Thursday, December 31, 2009

Can you see this?

I'm getting glare on the screen from my illuminated keyboard. I'm wondering if this is a design flaw of the screen or the keyboard? My wife's aluminum MacBook without the illuminated keyboard never had an issue. I'm really not liking this. Previously I had a 15" MBP with a matte screen and I am starting to miss it. I wanted to downsize for portability reasons, but now I know the replacement for this computer will have a matte screen.

Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Well I've already made a decision on one project to revive/revise! The announcement won't come until next week, but I wish I could always work that quickly. I posted the other blog asking for suggestions maybe an hour ago.

P.S. This is my 125th post this year, I reached my goal!

Posted from my iPhone


There's some projects that I have that never seem to want to go away. They always come up again and again. I've tried to make them succeed and they didn't, but each time, I try it just a little bit differently and hope to make it succeed. I'm going through this process again. Lately I've been doing most of my work for other people, and nothing against other people(they do smell better), but I want to work on some of my own projects. I'm not giving up on other people, I just need a hobby project and I think I'm going to revive/revise an old project. Considering there's about 20 of them, I can have my pick of the litter. What previous/current project that I've worked on would you like to see re-worked?


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New year, new you?

Do you make resolutions? Do you keep resolutions? Coming up on a new year, you often hear about resolutions and it seems people have trouble keeping them. I personally don't make resolutions, but I do make goals.
If you are trying to reinvent yourself, accountability can be crucial. Usually that accountability has to be done by someone else if you try to stick to your resolution. One way to help, blog it. Say you want to lose weight, you can keep track of your progress on your blog and make sure plenty of people have the address to help cheer you on and give you helpful tips/suggestions. Let's say your goal is to get out of debt. Again, you can blog your progress and get the support of others. Resolutions can only be followed if you keep at it and are determined.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Using it more

As I wrote about here, I've been playing with Opera's web server built in to their web browser. Sure enough, not only am I using Opera as a web browser more, I actually find myself using the web server portion more often. It's great to temporarily host something to say test a website before launch or to show a client how a website how it's coming without giving myself more work to create a secure area on their site to see the new site. You can make it so it won't be indexed by search engines and also password protect it. It's become a decent tool in my virtual utility belt. It may not be as cool as Batman's, but can Batman host a website from his belt?


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fresh start Pt. 3

This is the third installment of this look at a fresh start of a website. The site is currently at around a 2.5 million Alexa rank in just under two weeks with no advertising, just SEO.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quick update

Quick update to say, I went with the 13" 2.53GHz MacBook Pro. I'll post a review of it next week.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

End of the year rush

The end of year usually also means a rush to get just a few more things done before the year closes out. Such is the case with me this year. Unfortunately I've been sick with the flu the past couple days so that has slowed progress down. It's time to make that final push to get just a few more things done. Anyone else drive themselves crazy towards the end of the year?


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Landing page project

I just finished up a landing page project and would like to get your ideas on how it turned out. It's always helpful to have a third or fourth perspective.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Site overhaul

My website, in my opinion, isn't what it used to be. I've been at this for less than a year and this would be the second major re-design. The first design was meant to be temporary, and it stuck around too long. This one was supposed to be more permanent and it's held up well, but I think it needs something more...or less depending on how you look at it. After the Holidays I'll have more time to re-visit this idea. In the meantime, what do you think of the current site?


2010 Goal

With the start of a new year, goals often come to mind. Last year I wanted to make this my full time gig. Many things happened to prevent that from happening. I also bit of more than I could chew at that time. As much as I would like to make this my full time job, I still have a lot to learn in order for that to happen, so I'm starting smaller. I'd like to launch 2 major projects of my own, get a steady income from this company, and upgrade my workhorse computer. It's a fairly new 24" iMac and it's great for most things, but it doesn't have discrete graphics. A few weeks ago I was working on an image that was 8ft. tall by 4ft. wide at 300dpi! Needless to say, Photoshop slowed to a crawl. Not long after that, I was working on a 5ft. tall by 2ft. wide image at 300dpi again. It's putting a load on my computer. Right now I usually am working on two computers at once, usually for different projects and while one is uploading a large website I can work on the other. Right now it's my iMac and a Mac Mini that I use mainly as a media server, but it makes a good work companion too. So if I upgrade my iMac, I can still use it as a backup. So there you have it, my 2010 goals.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's time.

