KOLN/KGIN News Features Thor Schrock to Demonstrate the iPad

  • Comments: 25
  • Written on: April 9th, 2010

This morning I was a guest on the Channel 10/11 News morning show.  We did two, three minute segments.  You can watch the complete interview about the iPad below.

We hit on some of the high points of the device, talked about its limitations, and whether or not it is a “must have” for students in school right now.

Email Scams Trying to Trick Unsuspecting Users

  • Comments: 27
  • Written on: April 6th, 2010

While it is certainly nothing new, yet another threat to your email security is floating around the internet.

This email made it through our formidable spam filters (as well as through Google’s filters) to find its way to my inbox.

Dear Customer,

This e-mail was send by schrockinnovations.com to notify you that we have temporanly prevented access to your account.

We have reasons to beleive that your account may have been accessed by someone else.

Please click on the following link (or copy & paste it into your web browser):


(C) schrockinnovations.com

As usual, the message is plagued with misspellings and the link (removed in my example) to the instructions.exe file would have attempted to infect my computer.

As a general rule, email system administrators do not send broadcast emails to users notifying them of an intrusion.

How to Handle High CPU Issues on Your PC

  • Comments: 17
  • Written on: April 5th, 2010

Does your PC freeze often, especially when you start or shutdown your computer, or try to launch an application?

If you answered yes, then to rectify the situation you need to first identify the culprit. Typically, a computer freezes when one or more running processes, such as ipssvc.exe, ekrn.exe, or msmpeng.exe, report high CPU usage.

Perform the following steps to identify the process that is eating into your system’s resources:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the Task Manager window.
  2. Click the Processes tab and go through the list of running processes to identify the process that is reporting high CPU usage.

Note: The percentage of CPU resources a process is consuming is listed next to its name.

If you find that one or more processes are frequently reporting high CPU usage, then you need to take corrective measures to get rid of frequent system freeze ups.

The first step is to run a malware scan to ensure your PC is free from malware. Malware processes, if present on your computer, can cause frequent system freeze ups by consuming huge amounts of CPU resources. Do not be fooled by the name of a process, because various malware programs are known to use the same name as genuine processes, such as ekrn.exe or msmpeng.exe.

In case a malware scan reports the presence of malicious programs, immediately remove them to speed up your computer. If no threat was reported, then you need to make a decision about whether or not you wish to disable the process(s) that is causing the frequent system freeze ups.

Before you disable the process, you should first determine the function of the process and the program to which it is attached. Next, check if the process is an essential process or not (one without which the attached program cannot function properly) or if an alternative program, which consumes less resources is available or not. For instance, if you find the genuine ekrn.exe process (this process is part of NOD32 virus protection software) to be constantly consuming huge amounts of resources, then you can uninstall the NOD32 protective software and use another equally potent but less resource-consuming protective software.

On the other hand, if you do not want to uninstall the program to which the high CPU consuming process is attached, then you can choose to disable the culprit process, if it is not an essential process. To understand this better, an example is shared below:

If you find ipssvc.exe (this process is part of the ‘LanCom VPN’ software) is constantly consuming huge amounts of CPU resources, then you can safely disable the process to avoid frequent system freeze ups.

To disable a process, you need to complete the following tasks:

  1. Remove the process from your Startup Programs list using the System Configuration utility (msconfig).
  2. Disable the service to which the culprit process. You can do this from the Services management console window that you can easily display by running the services.msc command.

We hope you make use of the suggestions presented in this article to tackle high CPU usage issues on your PC and avoid any further unwarranted system freeze ups.  The key to resolving high CPU usage issues is to identify the culprit process(s) and then perform definite measures to rectify the situation.

Jailbreak Your iPad NOW to Avoid Problems With a Best Buy Accidental Damage Safety Net

  • Comments: 13
  • Written on: April 3rd, 2010

jailbreak jail break ipadI just picked up my 32 GB iPad from Best Buy (after my online order placed on March 27th was delayed until April 12) and I am not impressed.

As usual iTunes bottlenecks the type of files I can sync with my iPad, Apple dictatorially controls what apps I can have, and I can’t customize the unit in any meaningful way.

It is time to jailbreak this thing.  Here’s how and why.

(P.S. Buy it at Best Buy with an accidental damage warranty.  If it bricks, smash it and exchange it.)

Read More

How to Fix Missing DLL Files on Your PC

  • Comments: 6
  • Written on: April 2nd, 2010

Encountering a computer error can be a frustrating experience, especially if you are unaware of its cause or the steps you need to follow to troubleshoot it. One of the most common Windows errors that irritate computer users are DLL errors.

So, what are DLL errors anyway and how does one deal with them?

DLL files are a group of files that contain codes that allow them to perform one or more specific functions, such as providing graphical user interface for applications or controlling dialog boxes. A DLL file can be used by multiple applications simultaneously.

