Categories
Blog

Coronavirus Inspires Overdue Changes

The need for social distancing is pushing businesses to embrace digital in a hurry. For those clinging to in-person meetings, paper documents, cash, and on-location work, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) will provide enough motivation to let those aged practices go.

While this is a terrible situation, it is also an opportunity. Challenges are opportunities. This situation is an opportunity to adapt and to embrace change as a whole world rapidly.

Remote work, increased sick-leave, computer literacy, and awareness of globalization, are overdue changes. We are quickly learning as a world how we all impact each other.

We may have needed a common enemy to unite us. The virus is not even alive. Yet, it must be defeated. And we do so by working together, putting aside our biases and silly feuds to focus on a greater good.

We are all in this together, and whatever our differences, they pale in comparison to what we face. We all know someone who has been or could be negatively affected by the virus when allowed to spread—our actions matter.

While much of the news leaves a feeling of uncertainty, there are undoubtedly many unpleasant realities looming, let this shadow prove the sunshine. Let us learn to work together and let us embrace advancement.

The time for obstructing progress must end. The time for not recognizing the world as one must end. We all impact each other.
Stop fighting and start helping.

I believe digital solutions can help in many areas. Going digital will enable us to practice social distancing. It has already helped us to mobilize much quicker than in previous centuries.

Our only obstacle is ourselves.

I hear many downplaying the danger. There is a myopic view that prevents the misinformed from seeing the dominoes waiting to fall. Others around the world already appreciate the gravity of the situation. The sooner those downplaying the situation recognize how serious this is, the better.

Panic is not good. But alertness is. And this alertness is what will hasten the changes needed.

The love of profit must be set aside for the love of people. The willingness to embrace the future must overpower the desire to cling to the past.

Categories
Blog

Unboxing Cheapest 1080p Walmart Monitor Surf Onn

When I make my weekly rounds at Walmart, shopping for groceries, I always swing by the electronics section once or twice. I love electronics and enjoy the thrill of experiencing new products, even if its just for a few moments with the display unit.

On my most recent trip to Walmart I noticed the Surf Onn 22-inch monitor for the incredible price of $75! I had been looking for a second monitor to use at work, but since its work, I didn’t want to buy anything too expensive. The lowest I had seen online was on Amazon; a 19-inch monitor for $79. So when I saw this 22-inch FHD monitor, I knew right then I had to get it.

There were only two left on the shelf and I decided to take the plunge and buy them both. I think it’s a great buy and after unboxing it and using it to write this post, I can give you a confident review.

Simply put, it will do what you need it to do. It’s a great computer monitor. No it’s not an extreme gaming monitor that costs 4 figures, but if this is where your budget is at, I do not believe you’ll be disappointed.

Categories
Blog

Fediverse: Mastodon the Alternative to Twitter

I am always looking for new Social Networks to join. I have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, Vero, Reddit, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, SoundCloud, MixCloud, and the list goes on and on.

There are about 250+ social networks (the last time I looked for a complete list). I thought I had joined most of the big ones. All of the ones I had joined so far were owned and hosted by a single company for profit.

A few days ago I discovered Mastodon. An alternative to Twitter. Mastodon is different because several servers called instances host the network. It is a federation of servers hosting the same protocol. Because of this, no one company or person owns it. The servers are hosting the site from around the world.

And it gets better! I discovered shortly after that Mastodon was part of a larger Fediverse of alternative social networks. Which include diaspora, Mastodon, PeerTube, GNU Social, Funkwhale, Socialhome, Misskey, Hubzilla, Pleroma, PixelFed, and Friendica.

All of these social networks operate similar to Mastodon in that they are community created, powered by an alliance of servers hosting the same protocol. And all of these networks are integrated together using ActivityPub. So not only are the networks federated themselves, but also with each other. Not even Facebook and Twitter do that.

To join me on Mastodon follow this link: https://mastodon.social/invite/wU8KzJra

Categories
Blog

Anyone Can Change the World or Delay Our Progress

Ideas do not belong to people. The ideas always existed, always will exist, and are not contingent on your existence. Ideas are not ours to hold, they are to share.

