Category Archives: Business

My surface Pro X Nightmare

I violated my rule of “Bleeding Edge”

I’ve been into computers since the late 70s — when you had to assemble them yourself. I was a business computer salesman in 1982 when the IBM-PC came out with 16KB of RAM and a pair of single side floppies. I automated a collection agency I had ownership in back in 1983, sold that software to many other agencies. Was behind rewriting that system again to run on PCs, and started over again in 1990 with a clean slate – with the system know as WinDebt. I’ve owned a couple of computer software companies — and consider myself pretty savvy computer guy for an old man.

Every couple of years I treat myself to a new computer — always the top of the line as I do lot on it. I use to have a desk top in my bedroom, home office, main office and shop — but a few years ago I bought my first Surface Pro (a 2) and I have a hub, keyboard and monitor in many locations and just bring the tablet from place to place. About three years ago I upgraded the Surface Pro2 to a 2017.

For the last few months my 2017 has been showing signs of age. I have to have it plugged in all of the time as battery has expired — and the tablet mode (which I use most) has had the touch screen acting flakey. I knew the new Surface Pro X was coming out in December — so I hung in there and waited.

I received my X last week and immediately regretted it. It started with McAfee antivirus failing to install. The only message was call tech support. I did, and then hung up after 45 minutes on hold. I completely factory reset the computer and started over again — same deal. I uninstalled Windows 10, reinstalled and no soap. After wasting 3 hours I started doing Internet searches. There was nothing on the Internet about this problem — so I started looking for reviews on the Surface Pro X.

That’s when I started to find out that that while the hardware is Top Shelf with the fastest ARM microprocessor and 16GB Ram — on a 64-bit operating system — it changed a 25 year-old school method of how it uses DLLs. That rendered applications that didn’t get it together and rewrite their application to the faster standard inoperable – Just about all of them.

After finding out that I had to use Microsoft’s Firewall and Anti-Virus because none of the others yet work, I found most everything else I use is also useless. Fortunately Quickbooks Desktop and Quickbooks online both work. However, I use a virtual printer called Chax — which prints checks on blank check paper. I called their Tech support — and was lectured by their techie who knew nothing from what he speaks about Surface Pro being like an iPad — and not a computer. I explained to him that I had the most powerful personal computer on the market and it is nothing like an iPad. I tried to explain to him that its a new type of Microprocessor (ARM) and that I’ve read that there was going to be compatibility issues with older software. He told me that their software wasn’t older and that he could get it working. I gave him control of the computer with Gotomeeting — and he jacked around for an hour. I finally convince him to go to my Settings and About to see what I was running. When he did, he said “oh, your got a very powerful computer that is too advanced for this application” — I’ll have to tell management that we need to get to work on this.

Yeah Great! I spent the next hour ordering check printing on line for Quickbooks.

Next I tried to install and older version of Photoshop and it won’t install. I knew better that to waste my time — as the only option would be use the on-line per month charge version.
Next up was a VPN — Express VPN — the biggest, best, and most expensive. I tried twice to install and then got with Abi from their tech support. I explained that I had a new Surface Pro X and the ARM version of Windows X. He told me that won’t make any difference as Windows 10 is Windows 10. So an hour into this I have to reboot and he tells me that he’ll email me the steps to finish. An hour later and still no email — so I get ahold of Keajy and explain the deal. He puts me through the whole deal again — not listening to me explain about the ARM version of Windows 10. 90 minutes into it and I finally convince him to look at my about. I get the “Oh I’ll need to look into this.” After looking into it he says the only VPN I can do Spoofs my IP but adds no security. I don’t need to Spoof — I need security.

Next up is Microsoft, after my Brother laser printer driver won’t install and the Windows driver make white black and black white — to where documents look like negatives. At least when I explained to the Microsoft tech guy — he was prepared for a nightmare. I gave him control to the computer and watched him and someone else try like Hell to fix. The end result was that they were going to have to get with Brother to fix the driver and will get back to me in 24-48 hours.

So I write this to warn others — as this computer is so new that there’s nothing on the Internet about these problems. The surface Pro X is a great computer — but if you need a Surface Pro right now — get a 7 as it might be a year before all of this Windows 10 ARM app incompatibility is fixed.

MOPARSTYLE.COM FOR SALE

19 Year Old Mopar Web Forum with Large Member Roster

I started this site on January 1, 2000 and at one time it was very active and had high sponsorship. My racing schedule caused me to neglect the site and activity dropped. Some fresh blood with fresh ideas and the time to call vendors to buy “Pay for View” or “Pay for Click” banners could soon have the site very active again, and very profitable.

