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Moving away from using Windows phones

April 12, 2016 23:31 by ckincincy

Two weeks ago I went to the Microsoft Build conference.  This was a week after Microsoft pissed me off with their announcment that most of the 8.1 phones would not be getting Windows 10, including 4 of the 5 phones in my house (the 5th is a 950, and designed for the OS... though it s a crappy experience as it is).  So I went in pretty frustrated as it was.

During the build conference I might have heard one mention of the Windows phone from a speaker.  Mostly we heard of Android and iOS and how we can develop for those platforms.

The Hub at the conference had booths for so many Microsoft technologies.  Not.A.Single.One for Windows Phone.  Unbelievable, inexcusable.

It is now obvious to me, Microsoft does not have a focus on their mobile phones.  I should have known the number of senior workers for Microsoft that talk about their iPhone on social media is great.  I would even bet most of the high level execuitives do as well.  I always justified my purchasing of Windows Phones as supporting the mother ship.. but not even the mother ships employees do.

For years I have posted on this site my experience with Windows phone.  I jumped on the bandwagon with 7.0 and from 7.8 to 8.0.. you had to buy new phones, so I did.  For me and my family.  The sales pitch for the past year is that all the 8.1 phones would get 10, but out of the blue that was changed.  I will not buy another round of phones to get the new operation system.

I'm putting my money where my mouth is.  Last week I purchased an iPhone 6s for my son to replace his 925.  Tonight I bought a Samsung Galaxy S7 for my wife to replace her 1020.

Gabe, I'm done.

March 18, 2016 13:30 by ckincincy

Hey Gabe,
You don't know me.  You may never meet me in spite of me being a huge Microsoft supporter.  I'll be at the build conference in a few weeks and the ignite conference in September. 

I have supported Microsoft devices for a while now in spite of getting beat down in the end.  When it comes to phones I have 3 teenagers and they all have cell phones, my fourth child is on the verge of getting his very own phone.  I never let them (or my wife) get an Android phone or an iPhone because I wanted to support the mother ship (as I call Microsoft).

Surface RT -> Support dropped almost immediately.
Surface Pro 3 -> Have one for work, was a sales pitch to get me hired.  Now several people have those or SP4 in the company.
SurfaceBook -> Yep, I have one... expensive model too. 
Windows Phone 7 -> Several models (I have teenagers and a wife, never would buy them Droid or Apple phones).  Updates to 7.0 -> 7.1 -> 7.5 went mostly smooth though I did have to use some of the hacks out there to get it timely.  Then came 7.8.. you just left many models in the dust (I used the hack app available at the time to upgrade, but not everybody is me).  Then you dropped that phone because you revamped with 8.0 and I mostly understood, hardware took a big turn and the 7.x models really could not support the new OS.
Windows Phone 8 -> Again, several models.  By this point all of my teens have their own phone and so does my wife.  Actually loved it, bought some HTC models and such and then bought a lot of Nokia models when they came out (920/925/1020/1520) and loved those.  Then came the work toward Windows 10.. so app developers dropped like flies.  Lost the Chase app which I loved using.  Didn't get other apps that others would get on Droid or iOS.    Looked forward to those phones (as they are all plenty spec heavy) getting Windows 10 and FINALLY getting apps... then yesterday happen.

For Microsoft to again screw my wallet I am done.  I told my wife this morning, when you're ready for a new phone.. you get what you want.  Be it an iPhone or a Samsung (I'll still point her to the best model to get).  She won't choose the Windows phone on her own, why would she.. so she can't get more apps?  As I upgrade the rest of the phones in my house I'm sure my children will pick iPhones and that is what they'll get.  I'm done being a sucker for Microsoft.  I wanted Windows Mobile to succeed (even got my employer to buy me a Windows phone.. I'm one of two people in the whole fortune 500 company with a Windows phone supplied by the company, eveybody else has an iPhone).

As I was fuming about this I wondered, what could Microsoft do?  Through the years I've heard of Microsoft paying companies to develop apps for their phone.  How about you give back to your loyal customers... give away phones to those loyal customers and keep them.  I won't buy another Windows phone at this point.  No need to, even Microsoft develops apps for iOS and Android before they do Windows Phone. 

One frustrated customer,


Dear Yahoo Mail, get your act together!

April 3, 2014 19:57 by ckincincy

I am sure this blog post will be nothing more than a rant that gets read by 5 unrelated folks, but if you are something at Yahoo and you are reading this… please make this post a priority.

