Past few weeks have been very busy weeks

No postings, too busy.

Start of the month again, new billings to send… And my billing data is saved in an external drive using a 120GB hard disk in a External USB Casing. Then last night, my whole invoice folder dissapeared. Actually it was still there but totally unreadable. It had client invoices going back to August 2003.

I am not running any automated system yet and all invoices are in Word Documents that are manually edited and saved, emailed, faxed and snail mailed to my clients in the Philippines that pay via bank deposits rather than online payments.

The whole invoice folder was totally corrupted and unreadable, even after doing chkdsk twice.

If you are a client of mine, nothing to worry about, I have backup files all the way from the beginning up to January 16, 2005. Then the rest of the months are in the sent items of my email software. I just dfelt bad about the trouble of going through my email, sorting and putting things together. Another time consuming thing. I guess if updates were done more often, it would be better.

I just decided to sleep last night and when I woke up today, ate lunch, I decided to go to the gym and just burn out my negative energies.

When I got home, I decided to do one more final chkdsk. And restarted, and like magic, all the files were there!

So I took out a blank DVD right away and burned about 3.5GBs of backed up data, documents, contracts, invoices, proposals and websites.

Yahoo Doing a Google

Yahoo was a search engine leader for a long time… then Google comes out and just changes how a lot of things are done.

Google changed how search engines should work
Google’s GMail changed how Yahoo and MSN hotmail works.
Google’s Blooger was one of the first bloggers and everyone followed. Maximizing CSS usage.
Google Maps has done something Yahoo and Mapquest have never done. Maximizing AJAX usage.
Google Earth shows a 3D landscape with 3D buildings for Google Earth Plus.
Google has XML search Engine Submissions
Get paid with Google’s AdSense
Google has a lot more to offer with their Picasa.
Google has their API code downloadable.
Google has a fast Desktop search that can even search within your email softwares.

They got a lot more going on in Google Labs.

I do not work at Google and does not get anything in endorsing Google.

And here comes Yahoo and MSN try to match Google.

They first increased their Email boxes to 200MB (GMail is still 2GB). Yahoo has a better Video search. MSN says their bot re-indexes websites every 2 days. And check Yahoo’s clean search interface: http://search.yahoo.com

Competition is tough, and it is just pushing technology, innovation and business ideals to be more creative in a short span of time.

Google Maps

While working I saw Andy Waer’s desk an image of the earth and it was zooming in. Ah, some animation of a zoom in I thought… Then I noticed he was looking at streets in clear detail! Panning, rotating, zooming, wtf?

I sent him an ICQ right away and he gave me the URL, earth.google.com. What? Google has done it again? The google people are really doing good! This runs it’s own software but still needs the internet do update the map images as you go all over the place. It needs a fast computer and a good video card too.

After downloading it, I rotated the earth and started zooming into the Philippines. Maps were not as updated like in the US but I’m cool with topography. I can find things from that view.

After zooming into Manila proper, and a little zoom out to into neighboring areas, the Quezon Memorial Circle is not hard to find. And knowing your North direction and shapes of the roads, Commonwealth Avenue is easy to find. I followed it until I managed to find my way to the two malls. SM Fairview and Robinsons Place Novaliches. I wanted to see our houses at Teresa Heights and North Olympus but the resolution is not that high in other areas outside of the US. But still good enough to appreaciate. I’m sure one day all areas will be updated. The Philippines is not as updated as the US satellite pictures and the Philippine images even have clouds covering some areas. But over all, it is really good. Everything Google has been making is really good! I placed pins on Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Mayon and Taal Volcano. Tilting the view and looking at Mayon’s near perfect cone was just great!

One last thing. This post was done on my Palm Treo 600.

Rest? Or No Rest?

The first half of 2005 was cool but busy. New hosting deals in the Philippines and US. Sponsoring the Philippines 1st Blogging Summit was worth it. I also have a new hosting client in Saudi Arabia and colleague John got a hosting deal for his uncle in Macau.

Welcome new web hosting clients: FilPGFamily, Lex Tandog, Pulped Fiction, Fight Club Martial Arts Training Ground, Alibi Productions, JPMP Enterprises, Mook Choi, Informatics Sampaloc.

Thanks to Plum Studio who has been putting in several hosting accounts, not just one, but hmmm how many websites do you have right now on my server? 4? 5? and you recommended me to someone that added 3 websites from him too? As part of my gratitude… I will advertise your site on my blog when it is 100% finished.

Thanks to the Kelly’s too. This Filipino family has already 5 hosting accounts on my server.

With some personal workstation PC problems that have partially delayed all sorts of stuff, and a vacation that I really needed, but shifted some working time, most of the work is done already. SEO of Martal Exterminators is done and Web Design and Development for the Association for Marketing Educators is also completed while I’m nearly done with Graveyard Chef.

