Monthly Archive for March, 2005

Best iPod Case: iPodSleevz

A few months ago, I bought a Powerbook sleeve cover and keyboard cover from RadTech. I’ve been extremely pleased with the sleeve cover and keyboard cover since buying them. They’ve helped my protect my Powerbook from any more scratches or dings in the paint job.

On a plane this past week, I noticed a fellow travellers iPod was covered in roughly the same titanium colored material as my Powerbook. I inquired about where he got the cover, and he said RadTech.

I didn’t even know they made iPodSleevz. I ordered one as soon as I was back home, and it came today in the mail. I love it. It’s definitely the coolest iPod case I’ve owned, and fits my lifestyle much better than the rubber ones I’ve used in the past, mainly because it’s slick, and its slim, and it doesn’t add a lot of bulk to my iPod. It also doesn’t stick to everything that comes near it, so the iPod now slips into and out of my pocket much easier.

Looking for a better iPod case? Check out the iPodSleevz from RadTech (a company I’m growing to like a lot).

The Drinkers Alphabet

A – Alcohol: The key to surviving college.
B – Beer: The most disgusting alcohol of all, but great for chugging.
C – Class: What you’re supposed to get up and go to after a Thursday night party.
D – Dancing: A favorite pastime of almost every drunk, usually looks pathetic.
E – Emergency: The keg is empty or there is no one over 19 in your drinking party.
F – Fucked Up: Signified by leaning over a toilet puking your guts out.
G – Games: Anything that involves cards, dice, quarters, and chugging beers.
H – Hangover: Reminds you of how great last night was and how much you drank.
I – Idiot: The guy that spilled his beer on you and everyone else at the party.
J – Jail: Where you’ll end up after trying to either use a fake ID or stagger home.
K – Kissing: What you’ll do to anything that moves after 15 beers.
L – Lord: Person you beg to get you out of every situation involving alcohol.
M – Money: That which you no longer have due to too much partying.
N – Not Again!: What you scream when you wake up beside someone you don’t know.
O – Officer: Person usually responsible for ending any party, tending to show up most often at parties where no one is 19.
P – Pee: What you have to do every five minutes while you’re drinking beer.
Q – Quilt: What you puked on last night in bed and have to clean in the morning (YUCK!)
R – Reform: What you promise God you will do while you’re puking in the toilet.
S – Sex: What you did with that person you met last night while you were drunk.
T – Ten: The number of beers it takes ME to get drunk.
U – Underage: Most of the drinking population at any given college.
V – Vodka: The mother of all alcohols and the best way to get drunk in an hour.
W – Worm: The part of tequila that reminds you of biology class tomorrow.
X – X-Ray: How they can see into your stomach before they pump it.
Y – Yourself: The one who drinks WAY TOO MUCH every weekend.
Z – Zoned: Your condition for the next 12 hours following drinking.

iPhoto Tips from Derrick Story

Derrick Story, Managing Editor of the O’Reilly Network, has written a few iPhoto articles lately, that I think are quite good reads, and are pretty useful:

Output Like a Pro with iPhoto5: Fantastic article. Derrick shares with us a quick ‘how-to’ for importing your images, rating all of them as soon as you’ve imported them, editing, creating slideshows, and exporting slideshow movies from iPhoto 5. Truly a useful article.

A RAW Look at iPhoto 5: Great information on RAW files, some of the more advanced editing features of iPhoto 5 and movie management in iPhoto.

Movies Made Easy in iPhoto 5: Good coverage and explanation of movie management and editing with Quicktime Pro and iPhoto 5.

I found these articles today, because iPhoto 5: The Missing Manual comes out this week, and Derrick is a co-author with David Pogue. And if you but the book, make sure you let Derrick know, if you want it signed.

Tips for the slacker

This is horribly funny:

Have your Cake and Eat it To from CreativeBits.

This list of 23 tips for how to get away with working as little as possible while at work (from a creative perspective), is just hilarious. I think this one is the best:

Being a team player:

20. When you know that your colleagues don’t have any work, offer your help and tell them you’re in between jobs and you could help out for a few hours. Few hours will not be enough for anything serious, but it will look like you never waste company time.

I swear I’ve worked with people that religiously practice all 23 of those steps.

