My pals Ron and Brenda Speidel call me Gadget Boy for good reason; I do love my toys! I’m not as bad (or maybe as wealthy) as my friend Phil May from TechnoRV, who always seems to have something new that I didn’t know I couldn’t live without, but I do appreciate things that make my job and my life easier.
A couple of days ago, I wrote about the Docuscan portable document scanner I got from Phil, and the more I use it, the more I like it. Yesterday I tried out another new tech gadget for our business, that my friend Dave Damon introduced me to at our Ohio rally in Celina. It’s called the Square, and it’s a nifty little credit card reader that plugs into an iPad, iPhone, or many smart phones.
For years we have only been been able to accept credit card payments online with PayPal, but at RV rallies or when somebody stops by and wanted to make a purchase, we had to ask for cash or a check, since we had not found an affordable, mobile credit card processing solution. The Square is free, and when a merchant swipes a customer’s credit or debit card to make a sale, the money is deposited into his designated bank account within 24 hours. The merchant fees are in line with what PayPal charges us, and it’s fast and easy to use.
I went online to set up an account with Square, and the card reader arrived a couple of days ago. Yesterday I gave it a try, using my debit card to make a $5 purchase from myself. I plugged the Square into my Droid Incredible, went to the Square app, (which is free), swiped the card and entered the purchase amount. It asked for the purchaser’s e-mail address or phone number to send a receipt, I entered my e-mail address, and within a few seconds the receipt showed up in my in box, complete with a map of where I was when the transaction took place. The map is so detailed that it actually showed where we are parked here at Elkhart Campground. Way cool!
I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I was having problems getting online with my iPad on AT&T. I have never been happy with AT&T’s 3G service, and more often than not I use the WiFi signal from our Verizon air card and Cradlepoint wireless router to get online with it, since the AT&T signal is so flakey much of the time. But there are times when I am away from the motorhome and want to use the iPad.
Yesterday we stopped at the local Verizon store to pay our phone bill, and I got to talking to a young man there about the Verizon MiFi device. Smaller than a cell phone, it allows up to five computers or other wireless devices to get online at once, at 4G speeds. I am paying $30 a month for the AT&T 3G service, and with my veteran’s discount from Verizon, the MiFi is $41 a month for 5 GB of service. I think it’s time to say adios to AT&T and go with the MiFi. I’ll still keep my 3G air card, which has unlimited service for now, and we’ll see how this works out between now and when my contract expires in January. If any of you have a Verizon MiFi, I’d like to have your input on it.
After Bad Nick wrote about freedom of speech in yesterday’s Bad Nick Blog, I decided to share some thoughts on freedom of the press in my self-publishing blog. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Thought For The Day – Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg!