Deb Fixed It

The things I have done to help people with computers or tech as I travel.


My practical traveler’s thank you to hosts 2

As a guest in people’s homes, it’s a given that I bring food or a gift for my hosts. But for the longer-term visits, I typically try to contribute to the home in some way as a special thank you. Sometimes my host/hostess knows. Other times they have no idea unless they notice the difference later on.

Sometimes it’s just cleaning floor molding and cabinet doors. Once I recaulked a bathroom. Once I repaired a large hole in the wall…

The tub with the new silicon sealant.

Computer Talk Radio logo

Recording Computer Talk Radio at crazy hours as I travel

It is 4:19 a.m. on this now-Wednesday pre-dawn day. I just finished recording my weekly Computer Talk Radio segment because the engineer is in the US, 9 hours behind my time (here in Israel). Tuesday evening was always my time slot to record and it’s Tuesday evening in California now. The topic this week was my long-time method of doing taxes. I am a huge Excel-tracking + [not online] TurboTax fan and recommend [your computer-based] TurboTax for everyone — even if you hire someone to do your taxes. If you’re into “what-if” scenarios and are thinking about starting your own business or making some income changes, TurboTax is a great tool to see how those changes may play out. Anyway, the show is recorded. Our listeners will learn, and me… Now I can go to bed and sleep 7 hours straight rather than try to sleep at midnight but not get […]


Traveling Mac Maven strikes in Prescott, AZ

Day 1 in Prescott, Arizona — February 18, 2014: I arrived in Prescott to clean up and repair a MacBook Air, having already saved it from daily Kernel Panics via phone. How did I end up in Prescott? A client from Beverly Hills has moved here. Day 9 in Prescott, Arizona — February 26, 2014: The woman who’s Mac I just resurrected told Apple techs that her Macintosh was about to be “the most expensive frisbee ever made” because she was ready to throw it against the wall. She’s had an ongoing love-hate relationship with all things Mac (and she’s had 5 of them) and now she’s l-o-v-i-n-g her Mac again! She has give me the title of “Residential Macintosh Intervention Maven.” After I dealt with the software-caused issues and ran diagnostics to assure her that her hardware was not the issue, I embarked on a massive file clean up. As […]

Mac Deb repaired

Walking, movie & my radio show

At 11am today, just as the heat of the day was building, my friend Gary Smith and I went walking. We walked the entire Cinta Costera, stopped at the Seafood Market for cold drinks, then continued through the streets and scenic views of Casca Viejo and San Filipe. As the sun went down we thought we would take a Metrobus but we just walked instead. It was easier to walk as the sun went down. We stopped for shaved ice along the way. Gary’s first. As we walked home, we decided to go see a movie. We did something I have never done before. We walked up to the ticket counter and asked what the next film was that was playing in English. It was 7pm and The Impossible was on at 7:30, so that’s what we saw. At $9 or so in LA, I would likely not choose to […]


Story of a traveling Sim Card

Having an unlocked phone enables you to buy a sim card in each country and have a local number and local phone service. In Panama City I met the bright, personable, amd trustworthy Karol. Karol was headed up to Costa Rica so I gave her my CR sim card. Service with CR’s ICE is so inexpensive that I had plenty of service left on the card and it might come in handy for her. I insisted she take it. A few weeks later she returned — with stories of how that sim helped make her trip a great one. This is Karol’s short version of her story, which she called a butterfly effect.


The first Mac I couldn’t make more efficient

After years and years of helping people make their Macintosh computers more efficient, I finally came across one that I couldn’t set up for more efficiency. I met a new Mac user who has a beautiful MacBook Pro. When I hit Command-N to start a new browser window on his Mac and see his default settings, he asked how I did that. So now he knows about keyboard shortcuts and how to learn them. But… I was not able to set his Finder settings and customize his menus. His Mac is in Japanese. and my Spanish isn’t good enough to explain where he needs to go and what he needs to do. OK, truth is, given time, I would be able to recall menus or change the language and set it up for him. But that just wouldn’t be appropriate while he needed to do his work. He is another […]


Website consulting in Guatemala City

I spent this Shabbat in Guatemala City with some friends. It gave me the opportunity to meet several great people. Some invited me to their homes and it is so tempting because i like the people and the places. However, each is in a place I have already been. Great invitations for the next time I come there. But for now I need to keep moving south. It was pretty funny to have left Guatemala and traveled south, then back to Guatemala and back down again. Anyway… One on my many conversations led me to spend some time Saturday night reviewing someone’s business website and teaching them what they need to do to improve their site. It felt great to be back using that familiar expertise. From explaining the flaws of the existing site, to teaching them web site and web page structure, to giving them user interface advice, to […]


Computer Talk Radio with Hannah in La Ceiba

Tonight I was with a new travel friend, Hannah, in the supermarket at the upscale mall in Honduras’ third largest city, La Ceiba, when Benjamin Rockwell called me on Voxer to tell me the evening’s recording schedule. Hannah and I decided to stay at the mall and enjoy it a while longer, so I did my segment from an electronics store in the mall. Hannah has been on the road for a while, covering two hemispheres, so she did the 10 minute segment as my guest, sharing her travel technology experiences with our listeners. Hannah’s stories: 1) Her PC died in Tulume, Mexico. A local computer tech found the issue to be a damaged RAM. This is a common issue, he said, due to humidity. It took three days for her new RAM to arrive so three days later, For 400 pesos (US$33), she had new RAM and was happily […]