Seagate STBP8000100 Business 4-Bay NAS Network Attached Storage Review

I have had nothing but problems with this NAS since I bought it about two years ago. I documented a whole page worth of bugs I found in the NAS Manager. Now, I can no longer access the NAS Manager to make any changes. I can no longer add any shares, or do any of the administration of the unit. I tried everything. I reset it, didn’t work. I wanted to do a factory reset, but you need access to the NAS Manager to do it! The files that are on it, I can still access; at least that is something. The unit performance is not great, but OK for home use. The manuals are not very informative, they could have been written much better. Their support is terrible. What else can I say, but don’t buy it. I will refuse to buy any Seagate products ever again in protest, even though their disk drives are just fine. They should have stuck to that, and stayed out of the complex Network Attached Storage market.

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My Dire-y Blog 04/15/2015, H&R Block vs. TaxACT

You know, I’ve seen a lot of blogs that are just people sharing their daily struggles and accomplishments with whoever is bored enough to read them. I have no idea why anyone would want to read anything about MY life! It is a really boring thing to tell. But maybe, it might be good for me to occasionally get some of my personal life, thoughts, and events down in writing. They say it helps. Who “they” are, and “what” it helps, I’m not that clear on. But anyway, every now and then, as a sort of therapy for me, and possibly to produce something slightly amusing or possibly helpful to someone out there, I will try to include occasional episodes of My “Dire-y” Blog. 8*)

Yesterday, I did my IRS/Gov’t-induced duty and completed my federal and state income tax forms. I always try to do it completely for free, but this not this year. I guess the tax help providers are getting wise to my strategy, and are steadily reducing what they offer to the public for free. The past few years I have been using H&R Block online to complete, and submit my federal form for free. Well, last year I got this little check for $22.30 for the sale of 2 shares of stock. This was probably from some past work “retirement” plan, but I’m not exactly sure (meaning I don’t recall at the moment. It is strange how the mind can just suddenly go blank about the strangest things, and at the strangest times. Just don’t get old, like me!) which job it was from. Now because of this piddling little check, I had to use some “part B” capital gains something or another tax form. Well, H&R Block popped up on the screen with something like, “ya, sure, we would love to do that for you, but it’s gonna cost ya”.

I really did not like that, since I had painstakingly entered most of the information for the federal form already, and automatically pulled in my information from last year’s income tax form, which H&R Block kindly stores for me from year to year…for free…’till now.

So, I did a little comparison research (Google, that is), and decided to try TaxACT online, for the first time. It ended up that I chose to pay a little for this years’ service, but I could have gotten away with doing the federal form for free. In the past, I had simply declined to pay H&R Block to do the Ohio State income tax form, and went to the state’s free e-file site for that. Anyway, they made me a combined offer for pulling in last year’s data (Hmmm, they never charged me for that before), and the Ohio state taxes for $39.99 (Jeez, I hate this stupid marketing crap where they think I can’t tell that $39.99 is really $40, and that I will think that $39.99 is a lot cheaper than $40. This crap has gone on for a LONG time now, and only makes head calculation slightly harder, and makes my head hurt, but I am not fooled, it’s still $40 to me!). The deal with TaxACT was – free for federal, but $8.99 if I want them to store it for 3 years, and $19.99 for state. So I went for it. They suckered me into ~$30, instead of the ~$40 I would have paid for H&R Block.

Next year, I should start earlier comparing the cost of the various “free” tax services. I used to use TurboTax on my PC years ago. Now they also have some “free” kind of online tax prep service. Maybe I will check out the cost of their “free” service next year. This year I didn’t want to screw with it, since I procrastinated till almost the last second. I DID get it done 1 day in advance, which is doing good for me! All of the online tax prep services do the same job, at the same level of service, more or less.

