All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Coming To Grips With “It Just Doesn’t Work Anymore”

I’ve had this file for, well, 9 years now. It was a package called All Icons, and that’s just what it was. No matter what computer I had it on, if I wanted to change the icon of programs to something cool or silly, I could direct myself to that folder, go through a lot of categories, pick what I wanted and that was that. It had science fiction, cartoons, music, sports, and tons of other things; very neat indeed.


by Amanda Tetrault

Except it turned out not to be compatible with Vista, and it’s not compatible with Windows 7 either. I was holding onto the folder because there were so many things in there. I learned there was a program I could have used to convert them to something that could be used, but I’d have to do each one individually. Thousands of icon files individually; nope, wasn’t going there.

So, I finally dumped it; sent it to the recycle bin. And that got me thinking about how we all find things we like, use them a lot, then one day, not by our own hands, we learn that we can’t use those things anymore. Someone, most notably Microsoft I have to say, has taken it from us and forced us to go elsewhere for that process; weasels!

I’ve had programs that helped me fix other people’s computers, files that helped me edit images, and files that let me download other stuff suddenly go “Captain Dunsel” (in Star Trek, the term is used to describe a part serving no useful purpose) on me. Frankly, the first time it happened was back in the early 90’s when I had a program called IBM Writing Assistant that was my first writing program that suddenly didn’t work when I upgraded to Windows 3.1. That irked me because I’d also had this really cool football program that worked great with my double floppy system (man, talk about going way back) that I could no longer play either; sigh…

Right now I’m going through the sad process of thinking that the time might be nigh for Google Desktop. One of my most popular posts was telling people how to index Google Desktop with Thunderbird, Mozilla’s great mail client. However, seems that only worked on XP. It doesn’t work on Vista or Windows 7, even if one upgraded to the Desktop 64-bit version, since the old version wasn’t compatible with Vista. I’ve gone through a major series of tricks, and will probably try a couple more things, but if it doesn’t end up working to the point where I can search my email, I’ll probably uninstall it and just use Windows Search, which finds everything else on my computer just fine. And I think Google is going to end up discontinuing it anyway because the rumor is they’re no longer partnering with Mozilla

Well, I talked earlier in the year about decluttering my online life; guess it’s time to declutter my computer as well, which supposedly has more than 670,000 files on it; not by the end of the week it won’t. Obsolescence can’t rule my life anymore.

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Blog Abandonment Mini-Research

Something I’ve said to potentially new bloggers over and over is that if you don’t think you’ll be able to sustain a blog, don’t even start. Technorati estimates that only 5.5% of all blogs that have been created still have new content, that criteria being within 4 months of the current date for the last post. That’s a horrible statistic; then again, it is only an estimate, right?

Well, overall I’m not sure Technorati is the best arbiter of deciding what’s what; after all, their new algorithm makes absolutely no sense, and that thing about only counting the last 6 months of recommendations for them to rank you higher makes no sense either. I decided to do my own little survey, as I hadn’t had a research post in awhile.

Here’s what I did. I went through all the comments on this blog from 2008; yeah, I did that just for you. I eliminated people who I knew were still blogging because they still comment now. So, this little test only concerned those people I hadn’t heard from in a long time or whose names I didn’t recognize. If they had a blog or website I decided to take a look. The numbers might seem a bit low, but as I said, there were some people I eliminated, and of course I didn’t count anything I wrote. I counted any blog that hasn’t had a new post within a year as being dead. And there are some blogs that haven’t written a post in a long time, and I capture those as well. Here’s what I came up with:

Blogs no longer working – 43

Blogs still current – 29

Blogs that haven’t written in:

a month – 5

2 months – 2

3 months – 2

4 months – 1

8 months – 2

So, if I look at only the working and current, that comes to an abandonment rate of 60%. That’s obviously a much different figure than what Technorati gives, but it’s still a terrible number. Based on my figure and the estimated number of blogs coming in around 133 million (that’s the last figure I’ve seen) that’s almost 80 million blogs that have been abandoned; ugh!

