Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Always Something to Do; Something to Learn

Always something to do and always something to learn ... no I have not joined the US Air Force or even started to learn to fly.  At almost 63 years old and five years into my retirement, I do not need to go to those extremes to keep active or stimulated.

For those of you who follow this blog, you will notice that my blog once again has photographs included in it.  In my last blog in which I shared the availability of my latest photography gallery:


I was unable to include photographs.  I had gotten a message that "Blogger" was no longer supporting the version of my Internet browser and that I should try Google's Browser, "Chrome".  I was very reticent to switch over from Microsoft Internet Explorer - I was satisfied with it and perhaps more importantly, I was comfortable with it.  I suspected that Microsoft and Google were at odds with each other to attain greater market share for their Internet Browsers and this was Google's escalation in the struggle; not to support Internet Explorer with some of Google's products.  "Blogger" is a great free application for creating and maintaining a blog.  After 375 blog entries with it, I am a believer as well as an advocate.  However if I can not post photographs to my Blog, it becomes much less value to me and creates a big problem.

At the same time as trying to figure out what to do about "Blogger" and my desire to maintain my blog, I was trying to upgrade my version of "Quicktime" on my computer.  I could not download the latest version.  Whenever I tried to download from the Apple website, the process stopped and I got a message "The connection with the Server was reset".  I had no idea of what that meant.  Based upon my recent experiences with Microsoft as well as Yahoo tech support(?), I decided to try to figure it out for myself.  Once again the Biblical saying of "Ask and yea shall receive" was indeed prophetic.  I googled the error message and in no time at all I learned that I am not the first person to get this message.  Several sites offered and automatic way to clear up the problem.  I tried to download the program, and OF COURSE; I got the following error message ... "The connection with the Server was reset".  Fortunately the site that I had selected, also include simple and concise instructions on how to manually rectify the problem yourself.  I printed the instructions and commenced to follow the directions.  In no matter of time at all, the problem was corrected.  The problem?  The problem was apparently caused by damaged or incompatible Internet Explorer settings or add-ons.  The solution was to reset Internet Explorer settings.

After resetting my IE settings, I went to the Apple website and downloaded the latest version of Quicktime without any problem.

Feeling confidant and perhaps somewhat arrogant, I set off to address the Blogger non support issue.  The first thing that I was curious about was if I had the latest version of Internet Explorer.  I thought that I did and I should have since I get automatic notifications of patches, service packs, upgrades, etc of my Microsoft products.  No matter the case I decided to download and install Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (Windows XP).  Having solved the Server Reset Issue, I was able to uninstall my version of Internet Explorer and install version 8 without any problems.

Today, I decided to give Blogger another, if not last, try.  Hooray, it works!  Microsoft and Google are at least cooperating to that extent.  I had a bad or old version of Internet Explorer.  I am now back in business so to speak.

Speaking of business - I created and maintain a photography website where prints of my photographs can be purchased.  For ease and time considerations I only upload "email" versions of the photographs.  The uploaded files are typically around 1000 pixels in the longest dimension with the files being around 100 to 200 kilobytes.  I have a seven day period built in so that when a photo is selected for print, I can replace the selected photograph low resolution photograph with the full resolution file which can range from 3 to 10 megabytes.  I am rather excited about the latest gallery and started to check it out - as in pretended to buy prints.  To my horror I discovered that for many of the photos, the largest print size available was 8"x10".  This was disturbing since I had created many of them as 11"x14" sizes with file sizes at least 3.8 million pixels.  I then realized that the restriction on print size was being driven by the small file size of the "email" version.  This morning I replaced all the email versions will full sized files of the photographs.  I have also removed the 7 day hold on print orders.

I guess that I need to think about replacing more of my photography website photographs with full file versions.

Yes it has been a busy couple of days and I have learned a great deal.  The most important lesson is that we, in the Internet age, have the tools to solve so many of our problems.  We need to rely upon ourselves to understand better what we are doing and to resolve most of the issues that we encounter.

No matter your age or employment status there is always something to do and something to learn.

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