Simply put your email service sucks.

I run a community basketball program so I send a lot of emails and have a lot of contacts.  Many of my contacts use Yahoo for their email and this has exposed two issues with your services.

1. Why are so many of your accounts compromised?


Those are all compromised accounts.  I want to say that on average I get one of these emails every 2 days from somebody new.  Always from a @yahoo.com account without exception.  It is so bad I don’t even send the customary, “Your account is hacked” email to my friends anymore.

2. Fix your spam filter.

I don’t know what it is about “Clarence Klopfstein” and you, but I end up in spam all the time.  Even with people I’ve been emailing with for years.  All of a sudden they don’t get my emails and when I ask them what their email is, they say something@yahoo.com and I tell them to check their spam and that is where they find it.  It is very inconsistent as well.  I’ll send two emails that look pretty much the same (in terms of text vs. images vs. links) and one gets through and the other doesn’t.

I know that doing email is hard.  Finding that balance of what is spam and what isn’t spam is hard, but why do you fail so miserably after so many years?  The compromised aspect of your service I’m sure is so much more complex and likely has something to do with the users at some level, but its always just you.  My gMail, Hotmail, Live, Outlook, etc.. friends don’t ever seem to get compromised.  What are you doing wrong?

Please fix it, or just get out of the business of doing email.  Sell your soul to Google or Microsoft as you did your search business a few years back. 

WWE is changing the game

February 23, 2014 19:46 by ckincincy

A confession, I grew up on the WWF and Hulk Hogan.  So I’ve been a fan most of my life.  It’s the male version of a soap opera and with their change over the past few years to a PG13 model, it is even family friendly.  Monday night Raw is the white noise on my computer on Monday nights.

Monday February 24th is the start of something big and it comes from an unlikely source.  Vince McMahon and the WWE.  As much as Netflix changed the game with their streaming, I believe this is the next move in that world.  A company streaming a major source of their revenue via an affordable monthly fee.

As a side note, here is also a good write up I found when trying to look up the numbers behind this move.


For many years the WWE has been trying to secure a deal with cable providers to launch their own network.  Cable providers have balked at those attempts.  Reports, the validity of which can’t be really verified, claim that the best offer the WWE got was for 25 cent per subscriber.  So the WWE would get next to nothing on the airing of their vast video library, while the cable networks would charge folks $10 or so a month for the service. 

The WWE took a route that if successful will turn the way things happen with larger organizations such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and other major sports. 

They launched their own online network and gave it access to all of their pay per views.  They will charge $9.99 a month and keep a large chunk of that.  Plus all advertising they sell stays with them.  If you ordered just WrestleMania each year (a common occurrence in my house) you pay for nearly 60% of the yearly cost of the WWE Network, plus you get access to 1500 hours of the WWE’s vast video library.  If you order two pay per views a year (has never happened in my house) you pay for the cost of the entire year. 

My very rough math, and I erred on the side of being way low is that WWE PPV’s do about 160 million in revenue each year.  The vast majority of that stayed with the cable companies as the WWE is just a 117 million dollar a year company.

Lets say the WWE gets one million in subscribers to their network and they earn just $5 per month on those subscriber it would mean $60 million in revenue and this doesn’t include a dime of advertisement revenue. I don’t see how they lose on this deal because I do believe that one million subscribers is the floor, and that is nearly a break even amount of money before they sell advertisements.

If the WWE is successful I could see the major sports teams go the same route and skip the middle man when it comes to advertisement sales.  Especially when the amount of people cutting the cord is doing nothing but growing each year.  In fact the ONLY reason I haven’t cut the cord is because my wife and son love the Cincinnati Reds.  I’d pay a decent amount if I could stream all Reds games via the web if that meant I could drop the cable company.

In the long run I think the savings for cutting the cord will decrease, but consumers will get what they truly want.. pay for what you want, not the other 300 channels they give you. 

Hard to believe that the world of wrestling entertainment is leading the way on this front. 

My App List WP8

December 15, 2013 15:47 by ckincincy

Almost two years ago there was a flurry of post on the web with people sharing the apps they used on their Windows Phone 7.  Here is my contribution to that flurry.

A lot has changed in two years.  I’ve been on a Windows Phone 8 for a while now and the quality apps available has grown immensely. 

Figured I’d share what apps I have on my phone today.  Had some apps on my old list gone from this list mainly due to my move away from using Google products.

