All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

It Could Be Your Cookies

So, the continuation of the story of some of my computer issues. When I last wrote, I’d had to contact customer service to reactivate my cable connection. I got that, but I was still having major problems with many webpages.

I thought maybe the problem was with the Panda software that I now have as my virus protection, as well as my new firewall. I disabled the firewall and tested it; nothing changed. I disabled a couple other things and tried it; nothing changed.

I then decided to open IE, as I’d been doing everything on Firefox. Everything was working on IE, so it made me rethink what I was doing. I went into the tools of Firefox and kept looking at everything there; I couldn’t find anything else I could do that I hadn’t already done. I even reloaded Firefox, which I was surprised I could even still find, and that didn’t fix anything.

Then, for some unknown reason, I started to wonder if it was the cookies. I’m not sure why I thought of it but it seemed to be one thing I hadn’t touched. I went into Firefox cookies and deleted those that were associated with webpages I was having problems with. Then I opened those pages; there it was! Every page was suddenly working again, and life was fun once more. I went back in and deleted some other cookies, which I have rarely paid attention to, because I’d noticed that some of them are tracking cookies, and they really don’t need to be on my computer.

I wish I’d thought about the cookies before I’d gone through all that other stuff. I put it here so y’all can check them out from time to time. I’ve done some research since then and have found that, indeed, cookies can sometimes get corrupted for one reason or another. But they’re easy to check, easy to delete, and easy to get back; just go back to the page and they’ll come back.

Now, life is almost back to perfect; I still need to figure out this buffer issue that seems to happen from time to time, but otherwise, I’m happier than I’ve been in awhile.

Advantus Danish Butter Cookies

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Time To Get My Diabetes Under Control Again

It’s been awhile since I’ve given an update on my diabetes control. When we last left, I was so under control that I was able to reduce my intake of insulin, and all was great with the world.

Well, I can’t say that now, and it’s mostly my fault, though I have my excuse for it. In June, I went on the road for 3 months on a consulting assignment for my main business. The problem with working a long term consulting assignment is that you can’t eat properly because, well, circumstances just get in the way. While I was still working from home, I was able to eat every 3 hours, the meals were measured and planned way in advance, and I felt great. When you’re working at someone else’s location, and they’re paying for the hotel, you suddenly don’t have the same kind of control over yourself that you do at home.

Mornings were a quick sandwich of some kind from McDonalds. Lunch was almost always Subway, every once in awhile KFC, but lunch sometimes was within 3 hours, sometimes 5. Dinner was wherever and whatever I was in the mood for, easily not measured, and sometimes ordered and delivered to my hotel room. Since I was in a smaller town, if I ordered it was usually Chinese or pizza; that’s not great, is it? I was able to keep away from pasta while I was on the road, but rice was another matter. If I’d been in something like a suite with a kitchen then I might have been able to take better care of my meals, but in a hotel with only a microwave,… nope.

If I’d been able to go in the Sunday before every single week I might have been able to take a few meals with me that I could microwave, but hotel refrigerators are small, so it would have only held a couple of meals; that wasn’t going to get it done. One week I tried taking lunch meat, bread and Miracle Whip with me to make my own sandwiches, and I tried to keep to my 3 hour schedule, and it was my best week, though nothing close to the numbers I really need to maintain.

Most of the 3 months I was there I just didn’t feel well. It’s not that I ate too much every night, though it happened, but I wasn’t as good as I should have been. I did have dessert every night, though I kept away from it during the day as much as possible. I forgot what it could be like in an office where people are bringing snacks and desserts into the office all the time; it’s hard to stay totally away from it all when you’re like me, who craves sweets and finds it difficult to stay away from on my own. I didn’t sleep well on the road, even worse than I sleep at home, but I’ve slept better in the past, so I believe. I had some pretty bad morning numbers, averaging in the 220’s, and one morning I actually awoke with my worst number ever, 331, and I just felt like I could barely get out of bed on that day, and it was a day I was driving home; that’s not good at all.

So, now the assignment is over, and I’ve had a little bit of a relaxation week, highlighted by a birthday where my wife had someone make me a special cake, but at this point it’s all gone, and as far as I know, all the other desserts are gone also. Starting tomorrow, I go back on the full plan, which will include working out on the trampoline. Of all things, though, since my consulting assignment ended, I have lost 2 pounds by pretty much doing nothing except letting my wife help keep me under control. Oh yeah, I gained 10 pounds while I was on the road also, so I now have to get that, and more, back off my body, as my back has started hurting again.

I’m ready to get it on, to do the right thing; anyone here want to join me on the journey, even if it’s only to try to lose some weight?

