Author Archives: Robert McKay Jones

Robert McKay Jones

I have spent more than 25 years working hand in hand with clients in creating custom software applications that improve and enhance their operation, productivity and visibility.

The Best iPad Apps of 2010

I have spent hours and hours (in fact, more hours than that) with my iPad playing, creating, testing, writing, working, planning and more.  Here is a list of the applications I use the most.Would I recommend you buy an iPad?  Absolutely unequivocally YES!  Enjoy.  

Productivity (Work Related)
Logmein (Remote control)
DropBox  (Setup account here:
QuickOffice (Word and Excel document viewing and editing)
iThoughts (Great mind mapping tool)
Corkulous (Post it Notes on a bulletin board)

Social Networking
Facebook HD (Lets you look at all your friends picture albums)

Let’s create Pottery (Awesome! Fun)
iDough (mush up a piece of clay)
Livesketch HD (Very cool drawing tool)
Sketchbook Pro (A very good almost professional drawing and design tool)
Drawing Pad (Great for the kids, has crayons and pens and pencils and markers and stickers…..)
World of Sand (4 falling streams of sand which you can block and divert. Ammuzing)

Paintmee (Turn photographs into paintings)
Photgene (Edit photos)
Phot fx Ultra (Edit Photos)
Crop Smart (Great tool for cropping pictures)

Clinometer – Very cool tool to check level and angles
Backyard Birds – If you like birds, great tool to figure out who is making that chirp
Starmap – if you like astronomy
Live Cams HD – Lets you look at a bunch of live cameras all around the world

Pandora – an online radio station that builds music playlists based on the music you select and like / dislike.  Very cool
BeatPad – if your kids like to create beats with drums and cymbals

Pinball HD
10 PinShuffle
Simcity DLX
Vegas Slots

Kindle Software for iPad

IMDB – database of the stars and cinema
Zillow – Housing prices and for sale
The Weather Channel
Google Earth
Where to – Find a place to eat, drink, shop, etc close to where you are or where you are going
Stumble Upon – Just a sampling of what is on the web

Yoga HD
Bowls HD – Tibetan singing bowls
SimplyBeing – Guided meditations
SilentIsland – Great for background sounds and nature
ZenTimer – Silent timed meditation
GazeHD – Sounds combined with video to help you relax

Just for Fun
Inspiro – when you have nothing better to do than think
Jiggle Balls HD – Cool toy withlots of balls and great sound
Forge of Neon – Light show you create
Liquidmantra – like a plastic covered vat of colored oil to squish around
WindTunnel – Interesting and educational
SymmetryPro – Just fun

NightStand – Great clock
SaiSuke – Calendar that interfaces with Google Calendar

Posted in iPad.

Why Use a Web Portal?

This is a complicated subject that deserves some attention. First, what is a web portal? Simply stated, a web portal presents information and software services in a unified way through a web browser. It is far different than running your own software on your own servers. A web portal application runs on one or more host computers storing data in one or more locations and the use of the portal is paid for on a recurring basis as in a monthly or annual fee. The major advantages of a web portal are:

  • No investment in hardware
  • Little or no investment in software (unless the service is customized) as the application is rented as needed
  • No support staff is required to maintain server or client systems
  • Software can be operated from anywhere in the world

So let’s look at a custom Inventory Control system to compare. If you were to purchase this and the server that it requires, it would cost upwards of $25,000 not including customization and portable data terminals / bar code scanners and the monthly support would cost roughly $225 per month. So if you amortize the cost over 5 years and add the month-to-month, it would add up to about $650 per month at which point new hardware and would probably be needed.

Compare this to the cost to of a basic Inventory Control Web Portal Application – between $420 and $600. A maintenance-free solution at a considerable savings.

So when you are looking at new software, consider Web Portal solutions.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Are You Seeing More SPAM than Ever?