My Top 4

i Podcast – In my last post I mentioned how the podcasting in Windows Phone 7 was good.. this is not the case in Windows Phone 8.  There is no way to add podcast that aren’t in the marketplace.  This app is AWESOME.  It allows you to add custom podcast and gives you an “all podcast” playlist option.  It also has a “cloud” backup so when you get a new phone, you don’t have to set it all up again.
Nextgen Reader – When Google Reader when the way of many Google products, I needed a new application to work with Feedly.  This is by far the best, the ability to “mobilize” feeds automatically helps as many feeds I have only give you a title unless you go to the site to read the article.

Waze – Best social driving app out there.  Actual user base so it works!  Drains the battery a bit, but it has certainly let me know of a speed trap or 10.
Chase Mobile – The ability to deposit a check remotely rocks. 

Social Media

6sec – Unofficial Vine app, so I’m sure they could break it if they wanted to… but better than the official app.
6snap – Unofficial SnapChat App… I don’t use it… so I can’t fully speak for it.  I have an account and have it installed, but have no friends Smile
6tag – Unofficial Instagram app.  Better than the current official beta.
Facebook – Does what you need from a Facebook App.

Twitter – Good Twitter app.


7Pass Free – Password management app, allows for syncing with all the major cloud services.
Adobe Reader – Does what you would expect from a PDF reader.

Authenticator – App that you can tie with services to have a two factor login.

Flashlight-X – Basic flashlight app.

HERE Drive+ – Nokia’s GPS application.  Quality application, though I now use Waze.

HERE Transit – This app is incredible.  While in Chicago over the summer with the family, I used this a lot for navigating down town.  I’d put in my location and it would give me a handful of ways to get there using the public transportation.

HERE Maps – Nokia’s map solution.

Lock Widgets – Good app to customize your lock screen.  Shows weather and battery info, along with giving you three sources for rotating background images.

Skype – A friend of mine has some very poor cell coverage with his provider.  So we now talk with Skype most of the time we have a phone conversation.  Amazing that it is so clear.


Amazon Mobile – Good app to navigate Amazon on the go.

Bank of America – They have my mortgage, this is a good way for me to look at that.


ESPN ScoreCenter – Your basic ScoreCenter app from ESPN.

iHeartRadio  - Nice application to listen to virtually any radio station at anytime.

Last.fm – Good music app.

Pandora – The king of streaming.


Craigslist + – A good application to search Craigslist.

Help me test and support a good cause

April 21, 2013 11:21 by ckincincy

I have just implemented Stripe.com as the credit card processor for ScanHelp.com.

I’d love it if you’d go donate $5 to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Butler county and, at the same time, test out my stripe.com implementation.

Go donate $5.


** Why Big Brothers and Big Sisters?  I was a “little brother” back in my pre-teens, just seemed like a cause anybody could throw $5 at.

Visual Voicemail on Windows Phone

January 12, 2013 00:19 by ckincincy

Many years ago I had an iPhone 3G.  One of the few things I liked about iOS was visual voicemail.  A few days ago I thought I’d see what was out there and found a nice solution.

Step 1
Check your voicemail, write down any information you don’t want to lose.  You will lose your existing voicemail messages.

Step 2
imageGo to YouMail.com and create an account.  It will send you a text message with a 4 digit code, write this down.  This is your new voicemail pin.


Step 3
Follow their directions to change your voicemail provider from your cell phone company to YouMail.com.  For Verizon you dial *713478966996.

Step 4
Login to YouMail.com and change your pin number. (My Account –> My Information –> Account Security –> Change Your Pin). I recommend a long pin number.  You’ll rarely need this.. but be sure to save this code somewhere.  I use a password manager for mine.

Step 5
Change the website to require your pin (My Account –> My Phones)

Step 6
Go to Settings –> Swipe over to “Applications” –> Select Phone –> Change the voicemail number to 347-896-6000 (this makes the voicemail icon on your phone call that number instead of the default carrier based one).

Step 7
Call the voicemail and set your greeting preferences.  YouMail.com has some options there, learn the system and put it how you prefer. 

Step 8
MagikMailInstall MagikMail.  There are two versions, a free ad supported version and a $2 ad free version

I shared some Tweets with the developer and asked if they preferred purchasing the product, so they get $2 right now… or use the ad free version so they get money over time.  They said buying the app is preferred.