You know, I had really been hoping for the day I would no longer have to do tax returns, but no such luck. Now, we are required to file, just to prove we had health insurance, so the IRS can take it out of those who didn’t sign up for the “subsidized” ObamaCare health insurance. Even though I am on a Medicare Supplement plan because I am disabled, I guess I will STILL need to do the damn forms. What a pain! In this age of computers, why don’t “they” just do it automatically for everyone, and save us all the trouble (it is technically doable. The IRS certainly has access to all my financial information online, between my bank, and the SSA). But that would then prevent the corporations, and rich folk’s accountants, from doing all that “fancy” bookkeeping, which allows them to get away with paying a fraction of the percentage of their “income” in taxes that poor folks like me (and maybe you, too) are forced to pay. From recent news, we see that there are politicians that let their opinions about how the country would be better off if they refused medical services to the poor, and let the unproductive (i.e. not producing MONEY) scum die off. Outright, open bigotry and class-ism at its worst. I truly have a hard time believing that there exist politicians with balls big enough, and brains small enough, to “publicly” announce their outright hatred and disregard for other equal human beings. Worse, that there are enough people who buy into that elephant dung to keep such bastards in office. I really can’t believe that some members of our culture are still so barbaric as all that. In reality (at least I hope and pray), it is probably a relatively small number of self-serving and deluded crazies that are stupid enough and arrogant enough to believe and spout that total crap. Unfortunately, they have money and power, so they get away with it. Arg, paperwork…government…politicians…heartless corporations…

Please! Don’t get me started (its all your fault ūüôā ). Well that was yesterday, and today is a new day. Hope you were either amused or were in some way helped by my boring little blog. Have a Blessed day! And please respect every individual, no matter what their beliefs, race, sex, whatever. We, and the entire Universe are Divine, and intimately connected (oooh, that’s a scary thought). Even those slimy, self-serving, pigheaded, arrogant, evil, fascistic, delusional bastard politicians and the twisted political party(ies) to which they give dark homage. ¬†Until next time, folks, Peace.

Let Me Introduce You to My Kitties

These furry little creatures are part of my immediate family. They chose me, and have the run of the house, for the most part. I still do not let them sleep with me, mainly because I believe they would wake me at times I do not want to be awakened. Maybe someday this will change. I know that when I sleep sitting up on the couch (because I was too tired, or lazy to actually make it to the bedroom) they sleep with me, and do not seem to bother me.

But let me get to the introductions…

HOLLY

One of my girls...
One of my girls…
What she does best...
What she does best…

Holly is the lethargic one. ¬†Not much bothers her. ¬†She is the kind of cat that children could pick up, mess with, dress up, and manipulate as though she were a dancing puppet, without her fighting them or trying to get away. ¬†She has about 5 minutes a day of running around like a bat out of… well, you get the picture. ¬†This is her the rest of the day. ¬†She is a slow and fussy eater.

GYPSY

My other girl...
My other girl…
One of her favorite spots...
One of her favorite spots…

This is Gypsy, a very loving and affectionate kitty.  She is the nervous fraidy cat of the two.  Where Holly is docile most of the time, Gypsy is the one jumping at any little sound, rooting out the least little bug, playing it to death, and jumping any time you touch her when she is not looking.  She loves to lick my fingers (mostly after I have eaten, before washing my hands).  She has always scarfed down her food in record time as if she had been starved as a youngling (and possibly she was neglected).  Actually, she was driven to a cat shelter, and abandoned in the parking lot, presumably because they were full and not accepting new cats at the time.  But the people at the shelter saw what happened, coaxed her from behind the wheel of a parked car, and took her in anyway, and now she is mine.

PALS

Spooning...
Spooning…
Sleeping, ya a lot...
Sleeping, ya a lot…
Gazing sweetly into each others' eyes...
Gazing sweetly into each others’ eyes…
At least Gypsy is paying attention...
At least Gypsy is paying attention…
Eating...
Eating…

When they are hungry (usually starting about 30 minutes BEFORE their normal feeding time), they jump up on the couch, rub against me, and sit staring at me until I give in and feed them.

And occasionally they are awake at the same time...
And occasionally they are awake at the same time…

They may not be the most exciting cats; they run and play like crazy about 5-10 minutes a day, they eat, they sleep, they poop, and can be annoying when they do things they KNOW they are not allowed, they get yelled at, they don’t care, and they do what they want regardless, but I love them anyway. ¬†And maybe, in their kitty way, they love me too.

Review of the “Tinder” Android App

The only part of the Tinder dating app that I like, is that it pi**ed me off so bad I just HAD to write this review. I just LOVE to B*tch! A shortened “Short Version” was published in the Google Play Store for this app, but because of space limitations on reviews there, I post both short and complete versions of my review here, of this (mostly) useless app.

SHORT VERSION:

This app is not even worth downloading and trying. And, for your own sake, do not buy it! The other free dating sites/apps, “Plenty Of Fish”, (POF), and “OKCupid”, (OKC), are infinitely more useful, and you can get dates, completely for free.

First, many people include NO information, only pics. Not much to go on, leading to many frustrating failures to “launch”.