Are you getting more SPAM than ever or is it my imagination?  The Federal Trade Commission enforces the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography AndMarketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM).  But not really.  They collect complaints and those complaints are used by law enforcement agencies all over the world. It collects the information in what they refer to as the Consumer Sentinel which gathers information along with other data contributors like the Better Business World, US Postal Service, The National Fraud Center, The Identity Theft Assistance Center and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Click here to file a complaint.

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, so non-compliance can be costly. But following the law isn’t complicated. Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.
Posted in EMAIL. Tagged with , , , .

Worcester has an Airport?

Well, yes there is. If you study the history of the fledgling airport you will find that the location was not really selected by visionaries of the time. It wasn’t in good proximity to the population center. It had no major road access. It was (and is) frequently smothered in fog and bad weather. But build it they did. At 1,ooo feet, on the highest peak in Worcester, they constructed a couple of runways and began service in the 50’s.

Much money has been spent. Business has been up and down. Airlines have been courted. They have come and they have gone. Currently Direct Air services Fort Myers (Punta Gorda), Orlando(Sanford), and now West Palm Beach Florida.

Massport took over the running of Worcester Airport in June and is trying to divert some traffic away from Logan. Time will tell. Unfortunately, as the old Pepperidge Farm commercial goes, “you can’t get there from here”. Today, ORH still lacks any connection to an Interstate highway. The airport is located on the north-west corner of Worcester, perfect proximity to residents of Holden and Paxton.

However, for Metro West, here are the directions to the airport from Framingham. Drive time is approximately 24 minutes from Route 9 West (under conditions of no-traffic):

  • Take Route 9 West through Shrewsbury into Worcester.
  • Cross Lake Quinsigamond Bridge onto Belmont Street.
  • Continue straight. Belmont Street becomes Highland Street (at Lincoln Square).
  • Continue on Highland Street across Park Avenue (4th set of traffic lights).
  • Take second right at rotary (Newton Square) onto Pleasant Street.
  • Continue on Pleasant Street 2.8 miles and turn left onto Airport Drive.
  • Continue on Airport Drive. Airport entrance is on right.

What does it tell you when the official website looks like this:

Worcester Regional Airport is a great airport, if only…

Posted in Uncategorized. Tagged with , , , .

What is a TRIF?

TRIF; trĭf, –noun (origin: 1175–1225; (n.) ME tru(f)fle idle talk, deceit < OF, var. of truf(f)e mocker)

1) A mammal like creature which would fly if it could. But can only fly a few feet at a time – basically jumping from point to point.  Usually hides in cave-like dwellings for much of the day. Feeds on sweet objects that present themselves without hunt or chase.  2) A simulator, one who sets forth a claim, especially a claimant to a throne.

But really, it represents the three aspects of TRI, design, build and support.  Just like constructing a building, you have a design-build team that takes your ideas, hopes, wishes and dreams and brings them into reality.  Then a support team takes over to make sure the building stands tall and strong. Our team of experts works in the same way to create an application that fulfills your desires, performs as expected and we stand behind that application with dedicated support. That’s what TRIF stands for. Send an email to if you would like more information.

Posted in TRI.

Virtual Art – Is it Real?

Is it really art if it wasn’t created in 3-dimensions?   Is it any the less creative?    Creating art virtually or otherwise is all about what the minds eye can do with the tools and canvas provided. 

Pumpkin Pottery

Pumpkin Pottery

The inset pictures a creation of pottery which I suspect many would purchase at Pier One given the opportunity.  Alas, it was created virtually with an amazing pottery creation tool on an iPad. This Halloween surprise was created by an esteemed artist using an iPad application called let’s create Pottery written by company based in Poland called Infinite Dreams.  The application is a clever combination of tools for artistically creating pottery and a community web portal that allows the sharing of the creations so that members of the community can review the works of others.

So click on the pumpkin and take a look at the 200+ original works of art brought to us by the artist who created this piece and feel free to scan the gallery of the 16,875+ creations from other artists around the world.

So is it art if it wasn’t created in 3-dimensions?  Of course it is.  Is it any less creative?  Absolutely not.  It requires the same instinct, eye, talent, dedication, expertise and mastering the available materials and tools.  See for yourself. 

