All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Since I Was On A Roll,…

Okay, I wrote that last post about upgrading technology, and indicated the issue I had with Firefox 3 the first time I loaded it. I decided that, since I was turning over a new leaf, that I would go ahead and reload Firefox 3 and work my way through issues I had back in July.

And, of course, I had issues. For one, it just wouldn’t work at first, and I’m not sure why. None of the pages would load, and I was frustrated as all get out. I closed the program, waited a few beats, then opened it back up; nope, nothing yet. So I decided to reboot the computer, hoping that might help.

It seemed to do the trick, though not immediately. It still thought about it for a minute, then everything clicked into place. I still can’t say I’ve noticed any major change in speed, but everything was working. Well, not quite. For some reason, the Excite page wouldn’t load. Rather, it wouldn’t load if I tried putting in my username and password, saying I either had javascript turned off or wasn’t accepting cookies. That was an issue I’d been having before, so I went into options to check things, and noticed that the options menu looks different. Still, I found what I was looking for, which turned out to be a list of websites that were immediately blocked by Firefox, and one of those sites was Excite. I deleted that, and Excite came alive once more.

And I had two other surprises. This time, not only was my Google toolbar right where it had been with Firefox 2, but all my add-ons worked. I only had to update one of them, that being Colorful Tabs. I did add a couple, though, one being Read It Later, which I’d had at some point in the past:

I also added Download Status, which puts a bar at the bottom of your browser rather than that big window that pops up when you’re downloading something. I tested that earlier this evening and I like that, as it only shows up when you’re downloading something, otherwise your status bar is clean.

So, now I’m totally upgraded on the main computer, and things seem to be working pretty well. I still have to do the laptop, but I have time for that. I wonder who this new person is,… oh yeah, it’s me!

Visconti Mazzi Landscape: New York Fountain Pen

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Upgrading Technology

For a couple of months, I’ve been looking at this blog page of mine with a little bit of consternation. Though I loved the theme, I had a problem with it. On Firefox it looked fine, but on Internet Explorer it looked terrible. Instead of looking like a 3-column theme, it looked like a 2-column theme with a major problem, as the column on the right side was dropping all the way to the bottom.

I looked at everything for a long time. I went through my posts looking for bad HTML code, and couldn’t find anything. I copied the code from the template into the program I use for creating websites and the like, and couldn’t find anything wrong. I put out questions to other people asking what they were seeing and if they had any ideas what the issue might be, and strangely enough, everyone else was seeing it properly, or so they were telling me. I was flabbergasted and, well, thought maybe I was losing my mind. I thought maybe there was something else wrong with my computer or my monitor initially also, except I was seeing the same thing on my laptop; strange.

So, once again last night I’m going through the entire site again, which takes a lot of time, trying to figure things out, knowing I was going to figure things out. I asked a few more people to look at the site, and was lucky to have one guy who I could talk to immediately; it was around 2AM after all, and he was in Australia, and he told me it was fine. Then suddenly, a thought hit my mind. I asked him which version of IE he was using; he told me IE7. The light bulb went off in my head; I was still on IE6.

There was a time in my life when I had to always have the latest and greatest of everything. When I was a kid, I always had the first of everything in my area. My family had the first color TV. I had the first cassette recorder. I had the first of what we used to call “banana” bikes. I actually had something that preceded 8-track tapes, and was the first to have it (if you don’t know what an 8-track tape is, go ask your parents). Among my friends, I had the first duo-floppy drive computer, the first 17″ monitor, the first external hard drive, the first (and only) Palm with an actual hard drive; okay, that last one was a major mistake, but still, I was ahead of the game.

But something happened as I’ve gotten older. I like some of the programs and such that I use, and therefore I’m reluctant to change just because someone says it’s time to change. I stuck with MS 2000 until late 2004 because it was time to change, and I liked the change when I finally went in that direction. But I had to give up a lot of programs that didn’t work with XP, and I had to give up all my 3.5″ floppies because I didn’t have an A-drive anymore.

