out at me in 8.1.

Speaking of iOS 7…Where's my start button for that? Even better, where's my rollback to iOS 6 point whatever number they were on before they went to 7 button??

I know, I know. I'll stop comparing apples to oranges now. (I don't mean that of course.) And isn't it ironic that one of the names there just happens to be Apple?

Overall, a more deserved name couldn't have been given to a product. Much like the name implies, I myself am giving it the same score on the Rickter Scale.

8.1

With that being said (written?). We all play armchair quarterback when it comes to operating systems. I'd like to know what YOU would have included in the update? What would you have removed? Improved upon? With all the venom being spit at updates in general, here's a chance to voice what you'd like to see, or not see, in the future!

 

Windows 8.1 Update a.k.a Change?? OMG!!

“It's horrible!”

“Why isn't it downloading for me?”

“It's horrible!”

“Why didn't it keep it the same as before?”

“I hate it!”

 

Sound familiar?

Comments like these were cried out not long ago when Apple rolled out iOS 7.

And it's happening again as Microsoft launches Windows 8.1

I use both Microsoft and Apple products. Both have their Pros. Both have their Cons. I use them like many do. For their ability to personalize them to my personal needs and wants.

When did it become acceptable to assume these companies are not only aware of my needs, but have the uncanny ability to cater to them as well?

We live in a time where we rely so much on others doing for us that we lose our own individuality in the process.

If a company did release a product that was personalized right out of the box (or installed itself after a download), accusations of spying, privacy invasions etc… would ensue.

I downloaded iOS 7 on all my Apple devices. For the most part, it went well. Did I need to learn a few things? Yes. Is it perfect? No.

I'm in the process of downloading Windows 8.1 as of this writing. I'm expecting a flawless download and installation process. But my expectations are that I will have some tweaking to do afterwards. If this update goes without a hiccup it will be a first for me.

Anticipate problems, Execute solutions.

I'll post after Windows 8.1 has put me through the motions. In the meantime, instead of directing that hatred for an update you probably don't have yet, take the time to educate yourself on what's new and the changes being made.

It's not an update, it's an adventure!

Think Proactive, not Reactive and you'll see this is only as difficult as you allow it to be!

While I'm waiting for the update to complete, I'll continue to blog, email and write from my iOS device…

…and whine about the stupid autocorrect.