OS X Menu Bar Items

What’s in your menu bar?

If you’re looking for some cool OS X Menubar items, look no futher than this site.

Lots of cool stuff out there I’d never heard of.

offering people a lesser choice

Sam Decker gives us a lesson in the art of offering people a lesser choice:

Think about the choices we give customers. On a call, a visit to the site, a visit to the store – in that experience are they presented with an alternative to go up or down on any purchase? Do you have enough choices? If so, as marketers we most commonly upsell. But what if you were to downsell? What if you were to present a lesser choice?

If you haven’t noticed, today’s customers are skeptical. They smell marketing like 3-day old fish. You want to build trust? You want to close a sale? Offer the customer a lesser choice which can demonstrably meets their needs in a meaningful way. Give customers a good, better, best choice. Most people will come in on the good, get excited about the best, and close the sale on the better. Perhaps they will spend money with you again, or spend what’s left in their wallet with you in another way.

Good concept… hard for salespeople to do… if you’re a company thinking of doing this, make sure you reward your sales people to do this. Maybe profit sharing, so that if this concept does work for you, and company profits do go up, everyone shares in that success, versus straight commissions of sales revenues, as that won’t incentivize them to offer the lesser options.

The Long Tail…

I’ve read a lot about the long tail, but nothing as well written on the revenue opportunities of the long tail, as this piece written by Omar Tawakol.

These couple of comments:

“The trick is that their business models allow them to make money on the diversity of interests by aggregating sales, not by averaging out interests.”

and

“The same dynamic works for the benefit of publishers. Publishers would make just as much money selling their top few audience segments as they would if they could aggregate many of their niche segments.”

Are pretty enlightening. I didn’t think about it, but he’s write. A lot of the success of some of the biggest online-only operations is due to their ability to serve all users needs and interests by aggregating those interests instead of averaging out those interests…

Writing HTML for Email Newsletters

Writing HTML for email newsletters has always been a pain in the butt for me. I’ve never been particularly good at it, so I was pleased to read this new How to write HTML for email guide was a welcome read.

Multiple Google AdSense ads on a page

Anyone know how to get multiple Google ads on one page to display properly?

update: Ok, nevermind, I figured it out. I had a problem with my PHP code that was causing more than 3 Adsense ads to be written to the page, so I fixed that, then waited a few minutes to see the code take hold… all is good now.

Yes, I’ve added more Google Adsense ads to the pages, hopefully to drive a little more revenue.

I used to earn around $150/month from this site, but since I moved servers and changed my url schema, that’s gone way down… like 1/3 of that or so, so in the mean-time (while Google recrawls the site I guess) I’ve added more ads to the pages… Shouldn’t affect regular readers too much, as the new ads are further down on the page, but new readers, or people coming in from search engines will have more ads presented to them… hopefully driving more revenue for me in the short-term.

How to Start a Start-up

Wow.

Paul Graham, one of the original founders of the company that Yahoo bought to create their online stores for small-medium sized business, posted this article on how to start a start-up. Great read.

Pretty inspirational.

Buying Rechargeable Batteries

I needed to buy some rechargeable batteries today. I thought about stopping into a store to buy them, but then I realized, I didn’t really know where to buy them. Radio Shack? Best Buy? CompUSA? Circuit City? Fry’s?

So, I came home from lunch and started with Amazon.com, mainly because I have an unused gift certificate there. Amazon’s great for some things, but finding products that you aren’t sure of how to search for, it’s not. Search for “rechargeable batteries” and you mainly get results for camera batteries, with a few normal sizes like “AA” or “C” but try as I could, I couldn’t find the chargers for “D” cell batteries, which is what I really need (the 3 month old’s toys go through batteries like a seive).

I turned to Google next, and viola. I found BatterySpace.com. Not only did BatterySpace.com have all of the batteries I might ever want to buy, but their Battery Knowledge page tells me what I need to know about the batteries I’m buying. They also have a couple of decent charging options.

So, I just ordered a new charger, with a multi-pack of different batteries, and 8 extra “D” cell batteries.

I like their site, and will let you know if the batteries are worth anything after I receive shipment.

(This post is posted for the benefit of other new parents, or soon-to-be parents looking for rechargeable batteries).