More With The Computer Guy

For those of you who read my initial story about my meeting with the Computer Guy, there’s an update, of sorts. At this point I still don’t have my computer back, but today I decided it was finally time to call him.

On the phone, he didn’t sound quite as convincing as he did when I’d met him in person last Thursday. He said that they’d had to try to find all the drivers for the machine because I’d forgotten to give them that disk (my bad, but I’m only around the corner; they couldn’t call me?), and that, for the most part, everything seemed to be working great, except for the one game I took them, which I’d said had never worked on the computer. He couldn’t get the blue screen of death to come up, but he did say that it initially ran bad, then the screen went black, and that wasn’t good at all. He asked if I had any other games that I’d run on it and I told him I did have another game, but never tried to run it on that computer since the other one had never worked. He asked me to bring it in so they could test it.

I had to stop at home first, since I was heading out of town, grab the game, then drove to the store. He had the doors wide open, and I asked him if he hadn’t heard it was supposed to get up to 87F. He said it wasn’t there now, but he had some nice beads of sweat on his head, as did I, so he was feeling it, even if he was ignoring it. He took the game from me, The Sims, and loaded it onto the computer. It loaded fast, even faster than it had on my previous computer, and it looked pretty good, though neither of us could remember how to play the thing.

Still, I had kind of the same gripe I’d had with Comp USA when I took it to them; there wasn’t anything on the computer so of course there weren’t going to be any problems. But he had no programs to load, so I was stuck there. Actually, for a guy deeply into computers, it’s amazing just how much in the dark ages his own stuff is, for the most part. For instance, he doesn’t use any USB items on his computers; can you believe that? He stated that USB is one of the worst technologies he’s ever had to deal with because it allows so many items that turn out not to be compatible with each other and then causes lots of crashes. Thus, he has nothing wireless; he doesn’t even use a mouse with a wheel!

So I told him that whenever I watched a few .WMV files in a row that my computer sometimes shut down. He asked where I got them from, and I said people send me little .WMV files here and there. He said that he doesn’t ever accept any email that has attachments, and immediately deletes everything. I asked if he was serious and he said yes, because he didn’t know how many other computers any of those files might have touched, and therefore he wasn’t entrusting anyone else’s motives on his own stuff. I was kind of stunned by that one, but I guess I shouldn’t have been, since last week he told me that he doesn’t download any email to his computer, preferring to use the online email program that comes with his ISP. I’d never known anyone who wanted to do that, as most of us download email so we can save stuff we want for later and for the convenience; not Bob, though.

Then I looked around and realized that he also doesn’t have any flat screen LCD monitors for his own usage. He said he doesn’t trust that technology either, and prefers having the large, stable monitors to work on instead. Good thing he has lots of workspace, but still,… Then I remembered that, last week, he said that when people have these things he’ll ask them to bring in all their other components so he can test them against each other, including their monitors if the problem has to do with their video cards. Talk about your throwbacks!

Then we talked about motherboards. He said that if he couldn’t produce a blue screen then he couldn’t even say whether it was the motherboard or not, but that it really didn’t matter. He said he couldn’t get a motherboard that any of my present components would work with, including my hard drives, because technology has pushed forward; after all, I did have it put together in 2004. He said that if I added anything new to the mix that it would probably bring my computer down, since it wasn’t built for many of the things today, and this came about because I asked about the TV emulator he had on his own computer. He also said that the Radeon video card I’d put into my computer was one of the worst in the world, and when I said that both PC World and PC Magazine had rated it high, which is why I’d bought it, he said that, for true gaming professionals, Radeon is terrible because it basically emulates technology that other video cards actually create, and therefore is considered garbage among these folks. Of course, I’m not a gamer, but still,… And, as a throw in, he also said that Dell computers aren’t close to being as good as what people think they are; I couldn’t argue with him on that, never having a Dell.

Anyway, he’s going to have my computer one more night, and that’s it. I said that I’d be coming in around 11AM to get it, as this was kind of my vacation week, and next week starts my real work again, and even though I have to load a bunch of stuff back onto it, I need to use that one more than my poor laptop, which has worked like a champion over this past week, but is four years old itself, actually older than my other computer, and really isn’t meant for the kind of power work I put into a computer on a regular basis. I have no idea how much any of the work I’ve had done is going to cost, which my friend Kelvin thought was a pretty stupid thing, but hey, I don’t think I’m going to get hosed on the deal, based on my memories from the past; we’ll see, though.

Maybe I should have followed my first mind and just bought a new computer, eh?