This sale could include any or all of the following options:

  • The domain name
  • The perpetual Vbulletin License
  • The existing membership of the forum
  • A year of premium web hosting on a fast and secure server, including automatic backing up site each night and retaining multiple copies of backups
  • All of the old forum posts, or start off with a clean sheet with a fresh install of VB
  • eMail notification to all of the members of the new ownership and your message to them
  • Upgrading to most current version of Vbulletin (or fresh Install)
  • Changing look & Feel, colors and graphics to your design specs
  • Changing the forum structure to your plan
  • Installation and integration of a banner serving application that allows you to generate sponsor revenue through “pay per view” or “pay per click” rotation banners, with different priority serving and full reporting to administrator and/or sponsor
  • Installation and/or setup of a Word Press as a front door to the forum with or without graphics work EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a Classified Ad web site which can be linked with Front Door and Forum Sites EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a photo album application where members can each have access to upload event photos into its sub album EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a wiki. Example
  • A set number of hours for setup and configuration, or per hour help
  • A set number of support phone calls and per call (if needed) thereafter
  • Act as your Hosting Administrator or not
  • Act as your Forum Administrator or not
  • You tell me what else you want

So who would this be a great opportunity for?

  • Any person or group of persons who loves Mopars and has always wanted to build a better Mopar Commu ity than what’s out there
  • Any vendor with a product or service used by Mopar owners, wanting the Goodwill and audience that a site like this could bring them if properly ran. Admittedly, I didn’t run it well.
  • A Mopar club or organization, or collection of organizations wanting to become more dominant in the Mopar Fan sector
  • Any person or group of persons not liking the way they’ve been treated on another forum, and wants to crush them with a better mousetrap.
  • An entrepreneur willing to dedicate the time required to build the site into the One-Stop place to go for all things Mopar and aggressively market “Pay for View” or “Pay for Click” banners
  • Any Combination of the above
  • ???

The price is really based on how much of my time you need. Outside of the Vbulletin application, other applications are free public licenses – but take a little time to install and set up to your specs. They also require more server space. If you’re a computer and graphics whiz who requires no help with set-up and maintaining ( or know that guy) – then you’d only be buying the domain name, VB license, the existing member roster, installation of other apps (if wanted) and hosting – but not my labor. Don’t want hosting as you’ll transfer to another host. Even less!

If you are interested, email me at DaveTheOldHippie @ Gmail.com with what it is you’re interested in, and I’ll shoot you back a price.

NSSRACING.COM FOR SALE

I no longer have the time to maintain this site the way it deserves

This sale could include any or all of the following options:

  • The domain name
  • The perpetual Vbulletin License
  • The existing membership of the forum
  • A year of premium web hosting on a fast and secure server, including automatic backing up site each night and retaining multiple copies of backups
  • All of the old forum posts, or start off with a clean sheet with a fresh install of VB (suggested)
  • eMail notification to all of the members of the new ownership and your message to them
  • Upgrading to most current version of Vbulletin (or fresh Install)
  • Changing look & Feel, colors and graphics to your design specs
  • Changing the forum structure to your plan
  • Installation and integration of a banner serving application that allows you to generate sponsor revenue through “pay per view” or “pay per click” rotation banners, with different priority serving and full reporting to administrator and/or sponsor
  • Installation and/or setup of a Word Press as a front door to the forum with or without graphics work EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a Classified Ad web site which can be linked with Front Door and Forum Sites EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a photo album application where members can each have access to upload event photos into its sub album EXAMPLE
  • Installation and setup of a wiki. Example
  • A set number of hours for setup and configuration, or per hour help
  • A set number of support phone calls and per call (if needed) thereafter
  • Act as your Hosting Administrator or not
  • Act as your Forum Administrator or not
  • You tell me what else you want

So who would this be a great opportunity for?

  • Anyone who loves Nostalgia Super Stock Racing and wants to bring all of the splintered organizations together in one place
  • Any vendor with a product or service used by NSS Racers, wanting the Goodwill and audience that a site like this could bring them if properly ran. Admittedly, I didn’t run well.
  • A NSS Racing club or organization, or collection of organizations wanting to become more dominant in the class
  • An organization wanting to standardize the class
  • An organization wanting to block any other organization from becoming dominant
  • An entrepreneur willing to dedicate the time required to build the site into the One-Stop place to go for all things NSS and aggressively market “Pay for View” or “Pay for Click” banners
  • Any Combination of the above
  • ???

The price is really based on how much of my time you need. Outside of the Vbulletin application, other applications are free public license – but take a little time to install and set up to your specs. They also require more server space. If you’re a computer and graphics whiz who requires no help with set-up and maintaining ( or know that guy) – then you’d only be buying the domain name, VB license, installation of other apps (if wanted) and hosting – but not my labor. Don’t want hosting as you’ll transfer to another host. Even less!

If you are interested, email me at DaveTheOldHippie @ Gmail.com with what it is you’re interested in, and I’ll shoot you back a price.

Gone Galt

My tax Return is finally completed for 2018. It is 83 pages long. I consider myself to be a fairly smart guy in finance — but I can barely understand all of the means testing I’m screwed from deductions on and bending me over for the Alternative minimum tax because regular taxing isn’t good enough. I have no income — just live off savings and yet paid 6-digits in taxes for the year from interest, dividends and Day Trading stocks. The CPA/Tax Preparing lobby has to be pretty damn strong to make a retired man in his mid 60s file a 83 page return.

