• scissors
    January 19th, 2010HARTDaily Tasks

    During the Christmas holidays my Good ‘ole buddy “Dell Dimension 8200” desktop died. It had a good life, since I’ve purchased it back in 2002 when it was a super computer .. but, now it’s time to move on. I have been using my spare computer … a Compaq Presario SR1750NX (similar to the stock photo on the left here) .. as my personal backup machine.

    I can’t stress the importance of making recent backups – at least, I say that all the time to my clients! But, for myself all I was diligent in was maintaining backups of my client data. This was always easy to do, because I have one folder called c:\DATA and everything I need to keep is stored under this one folder! The problem with doing this at times, is that this folder gets bigger and bigger and bigger. I have several memory sticks (lots of 500MB ones, one 1GB, one 2GB, one 16GB) and since I’ve purchased the 16GB one I’ve pretty much felt safe with my client data.

    I also have a portable Toshiba 40GB pocket external hard drive, but it’s an iffy backup when I used it on my Dell Desktop, because it had some restrictions on some of the filename lengths and extensions backing up from the USB1.0 port. What I used to do (way back in the golden years of 2009 and such) was attach it to the USB2.0 port of the Compaq computer and backup periodically the files to the external hard drive. This backup would consist of my data files, music files, etc.

    On my old Dell computer, if I needed space or did not want to keep a program on my hard drive (for a simple reason that sometimes I needed at least 15% free space to do a good defrag) I would copy the program over to the Compaq. This would not be an install, just a straight copy. I would delete it from my Dell, not uninstall it, and thus when I would need it I would just copy it back over my internal network.

    I honestly believe that when you install programs, the software looks for files you already have in use for other programs, and sets your registry to use these files instead. Where as when you uninstall the software, it pulls all the files – even used by other files – if it’s on the install list – and thus your other programs will crash!

    call HART crazy .. but that’s what I believe to be true (whether it is or not). Thus, I rarely uninstall programs.

    Anyway … comes Christmas 2009 and my Dell crashes beyond recovery, I moved completely to the Compaq as my new MAIN desktop computer. It took about 4-5 days to recover data that wasn’t currently backed up that I was working on .. well, maybe 1 day work and 3-4 days to get motivated during the Xmas holidays :D.

    Then – it hit me … Where’s my Thumbnail program? Where’s my Adobe program? Where’s my Musicmatch program? Where’s all my tax programs? For some reason … I have only been archiving programs on this computer when I was about to delete it from my old computer. The programs that I NEVER DELETED … well, was not backed up. Sure .. I had most of the installed zip files and disks lying around, but GEEEEEESH this was annoying to replicate everything I needed.

    Although – Musicmatch is now Yahoo since August 2007 … everything is pretty much recovered and installed now.

    ENTER MY NEW BACKUP SYSTEM

    GREETINGS HART’s EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE!

    Find the HP SimpleSave External Backup Drive at AmazonThis is called an HP SimpleSave Desktop External Drive .. and holds 1TB of data .. (that’s 1,000 GB’s) .. I purchased it at Best Buy last week for $139.99 CDN .. My Compaq (for some reason) has two USB1.0 ports on the back of the machine and three USB2.0 ports on the face of the machine, so I also opted to purchase a 2-port USB2.0 card for $20.99 CDN .. total, with PST and GST taxes was $181.90 CDN. Quite reasonable expense if you ask me.

    HOW THE HB SIMPLESAVE EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE WORKS

    It truly is “Hands-Free” as the box suggests. Once you plug it in, and the HP Launcher begins, it scans your computer and automatically backs up all your files into groups .. like images, documents, media files, and other popular file types, and if you want – you can also add additional filename extensions to include. There is no software to install or run – it just starts to backup your computer. The first time I did this, it took about 3 hours to analyze and backup about 86GB of data. The theory with this product being “Hands-Free” is that, if your computer is idle for at least 5-minutes, it will search for new and/or changed files and add it to the backup! I’ve since allowed it to test that theory, and changed images, new mp3 files and invoice.doc’s that I have created since that first backup … was automatically backed up!

    SOUNDS WONDERFUL ……

    BUT …. (there’s always a “but”)

    When I looked at the backup, it didn’t have half of my data files in its backup. Sure, it’s nice to finally backup all my mp3 files and images that are probably duplicated a gazillion times around my computer in various folders … but the most basic issue of backing up my client’s acccounting data files – was not covered.

    Sure, I could have added a file extension to the list and have them included but, that seemed like too much work. So, this is what I have decided to do about it:

    1) IT’S A BACKUP DRIVE … I just went to the windows explorer and file copied my entire c:\ drive manually (D’oh!) to this external backup drive. It took about 7.6 hours to do that .. with all the data files that I have – but, I have verified its backup and they are all there. At the time, all “My Documents” and related folders and desktop didn’t copy too good, so I just moved them into a folder under the C: drive instead of just “My Computer”.