John Louis Home Deluxe Closet System

Price: $470.00

Google Chrome Is,… Okay

Talk about the speed of hype. Yesterday I was just sitting here at the computer, following Twitter traffic, when I see this little flash about Google having a new browser coming out called Chrome. Then there was talk about when they’d release it, and many were speculating that, since they’d just signed an extension of an agreement with Mozilla to continue with Firefox for another three years, that the earliest it would be coming out would be a year. And there was a link to a cartoon talking about it all.

Within an hour, though, things drastically changed, and the talk was that it would be released today. There was a link to Matt Cutts of Google talking about it, and, lo and behold, it was released today. I’ve not read anyone else’s reviews yet, though, based on the Twitter traffic, it seems to be more against than for.

I’m not about to change that. The download for Google Chrome was something in and of itself. I can’t remember the last time I saw a download have an EULA (end user licensing agreement) beforehand; not sure I’ve actually ever seen one. Then the download seemed to take some time before finally coming to the computer; maybe there’s lots of people trying to download it to give it a shot.

Next, time to load it onto the computer. This also took awhile, much longer than Mozilla ever has, and at least Firefox waited until it had loaded and one was trying to launch it before it started asking for extra internet access. Chrome asked for it a few times; that was different. But it finally loaded and actually started on its own, trying to move over all bookmarks from my Firefox browser, but couldn’t because I had Firefox open; that’s okay, though. I knew I was just in test mode, unless it absolutely wowed me.

It took a long time to load anything; I was kind of stunned by that. I’m not sure what was going on, but it said it was having problems with Shockwave Flash; according to the cartoon, that problem was supposed to be easily solved. When things finally did come up I tried a few websites, including CNN, and it was horrible. A couple of sites it couldn’t even load, which were a couple of mine. Then, of all things, it crashed; weirder still.

Since it created a quick launch icon, I opened it up again, and this time it went much faster, so I could take a good look at it. The look is somewhat different than what I’m used to. It offers way more visible screen, but that’s because it starts off with no toolbars. Well, that’s not quite accurate. It does have the address bar, which doubles as the toolbar, but I couldn’t find any options to add any more toolbars except a bookmarks bar. If you want to save a page, you can click on the star in the address bar, though Ctrl-D also works. The browser is also almost pure white reminiscent of the Google homepage; I guess that’s to be expected, but I was hoping it would adopt the colors I use for the rest of my Windows programs.

It has tabs just like Firefox, and if you open new tabs you’ll see screenshots of past pages you’ve visited, which is interesting. The reload had it running much faster than the first time around, which is a good thing, but not faster than Firefox. It does another interesting thing with the addresses. If you look at pages within a site, you’ll see the domain name in black, but the address of the extra pages in red; another nice little feature that looks good.

Still, when all is said and done, what one misses, at least for now, are the little add-ons that Firefox has that Chrome doesn’t have. Cutts said it was going to take time, because they first want to make browsers that are compatible with both Mac and Linux before going back to add extra functionality. Chrome is very clean, and it’s not bad, but, in my opinion, it’s not better than Firefox and therefore just okay. It’s not bad; I’ve seen some worse browsers to be sure.

So, just like Firefox 3, I’ll be waiting for more before I decide whether to switch or not. But it’s not a bad first effort.

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Blog Day 2008

Today is Blog Day, but this year I have two blogs with different focuses. So, I’m going to recognize some blogs here that have to do with one type of thing, then some blogs on my other blog that have to do with what I talk about over there. I’m not sure it’s cheating or not, but hey, recognizing people is always a good thing in my opinion. And, just like last year, I won’t be highlighting any blogs of my friends, so I can be objective.

There’s no way I could even think about starting to write about blogs I read without beginning with Problogger. One of the first million dollar bloggers, I’ve seen very little coming from him that’s not quality stuff.

Another top blogger who I follow is John Chow. I have been impressed with how, every month, he shows just how much money he’s made with his blog, and I find him entertaining and informative at the same time.

I’ve known about Lynn Terry for years, but this past year started following her blog Clicknewz. She talks a lot about marketing online, and also has a forum that’s well visited. Lots of great tips here.

Build A Better Blog is about just what it says. The two ladies who write it, Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakeman, only write about blogging and making money blogging. One feature they do a lot is the interview series, which is always a lot of fun to check out.

Lockergnome is about way more than blogging. It’s been around for a long time, talking about all things computers for years. My mind still sees Chris Pirillo as this brilliant kid who knows lots of things about computers, but it’s a full fledged business, and he has lots of people helping him discover all these things on and around the internet, and of course he’s now gotten into blogging just as much as everything else.

And that’s all I have for the day. Another year down; man, this is a lot of work!

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