All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Panda Experiment Is Over

Well, if you’ve been checking my blog for awhile, you’ll probably remember my two conversations with the Computer Guy. The first one was when I took my computer in; the second one was the day before I went in to pick up my computer. I never talked about the day I picked it up, which then will lead into the topic of this post.

When I went to pick up my computer, for which I had an appointment, I walked in and found that the guy hadn’t quite finished with my computer, even though he wasn’t working on it when I got there either. He had never found any problems with it, but I needed it back so I could get back to work. The last thing he wanted to do was load Panda Internet Security 2008 onto my computer, saying it was the best and strongest antivirus program on the market, and the only one they recommend. So, since he was doing some other stuff, I ended up installing it while he basically watched over me; yeah, like I wouldn’t know how to load antivirus software. Of course there was a problem, mainly in the fact that it took 20 minutes for me to receive an email that he said usually took less than 15 seconds. While he was on the phone with the company, the email finally showed up, which had the username, password, and some long code I needed in order to activate the product. Of course I had to pay for it, and the computer work, but it was installed and I was good to go.

The next night, while I was loading some things back onto my computer while it was connected to the internet, my internet connection locked up on me, which I wrote about on this post, where I’d contacted Time Warner (I have Road Runner) and thought it was their issue. However, the next night the same problem occurred again, only this time I went to test the laptop and learned that the problem wasn’t with Time Warner, but with my computer. I thought maybe there was a hardware issue of some kind, and I did some tests with the Panda software, and things were still messed up. In the end, I had concluded that the problem was Firefox cookies, because I had also been having problems signing onto some websites.

Of course the problem continued, and I started paying attention to my Mailwasher error messages, which kept coming up with all these different socket errors, for which I put out a request for some possible answers. However, I never sit still when it comes to my computer, so I went onto the laptop to try to do some research, and once again came back to Panda as the possible problem. This time, I decided to uninstall Panda, and once I did, I had instant online access once again; wow!

I was irked, but decided to try to load it again, just to make sure. And, of course, I had the same problem within 30 minutes, which was shocking because at least the times beforehand had waited some hours before locking things up. I uninstalled it again, and loaded a different firewall program, but wasn’t sure which antivirus I would load. However, before I got that far, I went onto Twitter and wrote that I had uninstalled Panda because I was having major problems with it.

Turns out there’s a Panda group that monitors Twitter for any messages about Panda, and they somehow saw my message and, the next morning, I had an email direct message from them asking about my problem. I wrote and told them what the problem was, and the following day I received a phone call from someone from Panda, telling me that I needed to upgrade to the 2009 version because they had discovered a problem with the Web Proxy portion of their 2008 product that they’d fixed, and, because I had just purchased the 2008 version, I could upgrade to 2009 for free. Sounded like a great deal to me, so I did that, unloaded Zone Alarm, reloaded Panda, and things seemed to be much better.

But no, it wasn’t done with me. I still had some occasional programs that would stop working, and figured out that sometimes I could only have one program at a time open that accessed the internet; seemed that many of them were still sharing the same port (though my online poker program wasn’t one of them; I wonder why). When I shut down some of them and left only one open, I always got my internet connection back. That was irritating, but not as irritating as the next part.

I use Mailwasher, and because of that I felt I didn’t need my email scanned, because Panda adds this message to each email whether it’s incoming or outgoing; I didn’t need to be an advertiser for them, and I didn’t need to see their messages on my incoming email either. So I turned that part off, and I also decided I didn’t need it scanning my instant messaging program either, which I rarely use right now. Well, once I made those changes, these popup screens started showing up every 3 minutes, telling me I wasn’t being fully protected and asking me if I wanted to load them. I had to keep clicking on “no”, but every once in awhile if I was typing and the window came up, it would just accept my “yes” if I hit the Enter button and, of course, I’d have to go back into the program and get rid of it once again.

This was annoying so I first wrote the Panda people on Twitter about it, and they asked me to send them a copy of the popup. I did that, didn’t hear from them, and wrote again three days later. They asked for it again, I told them I’d already sent it but sent it again. Then I waited another two days. Thursday I got their response. They basically said there were two recommendations; either accept what the warnings told me and allow the program to do its job, or uninstall it. Of all things! Well, tonight (or this morning, since I started doing it around 1:30AM), I decided to uninstall the sucker, and I also left a message on their site, since it pops up asking if you’d comment on their product, and told them how much I hated their intrusive program. Now, if I could have only loaded the firewall or spyware program without the antivirus, I might have stuck with just that, but it seems that if you don’t load the antivirus then you can’t load anything; ugh.

