Udemy’s Cross Platform Issue

Recently I learned about the online learning platform Udemy. I purchased several training courses and found out it’s very convenient way to learn something new, such as web design, online marketing…etc. However, after purchasing additional courses on via a computer instead of from my iPad mini I found out there is a major issue with the cross platform access.

One of course instructor sent out a promotional email to sell his courses on discount, so I ordered several of his courses with a deep discount. They all showed up in the Google Chrome browser which I purchased the courses from but they don’t show up at all on my iPad Mini’s Udemy app. I only have one Udemy account so there is no chance that those courses were purchased with another account. Worse yet, after a few days  later, the coursed were gone from the Google Chrome web browser on my computer and they still don’t show up on the iPad Mini Udemy app either.

I contacted the Udemy customer support several times via their website and uploaded the supporting purchase receipt screen shot but after a few email exchange, nothing happens and I have given up on contacting them. By the way, there is no phone number to call for support.

So in conclusion, Udemy is a convenient way to learn new skills but stick to one method of the course delivery such as either using the computer or the app on the iPad or any Android device. And don’t expect too much support from them if you run into issue such as mine described above.

 

Back From the China Trip – Smog Problem

China SmogI am back from China on 11/25/2015! Just in time for Thanksgiving, after missing the intended return flight on 11/24/2015, but that’s another story. Well, all I can say is it’s been an amazing trip, which to my opinion well worth it.

Returning to China after 15 years a lot has changed, but the most noticeable is the amount of cars on the road, which I believe partly contributed to the heavy smog problem on the recent headline of major media in China and abroad including United States. IMG_0473

Speaking from my own experience on the trip I can confirm the smog problem does exist in many parts of China, including the cities of Foshan and Guang Zhou which I stayed in the majority of the time during the trip.

While the majority of the days were foggy, there were a few days the sky was clear to see the color blue. I guess the smog issue is the byproduct of fast economic development which developed nations such as United States and England had experienced during the industrial revolution. I hope the Chinese people and the government will pay close attention to the problem, learned from the mistakes of other countries and find solution fast.

IMG_9809Anyway, just a few days into the trip, my throat got irritated and developed coughing symptom which still lingers while I am writing this post, however, I am still not regretted about the trip. I missed the authentic tasty Chinese food and the friendship developed during the trip is invaluable. Hoping for another trip soon.

Please enjoy a few pictures of I took during the trip 🙂

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Gearing Up For The Trip To China :-)

I have been planning the trip to China for several months and the date to board the air plane is approaching fast. I am pretty excited about this trip since the last time I traveled there is more than a decade ago. And I have not done any extended travel since then. As such I had to buy some travel gears for the trip. And naturally I turn to my favorite online shopping destination Amazon to buy the things I need for the trip. With the prime membership I get the fast 2nd day delivery service. Well, I didn’t buy the big luggage from Amazon though since I kept on delaying that purchase and it seemed to be a bit of too late now so I went to a local retail store bought a 28″ Samsonite luggage.

High Sierra AT7For the carry on luggage, I purchased the High Sierra AT7 Outdoor Wheeled Backpack. One of the reason I bought this backup is that I will be travelling alone, in order to carry two piece of luggage at the same time, it would be much easier to carry this one like a backpack instead of dragging two pieces of luggage with booth hands which I believe is quite awkward. One thing I notice the should strap is kind of flimsy and there no waist strap which I would really like to have, but hopefully it will turn out OK.

Lowepro Passport Sling DSLR Camera BagAs for my Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR camera, which is the smallest SLR camera when it first came out on the market, I have the fashionable Lowepro Passport Sling DSLR Camera Bag after I bought the camera a while back. Unlike other other camera bag which screams out it’s a camera bag, this sling bag is fashionable and subtle. It also has the expandable compartment which increases the storage capacity by about 30%, I usually keep my iPad Mini in the bag along side my camera. So far I really like it and I am sure you will like it too 🙂

Gonex Packable BackpackThe GoNEX Lightweight Packable Backpack Hiking Daypack Upgraded Version 30L(black)  – Someone shared this pack-able/fold-able backpack online and I believe it should be very useful to bring along on the trip, just in case I need extra or emergency carrying need. When I no longer need to use it I can fold it into a small pouch for space saving storage. I purchased this backpack from Amazon based on its style and the reviews on Amazon. It’s yet to be proved of its usefulness, only time will tell 🙂

Shacke hidden travel bel walletIt doesn’t matter which country you travel to, there are always some thieves trying to steal from you. The best way to prevent from being pick-pocketed is to get a wallet like this one: The Shacke Hidden Travel Belt Wallet w/ RFID Blocker. I learned about this wallet from a newsletter I subscribed, I bought one from Amazon, just in time for the trip, will see if it works as advertised.

