Happy Anniversary to me!

I knew that my one year anniversary for joining Twitter was coming up soon so I set out to find out when I joined. According to whendidyoujointwitter.com it was a year ago today! My how time flies. My good friend Lyndsay had been trying to get me to join for months. And I do mean months; not days or weeks—full on months. I was hesitant as I was already addicted to too many time wasters. As mentioned in a previous post, she turned me on to quite a few great people I have slowly gotten to know through conversation. Now I’m not sure how it seems I could live without it.

I’ve discussed web development concepts, including a few of my “big ideas” with people. Helped troubleshoot Mac OS X issues (which were actually Microsoft issues). Commented on running and even on my own first full-marathon. I’ve found some great SEO tips and genuinely had fun. In fact, thanks to Twitter and some goof ball on it, I managed to go to my first ever PubCon in Las Vegas back in November 2009. Let’s just say when registration opens for the 2010, I’ll be sure to book my space early so I can take in some of the sessions.

All in all, it’s been a pretty sweet year when I look back on Twitter and how it has positively impacted my life. It’s had a few negative moments too, but we won’t go there. So tell me, when did you join Twitter? Leave it in the comments below.

No Comments | Filed under Life, Twitter

Setting up Mac OS X Snow Leopard for local dev

Setup Mac OS X as a serverIt’s no secret that I recently upgraded my Mac Pro to run the latest version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It’s probably no secret to most people that I also develop code for various different websites and projects. That being said it just makes life easier to have Zeus (all my systems are named after Greek mythology Gods/Goddesses/Heroes) run the languages I use locally. Not only do I use standard HTML & CSS but I rely heavily upon PHP & MySQL. These were running flawlessly on my 10.4 installation and have been on my iBook (Apollo) for years. I recall last time that I had to compile PHP & MySQL to work on OS X properly but somewhere along the way stumbled upon an article highlighting that Mac OS X comes pre-compiled with both languages, along with an install of Apache.

So I hit Google and came across a great article that highlighted the high-level things about tweaking settings when upgrading to Mac OS X. This was great. It allowed me to get MySQL & PHP up and running quickly. There were a few things missing like session support. Some more searching yielded another resource on how to enable session support in PHP. Combining my knowledge of code development, the first article I found and the correct variables to adjust it was a quick edit.

I will say I did this all in Terminal on my Mac. The thing you must know is that you have to run pico (built in text editor) in admin mode. It’s really easy to be honest. Simply enter sudo pico xxxxxx (where xxxxxx is the filename you wish to edit) and enter your administrator password when asked. Refresh your page to see if it worked. If not, you may have to restart Apache and try again.

It might sound complicated and daunting, but it is quite simple. Now unfortunately there are a few things that still don’t seem to be working correctly and some additional libraries need to be compiled as well. Hopefully I can get away without doing too much to get things working properly. I’ll be sure to let you know what I come across.

Do you have any other suggestions or resources on setting up Mac OS X as local development server? Let me know in the comments.

No Comments | Filed under Code Development

Action is the BIGGEST key to success

cdn-million-dollar-billFor those of you who know me, you’ll know that I rarely have a shortage of what I consider my “million dollar ideas” to build on. In fact, I fairly regularly add to the list. A while back I wrote a post about thought vs. action. It seemed to me it was a turning point in my thought process…one of turning it into action. Fast forward a little over 6 months and where am I now? For starters, I’m off on leave (that’s really hard to say and hard to talk about). A long story short, I’m a big ass ball of stress. In addition to that my “million dollar ideas” list is larger and not a single one has been checked off anywhere near complete. There are some tiny modules that are working here and there, but nothing impressive at all.

I consistently find myself in a position where I’ve got a great idea and don’t act on it. Years back when the whole Napster vs. RIAA thing was coming to light of being illegal I was chatting with friends and telling them about a different, legal way to do MP3s on the internet and ensure the artists continued to make money. Well that idea is essentially what is now known as iTunes (and many other online music stores). At the time however, there were none…not a single online shop doing it. I’ll stamp that with a big FAIL on it as well.

Last week I was watching episode 9 (second segment) of Dragons Den on CBC. I love the show. There’s something fascinating about watching people do stupid things. But at least they’re up there doing it. I had been chatting with my brother about an idea I had which we were calling BlueBinder (@BlueBinder) and how cool it would be to pitch it on Dragons Den and get some capital, but more importantly the expert knowledge of these highly successful dragons. All five of them would be a valuable asset to the business. Well just the other week, GrubCanada pitched (successfully too I might add) and the thought of BlueBinder flickered and almost died. Then a friend forwarded me an article from TechCrunch about GrabyMyTable and it knocked another dent in the side of BlueBinder…though I’m sure OpenTable will give them a good run. Luckily there is still at least one USP (unique selling point) I have with BlueBinder and I’m hoping to capitalize and honestly competition is a good thing…it gives you someone to target. That being said, action is imminent and required IMMEDIATELY. This idea, is honestly on life support right now but can definitely be revived for huge success. I’d love to find out some information on patenting the idea/process that I have for BlueBinder’s USP.