Cold Calling

I struggle with cold calling. As a professional sales person, selling large dollar amounts, I struggle with cold calling. Why? I don’t know, but I do know that cold calling sucks… but it’s a part of my job.

So, I read this cold calling article with interest.

Cold calling doesn’t suck because I hate doing it, but rather because I feel like as I move up the foodchain in the sales process, cold calling gets harder and harder, as the people I’m trying to talk to are harder and harder to reach… that’s all. I actually enjoy getting ahold of someone and learning more about their business, I just hate leaving messages, and having to call back again and again. Maybe I need to figure out how to break through the clutter somehow.

Steak and BJ Day

In case you didn’t know:

Today is Steak and BJ Day.

Ladies, it’s your turn to take care of your man.

Ding!

Ding! is dangerous. Very Dangerous.

Ding! is Southwest Airlines latest push into the consumer’s life. It’s a desktop application that alerts you to Southwest’s latests travel deals, and it’s wonderful marketing.

This is user invited desktop travel advertising at it’s best folks. I trust Southwest because I’ve never had a bad experience with them. Ever. I downloaded the application because I trust Southwest. I bought 2 tickets on Southwest based on today’s “Ding! deal” that I probably wouldn’t have bought other-wise (we’d have driven) within 20 minutes of downloading the application.

Do not download it, if you like to travel, but don’t like to spend money.

Great job Southwest.

Ding!

Poor Kitties

My best friend runs HartzVictims.org.

He set up HartzVictims.org because his kitty, Riley, was hurt by Hartz’s flea and tick products back in the summer of 2001. Riley was featured on the local cable news channel, and the wrote numerous letters to Hartz, to no avail.

So, in 2002, he started up the site, to help spread the word about Hartz’s harmful products. Since then, he’s gathered about 700 stories about Hartz’s products causing harm to animals.

If you’re a cat lover, please tell everyone you know to be careful with Hartz feal and tick products. Their products have been lethal to some animals.

My friend and I hate seeing photos of kitties like poor TJ here. If you don’t want your friends’ kitties to look like poor TJ, please help publicize HartzVicitms.org, so that more kitties don’t get hurt.

Since I learned of Riley getting sick, I’ve only used flea and tick medicine that my vet prescribes, and advise you to do the same.

Slowly Getting There

In the past 24 hours, I’ve done quite a bit with the server move… I’ll try to document the actual steps I went through at some point, so that someone else moving from MT to WP can sort of follow my steps (hopefully they’ll plan it out a little better) if they want to.

Basically, this is what I did:

1. Set up a new site with DreamHost.
2. One-click installed WordPress from DreamHost’s nifty one-click application interface.
3. Exported my old MT data on the old server
4. Finished installing WordPress on the new server
5. Imported all old MT entries into WP.
6. Set up permalinks in WP with the cruft-free architecture I like.
7. Changed my MT archive templates, so they have redirect code in them for each archive type to point to the new WP url structure, as much as possible (MT dirify uses “_” instead of “-” to seperate words, so that sort of sucked).
8. Rebuilt all old MT archives and downloaded to my Powerbook
9. Used BBEdit’s powerful find and replace to batch find “_” and replace with “-”
10. Uploaded all old pages at /weblog/archives/ so that old files are in the right place to redirect people to new urls
11. Added a few lines to my .htaccess file, so that the old files work (I was using .htaccess to remove the .php from the end of those old urls).
12. Modified the WP templates a little to add the Google AdSense Code (will do more modifying later, to tweak the templates and styles exactly how I want them.
13. Installed WP Hashcash, a most excellennt plugin that Paul Beard recommended to kill comment spam in it’s tracks.

Overall, I’m more than pleased with WordPress, and am not looking back on Movable Type for a while… I just want to be an end-user folks… and with WP, I can be that end-user. It also helps that I know a little about PHP, and not a damned thing about PERL.

Finally Moving Servers

I’m finally moving this site off of my dedicated server and onto the Dreamhost account… and it’s going to be an ugly move.

This move is completely based on the idea of me saving money on my hosting (from $150/month ot $8/month thank you very mouch) bills… not on making the transition as smooth as possible. So, things will be broken for a short period of time (maybe a week) … for that I apologize.

There are also some other things happening in the background that I love about WordPress, and will share with you all, as soon as I get everything back in order…