One thing I refused to do was switch to IE7. Strange for me, because I’d always updated before. I did actually test IE7 when it first came out, and I couldn’t find out how to get to the menus, and I didn’t have any toolbars. Maybe there was a way to get to them, but I didn’t have the time then and there, so I rolled back to IE6 and went on my merry way. But last night, or this morning, I finally broke down and loaded IE7, just to test the theory. And, of course, the theory worked. This site looks fine, and it now explains why everyone else saw it better and more correctly than I did; sigh,…

Of course, now this is bringing back to me the initial problem I had with Firefox 3, how I said I wasn’t going to upgrade, and how someone from Firefox actually commented on this blog (which was shocking and nice at the same time) giving some information, part of which was that Firefox 2 won’t be supported after a certain point. One thing that I’m going to have to reconcile in my mind is that if I’m going to continue doing work on the web, I’m going to have to be willing to upgrade to certain things from time to time, even if I’m going to lose some of the functionality I’ve gotten used to and loved in the past.

After all, it’s happened before. When I got my first Windows 95 PC, I learned quickly that all the games and programs I had before suddenly weren’t compatible with it, which included the program I used for writing everything (anyone else remember IBM’s Writing Assistant?). Yet, once I got into it, I realized that first Word Perfect, then MS Word, were a major improvement over what I’d had before, as well as Excel being a major improvement over what I’d been using as a spreadsheet program before (can’t remember the name, but it it was pre-Lotus 1-2-3).

So, in my own way, I’m also being dragged into the 21st Century. And that’s not such a bad thing, I guess. Back in December I got my first phone that had texting capability and stated I didn’t want it, and now I can’t imagine living without it. And the world keeps moving on.

Patriotic Aircraft Pens

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Why My Scam Meter Goes Up

This morning I woke up early to take my wife to the train station, as she’s going on a little jaunt for a few days. When I got home, unable to go to sleep, I turned on the TV.

Funny Get Rich Quick Scam
Scott Zeid via Compfight

There was this infomercial on, and it was touting this guy named Jeff Paul and his Shortcut To Internet Millions program (this is NOT a link to the program). In the commercial were numerous people telling their stories of how they got rich off the program, and all but one of them was purported to make more than $50,000 a month on the internet. Two of the sales people were young, “healthy” women, so of course eye candy was a big part of these commercials. 😉

My skeptic meter went up drastically because his course was selling for only $39.99, plus supposedly they gave you 10 “money making” websites off the bat, and if you joined his monthly program (they didn’t say for how much) you could earn as many as 120 free websites within the first year.

I thought about this commercial in relation to a seminar I got talked into; twice of all things! The first time by my wife, the second time by a friend of mine, and that second one was my fault because I hadn’t remembered the name of the company the first time around (and don’t remember the name now; isn’t that a shame?).

Both times the room was packed, as in way over 200 people, and the sales went through the roof as they offered immediate financing for everyone, no questions asked (at 18%; no wonder), at a very high price for 6 websites, monthly maintenance, and of course a support group (but no guarantees; everyone is sure to state that up front). As someone who’s purchased domain names and has a hosting package, plus someone who builds websites on the side, I can easily say that these folks were literally being robbed. I knew that because none of them, well, maybe one or two, were ever going to come close to recouping their investment.

It’s why I get skeptical with all the products that are out on the internet purporting that they’re going to teach me how to make millions. It seems many of these things have some good ideas, but not a single one of them actually ever answers the big questions that most of us have. Thus it leaves us dangling and still not understanding how to get it done correctly. Luckily, for most of us, it costs relatively little for us to give it a shot, outside of our time.

Today for instance, I was inundated by at least 7 websites offering to help me get wealthy on the internet. Three of those came through Twitter, so I guess it was my choice to read them, but only one of them even mentioned getting rich online, so they were sort of deceptive.

All of them had that same “scammy” looking template of big letters, seemingly “fast talk” language, standard testimonials, and the trick crossing out of one price so that, if I bought today, I’d be getting it for the low price of $_____, as long as I acted pretty fast since, after XXX number sold, they were taking it off the market. Yeah, right; almost all of them come back on the market after saying they weren’t if they made any kind of money.

You never really know who to believe anymore which is why, for the most part, I purchase few things. There are a few I have purchased that I’ve found pretty good, in that at least I learned something. One is called Rich Jerk. Another one some time back was Brad Callen’s Search Engine Optimization Made Easy. I also purchased 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day, which was a very good read, and I got some pretty good ideas from there.

Anything I market won’t promise riches. I don’t over-promise, and there’s nothing on any of my sales page that someone is going to call me on later and say “hey, this didn’t do what you said it was going to do”. My products aren’t really that type (mostly books), but even if they were, I wouldn’t do it. It just feels and sounds icky; a guy’s got to have some ethics.