Referencing these recent ‘insights’ I went back to have a look at the list of “million dollar ideas” and started going down the list:

  • SPRY: While not a million dollar company right now, at least it’s in progress and slowly making some income. Most would consider that a good thing and I’m definitely in that boat.
  • uPlay: I guess you could make this similar to Pandora—at least from my understanding of Pandora. Since I’m in Canada I have a hard time accessing it to actually test drive it.
  • BlueBinder: As mentioned above, similar sites exist out in the market place that are doing certain components and other various concepts but none are actually doing it the way I think it should be done or how I want to do it.
  • Community Connection: This one was a huge learning experience. Over $20k of personal cash invested in it (and still trying to pay that off) and a huge education as a result. The publishing industry is definitely an interesting one. The product was ahead of its time and I have no regrets for doing it. There’s a slight twist I’m planning to put on it that will hopefully have it making some revenue when I decide to revisit it in 2010.
  • Back 2 School: I can’t take full credit for this one. A lot of the basis of this idea was from my fiancee. A mother in Ontario has done something similar (it took me forever to find in Google), though not the same concept. I even had contacted various people at Staples, Grand & Toy and Office Depot to get communications going. It’s definitely a little bit of a challenge to get high up enough into some of these organizations.
  • Hotel Reviews: Again, not a complete idea of my own but the guys at Oyster are doing something similar. This one is moving forward slowly and will hopefully launch in Q1 of 2010.

The best part about ALL the ideas above is that they’re similar, not the same (with the exception of the iTunes one from the mid-90s). What does this mean? Well it means I need to take action. The only way to become successful is by taking action. It goes back to the wonderful grade 11 physics class with Dr. Flint and the whole “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” theory. I never realized how that would actually play over into life as well as the scientific realm.

Of course the list of “million dollar ideas” above is not complete. It also doesn’t give more then a 40,000 foot high-level view of a few of the things I’ve been thinking of. Have you got suggestions on things to add or features you’d like to see on them? Simply comment below.

My thought around this for a moral of the story is take action. And more to the point, why not take action today. Tomorrow is not a promise.

I look forward to hearing about your lost “million dollar ideas” from sitting around with inaction. More importantly I look forward to hearing your stories of success. Please, leave a comment.

No Comments | Filed under Blue Binder, Code Development, Life, Travel

Now that’s an ad!

adobe-dictionaryToday I was beginning to think of new names for a different business venture I’m considering. I typically go to dictionary.com then use the thesaurus. Of course I could always go to thesaurus.com but spelling dictionary is just that much easier. Based on Google Trends it would appear I’m not the only one who feels this way. Having been to the site just a day or two ago I was stunned for a moment when I was presented with their new home page. Then I realized it was in fact an ad for Adobe.

dictionary.com vs. thesaurus.com

dictionary.com vs. thesaurus.com

Naturally seeing somethings of this magnitude I clicked the link but was a little disappointed to find it was for CS4 Design Standard – Student Edition. It sucks for someone who’s not a student (like myself) but the point of this post was actually to analyze the placement & ad itself.

The colors and layout of the page are wonderful and consistent with the Adobe brand. It’s consistent throughout the entire process (the landing page on Adobe has it as well) and the use of pulchritudinous in the ad copy was brilliant. I definitely had to type that in to see what it was. Overall the ad was well executed but page design lacked a little common sense. On a 1024×768 screen resolution there’s horizontal scrolling and the ad itself is almost below the fold. It’s interesting though to see this kind of “takeover” on a page that gets well over 100,000 daily unique visitors. I wonder if we’ll see more of this tactic from Adobe and other advertisers in the near future? Who do you think will be next running a takeover page like this?

No Comments | Filed under Pointless Thoughts, Searches

Cake for free!

So today started out to be a good day. I went to yet another Starbucks on the way to the office today, and needed some food as well. I ordered my non-fat, no whip mocha and added a slice of carrot cake to the order as well. Wouldn’t you know it, the employee damaged the cake. There was nothing wrong with it, but the way she grabbed it with the tongs, squished the corner so she couldn’t sell it…it was mine for FREE! It was a great way to start the day I suppose. Now how am I going to top FREE cake in the morning?

It’s still fairly early in the day, so I know there’s plenty of opportunity. I also had something actually important to write about, and was thinking about it on the way into the office. Of course, I forgot what I was going to write about. It was almost a story idea I think. I guess that means that the creative juices are beginning to flow, and that story is getting closer to reality.

One thing that I have been thinking about writing on lately is Google AdSense. There’s ways you can get stuff for FREE from them as well, I’m just not sure how it works. I’ve been thinking that I need to focus on keywords in my posts to get some better content related ads to display across 360aday.com, but I just haven’t determined what these words should be. Apparently it’s still seeing a lot of information from previous posts (I don’t want to say it, but the initials are W.L.). It’s understandable since that was the focus of the site for a while. Now if only I could get something better.

I’d love to see some more amazing travel deals on the site, or promotions for travel to Australia on QANTAS. I really want to go there this fall, and would love to fly on QANTAS. Hopefully WestJet will strike up some interline deal so that I can fly for cheap! I’ve also given consideration to heading back to Munich again for Oktoberfest! I was there last year, and what an amazingly fun time that was. So much beer. So many people. So much music. It really was an enjoyable time — for the most part.

So, I know it’s a short, rambling post about nothing at all (again) but you should also fill in the poll to the left. I’m sure that soon I’ll begin writing some real content. Perhaps regarding websites that I’m working on — of which there are a few. I’ll be working code for a new Blue Rock Landscaping website, hopefully a new site for Creative Soup Kitchen, or CSK for short. SPRY is also working on a deal with NECCS to secure their website, and there’s also a new site for a book that’s due to come out soon called “Happy in Rush-Hour— that’s written by a friend of mine, Leanne.

Oh yeah Terri, “Just so you know” you owe me for half of that speeding ticket! It’s your fault I was going so fast…actually, I think it’s probably Bryanne’s fault since it was her gathering. And Lyndsay, thanks for the “Ode to Marshall” — yours will show up soon here no doubt.
(WC: 544)

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