The Computer is El Computador in Spanish | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 in Girl Geek · 0 Comments

This joke brought me such great delight today. I had to share. *smile*

A SPANISH Teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

‘House’ for instance, is feminine: ‘la casa.’
‘Pencil,’ however, is masculine: ‘el lapiz.’

A student asked, ‘What gender is ‘computer’?’

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two
groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer’ should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its

The men’s group decided that ‘computer’ should definitely be of the feminine gender (‘la computadora’ ), because:

  1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
  2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
  3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
  4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women’s group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine (‘el computador’) , because:

  1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
  2. They have a lot of data but still can’t think for themselves;
  3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and
  4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model…

The women won.

How-To: I Love CCleaner. | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 in Apps and Software · 1 Comment

I love CCleaner from Piriform.

CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure.

It keeps my computer clean. I try to run it about once or twice a week; especially if I’m downloading new and testing new programs.

Registry Utility

I use the built-in registry cleaner to clear out the crap that I don’t need. The registry retains a lot of information when you’re installing and uninstalling programs. Sometimes when you uninstall a program, it can leave a lot of crap behind. The registry cleaner in CCleaner clears out that crap.

Startup Utility

Quite a few programs like to load on computer Start-Up. That can be a headache to wait for. Removing the programs that you don’t use often from the computer Start-Up can speed up your computer. It’s a great feeling when you can start your computer and you can do what you need to do without waiting long.

  • Grab CCleaner here.

How-To: Gateway Recovery – ALT + F10 | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Monday, August 30th, 2010 in Girl Geek · 0 Comments

If you’ve got a Gateway, and malware *due to your pr0n surfing* has gotten you to the point where you don’t care whether you can save anything, and you’d rather just restore it to factory settings, go ahead and run Gateway eRecovery.

If you do NOT have Gateway eRecovery installed, hit and hold F8 to get to Advanced Boot Tools to Boot your PC in Safe Mode WITHOUT Networking. Save your important files, and then reboot again. This time use ALT + F10 to get your recovery options.

If you’ve got a bootleg version of Windows Vista (God Forbid) or Windows 7, go ahead and pop that bootleg disk in and click “Install Now” to install a clean version of Windows. It’ll save your old files in a windows.old directory for you to access and/or delete later. SCORE.

I’ll write some Malware Quick Tips soon…

w00t w00t!

AOL Dial-Up is a Red Headed Bastard | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 in Girl Geek · 0 Comments

I finally convinced my mother to cancel her AOL Dial-Up account. It has been a tug-o-war since 2000.

You see, by the time I had graduated from high school and been accepted to USC (Go Trojans!) under early admittance, I had already hacked into several small networks using AOL Dial-Up. “Security” wasn’t an issue back then. No one had a strong “secure” schema for “security”. *shrug*

So when I arrived at USC (Go Trojans!), and I was able to tap into a T1… I thought I was the hot heifer on the skreet (not “street”). And AOL Dial-Up was a red headed step-bastard…in other words, NOT POSSIBLE – NOT AN OPTION (N.O.).

I was bougie now. AOL Dial-Up? Psht. Pligga Neez.

However, it was good enough for her. She had a good government secure high-speed network on base everyday. She wasn’t concerned about having it at home too. If SHE was happy. I was happy. I mean, I didn’t go home as often anymore…but she was happy.

Fast forward to 2010…

Mom wants a new laptop.

The bargain: I’ll give you ONE OF THESE *holding up one of my 1 year old Gateway Laptops* … the day you cancel AOL Dial-Up.

My life hasn’t been the same since.

After countless text messages and email messages, it became MY job to power cycle through AOL’s chain of 800 #s to hit their India based cancellation crew.

If I had received one more “Did you call yet?” text message, I was going to plan an attack on AOL over a V.92 56k bit rate modem.

I mean, how did it become MY job to cancel something I been telling her to cancel for YEARS because SHE wants one of MY laptops? I’d been #swindled.

What took 14+ years to deal with, took 5 minutes to diminish.

Interesting how shed been paying $34.99 per month for 14 years and it took our calling in for them to offer her a “New Great Rate” of $4.99 per month.

*middle finger to AOL*

Dear AOL, I hate your face.

Kick Rocks Barefoot, Courtney

24 Hour Fitness Goes Digital – Cardless Check-In | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Thursday, August 19th, 2010 in Girl Geek · 0 Comments

I love it when businesses find ways to be more efficient by going digital.

Yesterday, when we got to 24 hour fitness, they asked if we wanted to register for “Cardless Check-In“. I couldn’t be happier. You see, I ALWAYS forget my card. ALWAYS. To the point now, that I prepare and just take my Driver’s License in with me so that I can give them my phone number to check me in instead. It’s pretty pitiful.

