WebEx and Surface Pro 3 (SP3) external speakers.

March 3, 2015

Just a note for those searching for issues related to using an external speaker with an SP3. Don’t bother as of March 2015. Seems that this combination is not tested so it is not explicitly supported… and I can tell you doesn’t work.

We’ve tried using the headphone jack and we’ve tried a USB speaker – none work with the remote party. I have not (yet) tried a Yeti microphone… will try that today.

I have talked to WebEx support (as in my ticket generated a human tech who called me) and they didn’t spin it – they don’t’ know when explicit support will be added. They did suggest talking to my account rep as “another channel”. I understand this as we work with our account reps and sales team all the time in our development and support efforts.

While I didn’t like what I was told – I appreciate the call and I appreciate the honest sharing of the few facts they have.

Lessons from my Philmont Trek

August 14, 2014

I was privileged to accompany our Troop to Philmont Scout Ranch this year.  We had many trials and tribulations as a crew, and I had mine trying to be a project manager in a situation where the Serenity Prayer really had more bearing than the Five Knowledge Areas or 45 Process Groups.

On the other hand the issues the crew faced were not covered by “Be Happy”, but finding the balance took many days and many miles.

For the record we were Expedition 624-X on Itinerary 8 (65 miles if you don’t get lost, 12,000 ft max altitude atop Mt Phillips).  I did personally see a live, 250 lb bear in camp at a disance of about 100 ft.  The bear was NOT impressed with my pan banging skills.

Things I learned:

Serenity Prayer

Sleeping clothing is really different than hiking clothing in that you will move around camp first thing in the morning (until you recover your hiking clothis from the bear bags or the pack) and last thing in the evening (after dinner).

All forms of Duct tape are evil because they are a “Smellable”  Including anything you patch with it!.

Gatorade is evil – as it makes anything it touches a smellable.

DryDucks are your friend to go with the sleeping clothes – but not when you are hiking (they get hot in a hurry).  Red Ledge are the opposite – awesome while hiking – but almost worthless at keeping you warm.

Layers layers layers – I did fine with 2 pairs of synthetic underwear Ex-Officio ($25 and worth it) for hiking, hiking pants (2 pair), running shirts (2), thin Merino wool base layer, thicker synthetic fleece, and then the rain gear.  THREE pair Mid weight socks (SmartWool) with REI CoolMax liners.  One wool cap and one wide brimmed hiking hat.  

And… bandannas.  I made my own from sewing together new Handi-Wipes.  They worked great but they looked VERY STUPID (see pics).  Yeah, Philmont is NOT a fashion show.

I should have brought 1 pair of cotton boxers (NOT WHITE) to go with my sleeping shorts.

No issues with our 9lb 3 person tent (Mountain Hardware as we split it up between two adults. 

Pics are here under news – most are before our awesome 4xEagle Ceromony:



More later

Brazos Valley Computer Musuem

November 1, 2013

Brazos Valley Computer Musuem

Some of you may know that there is a “secret” computer collection in downtown Bryan.  Thanks to the good folks at Astin Partners/Fiber Town and McLane Intelligent Solutions, we are working towards putting the collection on public display by March 2014.

While some of you greybeards have actually WORKED on this stuff, the younger generation may get a kick out of grandpa’s Z80 or Travan tape cartridge.


We need people with:

  1. SUV’s/Pickups to help move the collection in late January (on a weekend).
  2. Carpentry skills to help dis-assemble, move and re-assemble the cabinets.

And we need:

  1. Folks to form a steering committee to help maintain the collection, label, help rotate the gear, be docents on First Friday’s, etc.
  2. Donations of RARE older computers/software/manuals/media.  We just received an Osborne 1 from Sam DerTatevasion.
  3. Maybe more cabinets to hold the media and software packages?

If you are interested please contact me via a comment!

H&R Block – final notes

April 21, 2013

For the record, on the last call to H&R Block I did receive a call back from a native English speaking support rep who was quite professional.  However, she confirmed I was SOL on getting any data back from the last data loss (basically that was both Schedule C sub forms).  I also noted several more updates occurred between then and when I finally pushed the submit button.

The IRS immediately accepted the return and I received my refund within about 2 weeks (wow!).

I have started looking for new software and with the help of TopTenSoftware Reviews I’m leaning towards TaxAct.  I see from Facebook that I have one trusted techy friend who uses it and I will be asking them all about their prep experience next week.

Meanwhile, I don’t think H&R Block gets it.  Given I looked up TaxAct on BBB, I have to wonder if I can/should make the time to turn in my comments on H&R Block….  

How the maker of TurboTax fought free, simple tax filing

March 27, 2013

Just can’t win can we?

How the maker of TurboTax fought free, simple tax filing.

Verizon needs to fess up regarding the Moto Lap Dock 500

April 28, 2012

I have had one of these bad boys on order since Feb 25, 2012. The supervisors aren’t even sure what their inventory status says. Something about the system normally says “out of stock”, like the website says here:

yet, their system shows “out of inventory”. They don’t seem to know what that means.

I think it means Verizon put the bad boy on sale, cleaned out inventory, and has no incentive to re-order from Moto.

Damn shame too, the product looked to be a game changer, but then again, that isn’t Verizon’s strength. They are conservative in their approach, which is why they are stable and reliable. All good.

Just miffed I couldn’t get my Lap Dock as it would have been the perfect pair to my Droid 4 when traveling. One set of licenses, full screen, keyboard, extended battery, USB, sweetness.

Droid 4

February 13, 2012

Got my Droid 4 on Friday as a replacement to my Droid 1.

Likes: Fast, sexy, good call quality.
Dislikes: WiFi and G4/GSM keep dropping out. Verizon bloatware.

Issues: Sometime after the D1 the hard buttons got re-arranged. That’s taking some effort on my part. Google Marketplace – the apps in my Library say installed, even when you add a 2nd device. That is a pain as you have to go through and click to re-install on the new device. The microSD card from the D1 fits, but doesn’t work on the D4.

I see the potential and will work with Best Buy to get the radios working. Oddly enough the Blue Tooth worked on the one pairing and call I made to the car..