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Archive for September, 2009


Sunday, September 27th, 2009

I joined Mahalo this week, a human-powered search engine. Be sure to look at the Mahalo box to the right and click on my profile. You can see my activity on the site, including answers to questions.

Mahalo launched in 2007. The public creates short topical search pages, asks and answers questions, and can suggest links. Each activity the user participates in earns Mahalo dollars; if you cash out, Mahalo keeps $0.25 of every $1.00. The site earns revenue by using Google Adsense and other affiliate links such as those from Amazon. Each search or click earns the “page manager” Mahalo dollars.

Here’s the links to the Mahalo pages I manage: Northcentral University and online learning

You can also set up Friends and become a Fan of other users, making the site somewhat of a social networking site. It’s very easy to manage a search page or answer questions.

I like the formatting of the clean and easy-to-read pages.  However, Mahalo works like a Wiki, so there is no significant peer review. For the casual web search, Mahalo may fill a need. For the academic, Mahalo is not trustworthy enough. If you have some time today, go take a look at Mahalo.

Update on The Ultimate Steal – Third time is the charm

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

I downloaded The Ultimate Steal for a third time – this time not from my home (and HughesNet) – and then installed the program after transferring to my home computer. I am pleased to say that the third time was the charm and I now have Office 2007 installed. This particular set of programs includes Excel, Word, Groove, Access, InfoPath, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Tools. I use StyleEase APA software and also moved it over to this new computer. I think I am all ready to work on the next paper, after these delays.

It is very easy to get frustrated when things do not work properly. I remind myself that this is the nature of software and computers, but nonetheless my schedule is so very busy I have no room for things llike this to interfere. I have been considering setting up a school work schedule to help me feel less under pressure. Tomorrow I am going to map out the days-per-assignment, including research and writing and see how effective it would be.

The Ultimate Steal – Yes it is

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

I took advantage of The Ultimate Steal, the discounted-for-students opportunity to purchase the MS Office 2007 suite for $59.95.  I downloaded the program and exceeded the HughesNet FAP (Fair Access Policy), which put my internet speed on S-L-O-W for 24 hours. So I click install and get the message “The installation of this package failed.” Hmmm.

I tried a second time. Same “The installation of this package failed” message. I am really upset by now. Not only have I messed up my ability to access the NCU library this weekend by exceeding the FAP, I paid for something that I haven’t gotten yet. I worked through the help files and FAQs, and sent a note to Digital River, the company handling the sale. I read through the KB reading this problem, and if you are wondering, I have plenty of space on the computer.

There is no customer service number anywhere on the Ultimate Steal site. I did buy the back up CD and so I am hoping that the CD has all the files that I need to install the full program. In the meantime, I fell gypped – I paid good, hard-earned money for a product and haven’t been able to use it. I wasted a lot of time working through this tech issue, and so did not get as far along on my assignments this weekend.

So until Microsoft and Mr. Gates provide me with a little bit of customer and technical service to get this download installed, I say the The Ultimate Steal is an excellent name for the product.

My Secret Weapon

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

I have a Secret Weapon…

When I read or study in the evenings, I am easily distracted because Husband has the TV on. Our house is not very big so the sound travels back to my office on the other side of the house. He and I like the same kinds of programs so I catch myself listening and not thinking about what I am working on. I hear the theme song from the Sopranos and I am done for! The TV or Husband on the phone with one of the children is a powerful draw…but I have a SECRET WEAPON to keep me on track.

Ear Plugs

My Secret Weapon has been a lifesavor so many times. I almost say that I owe my success to my ear plugs! I can muffle the distracting noises around me. My ear plugs don’t block out all noises – they simply make noises demand less of my attention. I can read or write without losing track because I am surrounded by silence!

I have a few different varieties of ear plugs, with the foam squishy kind (the yellow ones in the photo) are my favorite. They are pretty cheap at the big box stores or any hunting equipment store. I also travel with a pair to block out city noises in hotel rooms.

My Secret Weapon keeps me from asking for quiet – I just take charge of the noise and enter my own little “cone of silence”!