Well, there’s nothing we can do about it except lament the fact and move on. I wonder how many of you are thinking about bailing out on your blog some time in the near future. I’m sticking around; yup, you’re stuck with me for awhile longer. 😉

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Quick Hitters Two

Wow! Almost a year to the day I wrote a post called Some Quick Hitters For A Sunday. That was before I started my weekly Sunday Question series. In that post, which turned out to be more than 1,100 words and thus not very quick, I tackled Olympic hockey, Syracuse University Basketball, a Commission Junction affiliate that never paid me, people stealing my posts, and snow; it’s always about snow in central New York. This post will be on different topics as well, but I expect it to be much shorter than last year’s post. Then again, it should be, right?


No, not Jerry Mouse!

Let’s start by talking about your mouse. Yes, the mouse you use on your computer. Does it have a scroll button on it? If so, did you know that, while looking at your browser, if you hold down the Ctrl-key and scroll either up or down that you can increase or decrease the size of the window you’re looking at? up, works for both fonts and images. There are some things that won’t get larger, though, but 98% of everything you try it on it will work. And it doesn’t matter the browser, although someone who has a Mac will have to tell me if it works there.

Second, you notice how the code on this blog is set up to do what’s called “justifying”? That means that the right side is always even; the blog does it automatically. Thing is, this was the only one of my blogs that did it; none of the others did, and none of my websites did it either. I decided I needed to change that so I went into the Stylesheet CSS of each of my other blogs, looked for something that said .postContent, then added this line of code: text-align: justify;. That’s it; and yes, you have to add the semicolon as well. Saved it and everything worked like a charm. In general I’d want to slap myself for teaching those who aren’t all that familiar with coding something like this, but it’s simple and your blog will look fantastic. And yes, there might already be another “text-align” in there, but that’s okay.

And, just to mention this, you can use this same code, only in a slightly different way, to get your websites looking smooth as well. At the very beginning of your wording, add this tag, without the little stars: [div align=”justify”], but obviously instead of the brackets use < and >. I had to put the bracket in there to keep the post from making the code disappear. Then at the end of all your wording, add this: [/div], again using < and > instead.

One more justification tip, this time with Word or Publisher. You probably know already about left, center and right justify. If you’re like me, you’ve never clicked on the last one next to right justify. Well, click on that, and your entire paragraph will justify; freaky! I haven’t been able to find it in Excelyet, but I’m going to keep looking.

Next, have you ever wanted to add the year of copyright to your blog? My friend Keith wrote a post titled Dynamically Add A Copyright Year To A Website. Basically there’s this bit of code you add to your footer and viola, somehow it knows what year it is and it’ll add that code to every blog page. Neat, right?

Then I decided I wanted more. I wanted something like that for all my websites, because I always forget to update that and don’t want to always have to do it every year. I came upon this blog by a lady named Cathy Stucker, who wrote code on this post titled Update The Copyright Date On Your Blog Or Website. The code she has works great, and I’m now using it on all my websites, although I have so many pages that I haven’t added to all the pages yet. I did change one thing, though; instead of having the word ‘copyright’, I use this HTML code instead to give me this © symbol; remove the stars, and make sure to add the semi-colon: &*#*1*6*9*;

You probably think we’re done, but I have one last thing for you. If you’re like me, every once in awhile you copy something that you want to paste somewhere else. Sometimes it’s in all caps, and what that usually means is that you have to re-type it. Not anymore! Copy it and pop it into Word. Highlight it, then hit Shift – F3. That will change everything to small letters. Hit it again and it’ll capitalize only the first letter of each word. Hit it one more time to go back to all caps; course, why would you want to do that? Neat little trick, right?

And there you go; some quick hitters, this time something useful. And it is shorter than the last post, though not by much. 🙂
 

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What is on Your Mind? – Guest Post

I’m not sure when I met Rachel but my mind thinks it was possibly on Facebook. Anyway, she’s big into motivation, and she’s involved with the Bob Proctor Life Success program. Some of you remember him as the guy in The Secret with the white hair and glasses. Anyway, I asked her to write a guest post, and this is it:

Have you ever attempted to create a fulfilling life, become more successful, or reverse the course of events in your favor only to end up feeling taxed and out of energy because things are not working out? I suppose we all can feel thwarted.

We often miss the notion of “scarcity consciousness” and how it shows up in our life. Scarcity consciousness can be simply defined as “a belief in lack”. For scarcity to appear in your life, you must think on it, believe in it, and allow it. It may sound something like this:

* I am living paycheck-to-paycheck
* I do not have any money
* There is not enough to go around
* I cannot afford that
* I do not have control
* It is all about luck

According to the Law of Attraction, scarcity appears in your life when you consciously or unconsciously project a belief in “lack”. Let’s say that you are driving around town and you notice yourself focused on all of the beautiful homes you are seeing. You love to look; however, you believe and project from within “I will never be able to afford THAT kind of house”.