Withholding or rejecting an idea delays our progress.

Realize that we could be further along in our technology, if we shared and accepted ideas sooner. These ideas prevail eventually, but its the obstacles that prevent many generations from witnessing their fruition.

I have an idea. It’s about the employment process. I would like to make it faster. The idea came to me when I was attending the University of the Incarnate Word.

The year was 2010; I was learning how to create the ideal resume and answer interview questions when it occurred to me that the process of getting hired was incredibly inefficient. During my college years, I had become obsessed with the perceived inefficiencies that I encountered in my daily life.

My solution to the employment process was to consolidate efforts to improve efficiency. Imagine an app or website where you could be vetted, recommended, and answer all possible interview questions once for the ability to one-click accept your next job. I wanted getting a new job to be as easy as liking a Facebook post.

Of course, there will be objections. Like, it shouldn’t be that easy… it takes the human aspect away from the process. But to me, I saw that speeding up the process was beneficial for society as a whole.

Politicians recognize that the economy is a major concern of all working citizens. Why? Because income streams are slow to replace. Get laid off from a job, it may take several months to even a year to replace it. This delays the employee’s ability to participate in the economy. Delays purchasing decisions, which then affects others. Layoff in mass and you can cause a major economic downturn.

So, it is in our best interest to speed up the hiring process.

From the perspective of the manager, losing talent is also a problem. Someone quits, gets a better job, and now your operations are hobbling along. That position needed to be filled, “like yesterday.” And the shoddy effort to fill this position then leads to a poor candidate choice, causing the need to fill the position to cycle over again.

And let’s not forget company culture! A poor candidate choice made in haste can leave toxic effects on morale.

Wouldn’t it be better to fill every position with the ideal candidate faster? A vetted, well-trained, best fit, candidate?

As the recruiting process stands now, finding candidates and opportunities is more like digging through an assorted bin of $5 DVDs at Walmart. One shuffles through 5-7 options and then settles for what is there.

The process is simply not convenient. Meaning, there will be minimal effort put into finding the ideal opportunity/candidate. This also applies to job descriptions themselves.

A hiring manager has many other tasks to perform. So in their haste the job description is most likely not their best work. The collective shoddy descriptions accumulate into chaos.

Am I exaggerating? I think not.

Why? There is no structure. No agreed upon definitions. Everything is ad hoc.

Now I recognize that innovation thrives in organic chaos. We need it, but not too much of it. Not everything has to be this disorderly.

I believe that we can collectively build clearer definitions and use these as templates to make our lives easier. I also believe that this will help us develop the structure we need to properly career plan.

Ultimately, this can be studied. It can be better. The excuses for not at least trying to speed up the employment process are against society’s best interests.

The sooner people are hired, working, and earning income, the sooner they can buy things. That’s good for the economy.

The more defined a career path is, the better we can train our workforce. How do you know what to study, if you do not know where you are going?

I understand that some of our studies begin as interests. And that some of the knowledge we acquire now is for an occupation that will not exist for another 10 years. I am not removed from this reality. I am simply saying, we can do better than what we have now. And we should try.

I also understand that free Enterprise is autonomous and hard to unify to a standard. But hey, we all use resumes and Facebook right? I think it can be done.

This is the very start of this conversation. I have held these thoughts in for sometime. I have more to say.

Categories
Web

Launched my own Honda Blog: newhonda.club

Currently, I am the Digital Marketing Manager for Hill Country Honda. As someone with an extensive digital background, I know how important it is for every business to build their online presence.

Before the Internet, a reputation was built through word of mouth (gossip). Today, while word of mouth still is a factor, much of what is said is online in forums, Facebook statuses, and reviews.

I decided it was time to promote my brand and dealership with my own blog. With this new blog, I plan to chronicle dealership life and draw attention to important Honda news.

For example, Honda just announced that they will be extending the warranties for Certified Pre-Owned Honda vehicles. The new warranties will cover Bumper-to-Bumper 5 years or 86,000 miles and Powertrain 7 years or 100,000 miles. These extensions are significant as it means you will not have to worry about out of pocket expenses for the life of your Pre-Owned Honda.