    2) I set-up a Toodledo.com reminder notice for me to backup my c:\data drive 3 times a week (for now) and when I receive an email, I just multitask and do it .. takes about 15 seconds.

    3) I Keep letting the Automatic Backup do its thing on the other stuff anyway.

    There are larger external hard drives out there or ones with more options or features or backup software included .. but they are also pricey too. Although, depending on your needs .. if you ask yourself if $299.99 external backup drive is worth saving your important data is worth it (IT IS) … then ask yourself if having an external backup drive that only costs $139.99 is worth it!

    However, if you click the top graphic .. Amazon is currently selling them for about $109.00 USD .. and, I might earn a measly 4% commission on your purchase as an affiliate link. Although, you don’t have to if you want … here’s the non-affiliate link if you prefer. I’m just happy and COMFORTABLE now that I not only have a safe backup of EVERYTHING on my computer now … but, a system in place to keep and maintain current backups in case of the inevitable – again.

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  • scissors
    January 7th, 2010HARTBlogging

    You probably already heard that Google started their own URL Shortening Service but, the Google URL Shortener is currently available for Google products only and not for broader consumer use.

    I didn’t really get that last part, highlighted above, and didn’t really care. You see, I have my own URL shortening Service, have accounts created and obtaining API for extended statistics at both Bit.ly and cli.gs sites, have preview feature set-up for any tinyURL.com, and my existing sites already have a wide variety of URL shortening services available from plugins activated such as Digg Digg and the like.

    HAVE YOU BEEN TO YOUR FEEDBURNER RECENTLY?

    I remember setting up a bunch of new blogs back in early October 2009 and noticed that there is no more “PING” series of sites … because the “Pingshot” service just notifies all interested services when my feed changes. Before, I had to select a standard set, plus 5 additional ones and who the heck know which ones were better or not better. Honestly .. I’d rather not know! 😀

    * BUT – WHAT IS THIS NEW TAB? “SOCIALIZE” ?

    There’s a new tab called “Socialize” that lets you publish to your twitter account – directly from your Feedburner account. You have to first give google authorization (OAuth”) to your twitter account and if you are familiar with twitterfeed.com .. the options are pretty similar. Please see the image below and, of course, check out your own Feedburner account!

    By the way .. I use the Feedburner Feedsmith plugin Feedburner Feedsmith Plugin on all my blogs and although I’m not really sure if I need it or not have been using the Full Text Feed plugin that prevents WordPress 2.1+ from adding a “more” link to my website’s feed. So far it ‘ain’t broke my wordpress upgrades to newer versions, so I haven’t stopped using both together.

    I AM GIVING THIS A TRYOUT

    Currently, I have 93 feeds with my Twitterfeed account .. but, on my new SportsHEN blog (Which will be a front for my five new Olympic Winter Sports Blogs 2010) I have set my feedburner to be submitting my published posts to my newly created twitter.com/SportsHEN account.

    This should be interesting to see how this works!

    Click on the image to see a bigger screen image view)



    View at EasyCaptures.com

    Have you tried the Google URL Shortener with your Feedburner account yet?

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  • scissors
    January 4th, 2010HARTBlogging

    In December 2009, browsing the Problogger.Community (to which I am a member) forums, I saw Simon Rogers – The Teenage Blogger, requested if anybody “got spare ad space“. At that time, I was debating whether I should convert this blog to Thesis template, or do something a little different with this blog. I mean, I like this template!

    So what I thought I would do … is replace my header image that I used to have ….

    … and replace it with seven 125×125 banner ads! (see above top below navigation)

    Well .. I offered two spots as prizes … for 3 months .. and the winners were announced December 18, 2009 and their banners now appear in my header for 90 days. I am also offering them a permanent link here by this congratulatory post!

    Congratulations Teenius Contest Winners

    SHIRLEY’S ZONE – Shirley is a 17 year old blogger, internet entrepreneur and student from Ghana and lives in the second capitol town of Ghana, Kumasi. Shirley is passionate about helping people improve their lives and helping them live a happy life through motivation, inspiration, teaching them about blogging, entrepreneurship, money, and life as a whole.

    INNOVATE YOURSELF – Where all the cool stuff happens … Deepika is interested in blogging and very eager in learning new things and sharing information. If you are a blogger without a blog and wish to guest post internet, or recent technologies .. please consider getting in touch with Deepika.

    TEENIUSMake Money With A Teenager – Simon Rogers is a teenager from the UK, just getting ready to start college to study Law, Business, Computing and one other subject. It was Simon’s idea for this contest of giving away $800 worth of free advertising – supplied by bloggers like myself and other great sites – and this is just one of the many simple blogging tips and tricks you will find over at Teenius to help bring awareness and traffic to your site!

    So check out all of these sites and Congrats again to the winners!

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  • scissors
    January 2nd, 2010HARTtwitter

    I am trying something new this month …

    I have just purchased the Genesis Rocket system (formerly TwitterRocket) to help me increase my twitter followers.