Tell me don’t live in a socialized society! You’d have a stroke if you knew all I’ve paid in sales taxes from big ticket items like motorhomes and truck/cars; property taxes on two homes; highway taxes from the plates on cars, trucks, trailer, motorcycles and motorhome. Easily a 50% tax rate. This is why I “went Galt” years ago. Moochers elect Looters to steal for Producers. I stopped being a producer in 1998 and sold my business as I was growing tired of the government beating up of the producer who provided jobs for 100s of people and paid their health insurance, FICA, Federal and State Unemployment taxes; I spent millions every year with local vendors and I had to bend over for frivolous lawsuits and government regulations.

This country is heading down the wrong path by penalizing the guy who studied, risked all and busted his ass – only to reward Free Loaders with free Medical, no taxes, Lonestar Cards, and the rest of the gifts used to get elected and reelected.

Rant Off!

Shit I Learn From Experience – Locked Out of Vehicle

Shit That Happened

I drive quite a cars/trucks that have key fob push button start. In theory, if the key fob is within 25′, the vehicle unlocks when you put your hand on the handle, in theory. Because I own and drive so many different vehicles, I tend to leave the fob in the vehicle, as the vehicle is in a locked garage. It makes it easier to move them around. If I carried all of the keys and fobs to my 31 vehicles on one key chain, I’d have to have annual Hernia surgery.

One of my cars, a Challenger RT, must have a loose power lock switch – as twice I’ve been locked out at a gas station from just closing the door. Boom, door locks. Since it’s a 2009, it was before the hand on handle unlocking the door. The two times I was locked out, someone was close by with the second key. I’ve learned to take key or leave door open when gassing up.

However, today I was driving my Ram 3500 Dually from my race shop to my lake house. They’re a little more than 100 miles apart. I take back roads and take my three dogs with me in the truck. I stopped at the only gas station on these back roads, which was about 1/2 way. I was filling with diesel, my dogs were sucking up the ac (95 degrees) and listening to Pink Floyd from my iPhone – played through the truck’s stereo via Bluetooth.

When I was done filling, I grabbed the door handle to open, and it was locked. Apparently one of the knucklehead Schnauzers stepped on the power lock while watching me. I tried the other three doors and none of them would unlock either. I could see the fob on the console – but the doors wouldn’t unlock. I’m guessing that if you lock from inside when engine is running, it disregards unlocking from outside as a car jacking preventative. My spare set was 50 miles away at race shop, and no one was there. My wife was at the lake house, which was 50 miles from me, and 100 from shop. My truck is equipped with Uconnect, but I’m a cheap bastard who isn’t seeing the value of the $20 a month. Besides, my iPhone was in the truck entertaining my dogs with Dark Side of The Moon. No phone or apps access.

So I asked someone filling up in the other aisle if I could use their phone. They agreed, and I called my wife told her my situation, gave her my address and what I was driving, and asked her to use the AAA app I installed on her phone to get me lock out service. A little over an hour later some kid showed up saying he was only one in miles who will come to where I was at, and since it was Saturday evening he really didn’t want to be there. However, AAA told him if he didn’t go, they’d stop using him. Five minutes after he showed I was back on the road.

So What Did I Learn That I’d Like To Pass Along, and To Spare Others of This Grief?

  • Renew your AAA subscription every year. Someday you’ll need it and the pressure they can put to bear on their vendors 24/7. I have it because I have so many vehicles, and I’m not changing rear tires on my dually if I don’t have to. Have the app installed on all family members phones. It would have taken three hours for my wife to get the spare key and she would have been pissed.
  • Don’t assume that your vehicle will unlock with a wave of your hand if the fob is inside. If the door is locked from the inside, the software assumes that someone inside has a reason to block all access from the outside. Take your fob with you or leave your door open when filling.
  • Take your phone with you. The dog’s will survive a few minutes without Pink Floyd. Since there is no such thing as a pay phone, your phone is your lifeline. It has the Uconnect/On Star app to get doors unlocked. It has the Uber app if you need to get other keys. It gets you help. It gives you Internet access to search for a solution. It’s GPS allows you to send a pin point of where you’re at to help.
  • Do be a cheap bastard on the Uconnect or On-Star service.

What Does Facebook Know About You

and who are they selling that information too?

No only does Facebook do the work of the Liberal Swamp by stifling the posting privileges of anyone posting a Pro-Trump or Anti-Liberal post, they’re reading every word of everything you’ve posted or communicated using their messenger – and scoring you. They know more about you than the NSA, CIA and FBI combined, and they make the ‘Deep State’ look like rookies on how they monetize it by selling your info to any entity targeting your assigned scores, or punish those posting to the Right of the Castros.

Do yourself a big favor and Google the topic of Facebook Spying on its Users. It is an evolving story that has picked up a lot of steam this month. Facebook’s power, corruption and political influence is far greater than most people can comprehend. They’re as much of the Swamp as the Socialist and Communist politicians they’re working hand in hand with.

Their Primary income source is not ads, its selling your Scored Data. Wake up and demand that they be held accountable for their promotion of the Socialist agenda from Soro’s Funded Groups, while punishing those speaking up against Socialism. Pull your heads out of the sand and speak up about how you won’t tolerate this abuse and corruption.