So, I’ve now gone to AVG Free 8.0 for my antivirus, which has a spyware add-on of some kind, and I’ve also gone back to Zone Alarm, which supposedly had the same type of thing, and not loaded either toolbar; like I need more toolbars. I’ve also added Spybot’s program as further protection against spyware. I could have gone back to the CA antivirus program that Time Warner pimps for its subscribers, but it kept messing with me for some reason before I’d taken my computer to the computer guy, which was one reason why I wasn’t depressed in purchasing Panda at the time.

In the long run, I’m thinking I should have known better. I had used AVG a long time ago and loved it, and when the program expired I decided to go with the CA because of Time Warner. Now I’m back with AVG, and I’ve never had a problem with Zone Alarm, and I’m back with that. Panda is very good spyware, as years ago I used their free online scanner to find some viruses that I knew were on my computer, but for some reason couldn’t get rid of, and if I have any problems in the next 11 months I can always install it and run a quick scan, then go back to AVG if need be. For now, Panda isn’t worth the trouble, I’m sorry to say.


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Do People Ever Check Out Your About Page?

After reading Problogger’s article 20 Types Of Pages That Every Blogger Should Consider, I decided that one of the pages I was going to add was an About page. I’ve just added the link to it, but it’s actually above here, in the title of the name of my blog, which is I’m Just Sharing, next to the link containing my series on Blogging. I also added a Contact page, though it’s somewhat non-traditional.

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However, I’ve wondered if anyone ever goes to the About page to learn about the person writing the blog. I have to admit that I used to do it all the time, but now I probably do it 25 – 30% of the time. The reasons I don’t go as often as twofold: one, because I visit so many blogs and post on so many that I don’t usually stop to take time to learn more about the writer, and that’s a shame; two, because most of the time there’s very little written there, and then I feel like I wasted my time.

I know some blogs come with the About link already set up, which includes the new template of my business blog (which, I admit, I can’t figure out how to get to, so instead I changed the color so it blends in with the rest of the line), so maybe it’s not totally their fault for not filling it in. Still, it’s there, and I figure it should have some purpose.

I have an About page here, but it doesn’t tell the whole story about me. This will be the only post where I say more about myself than my About link says, mainly because I want the About link to only concentrate on this blog, and not me personally. I do include a link to my business biography, if you’re so inclined to learn that much more about me, but here’s a different take.

My name is Mitch Mitchell; no, my parents didn’t name me that, but very few parents actually name their kids that, so almost every single Mitch Mitchell you know has a different first name, including the guy who was the drummer for Jimi Hendrix (whose real name was “John”, and other than him I’m the only “Mitch Mitchell” that shows up on Google in the top 15!). I am a consultant; that’s the easy part. I consult in different fields, though, and I make a living in all of them, to a degree.

My main business is as a health care finance consultant. Being more specific, I help hospitals make money. I do that by finding out where they’re missing it and help them capture it. I help their profitability so that they can survive, and I like to think I’m pretty good at it. I helped one hospital find over $2 million dollars in a 30 minute phone call. I helped another make $730 million dollars over the course of a year; I’m not bad, I’d say.

My secondary business is in leadership, management, and diversity. I’ve done seminars and speaking engagements across the country on these topics and other topics related to it. I also do business coaching.

I have a few monthly clients whose sites I maintain and work on trying to keep them relevant, which can be difficult when you can’t get them to keep writing new content, but so be it. I’ve also spoken on that topic, and of course I’ve hawked the little ebook I wrote enough times, Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool.

That’s three businesses for one guy; you’d think that would be enough, wouldn’t you? But no, I have one more area to try to conquer; I’m working hard at being an internet marketer. You might ask why I’m doing this, with the other businesses I have going.

One, I do a lot of traveling, and sometimes I’m gone for months at a time. Next year I hit a milestone birthday, and frankly, if I’m going to travel for business I’d like it to be more on my terms than someone else’s.

Two, it would be nice if I could establish that base of residual income so I could be more choosy in what outside assignments I take.