Hidden Neck / Pocket RFID Blocking Travel / Everyday Carry Anti-Theft Passport Belt Wallet / Pouch by SOS EDC™ - Never Lose Your Wallet Again!

(Check out the better alternative: SOS EDC™ Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet, our very own brand actually inspired by the wallet mentioned above). 🙂

Hidden Neck / Pocket RFID Blocking Travel / EveryDay Carry Anti-Theft Passport Belt Wallet / Pouch by SOS EDC™ – Never Lose Your Wallet Again!

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 Practictatical penal Tactical Pen- Always Be Prepared – a Discrete High-Strength Tactical Tool Combined with a Quality Pen with a Lightweight Ergonomic Design for Quick Effective Use in Self Defense and Writing

I also learned about this tactical pen from the newsletter I subscribed and I also bought one from Amazon. What I like about this tactical pen is there is no logo or trade mark on it, unlike other similar products which scream out they are tactical pens. Although people claimed that they have no issue boarding the airplane with a tactical pen, but for me, I would put in the check-in luggage instead of carrying it with me or in the carry-on luggage to avoid the security check hassle.

Be always prepared, you never know when you may need it.

Casio Forester WatchIf you are looking for an inexpensive watch for travel, I recommend the CASIO Men’s FT500WVB-1BV Forester Sport Watch. In fact I just bought one myself from Amazon. I was looking for an inexpensive watch for the trip, I actually went to a big name retail store locally to look for ideas first and I found the Casio Forester sport watch. I like it because of its size, unlike other men’s watch, the diameter of the watch is just about right for me since I have a small wrist. I compared the price on Amazon and I found it’s $5 cheaper online, so I ordered it from Amazon and received it within 2 days. So far I am liking it, so I do recommend it if you need an inexpensive watch for travel or everyday wear.

Anyway, I am pretty excited about the trip, however there will be most likely no blog posting during the trip. I will not bring a laptop computer with me, only fun is allowed 🙂


Home Page Display issue

One reason I choose WordPress and the X theme for publishing my website is its ability to scale the different screen sizes automatically. For example, while you can view my website normally on a big monitor display, but if you view it on a cell phone, the website will automatically adjust to it size to put the page content in a vertically order so that you can still view the entire website page properly.

After I made the website live, I tested it on my iPad Mini and it adjusts to the screen beautifully so I thought the website worked as it should. Then I tried it on my cell phone, which has a 4.7 inch display, and I was shocked to find out the mid section of the homepage wasn’t displayed correctly. It actually showed the default template content, as you can see the screen shot below.

small-screen-issue

Actually the screen shot is not from the cell phone display, I adjusted the Google Chrome browser to about the same size of the cell phone display. So I have to delete the whole mid section and recreated it and it finally displays properly now. Not sure what caused the issue though.

Hello World! Oh No! My Web Site Got Hacked!

sohosos.com logoWelcome to my first post 🙂 After a about a month’s hard work I decided to take down the under construction notice on let my website go live. The website is by no mean of being completed, and for that matter, it may not ever be, because it will be under constant update. In fact, many of the sections are only consisted of dummy pages currently.

Actually I launched this website on 2003 when I was a real estate agent and utilized it to promote my real estate agent business. I became a real estate agent after I lost my job and bought a house, amazing isn’t it? Back then, real estate loans are easy to qualify and it seemed like almost everyone wanted to become a real estate agents. And I am sure you know what happened on 2008, the housing boom popped, but I had quit the real estate business after I landed the current job before the that. And because of that I left the website unattended ever since until about a few months ago. I stopped the hosting service but for some reason the hosting company has not removed the content from their hosting server. If I point the website to their name servers and my old website still can be seen, but then I have no ability to update it.