How do the rest of you view these types of things? Am I the only one who not only senses scams, but has their skeptic level as high as I have mine?

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The Big Blogging Names Aren’t Dofollow

Back in July, I downloaded a little plugin from WordPress that made this a “dofollow” blog, as well as my business blog. I was so proud about it that I wrote about it here.

I still love the fact that people can come here and get some true link love, and of course it benefits me also. However, I’ve been wondering lately if the big time bloggers have their blogs set up as dofollow or not. So, I’ve done a random sample, and I’m sort of disappointed by it all. I checked out John Chow; nope. Shoemoney; nope. Problogger; nope. John Reese; kind of (most of the comments aren’t, but a few are, so he must decide who gets love and who doesn’t). Build a Better Blog; nope. Chris Brogan; nope. Of course, I’ve checked all of these folks using the wonderful SEO for Firefox” add-on.

So, what give anyway? I look at someone like John Chow, who talks about having over 31,000 RSS subscribers, with an Alexa rank of around 41,000, but only a page rank of 3 from Google (the blog has no page rank at all) as someone whose site could not only benefits from sharing links with a lot of people (though I bet he and all the others have lots of people linking to them for free) but could stand to share a little bit of love with the rest of us. Sure, there are those leeches out there who only post something stupid so they can get their name on a big time blog, but that’s not the majority, and I’m betting that very few of them know that their post and link is meaningless. They’d get a lot more juice out of their comments if they posted here, of all things.

That’s a shame. Now, I don’t know if blogs on the Blogger platform can go dofollow or not, but if they can then it’s a shame if they don’t do it. At this juncture, the only two dofollow blogs I definitely know of are all the blogs mentioned by Sire on his guest post, Lynn Terry’s Clicknewz, and Barbara Ling’s blog. So, I’ll urge you to write on those blogs if you want some link love, change your blog to a dofollow blog as soon as you can, and let people know here about your blogs so you can be found.

My Top Five Presentations In My History

I came across a link to a webpage that listed the Top 10 Best Presentations Ever, based on their own criteria. These weren’t necessarily speeches, but the top 10 presentations of any kind in their history. That makes sense because no one is still around from when Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, and most of us are probably too young to remember Churchill’s speech to the nation during World War II.

Out of their top 10, the only presentation I could identify with was the Martin Luther King, Jr “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963, and the only other one I’d even seen was Andy Kaufman doing Mighty Mouse on Saturday Night Live in 1975. Most of their picks are technology related, so I guess it was a good thing they got Dr. King in there at all; not sure about Kaufman’s selection though.

Some time after that, they put some information together from readers of their blog and added the reader’s top 10 presentations, which was a more varied listing. Out of that list, the only one I’ve ever seen, but wouldn’t remember because I was too young, was President John Kennedy’s Berlin Wall speech in 1963, which I have to admit was pretty good.

I decided to add my own list and then ask all of you which presentations you thought were significant, and why. Remember, presentations isn’t necessarily speeches, as you’ll see from my top 5 list:

1. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Mountaintop” speech, 1968. I actually wrote about this one in my other blog, as I felt his words were chilling on that day, considering he was assassinated the next morning.

2. Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” on Motown’s 25th Anniversary Special, 1984. When Michael Jackson uttered the words “I also like the new stuff,…”, magic came afterwards, and by many accounts that was the most watched entertainment moment in history at the time and possibly saved the music industry, which was in major disarray.

3. Jesse Jackson’s Democratic National Convention speech, 1988. Jesse Jackson was definitely relevant in 1988, and his successes during the 1988 Democratic primary campaign earned him a prominent spot on national television, and he followed Senator Edward Kennedy to the podium and delivered a monumental speech that, if the eventual Democratic candidate had half the passion, he’d have been elected president that year.

4. Bernard Shaw’s announcing the beginning of the Persian Gulf War, 1991. Talk about captivating television. I have no idea why I happened to be watching CNN when they suddenly cut to Bernard Shaw in Iraq, but he gave us a running narrative of the initial bombing of Baghdad while hiding underneath a table for protection, with a camera showing explosions all around them, and for the first time in history the world saw war, up close and personal, and live.

5. Neil Armstrong, first man to step on the moon, 1969. Living up to President John Kennedy’s promise to America that man would step on the moon before 1970, Neil Armstrong was tapped as the man to do the honors first, and below are those famous words that most of America saw live and grainy:

Okay friends, what do you have for me?

Artworks: 22057

Size: 5’6″ x 8’6″

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