    Imagine Twitter as a massive pool containing millions of people, all connected together either directly or indirectly, some talking, some listening, all communicating. Your influence on Twitter, and therefore the power that you wield, is determined by many things, including the number of people that follow you, the quality of the people that follow you, and the quality of the people that follow the people that follow you. More than that, your influence is determined by how you act, what you say, and what you do on Twitter. To make Twitter work for you it is important to have a growing number of high quality followers and to do certain things that influence your followers, and their followers, making them do exactly what you want them to do. When Twitter works for you your followers, and their followers, will want to do exactly what you want them to do. Twitter, because of it’s viral social structure, makes it easy for anyone to build influence. Once you have influence you can do anything.

    And Genesis Rocket shows you exactly how to achieve the level of influence that you need to succeed, 1 step at a time, in 5 easy to follow 30 minute steps.

    I have been using twitter since beginning of January 2008 and have various twitter accounts created for separate purposes and slowing trying to increase my followers. Except for @HARTmarket twitter account, all my blogs are using twitterfeed to shoot out messages to my main twitter account – @PetLvr. This is the twitter account I do all of my chatting and tweeting. I know there is automated stuff, but I believe the information that is covered, is a smaller percentage of the manual and personal tweeting that I do, that it is overlooked and admired by my followers! (/ego off)

    However, I know with my @HARTmarket I don’t chat much and am currently about 95% automated tweeting (via twitterfeed) new daily posts coming from the Shops @ HART Market store. My followers are growing, but the followers are not as .. “loyal?” .. “dedicated?” … well, not as impressive as my PetLvr followers. About 1/3 of these followers are just like me – people trying to push their affiliate products or some other hidden agenda in the hopes of trying to sell something. I mean, all these followers and their tweets (just like mine) are good – but, only for those specifically looking for these type of information and links!

    My PetLvr crowd is different though. Some are specifically looking for information (pet related information) but that’s not all people could be looking for. I have never automated any script to obtain followers on this “clean” twitter account and believe people follow @PetLvr because of the content I present, and because of my own social nature and status in my social communities that I participate. In this case – (sorry) – I do wish that people trust me enough with my posts that they are actually reading my stuff …. and, if I recommend a product, review or even a movie to see there maybe some people that just might say .. hey! If @PetLvr likes it .. maybe I will too! 😀

    Enter the GENESIS ROCKET Experiment

    I have mentioned that I have purchased the Genesis Rocket System and have been linking to my affiliate link – meaning, if you decide to purchase this as well I will earn a commission. But, this is an interesting concept. You can automate ways to increase your followings, and I will be doing this as an experiment.

    BUT – it is NOT what you think – that I will turn the key “on” and suddenly get 1000’s of new followers without any work. There is work and there are good tips in the 46 page .pdf Ebook that I haven’t even thought of before! Automation would include stuff like using your twitterfeed account to help promote your twitter account. In reality, I think if I were to try to describe it any better, you are really trying to get targeted twitter followers and providing information to these twitter followers to make them want to follow you, and find more twitter followers! For more information than that, I suggest you at least read the sales pitch on the following link:

    In reality, what sets those who succeed on Twitter apart from those who fail, can be documented, broken up into 5 simple steps, and turned into a bullet proof plan that will teach you to create multiple pockets of passive income over and over again.

    Genesis Rocket is that plan. A plan that will show you, step by step, how to build, maintain, promote, develop and profit from your Twitter account.

    The Experiment – The Pet Care Shop @ HART Market

    I have created a new twitter account for this experiment …. twitter.com/PetcareShop … and it will be this twitter account that I will be testing the tips and techniques used in the Genesis Rocket system to try to increase targeted followers and hopefully, increase affiliate commissions on my Pet Care Shop @ HART Market sales!

    Now, I know that because of this is a twitter account for a “store” .. I don’t expect to obtain growth as much as the 1,000/week. But, I will be happy if by March 1st I can reach over 2,500 followers (about 300/week) and this will be my goal. If successful, I probably won’t be USING this system 100% on my other twitter accounts, but you can probably bet that I will implement some of the techniques and tips that will have worked for me.

    Do you remember all those spammy links to ‘guaranteed’ ways to increase your twitter followers by 16,000 in a week or whenever? I probably looked at all these systems and couldn’t believe there are a lot of suckers out there (although, a few geniuses selling those ebooks). I recalled looking at Twitter Rocket just about the time it changed its name to Genesis Rocket and thought if I would ever try a system, this one would be that system. The others are just a time bomb waiting for their accounts to be disabled, in my opinion. I had a little extra money in my own paypal account and decided to give it a try. Also, as an affiliate – you do make 50% earnings so, if two of my readers also try this system with me – my money is paid! And, you can do the same.

    My experiment will begin January 5th, 2010 (after my wife goes back to work from the Christmas Break :D)

    Did you want to try the experiment with me? Maybe we can look back December 31, 2010 and see how successful we were with this!

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