Anyway, as I mentioned in the “About” page, I want to start a side biz after reading several inspiring books so I decided to redesign and relaunch the website as part of the strategy. I signed up with Hostgator as it’s recommended by a popular business website with 30% discount via its affiliate link. The sign up process is easy and Tech support is good too, as I did contact them a few times for support.

I used the Microsoft Frontpage to design my old website but it’s outdated and possibly not supported by hosting companies anymore. I was looking for an alternative web design program, again, from the books I read, Wrodpress comes up as an easy to use web design program, so I installed WordPress on my web hosting control panel. I also purchased & installed the X Theme which is recommended by the Web development course I took online. It is a great theme and I have not regretted the purchase which I may elaborate in another post or on the SOHO Resources page.

Even though almost everyone says WordPress is very easy to use, but I was still over whelmed at first, so after two weeks of tinkling with it without progress I decided to hired a freelancer from freelancer.com to design the website frame work using the X theme. By the way, my website’s logo is also designed by a freelance designer from istanbul, Turkey who won the logo contest I posted on freelancer.com, which is another story I may post someday. Anyway, as for the website, I posted as a project and the project assistant recommended a web designer who had worked with the X Theme. After looking at some of his finished projects I decided to hired him. And this time the freelance designer is from Pakistan, and to my surprise, his English is very good so the communication on the project via email and chat went with no issue. By the way, to let you in a little secret, English is not my native language. So please excuse my  frequent rambling with erroneous grammar and not so precise words.

Anyway, after about two weeks and a few hundred of dollars later, the website with basic menu and a few pages was completed, that was on Sept. 26. I was quite excited because even though I think the project is a little too expensive but I had the break through finally. After studying how the website frame work is built, I am able to start updating and building additional pages. Then on Oct. 10, when I tried to logon to the WordPress admin account to update the website, my heart sank immediately after I saw the screen which I captured below.

web site hacked

Apparently, my website got hacked!! The hacker from Indonesia posted other hacked websites alongside mine on his Facebook page. I was like, why me?! I have poured so much time, money and effort to relaunch the website and this is what I got? Yes, I was very frustrated but actually pretty calm, oh yeah, I have been through way more depressing and frustrating events than this, so it’s not the end of the world. And besides, before I decided to redesign & relaunch the website, I was debating whether or not I should do it, because I have another bigger project I am trying to start and will require a lot more of my time and resources, and the website could be a distraction. “May be it’s fate and meant to be…” I thought to myself.

But I figured that I can’t just wasted the time & money like this with nothing to show in the end, so I visited the Facebook link on the hacked page and asked the hacker why he did what he did. I also told him that if he is looking for money he will not get it because I am pretty tight financially myself. His Facebook picture shows he is a young looking guy, may be in the early twenty or even in the teens. Well, his answer was that it’s just for fun. He later did give me the hacked user name and logon password, but there is no use, I just don’t know how to change it back to the way it was and I am not sure he knows either. I contacted Hostgator for support and was referred to Sitelock for possible resolution. I was told it would cost several hundred dollars to clean the site and over a hundred each moth to employ their service to protect the site. I decided to decline the service since I am only in the early stage of designing my site and it’s very unlikely to generate that much revenue if there is any to justify the cost.

So reluctantly,  my decision was to cancel the hosting service from Hostgator since it’s still within the 45 day cancellation period. I ended up signing up with justhost which is recommended to me by the freelance web designer from Pakistan. I also asked him if he could set up the website frame work for me again, but the cost would be almost two hundred dollars, so I declined and decided to figure it out myself. But I did thank him for his previous work and it actually helped me in figuring out how to put the site together again which is what you are looking at right now. It’s in no way of being perfect, I have still a lot to learn, but as one of the successful Internet marketer said, a successful Internet marketer should not spend time in designing websites, such task should be delegated to others, but I guess I am not at that level yet. I just don’t have the financial mean to do so yet, but the experience of the logo & website design has open my mind that outsourcing is a viable way to grow a business faster.

Anyway, as I mentioned, the purpose of this website is to share my experience of trying to make it someday to have a profitable online / offline business. I will definitely share more as I progress. Thanks for sticking to the end of the post 🙂