This is an example of a lack mentality and this is a belief and focus that will draw that experience to you. It is the Law of Attraction. You will attract into your own experience what you think about and put your attention on.

If you did not have a scarcity consciousness, you would believe that all things that you desire are available for creation — hence a “prosperity consciousness”. Prosperity consciousness is present when:

* You know and feel that you have more than enough right now
* You take total responsibility for what you have created in your life
* You are flexible and open to life’s changes
* You see abundance all around
* You know that life is a feast

You will attract more abundance and prosperity when they are your focus and you feel good about them. Conversely, if you are holding thoughts, ideas and an outlook that focuses on lack and scarcity, you will create just that as well.

I occasionally speak with people who say, “I am focusing on the things that I want to create in my life; however, I still am NOT creating what I want.” If you desire something and are not receiving it, then you are not aligned with it. You are out of alignment with it because something is blocking your access to create that “desire”. The main thing that prevents your from being in vibrational alignment with your desires is your belief in scarcity and lack.

Example: You may state that you want to earn $1,000,000; however, you really do not believe that you are worthy or wise enough to earn $1,000,000. With conflicting attitudes, wants and beliefs you most likely will remain right where you presently are. Your wants and desires must line up with what you believe is true. If they do not, you should start the inner work to make this happen. You must be aware of your larger belief system and recognize when it is not serving you.

Always be aware of the Law of Attraction. Ask yourself “Do I want to generate more of this thinking? Do I want to generate more of this belief in my life? Do I want to generate more of this result? If not, make the switch and focus on the things that you do want.


Formerly an IT Consultant designing and implementing global enterprise solutions for Fortune 500 organizations, Rachel Lavern is a Certified LifeSuccess Coach and a business partner of Bob Proctor. She specializes in using success principles to help people live without limits via workshops and keynote speeches across the country. Her mission is to teach women entrepreneurs and business owners wanting to earn a six- or seven-figure income how to become WILDLY SUCCESSFUL at selling. You can find here at her site Fearfully ‘n Wonderfully Made.

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Sunday Question – Aliens; Friend Or Foe?

Today’s question might seem like an odd one, but go with me for a moment. There are a spate of alien movies coming. Some are going to involve battles with aliens. One of those is going to have aliens battling cowboys; I hope Harrison Ford knows what he’s doing. In another movie that’s a comedy the alien is named Paul, and obviously he’s friendly.

Paul

We have this strange relationship with aliens. Whether they actually exist or not isn’t really a question anymore; of course they exist. Whether there are any aliens that have actually visited Earth is another matter. There’s a lot of mythology behind this one, and many ancient pictures have images of alien crafts and alien-like people in them. Unless the artists were stoned all the time, or we just don’t understand the concept, it’s something that could keep you up for hours.

And then we have no less a mind than Stephen Hawking, who not only believes there are aliens but believes some time in the distant future, if we haven’t killed ourselves, we will probably meet up with aliens, and they won’t be friendly. His belief is purely scientific. Since space travel would take a very, very long time to get from one place to the other, even if we could travel at the speed of light (which some scientists, including Einstein, said is impossible, yet other science disproves), and that if an alien culture were to do it then they’d be looking at the survival of their species. In other words, they’re not visiting and going home; they’re coming to stay. And since they’d have the technology to get here, they’d have the technology to just take over as well; nothing we could do.

Of course, it could be us as the aliens, the culture that just has to go exploring and messing with others. I can see that scenario; humans just can’t sit still, and we do love a good conquering or two.

Still, in my mind I have this vision of something like the first encounter between the Vulcans and people of Earth. They’d been watching, they’re mentally superior, and they’re too advanced to just come in and take anything, even if they want to stay. Nope, this won’t be an Alien Nation or District 9 either.

And get this; every major government in the world has a protocol for how to deal with the first alien contact. And trust me, it’s not necessarily friendly either. Then again, if governments believe like Stephen Hawking, they need to be wary.

So I put it out to you; if there are aliens and they did come to Earth, do you think they’d want to be friends or do you think they’d just want us gone, as in Independence Day?

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