The company operations is another thing… collecting all the bills, sending them, checking who paid, who didn’t, following up payment, follow up sales, helps with customer support, generate more sales leads, helping out in event sponsorship, sales presentations is not all an easy task. Thanks to the ever reliable Amor (whom I suspect is also working on the P&J website, hehehe, but it’s all fine, just do your job.) And thanks to the company manager and my lovely wife Marcia who does not only work for the company but also keeping things running well at home, monitoring all our personal bills, insurances, pension plans, trust funds, educational plans, credit card bills. And more importantly, taking care of the kids at home. (of course thanks to Janet and Harry who helps out at home too). Ever reliable Mommy whom I owe money with the unconditional-mommy-loan, 0% interest for life, no penalty fees.

Still a lot of work, and still no money. All goes to bills, bills and bills. I am working, my wife is working, my business is earning, but the bills are still a lot. When I was earning less, I had no money, when I am earning more, I still have no money? MLM/Networking people reading this blog, go away. I tried everything already. I helps but not this time. I have other plans in life than doing that again, but I am not saying it is not a good system, all I am saying that is not my plan in this stage of my life.

Now that my projects are nearly done… I thought of yeah, it is my time to rest again! And how do I do that? By attending Taekwondo classes, going to the gym and riding my BMX. That is the best rest I can get. But I think that is not going to happen yet.

New websites came in. Pritchon, Batang Sayantist. Two under negotiation, which is basically a closed deal by word of mouth, but for me, not until I see the money, then I say it is a closed deal. I got one more under review by the prospective client.

So I do not get rest after all, not yet. But I think it is still worth it. So I still get to rest. But it is all fine with me. Kaya ko ito, I’ve done worse things in the past, as in really no sleep, walking zombie and not earning sh*t. A bunch of sites full of freebies, working for nothing. So this time, everything should be a lot easier.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Yes, when your busy, you can’t blog that much. Even if I thought of something nice to say in my blog, I just can’t blog right away since I’d be finishing something. And after sometime, you forget about what you wanted to write about.

Right now, I needed to run my other computer that I haven’t been using for sometime. And since it has been a long time since I used it, I needed to update everything. All my AVG, Lavasoft Ad-Aware, JavaCoolSoftware Spyware Blaster, Search and Destroy Spybot, Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta, Firefox, Windows, etc.

And I was also managing my hard drives better placing the right files in the right places for better information management. I was copying and moving files from one PC to another on the network. It was slowing everything down and I did not have much to do and I needed to wait until all the copying, installing, scanning is all done.

So here I am blogging away again while all of these processes run.

Ever since school started in the Philippines after summer vacation, I haven’t seen any blog updates too from Ate Dawn, Marcia and Jamie.

I have been learning and sharing on Kangkong.ORG. If you want to talks about anything on Web Design, Web Development and other computer stuff, Kangkong.ORG is a nice place to go.

Work
I may be earning more than I used to in the Philippines, but that is not enough. Too much expenses. But a large bulk of it has been going to pension plans, trust fund, educational plans, insurance and credit card bills. I guess without credit cards, it would be a bit harder to use money when you need it and you do not have any at the moment, but should be used with precautions. Since a lot of money has been going to bills, and a lot of them are plans and credit cards, I guess it is fine than not have any pension plans and educational plans since this may make life harder now but easier later on. I guess that is still better than having life easy now and harder later on.

With all of the work I have with Einstein Industries, once I get home, I still got more work to do. Clients keep on increasing and even if it is manageable right now, I am already thinking about information management, security measures, server backups, customer support since there will come a time all of these will be hard to do is I do not do proper action while problems related to these start to develop.

I am no business management major, but how I run my business is still basically based on my experience being a businessman since 1997. Where the first few years were all mistakes and even up to now, you still experience mistakes, but are minimized since more mistakes you have already learned to avoid them.

Sales is increasing and I can make it increase a lot more, but I am not prepared for that. I am still laying out the process, streamlining all business processes from sales to production to delivery to collection. And when all is prepared, that is when I will go all out on sales. Right now I am building my own information management system that will be used by the company.

Leisure, Recreation
Hmmm… things I like to do aside from work… traveling is not my thing. Going to the mall, watching a movie, seeing places, nope. Unless I am with my family that would be great. But me all alone, I’d rather bike (BMX or MTB), train (Taekwondo, other martial arts), workout at the gym, play the piano or guitar. But I have no piano, no guitar right now. I have no money to train in martial arts. I have no sleep even to train or workout. I even have no air pump for the tires of my BMX, although I know there are cheap air pumps out there, my money is really all used up and every penny counts.