As stated in this post, I've been thinking of upgrading my MacBook Pro. Yesterday I came to realize none of the ports on the left hand side(save the charger) work. No USB(on that side), no audio output, no audio input, no express card slot. In addition to this, a dead pixel made itself known a couple weeks ago. It's driving me nuts! So, I think it's time to finally upgrade. I'll let you know this week what I end up with.


3 day update.

I'm just updating from this post. After 3 days, I've more than tripled the users(not hard) and have an Alexa rank in the low 11 million range. We'll see how it goes in a few weeks.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Someone to rely on

Having someone to rely on is key in business. Everyone is looking out for numero uno and unless you're the one doing the looking, you're never someone's priority. It's sad to see that you can't trust so many people, but when money is involved, it gets crazy. So, having someone to rely on is important now more than ever.
What I'm getting at, is you need to be the one to rely on. Hard work does not guarantee success, but it helps...a lot! I know people personally who get upset that they haven't been successful, but they've put little effort into their work. It's no secret, success most often won't jump up and say 'Hello! Come along on this path paved with money!', however some still think that's the case. In business, failures will happen. I, for example, have started more projects than I can remember, some were met with great success, some were quite the money pits, but the key is hard work, determination, and someone to rely


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fresh starting point

Yesterday I launched a website for a client. With just a little bit of work over the next few months, I want to see how I can impact it's search rankings and Alexa ranking. It's a good old fashioned test. I will keep you updated on how the progress goes.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Giving 102.17%

Typically 100% is the maximum amount a person can give, but then they introduce 5th Gear and manage to give 102.17%. Actually that number is the increase in visitors to this blog over the last month according to Google Analytics. It's not that hard actually because there were hardly any visitors previous, but I recently found some time to devote to optimizing this blog rather than just focusing on clients. This is supposed to get me more clients, right? Anyway, thank you to all who do visit this blog.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Movin' on up

A company that I'm doing some Social Media work for that I've talked about before just keeps moving up in Alexa rankings and traffic. This company was previously ranked at about 8 million according to Alexa. Not anymore! They are down below 700,000 and traffic is up another 7.5% in the last month. Can't argue with results. Another site I'm working on with the same company just dropped below 950,000 and it is a much newer site. It's things like this that make work satisfying.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Goal Update...5th Gear

So I said I'd have 125 posts by the end of the year, currently I'm at 107. The holidays are upon us which makes it more difficult, but still very possible. Right now I've pretty much got 4 speeds. Relaxed(haven't been there for years), Working, Lots of work, and Stressed(usually here). Time to introduce 5th gear...pulling hair out! Soon, you'll see a balding man with lots of work done and an accomplished goal!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Google Phone

The oft-rumored Google Phone is coming to lifeand has been dubbed Nexus One. It has been designed and built by HTC. The entire user experience is designed by Google and runs on Android 2.1. Here's the kicker...they plan to sell it online, unlocked, and attached to no carrier. Gutsy move for sure, but it's Google and they are kind of like royalty. You'll let them give a highly inappropriate wedding toast and loom the other way just to be in it's mere presence. If anyone can pull this off, it's Google. Now the question is, will you buy one?

Posted from my iPhone

Photo of the Year

This is according to PhotoFocus. The photo was taken by and Rafael (RC) Concepcion. The photo is a great one no doubt, but I want to know, what do you think is the photo of the year? I won't even limit it that much. What is your favorite photo of any year? Here's the link to the original post at PhotoFocus.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Charge for convenience?