So why newhonda.club? Well, there was a sale going on and I got a great deal on the first year. A good sale always helps. Also, I like purchasing short domains. Since most of the short .com domains are taken I’ve opted for the new gTLD (generic Top-Level Domains).

Categories
Thoughts

Chase Your Dreams

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Laozi

Dreams dare to exist before the path to their attainment is made clear.

Fear of failure is a mental obstacle. Those who overcome fear achieve success.

Fear of failure is overcome by humility, the laying down of pride. There is no need to succeed on the first attempt. Not even on the final attempt.

The journey is the reward. Take this journey without expectations.

Empty the mind of expectations so it can experience discoveries.

Like a child, when every encounter is new, there is no fear. This is why children learn the most and adults stick to what they know. In these young minds there is no expectation of failure; there is no fear of it. The expectations of the old are limitations; clinging to mildly successful methodologies as they feel safer than the unknown.

Be bold, chase your dreams. When failure comes, let it excite your mind with a fascination on how to improve your next attempt.

Discovery is the fuel of innovation. It is the token reward to continue.

There is no greater joy than to learn something new.

There is no greater regret than to not have tried.

Mistakes are guidance markers for the next attempt. Do not fear them.

Celebrating the successes of legends while forgetting their failures misleads young dreamers to believe that the pathway to success is without struggle.

Anything worth achieving was attained at great sacrifice. This is its value.

If it were too easy it would not be precious, it would not be desirable.

Chase your dreams and you will find your treasures. What is dreamed about is treasured.

Those who dream of far away places, treasure the journey. For what is near is not as desirable.

Those who dream of riches, treasure what is difficult to obtain. For what they have is not as desirable.

Those who dream of achievement, treasure struggle. For what they have achieved was too easy.

Some dreams are unobtainable. Such as mirages and the end of the rainbow. These dreams are best avoided.

Goals that are not clearly defined are best avoided.

Categories
Thoughts

Defining Success

Some of us struggle with a never ending desire to be successful. Unless you’ve clearly defined it, success can be a vague goal that is more of a mirage than a destination.

I have personally struggled with this. When I read about Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and others, I felt a strong desire to want to be great like them. My perception of their accomplishments and how they obtained them blinded me from the truth. Many of my childhood heroes had hard lives, obtained their successes by accident, or were later spun into a success story.

In other words, while I may perceive Scott Fitzgerald as a great author, he passed into the next life believing himself to be a failure. His greatness wasn’t appreciated until after he was gone.

Greatness; everyone is great, everyone is average. The trouble with equating success to greatness is the delusion that one can be greater than another. All are created equal. The limelight shifts between us, but ultimately we are all the same. We are both equal and unique.

While greatness can be measured by achievement; if attaining that achievement required a great sacrifice in another area of your life, recognize that compromise as what levels you off with others. Life is all about balance.

Being the absolute best at something comes at a price; a sacrifice in another area of your life. When looking at your life as a whole that sacrifice is what negates the success. Thus we are all equal.

Recognizing this equality is what will satisfy the unquenchable thirst for success. An overzealous drive can be let go of when one realizes that success is not all that it appears.

Wanting to be the best is an insecurity. The belief that one is in an inferior state and must obtain superiority to all others to be content. Once this desire has subsided one can be respectful and accepting of others and open without shame about one’s own shortcomings.

True success isn’t climbing to the top of an invented hierarchy; it’s accepting the shared equality with others and recognizing everyone’s unique greatness.

Categories
Web

Building a Website for Free

Hangout with me long enough and I’ll help you launch your own WordPress blog or website. I’ll talk you into it somehow! I live and breathe this stuff.

This morning I helped my girlfriend Kara launch her blog at karajade2020.wordpress.com. Earlier this year I launched a co-authored blog with my good friend Charles at alwaysdeep.wordpress.com. And I helped my HOA launch theirs at inspirationhillsnet.wordpress.com. I’m on a spree because the list doesn’t end there!

