The Life of Josh

Computer Engineer, Security Consultant, and Tech Nerd.

Trying out WordPress

My wife had an interesting opportunity come up for work, and the description mentioned that she might maintain a website. I looked, and they used WordPress. Back at Time Inc. I used WordPress for a minute, but it’s been a long time. Since my blog was doing literally nothing over on Blogger I figured why not move everything here, and start new? This is a recurring theme for me in tech. I want to try something out so I jump all in on using it. Sometimes it works out, and other times I jump again because it stinks. WordPress is pretty neat. I debated setting up my own server so that I could host the software, but SaaS is where it’s at these days. I don’t need headaches maintaining servers any more. Been there, and done that too many times. So hey maybe you’ll see me post here. I’ve been thinking of trying to do more of the blogging thing than the FaceBook thing. Too many battles going on FaceBook. It’s just not a fun place any more. If anyone knows of a good free template that you can use with the hosted version of WordPress let me know. I liked this template mostly, but there are things I’m not happy with.


Remember, remember the Fifth of November….

Join the march on November 5th, 2015.…/


Interview about Google Glass

Tonight I did an interview about Google Glass as it relates to Firefighting and EMS;

I think it went well. I had the questions ahead of time and had my notes up on my screen but at the beginning of the video I was stupidly staring at my image in the bottom right corner of my screen which resulted in my eyes looking closed. I caught on and soon you see my eyes more. I think I did pretty well. There was one point I meant to make but somehow it didn’t get said. For Firefighter use of a variant of Google Glass I forgot to say that there needs to be a way to handle swiping. I was thinking if there was a switch you could move that with your gloved hand. Aside from that I think it went well…

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Nest Learning Thermostat

Everyone knows I am completely hooked on new technology. I think technology to me is like shoes to many women. I see something amazing and have to try it. My tech of the day is the Nest Learning Thermostat. Check out this video and then tell me you don’t want one; (If you tell me you don’t want one you are lying.) The story behind the company is interesting as well.

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NewsBlur Subscriptions to share

To help my IT friends at my job I’m leaving, I’m trying to share things that will help them. Below is a link to my NewsBlur subscriptions. I have A LOT of Mac stuff in here. The NewsBlur system costs $2/month ($3 if you are feeling it is worth it and have spare $). It is extremely worthwhile especially since the demise of Google Reader. There’s also an iPhone and iPad app you can use on the go. The stuff in the Engineering – Mac feeds will help someone do most of what I do.

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Sodastream home soda maker is pretty cool

I just got a Sodastream machine from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Got it home and I really have to say I love it. It was simple to setup, but I will say that the samples they give are a little bit wacky. I know they probably want to drive people to try flavors that don’t usually sell, but I had no regular Cola sample which I thought was weird. Once I tried the Diet Cola and Diet Root Beer and liked them I went online and ordered a few flavors.

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Empowering End Users. Reducing IT workload.

Users having the freedom to fully use their computers even in an Enterprise. I’ve been thinking long and hard about this topic. Long ago when I began working in corporate IT I was taught that users can’t be trusted. They can’t possibly know what is good for their computer, and we must approve everything they do. We must basically suck all the fun out of the thing they use for perhaps 90% of their day. It used to make sense to me because I was always mostly a Windows guy at work while at home I was mostly a Mac and Linux guy. Where I always would get bent out of shape was when we would take Windows shortcomings and imagine the Macs had the same shortcoming. I’ll explain what I mean. Some of our users need admin rights of their machines. Because Windows, prior to UAC in Vista, was completely unsafe to run as an admin we made folks create a secondary account for admin reasons on their machine. Somehow on the Macs the same rule was in place even though OS X effectively had a better version of UAC before UAC even existed.

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Common Problem Repair system (CPRs) for Mac/Windows

Where I work I’m in charge of Desktop Engineering. We have a responsibility for every laptop, desktop, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc… device in the environment at a very high level. We create the base images that go on the computer systems, we package the software that goes out to them. There is a staff of Desktop Support folks who will implement thing my group creates, and they also provide the direct support to the users at the company. Those Desktop Support folks see a wide range of issues. When they don’t know how to fix something they escalate the issue to my group.

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Welcome back to DropBox

Once upon a time I used DropBox to sync files to the cloud and share them. Worked great. Then GoogleDrive came along and I thought they would really improve things. I switched over to it. In both cases I was paying for the storage because I use around 50Gb of space. For anyone contemplating a cloud storage/sharing service I can say beyond a doubt that DropBox beats GoogleDrive hands down. The GoogleDrive application has crashing issues, issues syncing files all the time to the point where I can’t trust that my folders are in sync, and no notification/update method for their application so I’m left to constantly go to the website and see if a new version is there. Anyways the DropBox app is even nicer now than before and I just wanted to let friends know that if you are thinking about switching to GoogleDrive…. DON’T. If you are on GoogleDrive and you see the app crashes and out of sync folders then join me over on DropBox and enjoy something that just works. Plus they have a new app called Mailbox which is pretty cool. I downloaded it, and hope it’s better than SaneBox but SaneBox is really nice so if it ain’t then I’ll use SaneBox. 🙂 If you haven’t looked at SaneBox I highly recommend taking a look.

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