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“Your Call is Important to Us” – Is It? Really? #HoldNoMore

In General, Opinion, Sponsored by Michael Sheehan

Back in 2009, I wrote an article called “The Do’s and Don’ts of Customer Service in a Social Media Age.” In it I outlined some ideas, complaints and thoughts about how Customer Service should be reworked to better handle concerns, complaints and feedback from consumers. Almost 6 years to the day, things HAVE actually changed. Companies have adopted Social Media as a critical form of customer communication. But there is one thing that HASN’T changed, and it’s just as bad, if not worse than before…being PLACED ON HOLD!

HTD On Hold

It’s pretty amazing, actually, that with all of the technology and messaging apps available, that we still get stuck in push-button phone trees, trying to navigate to speak to an actual person. For me, I would rather spend hours reading through technical support documentation, for example, trying to figure out whatever solution is available for me to try than wait on hold for a live person to help me…or just frustrate me.

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The Chicken or the Egg – Content or Design

In General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Opinion by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Recently, I have had a couple of interesting conversations with some friends who are either interested in redesigning their website or have clients who are doing the same. And, with the trend of flashy and feature-rich WordPress themes popping up left and right, it seems that many people are getting distracted by these “bright and shiny” options to help revitalize their websites or create a new, rich experience online. But, in my opinion, these themes can be distractions on what should be the core focus on any site, the content. So which should come first? The content or design?

Lipstick on a Pig

(image source: agbeat.com)

Some of the “hot” new design trends are capturing attention. For example, it is quite easy to get caught up in the “responsive” design of new themes. Actually, it’s quite a good feature to have if you are thinking about reworking your website. Responsive means that your site will scale, hopefully elegantly, to different sized screens and devices. Google search algorithms now look closely at if a site is “mobile friendly” or not and responsive design helps with that check-box. But then come things like parallax, where an image seems to magically stick in the background of a page while the content on top of it scrolls by. It’s fancy, it’s glitzy, it’s eye-catching. And some of the newer themes available for purchase have gobs of elaborate interactive designs, well worth the price of the themes.

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How to (Maybe) Fix Yosemite Wi-Fi Issues

In Apple, Fix It, General, How To, HTD Tech Tip, Software, Technology by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

There is a pesky Wi-Fi bug plaguing some users of Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite). It doesn’t affect all users but those users it does affect are pretty upset. I have a test MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012) that has been affected by this bug over that past half-year or so. And only recently, have I (hopefully) gotten it to a “normal” state with good Wi-Fi connectivity. I tested a huge number of proposed fixes and somewhere along the way, I did something that fixed it. I have an idea of what it is but there are so many variables, sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint the exact solution. So instead of saying “this is what fixed it,” I thought I would list out a large number of potential fixes you may want to try if you are affected by this Wi-Fi issue.

HTD How to Fix Broken Wi-Fi on Mac OS X

So what is this Wi-Fi bug? It can manifest in a few ways:Read More

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You Wouldn’t Believe How Much I Packed Into this Mobile Edge Backpack

In Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Opinion, Review by Michael Sheehan1 Comment

I’m a bit of a pack rat when it comes to technology. I refuse to throw out cables or connectors and I like having my tech with me at all times. One thing that is critical to me is ensuring that I have a mobile version of my tech horde when I go to work or travel. But this isn’t a trivial matter. There is a lot of stuff that I “need” to bring along. It needs to be organized and protected as well. This is where a good backpack comes in. For the past couple of months, I have been testing out the Mobile Edge Premium Backpack and thus far, it’s been comfortable, convenient and incredibly functional.