Open the application and enter your phone number and your long pin. 

You’ll want to pin this app to the start screen so you have easy access to your voicemail.

You are good to go!

WP8Rage - Can I upgrade my HTC8 to WP7?

December 8, 2012 20:57 by ckincincy

Earlier this week Microsoft decided to promote a “DroidRage” hash tag for people to complain about their Droid.

Earlier this week I got a Windows Phone 8.  Never before have I seen such a huge step backwards.

In Windows Phone 7 I had software I hated in Zune, but it at least did the minimum.  Made it possible to manage playlist, made it possible to subscribe to podcast not in the Market Place, and gave you control over what syncs to your phone without having to do it manually.  If I rated songs as a broken heart, my Zune software would not sync it with my phone. 

What do I get with Windows Phone 8?  I was expecting the Windows 8 desktop OS to work great with my Windows Phone 8, boy was I wrong.

There is a Market Place application which is worthless and there is a “Preview” application that just gives me nothing more than what I see when I navigate to the phone via the Windows explorer.

Now to be honest, that was enough to frustrate me greatly.. but I just keep noticing things I don’t have on my phone.

In WP7 I had an FM radio, great when I wanted to just listen to the radio and not use my precious data.  Or if I was at a gym and wanted to listen to one of their TV’s synced to an FM station.  Guess what is missing from my phone, even though the hardware apparently supports a FM Radio.

Today I was going to my son’s basketball game.  I decided to open up the map software to use the built in turn by turn directions.  Only to find out that to use this I have to use the VZ Navigator, which is a monthly bill add on from Verizon.

If Windows Phone had even 20% of the market saturation of the iPhone there would have been whole teams fired for what they have done to this phone. 

The updates to this phone in the future better fix this, or I’ll not be buying another Windows Phone again and when a company starts losing fan boys like me it does not bode will for a usable product.  I couldn’t, in good conscience recommend Windows Phone 8 to anybody today.

Domain Names Domain Names Domain Names

October 13, 2012 23:10 by ckincincy

The title of this entry is a play off of a scene from Superman.

Lex Luthor is talking about his evil plan and is talking about the value of land.  There is a set amount of land and those that don’t have it will “pay through the nose for it.”

With domains it is a similar situation.  There are a set amount of usable .com domain names.  While the top level domain market has expanded greatly over the years, the fact is that .com is still king. 

I have amassed a decent collection of domains over the years.  Some better than others, but still a good list of domains.  So I get the occasional email, would you sell it to me?

Got one of those today and that is my motivation for this blog post.

Will I sell my domain to you?  If you are willing to make a life changing financial offer, yes.  Life changing, like enough to pay off my house or some large debt.  So make me an offer, I don’t have “a number” that I am looking for. Worst I can say is no.

If that isn’t you, then the answer is likely no.  My thought is that while you may pay $500 today, in 20 years some crazy startup may pay $200,000.  That is worth the $10 a year to me, because I do find uses for my domains over time.  I only have a few that are just sitting there.

Now for your enjoyment, the clip I was talking about:

Now an ISV

May 31, 2012 21:52 by ckincincy

Effective June 1st I am an Independent Software Vendor.

The journey to this started in 2000.  I was a hard working factory man who was presented with an opportunity to work for a friend at Jetsoft Development.  This friend had a suite of software products that he sold as well as a few large contracts with large scanner manufactures.  He needed somebody that wanted to learn, but wasn’t afraid to do the basics for  a while. 

I worked at Jetsoft for six years, going from that entry level role to a full fledged software developer.  Now the owner of Jetsoft was, and is, a personal friend. So we stayed in contact and talked about business at times.  He hasn’t done a lot with his retail products in recent years and was considering what to do with them. 

The market for his products is shrinking, but the question is if it is dead.  Today I start that journey to find out!  I am now co-owner of ScanHelp.com.  My co-owner is Rob Lindley, a long time friend who I also got hired at Jetsoft. 

We have a lot of work cut out for us, but we are MUCH better developers than we were several years back when we coded much of the features in the products we have bought.

The website needs a MAJOR refresh and the products need some life put in them.  I won’t get rich off this adventure, but in many ways it is not about the money.  I have a chance to take the last 12 years of learning and put it into the products that shaped me as a developer.  It is a lot like going back home. 

If you find yourself in the need to scan a lot of documents or pictures, reach out to us at ScanHelp.com and see if one of our products can help you out!