Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
We really do love this group! First of all, it's such a great size. We had about 115 RVs here, mostly with 2 people. That's big enough to have plenty of new people to meet, but small enough that it's almost possible to know everybody. Secondly, the purpose of the rally is to learn. Learn about satellite technology and computer technology - our favorite thing to do! And, last, of course is that we get to present a lot of seminars - and to this group we can be a little more advanced than we are normally.
The slide show above comes from our Picasa Web Albums. Here's Jim giving his google earth seminar and he decided to show the new, included, flight simulator feature. He's using a joystick to fly a jet over Google Earth!
And, these aren't just a bunch of computer geeks, they're some really fun people. The sound of laughter was everywhere.
We attended the very first Datastorm rally in Tampa, Florida in 2003. At the time we didn't even have our dish - we were 'wannabees.' It didn't take us long after that though. We were so impressed with what we saw and learned at that first rally. I think the most impressive thing was the participation of the Motosat company. From that very beginning rally to now, the top brass of the company attend the rally. And, the top engineering and support folks as well. This is the place to be if you have *any* questions about Motosat or Datastorm.
Here's Royal Lamb (yes, that's really his name) - he is VP of Sales and Marketing and he's attended every Datastorm rally - all five. He's one of the 'suits'! Ever seen a 'suit' making a service call?
And, he knows how to have fun too!
The president, Jim Pendleton, has also attended all the Datastorm Users' rallies. He's the one on the left in this next photo.
They sure make me feel good about being associated with Motosat.
Next year, the rally will be the second week of November in Tampa. Sure hope we can work it into our schedule!
Friday, October 26, 2007
We've presented all of our seminars many times. Here at the Datastorm rally we taught "Every RVer needs a Blog", "Practice Safe Computing", "Managing Digital Photos with Picasa", and "Using Google Earth". We are very practiced at these - no preparation needed.
Yesterday we gave a new one, "Building a Website." As I said in my introduction, 'There are as many ways to build a website as there are people building them." So, it is a bit of a daunting task to cover the subject in an hour and a half! It actually came off fairly well, although I have plenty of ideas on how to improve it for next time. If you'd like to see the seminar handout, you can go to the Geeks on Tour "Articles" page. You'll find the Build a Website handout there (at the bottom)as well as all our other handouts. These are for your personal use only please!
I forgot to count, but I think we had at least 40 attendees - more than I expected.
I think my favorite part of the seminar is when I mention Search Engine Optimization. I indulge in a little back-patting by showing if you Google for "Datastorm Installation" our website, GeeksOnTour.com, comes up first in the list! Pretty cool. My purpose in showing that is to teach that you don't have to pay for ads or other slick tricks to get placement - I didn't. You *do* need good content. Of course, I am exceptionally lucky! And, it may change tomorrow - but, I have 40 witnesses who saw it today :-)
It was a gorgeous day in Tucson today. The wind has died down. We had a great day. Ending with a delicious meal! The rally organizers searched for a good caterer and found Porta-Pit. They told us the food would be good, and they weren't kidding!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I remember when we sat out hurricane Katrina in Fort Lauderdale. We stowed our dish then, not wanting it to blow away! This wind is not that bad! But, it is said to be gusting to 41mph.
I hate wind.
I think everybody does. It wreaks havoc with my allergies, I don't sleep well, and it just kind of keeps you on edge. whine, whine, whine.
I figured video would be a better way to capture wind than a photo, so here's just a little one.
Obviously, we're just fine. Our sympathies go out to those folks in Southern California fighting deadly fires in wind.
Today is a free day from Rally activities for me. Jim is attending seminars on Satellite related Transmit (TX) and Receive (RX) Codes. Sounds fascinating doesn't it? Yeah, me too.
I'm preparing for my new seminar tomorrow ... How to Build a Website. And, I'm making a few 'Geek' service calls.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
They're the folks from Maxwell Satellite. They were able to help Jim at a couple of crucial points. First of all, they have satellite dishes, so Jim was able to disconnect our system (the modems) from our satellite dish on the roof and hook it up to their satellite dish on a tripod. They tested their dish and knew it was locked on to the appropriate satellite. So, when our modems were attached to it, and we had the same problem (it would connect and work on the Internet for about a minute, then lose signal), we knew the problem was probably our modems. So, Jim found Joline's old modems and swapped them out. But, here's where it gets sticky. Our Internet Service Provider (not Motosat) communicates directly to the modems, so they need to know about the swap in order to 'commission' them. Jim called them and the person he spoke to said it could not be done. We'd have to open a whole new account, and it would have to wait till Monday. Margo, our neighbor from Maxwell Satellite, said she's swapped modems on their systems before and all you need to do is go thru a re-registration process, an online software thing. Jim did that and voila! Everything is working. I'm writing this blog entry at 4am ... couldn't do that last week! Is this Geek heaven or what? Time to celebrate! There's a winery right at the entrance to the park here, so off we went to do some tasting. And, we topped it off with a lobster dinner! What a great day.