HTD Mobile Edge Premium Backpack

I love backpacks and messenger bags. I have a long history testing out different ones and over the years, I have come to find certain features that are essential. However, how you carry your stuff is very personal. Some people like small and lightweight bags while others enjoy large packs with many compartments. I tend to fall into the latter category but it also depends on the travel destination and the required “equipment.” Many years ago, I thought that messenger bags were all the rage and I had some very nice ones that I would load up with all of my gear. However, over the years I found some limitations to that. For starters, the more gadgets I had that I wanted to bring with me (think laptops and tablets), a messenger bag simply wasn’t suited for it. Also, and this is a big one, I was starting to get concerned about weight distribution and ensuring that I wasn’t going to strain my back, especially as the weight of the bag increase. So I moved to having to shoulder straps and the weight better distributed using a backpack.

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How to Prevent Frayed Wires on the MacBook with Juiceboxx

In Apple, Case, Consumer Electronics, General, Hardware, Opinion, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

If you have a MacBook or a MacBook Pro, you probably carry your power cord and power “brick” with you everywhere. And, over time, you wind and wrap up your cords in a variety of ways. But, even with the amazing design coming from Apple, the MacBook and MacBook Pro cords still suffer from dangerous fraying of wires which can short out and be potentially hazardous. Juiceboxx, however, has got you covered with a simple yet helpful cover and cord-wrap which is designed to prevent cord fraying. (Scroll to the end for a 10% off promocode too!)

HTD Juiceboxx in box

While I like to think that I’m a creative guy and a DIYer, I’m not that good of a designer. I thought that I had developed a really creative and innovative way to wrap my MacBook Pro cord…but I got some pretty funny reponses saying how rediculous my idea was. So I just chalked it up as just an experiment. Luckily I can now just use and write about nicely designed fixes and not come up with them.

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Motorola DROID Turbo Gray “Highlights” – Eliminating the “Gray”

In Android, Cellular, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Mobile, Opinion, Sponsored by Michael Sheehan

I’m starting to get gray hair. I partially blame my kids. Part of it is stress in general. And part of it is from trying to keep up with tech which evolves faster than most people can adapt to. For me, tech is a hobby. I’m our home’s IT person, the person who makes most, if not all, of the tech decisions in and around our home. So, when I hear about new gadgets, I like geeking out on their specs and try to envision what they could do within my family environment. So when I was asked to write about the DROID Turbo by Motorola in Gray Ballistic Nylon, I started thinking about how my family might use it. Oh, and to get this out of the way early, Motorola sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine though, apart from any specs.

HighTechDad looking for grey hairs

So, to circle back on the “gray” “highlights,” something that seems to come naturally to me, the DROID Turbo, which is available at Verizon, has plenty of highlights to talk about. Some of the specs are pretty impressive:Read More

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Turtle Wax ICE Protects & Makes Your Car Look New

In Auto, General, Opinion, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

There is something Zen-like about washing and waxing your car. I have always enjoyed doing it because I know I will do it right. Blocking out an hour or two of time to make your vehicle look almost like new gives purpose. And it’s good exercise for your arms if you do it by hand.

HTD Turtle Wax ICE Products

I recently got a great care package from Turtle Wax. It was creatively packaged in a 5-gallon plastic tub and had all of their new product line called Turtle Wax ICE with Smart Shield Technology. While I didn’t use each and every product they sent me, the end result was stellar. Literally, shining like a star.

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Connecting your Garage Door to the Internet with Chamberlain

In Consumer Electronics, General, Hardware, How To, Opinion, Review by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

Who would have thought how useful and practical it would be to actually have an Internet-enabled garage door opener. It’s actually something that I never truly thought about until I had it. I like to consider myself a bit of a DIY-er so when Chamberlain contacted me about their new Wi-Fi enabled, Internet-Connect and smartphone-ready garage door opener, I was excited to not only install it but test it out.

HTD Chamberlain Garage Door Opener

My current garage door opener wasn’t really that old. I have a heavy older wooden door though and I had to manually hold the close button to ensure that it closed. This, it turns out, was due to some bad wiring with the infrared sensors that prevent the door from closing on people, pets or objects. I actually corrected this wiring issue prior to installing the Chamberlain opener. But still, it was an older (probably over 10 years old) model that was only 1/2 horsepower.

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