Monday, September 27, 2010

Scoma's Restaurant (Sausalito)

While in San Francisco for JavaOne 2010 last week, we went to Sausalito for a half day after doing the Alcatraz Tour. Sausalito is a nice little town with a tourist-oriented main street walkway. It boasted beautiful views of Angel Island, San Francisco Bay, and the city of San Francisco. One of the highlights of our half day there was eating lunch at Scoma's Restaurant.

Scoma's Restaurant is located literally on the water and the building is listed in the national registry of historical buildings. They serve excellent fresh seafood in an elegant atmosphere. For what one gets in terms of food, attentive service, and ambiance, the prices are reasonable. Not surprisingly, this restaurant performs reasonably well in the various online reviews available.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery

I was in San Francisco for JavaOne 2010 last week and enjoyed many aspects of the city, not the least of which was breakfast twice at Honey Honey Cafe & Crepery. We spotted this place on the corner of Post and Taylor on the way to some tourist attraction from the hotel at which we were staying (Warwick San Francisco Hotel), which was in the same block.

The menu is on a huge board hanging from the wall and boasts a wide variety. We had breakfast both times we were there, but tried several different things and they were all excellent. The orange juice was particularly tasty and was freshly squeezed by a machine on the spot. It was like sticking a straw into the orange and drinking the juice out of it. The food is excellent, the location is nice, and the prices are reasonable. We'll definitely make this a must-visit restaurant the next time we're in San Francisco. They also have Wifi available.

Honey Honey Cafe & Crepery is currently ranked #40 of 3070 restaurants in San Francisco on Trip Advisor.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Installing Google Chrome on 64-bit Windows 7

I kept getting an "Unknown Installer Error" when trying to run ChromeSetup.exe after downloading it from the main Google Chrome download page.  The only way I could get it to work was to download it via Google Pack for Windows 7.

The Google Pack includes free software beyond Google Chrome such as Firefox with Google Toolbar, Google Picasa, Google Earth, Adobe Reader, Google Apps, and Google Desktop.  This provides a single convenient mechanism for downloading several useful free products for a new machine or machine requiring installation of new software.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why I Like NetFlix

I have used NetFlix since 2004 and have been very happy with the service. In this blog post, I briefly look at some things NetFlix has done to keep my business.

The Model

One of the things that I have been happy about with NetFlix is its model.  This was what attracted me to sign up for the service in the first place and it continues to meet my needs well.  Being able to create a queue of movies to see and have them mailed directly to my home is convenient.  It was so nice to be freed from the burden of standing in line at Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, or other video store outlet.  It was also a welcome relief to have such easy access to such a wide variety of movie titles without the limitation of the physical size of a store.  There is no question that the NetFlix model, combined with the Redbox concept and the relatively cheap availability of DVDs and Blu-ray discs, has led to the downfall of the brick-and-mortar video stores.  There are few businesses I know of that had abused their own customers as much as these stores, so I think many of us are glad to see them going away.

In recent years, NetFlix has demonstrated a commitment to providing modern convenience in movie access.  The availability of a subset of their movie inventory via streaming on Wii, PlayStation 3, and select Blu-ray players is their latest effort to improve an already convenient model for accessing movies.  Not all movies in their inventory are available for streaming, so I find myself using a combination of discs by mail and streaming. It is nice to know, though, that NetFlix is continuing to make movies available in a modern, convenient manner.

Automatic Price Reduction

Years ago, I received an e-mail message from NetFlix stating that they were lowering my automatically charged monthly subscription fee because they were offering the lower monthly subscription fee to new customers.  How many providers of a monthly service have ever done that for you?  I cannot think of another.  Whether it be long-distance in the old days, cable or satellite service, cellular telephone service, or any other such service, it has always seemed to be that a current customer had to threaten or actually quit the service to get the reduced rates offered to new customers.  I didn't have to do this with NetFlix.

The Bonus Discs

Something NetFlix has recently done is to provide a fourth disc to have at home (I'm on the three-at-a-time plan) more than once.  This was not the most significant reason to me for staying with NetFlix, but it is another small thing to add to the reasons why I've been a satisfied customer of NetFlix for many years.


There are many reasons to like NetFlix.  Their service is convenient, relatively economical (especially when considering the streaming at no extra charge), and provides easy access to a wide library of movies.  It has also been refreshing to deal with a company like NetFlix which seems to understand that the secret to keeping customers even when the customers have competitive alternatives is to do the little things correctly.