Three, the marketing is so much more different online than it is offline, though I haven’t totally figured it out just yet. Offline there’s a lot of phone calls, letters, postcards, networking meetings, etc. Online, if you do it right, you do almost everything from the comfort of your office, and if it’s even better, you don’t even have to be around while the money is being made.

Frankly, that appeals to me greatly, which is why I keep buying books like Adsense Secrets, participating in programs and forums like Self Starter Weekly Tips (by the way, the moderator of that forum, Lynn Terry, holds a free weekly call, and on Tuesday I got some great information from that call), and creating sites like Medical Billing Answers.

And of course, it also explains why I keep blogging, and reading and commenting on other blogs. I have a lot more to learn and a lot more to share. And now, I’ve shared a bunch about myself, and there’s still more in my About tab above, if you haven’t gotten enough of me yet. Think about creating something like those two tabs, or pages, for your own blog, and every once in awhile, take the time to look at them on other blogs you visit.
 

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A List Of Affiliate Networks

While needing to write a post to test whether I’m going to have a gravatar show up or not, I came upon this post on a blog called Traffikd titled 23 Affiliate Networks For Monetizing Your Website.

It’s a pretty good list, I have to say. I belong to the first two mentioned, Commission Junction and Clickbank, and I’d also signed up with Clickbooth a very long time ago, but have never been back; guess I should see if I still have the password for them.

Anyway, the name of the game is selling product, and these folks have stuff ready to go, whether it’s just banner ads or actual products. I exhibit some of both on this blog, especially something at the end of each post. But I share the above for your perusal.

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R.I.P. Paul Newman

Paul Newman passed away earlier today at age 83. In a world where movie stars seem kind of shallow and vapid, this guy was a man’s man and a humanitarian in his personal life. Talk about your class acts, Newman was right up there with the best of them.

I’ve seen over 20 of his movies, and that’s the type of line unheard of with today’s actors and actresses, who make so much money that they can literally make one movie every couple of years and live extremely well. And what movies! I tell people under 30 that they don’t know what the meaning of cool is until they’ve seen Cool Hand Luke. The Sting was a classic, and, as much as I really don’t like westerns, I’d have missed out on real style if I’d never seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Outside of “Luke”, my favorite movie he ever made, oddly enough one that doesn’t get as much public attention, and yet still gave him an Academy Award nomination for best actor, was Absense of Malice with Sally Field.

Paul Newman was just a genuine guy. You saw it in his movies, then you learned more about it later on with his line of natural food products, with all his profits going to charity instead of into his own pockets. Class and style; they don’t make ’em like him anymore.

R.I.P., Paul Newman; thanks for the great times and memories.

Color Of Money – Paul Newman and Tom Cruise – Framed 8×10 Photograph with Piece of Hollywood Sign






Trying To Code Across All Browser Platforms

I’ve finally gone and done it; I changed the theme on my business blog, and if you’re so inclined you can take at look at it here.

I love the new theme, but of course it has some issues, just like many other sites do. One of the worst things about coding is that, sometimes, it doesn’t work across all browser platforms. Firefox is my browser of choice, and it looks perfect in Firefox; there’s nothing I can do to make it look bad. However, in IE7, I noticed that if one changes the size of the font, it suddenly doesn’t look right. I had to reduce my settings so it would fit properly, and that shouldn’t occur. It also looks bad in Opera, no matter what I do there.

The problem is with CSS, cascading stylesheets, which are great for allowing you to make changes to a bunch of webpages all at once, but sometimes is bad because not all browsers will view it properly. There’s also sometimes problems with PHP, which many people use to create dynamic sites or programs to be used on a website. Right now, for instance, some of the gaming programs on Facebook aren’t working properly in Firefox, and the programmers know it, as they’ve put out the message asking people to use IE instead.

This is a major gripe for programmers, and one of the reasons why many of us who create websites will never fully give up HTML. For all this noise people want to pass through in saying that CSS is a cleaner way to code and will allow search engines to go through your site easier, the other side of the equation is that if the sites look like they were put together by a child then who’s going to stick around to see that the code looks good? There’s one site I manage that was totally created in CSS, and it seems that every time there’s a new browser upgrade of some kind I have to go in and change something in the code to get the site to center again. Frankly it’s irritating, and makes me want to get all of the top guys for each of these browsers together and go an old Three Stooges slap on them. Heck, since I’m talking about it:

In general, I know we’re supposed to be coding for IE first, since it’s still the most prominent browser in the world, but we don’t have to like it.


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