Bryan Paul Sullo

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Multiplication without Memorization

In Uncategorized on 29 May 2015 at 10:43 am

Multiplication

Round about fourth grade, we were expected to learn the multiplication table—the big ten-by-ten grid of all the single-digit integers and their resulting products. Well, I never got the hang of it. Sure, I grasped the concept of multiplication, probably better than most of my classmates, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember that 7 x 8 = 56, or that 4 x 6 = 24, or any of the other, seemingly random facts.

To this day, I can’t remember most of the multiplication table. My brain doesn’t work that way. I have a hard time memorizing lists of meaningless things. What I can remember though are rules. Rules have meaning. They can be understood and reasoned out and then applied to a problem. I’d like to share my multiplication rules with the world. This may be completely useless in the computer age, but if I can help some struggling fourth-grader somewhere (or even a struggling adult) to overcome a problem that seems to be so simple for most, it will be worth it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Happy Winter Solstice

In Uncategorized on 21 December 2013 at 11:42 am

Happy Winter Solstice to everyone. Why am I excited about the Winter Solstice? Because, from now until Summer, every day gets longer and longer!

An Open Letter to Drive-Thru Workers Everywhere

In Uncategorized on 20 November 2013 at 10:26 am

Push; speak; release.

That is all.

Bryan

I’m Back

In Uncategorized on 15 November 2013 at 2:03 pm

I’m back to blogging at wordpress.com. “Why?” you may well ask. In fact, you did ask it well, so I’ll tell you:

In July of this year (2013), Carrie and I had twins. This, understandably, curtailed my blogging (and just about every other) activity for a few months. A couple of days ago, I decided to upload a new post to my blog at bryanpaulsullo.com. When I went there, however, I found the site was gone!

The site, hosted with HostMonster, was not just broken, it was gone. All the files were missing. It was as though the site had been wiped out and reset.  I know the site was there less than a month prior, as someone mentioned to me that they had seen it. I hadn’t touched it since. Whatever happened was a problem with HostMonster

I got on a chat session with HostMonster tech support and was told that there was nothing they could do. None of their backups contained my files. I demanded a full refund, to which I was told I’d have to speak with the billing department. Calling the billing department, I explained the situation. The lady there told me she didn’t have the authority to issue a full refund, and that I would have to speak with the cancellation department for that. The lady at the cancellation department (predictably) told me that she didn’t have the authority to issue a full refund, and that I would have to speak with the billing department for that.

HostMonster is owned by Endurance International Group, out of Provo, Utah. Along with HostMonster, EIG also does business as BlueHost, HostGator, FastDomain, and JustHost. (Edit: A more complete list of EIG brands can be found here.) Each of these “companies” provide the same services, using the same infrastructure, but are marketed as competitors. (Pretty shady, huh?) Additionally, EIG companies market their hosting plans as having a monthly cost. When you go to sign up, however, you’ll find there is no way to pay by the month. You have to pay for a full year, up front. (False advertising?) Finally, as I discovered, the customer service is structured in such a way that the customer cannot contact anyone who can make a decision outside the rigid rules that are set up to protect EIG. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

If this had been the first time, I might have chalked it up to a learning experience, but they have lost my data before, without a backup. It was a different site that I ran for a while, and when I called, asking for a restore, they said they had no working backup. “It’s a courtesy backup,” the tech said, as if that eliminated their responsibility. He didn’t seem to understand that a backup that doesn’t work isn’t particularly courteous. On a third site that I had for a few months, I had trouble with performance. They claimed it was the WordPress installation, and that this was my responsibility because, “you installed it.” I mentioned that they supplied WordPress with a one-click install, and that I did not, in my reckoning of the term, install it.

After getting the run-around from billing and cancellation this time, I decided to just go ahead and cancel, and eat the cost of the hosting that I’d already paid. Their policy is that cancellations are pro-rated based on how much time you have left in your contract. I had two months left, so I expected to receive somewhere around $12 as a refund. Well, to add insult to injury, I received 10¢. That’s right, a dime. I don’t know why, and I’m not asking. During my phone call, I promised to tell everyone I know about their poor service. This is part of that promise. I also promised to switch my business hosting account, and to recommend to my clients never to use any of EIG’s front-companies again.

It’s sad that I’m re-starting this blog on such a sour note. Eventually, I’ll find better hosting for bryanpaulsullo.com, but it’s not high on the priority list right now. At the moment, I’d rather concentrate on my new family.

I’ve Moved

In Uncategorized on 9 January 2013 at 4:28 pm

This blog is so 2012. I’ve moved to http://bryanpaulsullo.com. Please update your bookmarks and shortcuts accordingly.