Category Archives: Reviews

Take Your Kids to Work Day

Today two of my three children will be blogging. I’m just letting you know ahead of time. :0)

Today is “take your kids to work day” here in Maryland. One of my 12 year old triplets is going with my husband to the Naval Research Laboratory and the other two triplets are staying here in my office today. They think that they will have it easy. They expect to watch me for about five minutes and then go off and play their video games. They have no idea what I have in store for them.

Actually I have an incredibly busy day ahead. I am working on two design projects and have several regular webmaster updates to do as well as a phone conference planned and several other projects. I plan on keeping them very busy. In fact as a project they will each be doing a blog post on Monday so get ready!

Kids need to know first hand what their parents do for work. It can give them a wonderful sense of reality to see that no Mom does not sit in front of the computer and do games nor does she talk endlessly on the phone with friends, she is actually working earning money for the family and that the work is hard and takes time to do.

These are some of the things that I am having my kids do today:

  1. Answer all the phones.
  2. Punch holes in papers for client time sheets.
  3. Do a blog post on my blog about their experience.
  4. Log how many phone calls I make and receive.
  5. List the time spent on web design, Internet marketing services, and client management.
  6. Review the blog posts from our 7 blog writers to see if they are done and on time.
  7. Write a report for school on what their Mom actually does.
  8. Make me lunch, get me drinks, and be my go-fer for the day.

Actually I think they will be surprised at the wide variety of things that I do and the number of calls and projects I accomplish in one day. Although I have a full day planned, I know that my schedule has simply been flown out the window, so if you get a McCord child on the phone today, don’t get your email responded to, you will know why, I am performing a very important task in regards to preparing future web designers and Internet marketing managers.


The College Of Now

Colleges are becoming more and more technology oriented. Everything is moving to the web. Almost everything I need to do is accessible on the web. Here are the things you can do.

• School Email account
• Preorder books through college website (This is great when you get to school you just go to the bookstore and pick them up, they are all in a nice box for you. This eliminates the long lines.)
• Check class work and schedule online
• Check grades online
• Sign up for classes online(this tells you if classes are available and even how many seats are available)
• Converse with teachers
• Pay bills
• Pay fines
• Check for holds on classes and accounts
• Pay Tuition online
• check if your laundry is done online, or if there are any available washers and dryers
• get text message alerts for anything troublesome on campus

This is all very different from when my parents were in college, from what they have told me they didn’t have computers available and calculators were the size of textbooks.

This is my last post as I am now going back to college. Thanks for being patient while I blogged for my Mom. I found out first hand it is much harder being a blogger than I thought it would be.

Times have really changed and college has too by embracing technology making convenience come to you with the click of a mouse. One thing that hasn’t changed is the amount of work and participation to be successful at college.


Outspark’s Fiesta User Game Review

Fiesta is the game sweeping kids around the globe by storm. I interviewed a player to see what all the commotion was about. It seems she couldn’t pick just one feature about the game to be her favorite, but here are some she mentioned. First was that she liked to use it for chat and the second was because she feels it has good graphics. I must say as a gamer, graphics are a big part of liking a game; it’s all about how it looks.

 I asked her why she liked the game for chatting because there are plenty of ways to chat without a game being involved. She said none of her friends liked using AIM or other chat windows. Also her mother doesn’t want her to use them.

Next, I asked her, why do you buy enhancements that last under 30 days? (Mind you she spends real money on this) she answered 30 days is a long time to me and its only $5. Also I asked about marriage because I thought it was funny that characters would want to get married on a game. She said she doesn’t want to get married now, and didn’t say why others did it. All she said was that you have to pay for the marriage as well and the dress costs around $15 real dollars.

I then asked about hair coupons and what they do. She said the coupons are only $5 and they alloy you to change everything about your character’s face and you can even switch sexes. To close it up, I asked if a lot of people curse and what happens when they do, since this is a child’s game. She said there is cursing, but it is all blocked out and she doesn’t see it happen very often.

I hope you find this player review useful and can help you make a decision on whether to let your kids play the game.


Left 4 Dead Game Review

Left 4 Dead is a fairly recent game that I have played and found to be a lot of fun. First off, the story line is that some disease has broken out and has infected everyone in the city, except for the four people that are being played by you and your friends. It is just like any other recent zombie movie, they aren’t dead they are infected. If you have see 28 Days Later, or Dawn of the Dead you know what I’m talking about.

Well anyway, you start out in a specified point with your pals and you are walking through the city trying to get to the extraction point. Along the way you encounter large hordes of zombies and sometimes you run into things like little bosses. They all do different things, for example, you have this giant fat character that has growths all over his body and his job is to throw up on you. This makes your life miserable and makes all the other zombies come after you. Along the way you find new guns and ammo, as well as improve your health. If you die, your friends can find you in locked rooms and can save you almost like saving someone that was stranded.

Don’’t fret, story mode isn’t the only thing you have to do, also there is a form of verses. This is composed of two teams infected and regular people ‘er rather victims. As a person, you have the same job as in the rest of the game, to survive and make it to the check point and finally to extraction. The job of the other team (the infected one) is to kill you, the regular people. When you are on the zombie team you are one of the boss characters.  And at certain point in the level you are on, you have the chance to be a tank which is the biggest baddest zombie -like an Arnold Schwarzenegger zombie.

I find the game to be great fun and it is not in the least bit scary because you know when the zombies are coming. I would say 14 and up could play this game and have a lot of fun with it. So check out Left 4 Dead.


Grand Theft Auto 4, Is It Appropriate For Kids?

Grand Theft Auto 4 is a fun game if you’re the right age. Most parents care if their children are playing games with violence, sex, cursing, and drugs so I feel it is good idea to let people know that Grand Theft Auto 4 has all of these aspects.

These aspects do not occasionally pop up, but are present at all times in the game – they are inescapable. In the game, you are a Russian mobster that has many jobs, from selling drugs to being a hit man. Your player does refuse to use drugs when presented, but he does sell drugs to others. When you are walking the streets you can kill any civilian or steal any car. The game also encourages you to kill police officers.

Grand Theft Auto 4 also allows you to get drunk, fall over, and have all the effects of real drinking including the ability to drive while drunk. As in real life, the effects of drinking impair your driving skills. You automatically swerve and hit people walking on the sidewalks.

I do not feel that video games affect children’s actions adversely although some people may disagree, as when I was a child I would play games with these themes. I never had the impulse to go kill anyone or do drugs. But, I do understand that if a parent feels that a game will influence their child they should know about the game before they buy it or allow it to be played.

I would strongly caution parents to play this game before their children do just to be sure that they know what is going on first.


Adobe Air, What Is It?

Adobe Air is an application that allows for the viewing of the integration of multi media like Flash, Ajax and other applications with data, but on your desktop and not tied to your browser and works on multiple operating systems.

Just like a Flash plug-in an Adobe Air plug-in is needed to view applications built using Adobe Flex.  Although it is hard to wrap your head around exactly how Adobe Air is different from things like Flash or Shockwave, the big difference is that Adobe Air allows you to use the technology in free standing downloadable applications that are not tied to a browser. Adobe Air integrates the very best of multi media and interactivity through some of the newest web technologies, but not only the Web now on your desktop.

Although Adobe Air is not a hot property on the Web for browsing consumers at this point, it is a hot property for developers and being used as the backbone for new applications that are in the works.

Here’s a link to the website that showcases one Adobe Air product that was built for NASDAQ that will help you to understand what Adobe Air does. Built with Adobe Flex but played with Adobe Air this new breed of applications is coming and is sure to change the way you view and interact with data online and offline in the very near future.