In 2018, there’s no reason not to have your own blog or website. WordPress.com is free! So it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s a WYSIWYG, meaning you don’t have to learn how to code. The bar for entry has never been lower. You can always get fancier with your website, but keeping things free and simple works too!

Personally, I like having my own domain, configuring DNS Records, and managing my own @agarcia.tv email addresses. I enjoy it.

There was a time when it was more difficult. Today, it’s easier. It costs a lot less too. IT admin won’t tell you that because it’s their own job security that they’re worried about, but you could easily get away with launching a WordPress or Squarespace website for $96 or less!

Your student organization can launch a free site with WordPress. There’s no excuse not to be online! Every entity can now have their own website. There’s no cost associated with having one. Unless you want more features.

I remember hearing that a church I previously attended paid $40,000 for their website. It wasn’t mobile friendly, it was very hard to navigate, and it was rarely updated with new content. I now realize they could have just paid $299.04 for the Business Plan (the top tier) and still saved thousands! The site would have been mobile-friendly on day one and would have been easier to keep updated with fresh content.

Times are changing. Costs are diminishing. And while I could see this as a threat to all the hours I’ve spent learning how to do this stuff, I recognize that times change. And there will always be people who want it done for them. So if your business or organization wants a website, doesn’t want it to cost too much, but you don’t want to do it yourself, I’m always here to help!

Categories
Photography

Photoshoot at Castroville Regional Park

Kara and I just took some new profile photos at Castroville Regional Park. I have the same profile photo on my social media accounts since 2015; Kara thinks it is time for me to update.

IMG_4236_edit (Priime Analog) (Priime Leather)

I agree with her. I must stay current. Though I do not choose my profile photo lightly since I will use it across all networks.

The question remains, does the above photo beat the current one? This is a very subjective question. I suppose I’ll get used to the new one. Facebook has been bugging me to update my profile photo for some time.

Kara does not agonize over updating her profile photo. She updates her profile photos twice a month. If only I did not overthink everything!

Kara fell in love with these photos immediately. This one made it to Instagram. Another made it to Facebook.

IMG_4200 (Priime Crisp)

Now she is just waiting for me. I really need to update my profile photo. Out with the old in with the new. Yep, I think I am going to do it.

What do you think? Too much deliberation? I should right?

Categories
Computers

Hard Drive Formats

If you’ve ever wondered what to reformat your flash drive or external hard drive, you are not alone. There are several formats to choose from, but there is likely only a couple that will work for your needs.

Formats

FAT32

FAT32 is the most common format found on flash drives (also known as thumb drives, USB sticks, or jump drives). FAT32 is perfect for these small devices because the format can be read and written to from every major computer or device (including Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux computers).

There is only one problem with FAT32, it cannot save a file larger than 4GBs. That might be a problem if you’re working with video or have a large ISO file that you’d like to store.

exFAT

FAT32 is being phased out for exFAT that can store files larger than 4GBs. Unfortunately, older operating systems do not support exFAT and there may be some compatibility issues.

Just like FAT32, exFAT can be read and written to across many platforms, including Windows and Mac OS.

NTFS

NTFS is a Windows format that can only be written to by a Windows computer (unless special software is installed). NTFS is the format of choice for running a Windows operating system but isn’t ideal for flash drives.

HFS+

Like Windows, Apple also has their own format called HFS+. This format has been the standard for Mac computers and their external devices. This format can only be read and written to by other Mac computers (unless special software is installed).

This format isn’t ideal for devices that will need to be accessed by Windows and Linux computers.

APFS

APFS is Apple’s newest format. It will replace HFS+ in the coming years and will offer several advantages over the 30-year-old format. APFS is designed for solid state drives and will make all of Apple’s devices more compatible with each other. Apple TVs, Apple Watches, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and iMacs will eventually all run on APFS providing greater security and speed in the future.

ext4

ext4 is the successor of ext3, the format used by Linux operating systems. This format cannot be read by Macs or Windows computers (unless special software is installed). Unless you are running a Linux operating system, you may never run across this format.