Posted in iPad.

Changing Your Perspective

The Path Less Traveled

When was the last time you visited with nature, all by yourself.  To walk, sit, watch, hear and most of all empty your mind of the clutter. I know, it’s harder than cleaning the basement. But it’s a powerful and rewarding experience.  This time of year especially.  Sounds seem to travel farther.  Colors are more brilliant.  Air seems fresh and clean. 

The birds are transients this time of year, gathering, singing and nervously flittering  as if something was beckoning them.  Leaves rustle from the footsteps of chipmunks or squirrels or maybe some larger creatures.  Ponds are full of ducks and geese catching their breath before they once again begin the arduous journey south. 

So why wouldn’t you spend some time pondering.  Calm yourself.  Take a moment to consider….. nothing.  And if you do it once, why wouldn’t you do it again and again? Think about making a change in your schedule.   Think about calendaring an hour to have a meeting with nature. Combine it with a walk or a jog.  Breathe the air deeply. Look past the trees in front of you.  Find water. Puddles, ponds, lakes or oceans. Look for small creatures moving in the water.   Consider how nature works.  How water flows.  How the wind blows.  How the trees sway.  How the clouds move.  How the rain falls.  How the leaves fall.  Just spend some time contemplating the things you don’t spend time contemplating every other day.  It does change your perspective.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Climate is Changing, So is Our Business

The climate is changing and so is business worldwide. It might be inevitable, but we need to look at the way we do business. Technology has become a major aspect of our day-to-day lives and it’s affect is exponentially growing. It is matched only by our carbon emissions.

So do we go along the way we have been going or do we change our path now? Do we adjust our consumption? Do we need to look at our use of technology differently? It seems obvious we need to make changes and we need to make them quickly. So how do we go about steering our ships to more productivity, less consumption, greater cooperation, compassion and teamwork?

We don’t know all the answers, but we can help you come up with options.  We can provide insight on new technologies, new collaborative tools, new ways of linking data, voice, images and actions so you can be as productive and efficient as possible. We do this while considering the shrinking budget.  If you believe ‘times are a changing’, consider how a conversation with us might impact the curves in the road ahead. Give us a call or send me an email (

Posted in business climate.

The Best iPad Application Ever!

This weekend, I used the iTunes Genius function to select some new applications on my behalf. It suggested I buy Let’s Create! Pottery. The purchase price was $4.99 which is par for an iPad application. You can find out more information at their website:

Well, it took me a while to figure out that you really can’t do much with it until you create some pieces and sell them. So I did. And before you sell your piece, you can share it by sending it into the web site. It all takes place with the press of a finger. And I did some more. And some more. I have created and posted some 35 works of art to date and can’t wait till I can create some more. The capabilities to create unique pieces are astounding. Take a look at the gallery available on their website and you will see a wide variety of pottery.

Create anything from the simple to Aztec to Chinese pottery. Use your hands (fingers) without getting dirty. If you don’t have an iPad, this is a very good reason to run to the Apple store and pick one up. It is rewarding, meditative and fun. Unfortunately, it is a bit addictive, so be wary. Time seems to literally slip through your hands.

Posted in iPad. Tagged with , , , , , , .

Freight Rate Discounting

Earn an extra penny with Net Rate Tariffs.

Discounting the rate prior to rating versus discounting the extension results in differing amounts. Which works out better for the carrier? Here are 3 examples. In ALL cases, it works out better for the carrier to discount the rate first. It is pennies on every transaction, but might result in hundreds or thousands of dollars over time. The example shows 3 shipments of different weights and different rates. The discount applying to the shipments is 66%. Discounting the extension versus discounting the rate always results in a lesser amount.

It is because applying a discount to a lessor amount (the rate) results in smaller discount than applying the discount to the larger amount (the extension).

For more information, please contact

Posted in Freight Discounting, Freight Rate Discounts, Freight Rating, Transportation Discounts.