Losin’ Blogging Time Lately

– Chatted yesterday until 3am, but it paid off, closing two hosting deals. When people are in the impulse of buying go with the impulse, tomorrow, the impulse may be gone.
– Official New Client: Pulped Fiction
– Graveyard Chef in progress, Pritchon, waiting for materials.
– AME not doing out of production yet, delay of materials.
– Mansmith Corrections
– Hello clients, I love you all especially the following: ICI Sampaloc, AME, CCME, Simon, Batang Sayantist, Plum Studio, Fight Club Training Ground, Spinal Cord Injury Foundation, Sasad Marketing 😀 Hehe. It is already the 16th.
– Cool forum at Kangkong! www.kangkong.org.
– I need sleep.
– Hello Treo! How do I use you? Big Manual. Close mind. Sleepy.
– I cannot handle another designing, if another is closed.we will outsource.But if graveyard is one the way out,i can still handle it.
– 1030pm. gtg. i only had 2 hrs sleep yesterday. ttyl….

chiao

Love you babe, jamie, ate dawnski, and si ate spiderman. 2log na ako.

Pictures in your Blogs – For my Wife and Daughters

This posting is basically for my wife and daughters who are running their own blogs right now.

First problem they had was a breaking up page with pictures too big. Now their problem is some pictures are replacing others and they are starting to have the same pictures.

I told them to email me the pictures and I will fix them as I give tips to them as well through my own blog.

Here are the tips.

  1. I can see babe, you tried resizing some of Jamie’s pics, which was good. Looks like you got the right size. But also try changing the resolution. All images should be 72dpi (or dots per square inch, also called pixels per square inch) Since monitors cannot display beyond 72dpi (monitors can display up to 96dpi, but the 72dpi and 96dpi make a negligible difference) In that way you get the maximum image quality the monitor can display and the smallest file size so that downloading is faster too.
  2. In some cases the images are small and when resized to fit in the page makes the image even smaller to appreciate. If the picture has a lot of space around it, background that is not important, you can crop out the background and not just resizing, so your image it still big.
  3. Generally a big image that you shrink down still has good quality, but a small image that you stretch to be big, starts to become pixelated, you start to see big squares, jagged edges, and generally blurry. And I understand you have been scanning some pictures there at home. If ever you want to make a picture bigger, it is best to scan at a higher dpi, like 150 to 200 will do, then as you resize you also change the resolution to 72dpi. So there is not much image lost in making it big.
  4. Resize the actual image, and do not use Blogger to resize it. This is for Ate Dawn naman. Her images are resize through HTML with height and width attributes of the image tag or using CSS width and height styles to the image. It does resize it, but the image is really big and the file size is big, thus downloading takes longer. When you resize the actual image, you also adjust the resolution to 72dpi as well for better downloading.
  5. You now have problems in your blogs with new pictures replacing some of the old pictures. Why? Simply because all your pictures are all in the same place and when you upload a picture with the same file name it replaces the old one. A picture that is always named jamie.jpg or dawn.jpg will always replace the picture with the same name. It is better to name the pictures of what the topic of your blog is about like swim1.jpg. swim2.jpg. For me, just to be sure I do not overwrite my pictures and I feel lazy making folders on the server, I name my files: yyyymmdd-eventx.jpg, where yyyymmdd is the date I uploaded the picture and event will be replaced with the event name of the picture and x is the picture number. So if I have 3 pictures during a picnic today June 5, 2005. My pictures will be named: 20050605-picnic1.jpg, 20050605-picnic2.jpg and 20050605-picnic3.jpg.

To my other blog readers, hey I know this is like kids stuff to you, but this is for my wife and daughters. I already gave them the tips and their next lesson is how do they it in Photoshop.

Aaarrrgg… Online forms that look like paper.

Online forms, aligning field names, input text boxes, adjusting the widths of each one, use tables. Not hard but to finish a single form with a bunch of fields uses so much time, especially if it looks like the form they fill up on paper. Appearance is just the first part, processing the form is the second part, so many variable names, and if error checking is required, it takes more time. I think I will make ready made codes in the future for commonly used things like date select boxes, country select box, state select box, age computation from birthday entries, etc. To make work faster in the future.

Still a lot more fields but I am half way through and when this is done, the whole client site is done, and I can now bill them. This should be done before the office starts in Manila, Philippines, +8GMT.

Playing around with WordPress

I wanted to abandon Blogger and try running my own blogging software but did not want to yet because of all the postings I have. Well I found an import function of WordPress and tried it out. It worked but I’m not making it my official blog yet, I will still check everything out if the importation was done properly.

Check it out, I did the import just before I wrote this entry.

http://www.benjarriola.com/blog2/