Lacking Internet Connection….

It wasn’t too long ago that the Washington State Ferries got rid of their WiFi program with their partner, Boingo. Boingo wasn’t that great, but at least they worked in the terminal and when the ferry was docked. Without WiFi, my devices are a lot worse.

You might think, “well, just do something offline.” This is not so easy. Most apps are paying for themselves by offering in-app purchases. To keep you from accessing their apps without having to buy items, they won’t boot the application without connectivity.

Other apps are free, but I only use them offline. They only verify that they’re still free when I open them. Since I only open them when I don’t have connectivity, I usually can’t open them because the last time I opened them, was so long ago that the license refresh has expired. There’s got to be a better way for the device to keep track of which apps are licensed and which aren’t. If they wanted extra points, they could give me a mechanism outside the app where I could see which licenses need to be renewed and do it from the app. Even better, only show me when they need to disappear or have me buy them. Just renew the free license without me being involved.

The instance that got me going was an office suite that I bought. I bring it up on my tablet, and it tells me that it won’t work because it can’t reach the server to validate my license. It should only need to check once, like, when I buy it. After that, they shouldn’t get in the customer’s way. After all, I buy apps that run offline, so that I can run them offline.

One thing that I really like is the 4G modem on my HP Chromebook. Not only does it give me the internet in places without  WiFi, but it also gets a signal for 90% of the ride across the Puget Sound, which is about 80% more than Boingo. I carry that on most days. And, today, I realize why.

That’s something that you don’t see every day

A ship on the way to workI was walking to work today, following the path that I normally take. When I passed the marina I saw a ship docked with a semi parked next to it. Only this was not an ordinary ship, it looked like an old sailing ship from 4 centuries ago.

I stopped to take some pictures of it. There was a man next to me taking pictures as well. He told me that the ship came up from Mexico. His friend in Mexico had posted a picture of this ship on Facebook, and he had come to the dock to take some pictures of it arriving in Seattle.

It turns out that this ship is a school that the students sail.
It was really cool to see that today.


It’s always cool when the whales commute with us.

You can’t see it very well in the pictures (because they were shot with a camera phone at dusk on a moving ferry), but there’s a whale in the water. There were actually two of them.

This is the second time in two weeks when the ferry captain has announced to us that there are Orcas within viewing distance of the ferry. Last time, they were too far away to even wish to capture with my phone’s camera. This time, they were right outside my window. By the time I’d gotten my camera phone out, they were underwater. Then, they resurfaced back behind the ferry.

Its pretty nice though, having these whales sharing our commute. It makes us more aware, as we want to see them all the time. This morning, we thought we saw a whale by the side of the boat. Turned out it was just a sea otter (but that’s pretty cool, too).