The policy of “once you throw a person away, they are gone forever”, is the stupidest policy ever. Do you make mistakes? (If you PAY, you can get back the last mistake only. How generous of them!)

You are forced to give tinder your phone number to use the app, and can only ever create ONE account with that number, No do-overs if you make a mistake.

The user interface is designed in such a way that you can easily, INADVERTENTLY, throw away multiple people/profiles, before stopping yourself. You never got a chance to explore them at all. See my Google+ login for the full review which I will post there because space limitations have “Scroogled” (most likely copyright Microsoft Corp.) me here in the Google Play Store.

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LONG VERSION WITH DETAILS:

This app is not even worth downloading and trying. And, for your own sake, do not buy it! The other free dating sites/apps, “Plenty Of Fish”, (POF), and “OKCupid”, (OKC), hereinafter known as “the others”, are infinitely more useful, and you can get dates, completely for free (they also have paid premium versions).

First, “the others” prompt you to enter the important stuff that people want to see, and search against, to find suitable matches, such as age, smoking status, height, pets, children… and so on. Tinder allows you to write a profile, but you are all on your own, you completely control how much information is presented, or non at all, and must remember to include the important stuff people want to see (or not at all). Now personally, I need to see/search on certain information in order to have a viable match at all – it isn’t there in most profiles. These are my own personal “Deal Breakers”. We all have them, and not all that info is based on looks, or can be seen in the pics. So, if some decide to leave it out, you either dump them in the “Bucket”, or go ahead with the match, and hope that later, at least ONE of them will meet your dating criteria. Also, there is no searching in tinder, you only get to choose a few little details, like how far from your location you want the search to cover, but for the most part, you only see what they want you to see, no user choice. The others DO.

The worst part, for me is their policy that once you throw a profile into the “bit bucket”(throw them away), except for only the very LAST one you threw away, and then only if you PAY, is the most idiotic, asinine, stupid, manipulative, limiting, policy, I have ever had the opportunity to encounter. What dater in their right mind wants to PERMANENTLY delete choices, which there is no way of ever getting back? Certainly not me. You may start out keeping only the “best” matches for you, only to regret that decision later, when none of THEM want to date YOU!

The app actually does what they say it does. BUT: one method of looking through a person’s multiple pics is by “left swiping” through them. Well, by design, the “left swipe” is also one method used to permanently throw people into the “trash”. If, while you are “left swiping” through a person’s pics, you inadvertently happen to tap on the screen just slightly a little too much, the display reverts to the selection screen, and the person you were looking at, swiping through their pics, is now, unintentionally deleted forever. Now, if you happen to be quickly “left swiping” through multiple pics of the same person (as I tried to do), and don’t catch yourself quickly enough, you end up discarding, forever, multiple choices you didn’t mean to throw away. This is the most idiotic user interface design I have ever, in my long programming career, seen. Stupid, stupid, stupid. If you want to be totally frustrated trying to find a date, then by all means, download away!

Oh, did I mention that I tried to create a second account, to start fresh? Well, I did TRY, and as long as you are on the same phone, it isn’t allowed, you simply can’t do it. You are REQUIRED to give your cell phone number to tinder in order to get an account (so they can set up an anonymous connection between users, using your phone’s text messaging), which I consider an invasion of my privacy. I have not given my number to any of “the others”. I have not tried creating a new account on a different phone, mainly because I have only ONE, and I am surely not going to buy a new one just to start over on tinder. All around, I give tinder only one star. I would have given less, but really, in good conscience, I can’t, because regardless of the difficulties and frustrations, the app does what they claim it does, and in the end, it IS possible to get a date for free with this app (at least I think it is).

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Mark Kagy, Blogger Intro

20150405_102609Who the heck am I, and how can you get in touch with me? Click on the “About” button above. Or, if ya can’t find it, click here:

 https://luvbearlvx.wordpress.com/about/

I am going to attempt to write some blogs, which I hope will ultimately be useful to at least one person out there. I have some ideas, like “how anyone can become a computer user for less than $100”, or “if the occult isn’t satanic, then how’s come it got so misunderstood?”, or even “what is the meaning of life”? Now keep in mind, I am just your normal (?) techie type, not a writer, not a pro, but just an everyday “Joe” who doesn’t know a lot about blogging, or HTML/XML, or whatever. But even then, maybe I can contribute something helpful or useful back to the society that has nurtured me all my life; whether I wanted it to, or not…