All too often today, I see the phrase 'Convenience Charge'. I find that this is only convenient as a mean of additional revenue and worse customer service.
How often do you hear a company give a big speech about how they've re-focused on the customer and pride themselves on their service? Quite often, right? How many of those same companies charge you for them to be in the right place at the right time? The answer is usually a lot. Is that really serving the customer? As a consumer, I think of that as if I inconvenienced them and they're so upset at me that they want to go Dick Cheney on me and break out the waterboarding technique. Consider that's bot legal for a small business, they charge you extra money.
I will give you an example. Over the summer, I was looking to buy tickets to a minor league baseball game. The ticket price was a reasonable $7.00, but the convenience charge was $4.00...per ticket. For 10 tickets, that's an extra $40 to support their website that they should have already! It's not as though they are going to shut down their site if they no longer sold tickets online. This becomes a dis-service to the customer.
With the way the economy is, doing something that might anger a customer is considered a no-no. If you want to win customers back or gain new ones, focus on customer service and mean it!

Posted from my iPhone

Don't use Google?

Mashable has an interesting article about a Mozilla executive that wants users to switch their default search engine from Google to Bing. Why would he do this? Privacy Policy. Bing has a stronger privacy policy and Google's Eric Schmidt made light of the policy in saying that if you don't want people to see what you're searching, you shouldn't be searching it. What are your feelings about this situation?

Link to original article:

Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You are what you tweet

Twitter is becoming more available to even those who don't tweet with search deals popping up, real time search of tweets, and widgets. This makes what you say that much more available to your potential client. All too often I see people who are representing a company or a brand get caught up in how casual their tweets become. You may feel that the $&@"?! waiter is giving you bad service, but is that something you want your brand to say? Even if you are only sending out personal tweets, a Google search later shows your potential employer that they don't want to hire you after seeing how much bad-mouthed your old job.
I'm not implying you can't say something funny to your friends, but be careful of what you tweet because it's out there for all the world to see.

Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Goodbye cold

I'm on my way to Orlando for a conference and this is what it was like outside while I was at the airport. According to it felt like -3. Anyway, it'll be in the 80's in Florida so I'm not going to miss the weather much.
Also of note, I'm typing this while using Gogo In-Flight wifi. It's very nice having this available! I'll let you know how Orlando is over the next few days.

Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New desk!

In addition to getting a netbook the day after Thanksgiving, I also managed to score a great deal on a new desk and a monitor(on the left). Previously my office was cluttered with a desk my wife used in college, a desk my mom gave to me, and a card table...yes, a card table. Now with this new desk I've eliminated two of those desks and have more room to work with because I can package this desk more efficiently. It's already gone through a bit of rearranging since this picture as the printer and shelf to the right are gone off this desk now and it's been replaced by my Mac Mini media server with a monitor. It's a much better work environment down there now.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

100th post!

It's my 100th post of the year! And I'm here to say that I've gone netbook. I've wanted one for quite some time, but never had a real excuse for one. I'm traveling a little bit more coming soon and the Black Friday sales offered some netbooks for appealing prices. Ended up with a Compaq Mini 110 because it was cheap, but I was happy to have an anti-glare screen. After installing Firefox, the necessary add-ons, and Open Office, it was time to install GMA Booster to overclock the integrated graphics. So far so good and even though all my Adobe CS4 apps are in Mac format, I do have Microsoft Front Page 2003 that I can use on here to help with working on sites in a pinch.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Web Server + Web Browser?

I've been playing around with the Opera 10 Web Browser the last couple days and considering their small market share, Opera had to do something drastic to get people to use their browser. Sure enough, they did. Now inside the Opera browser you can host websites, share files, and stream music. Pretty cool stuff, but is it a gimmick. Short answer, yes. Long answer, yes, but it has the potential to be something more. I am hosting a site on the Opera Unite server right now just for fun, but it has the ability to put something up for a short while so someone can review a site you're making changes to. Plus you can password protect that site and make it so it won't be indexed by search engines. It's worth a look when you're trying to collaborate on a project and don't have/want Google Apps.