But now, I don’t have to do that anymore. SCORE!

Yes, we still need it at clubs that don’t offer Cardless Check-In yet, but the ones that I go to… DO. And all clubs are slated to have the Cardless Check-In by the end of 2010.

All you have to do is scan your index finger and punch in your favorite 10-digit ID (pick your own), and we’re checked in!

  • No more waiting for someone who’s talking on the phone to figure out how to multi-task!
  • No more super long line of folks who just got off work!
  • No more having to search through the car / truck for ID cards!
  • And if you’re a “Greenie”…no more wasting paper!
  • Read More about 24 Hour Fitness Cardless Check-In here

POW: Scope Creep | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Thursday, August 12th, 2010 in Girl Geek · 0 Comments

Phrase of the week: Scope Creep

Scope creep (also called focus creep, requirement creep, feature creep, function creep) in project management refers to uncontrolled changes in a project’s scope. This phenomenon can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. It is generally considered a negative occurrence, and thus, should be avoided.

Typically, the scope increase consists of either new products or new features of already approved product designs, without corresponding increases in resources, schedule, or budget. As a result, the project team risks drifting away from its original purpose and scope into unplanned additions. As the scope of a project grows, more tasks must be completed within the budget and schedule originally designed for a smaller set of tasks. Thus, scope creep can result in a project team overrunning its original budget and schedule.

If the budget and schedule are increased along with the scope, the change is usually considered an acceptable addition to the project, and the term “scope creep” is not used.

Scope creep can be a result of:

  • disingenuous customer with a determined value for free policy
  • poor change control
  • lack of proper initial identification of what is required to bring about the project objectives
  • weak project manager or executive sponsor
  • poor communication between parties

Red Flag Lines: “My Web Designer Disappeared” | Courtney Social Media Consultant in Los Angeles

· Friday, May 14th, 2010 in Girl Geek · 2 Comments

It happens often: a high maintenance client contacts you after their current web designer “magically disappeared”.

The “my web designer suddenly disappeared” explanation (read: excuse) should be a red flag line for you. There isn’t that much magic in the world. It’s an illusion, remember? An illusion no greater than the idea of your current desire to “disappear” once you heard those words. I bet if you wanted to “disappear”… you. could. too.

However, you, the contractor, must take a minute to analyze what that client just said to you and ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Why did their previous designer / programmer disappear?
  2. Have I worked with this client before?
  3. Did I LIKE it?
  4. How much is it worth to me, to maintain my sanity and still gain revenue, all the while, providing a great service and product to this client who could potentially be the real reason why the previous designer / programmer disappeared?
  5. How much do I want to add to my service cost for having to deal with this client who will now micro-manage me because they’re concerned and now… “broke” due to their previous contractor.

If you got past #3 with a smile, and/or this statement is not that much of a red flag for you and you decide to continue to work with the client, it’s very important that you remember these 3 things:

  1. YOU chose to ignore the red flag.
  2. It’s not the client’s fault that YOU chose to ignore the red flag.
  3. The red flag will NOT magically disappear.

Here’s the kicker…

No matter how many times you run from a red flag, there will still be times when you forget.

But have no worries! Live with no fears!

That client will surely remind you.

The truth is…

How you respond to this client from here on, is what will determine your fate.

If you choose to work with the client:

  1. Be sure to keep a smile on your face and try to remember why you accepted the project in the first place.
  2. It will benefit you to endeavor to find out why your client “thinks” their previous contractor “disappeared”. Note: Trying to go the cheaper route and getting stiffed by a company from India IS second common. Having an entitled high maintenance attitude and thinking that their $50.00 project is what pays your mortgage, car note, and health insurance is usually first.
  3. You may not be the previous contractor, but you’ll bare the brunt of having to reassure the client that you won’t cause the same sort of issues. Take it in stride. It was “worth it”…remember?
  4. Emails can sometimes be misconstrued.  Sometimes a phone call works best. Pick up the phone.
  5. Set a clear project scope. Be sure to be clear and concise with what you’re providing and what you’re NOT providing. Repeat yourself…multiple times. Note: This person is now emotional because they feel wronged. They may try to forget what they wanted.
  6. Get it in writing and keep records.

If you choose not to work with the client:

  1. Be kind and provide them with the contact information of a rival designer / programmer.

Hopefully you chose the latter. It seems like less of a headache. Piece of mind is hell of a drug.

While the recession is slowly coming to an end, things are still rough. Taking on that demanding client may be a must for you in some cases. But keep your eye on the prize. Be mindful of the end result.

And Godspeed.

x0x0, boon