This brings us to the next question – Why are DLL errors so common? Well, there are many reasons for a DLL error, but the main reason for their frequent occurrence is attributed to the fact that these files are present in huge numbers on all Windows PCs.

One of the most common types of DLL errors are “missing or not found” DLL errors. Examples of common “missing or not found” DLL error messages are shared below:

  • “The file msvcr80.dll is missing”
  • Adobelinguistic.dll file not found”
  • “This application failed to start, an important component mfc80u.dll is missing. Reinstalling the application may fix the error.”

As you can guess, the most common “missing or not found DLL errors” occur because of missing DLL files. Listed below are the two most common situations that lead to the removal of a DLL file and the steps you need to perform and repair the missing DLL error.

Deletion of a DLL file by mistake

Removal of a DLL file by mistake is also a common occurrence. This generally occurs when a user intends to delete a file that has a name similar to a DLL file.

If you believe you have mistakenly removed the DLL file, then restore the DLL file from the Recycle Bin. This should correct the missing DLL error. If you have already emptied the contents of the Recycle Bin, then you may use a reliable third-party recovery tool to recover the lost DLL file.

Malware Infection

Malware programs, such as virus, trojans and rootkits have the potential to affect your computer’s performance in many ways. Malicious programs are notorious for modifying or deleting important files like DLL files.

If you suspect your PC is infected, first run a malware scan using a reputed antivirus and antispyware tool to delete the malware and restore your PC’s integrity. Next, if the missing DLL file is a non-Windows file, download a new copy of the DLL file from a reliable DLL online directory. There are many free DLL directories available on the Internet that offer free downloads of DLL files. However, before you select a website always confirm that the website is safe and genuine. The reason being – there are many dubious websites that are known to push rogue or malicious files in disguise of genuine DLL files. Downloading a file from such websites may cause more harm to your PC.

In case the missing DLL file is a Windows file, then you simply need to extract a copy of the DLL file from your original Windows installation CD and restore it in the right folder.

It is also recommended that you run a registry scan to ensure that the DLL error is not caused due to an incorrect DLL entry in the registry.

Schrock Innovations Bets on Lincoln’s Digital Recovery

  • Comments: 6
  • Written on: March 29th, 2010

This morning Schrock Innovations issued a press release about what the company is doing to help businesses use their websites to weather the Great Recession.

Here is the text of the release:

Schrock Bets on Lincoln’s Digital Recovery With Hire

With the prospect of a double-dip recession looming, Schrock Innovations is betting Lincoln’s businesses will turn to the web

Lincoln, NE, March 29, 2010: Although Lincoln’s economy is the nation’s second best for its size, that doesn’t mean local businesses are escaping the pinch of the Great Recession.

Schrock Innovations, a local Lincoln computer company, has hired Brian Augenstein to captain the company’s Web Development Division as demand for their local web-based services grow in the face of a recessionary business environment.

Thor Schrock owns Schrock Innovations and he believes that businesses are turning to the web because, when used properly, it is less expensive to generate leads, sales, and profits online. Schrock has been buying media in Lincoln for 11 years and he is seeing the signs of a business environment that is scared to take chances.

“When I can buy commercials during the NCAA Final Four for $10 per spot, that speaks toward the business climate,” Schrock said. “Couple advertising cuts with layoffs, outsourcing, and rising taxes and the result is a timid business environment that is fearful for the future.”

For what it would normally cost to run a single television commercial, Schrock Innovations is redesigning websites to make them more efficient at delivering information, generating leads, and bringing shoppers through the doors of Lincoln businesses.

“For many businesses, their website is an afterthought in the marketing budget. With marketing dollars becoming scarce, tweaking a company’s web presence is becoming more attractive because local businesses see immediate returns that go on over time without continued investment.”

Schrock points out that many businesses have all of the information they need right now to boost sales and profitability through their websites, but simply don’t know how to do it. Rather than designing a website for a client and walking away, Schrock Innovations helps its clients see the potential in the present and the future.

“In the past it was enough to know who your customers were,” Schrock said. “In today’s web world you need to know who they are, where they are coming from, how to reach them, and what they want. If you use your website to get that information, sales and profits are a natural conclusion.”

Schrock’s team of internet marketers and designers evaluate a company’s web presence based on three criteria. If a client is missing any of the three, Schrock shows them how to claim the business they are missing out on:

  1. You don’t know how many of your customers or clients come from your website. There are numerous free online tools that allow you to track how many customers search for you, find your website, and then what they look at before they leave.
  2. Your website has few visitors. Many of the websites designed between the late 1990’s and the mid 2000’s were designed as an online brochure rather than a marketing piece designed to attract visitors and convert them into paying customers. If you didn’t own the company, what is the #1 reason you would go to your website?
  3. Your website is not reflective of what you do. Companies are necessarily focused on the day-to-day activities of running a business. Over time, businesses can evolve to offer new products, services, and even change their look. Does your website represent where your brand is today, or where it was 5 years ago?

“If a company’s website has traffic, tracking, and conversion that means they are making money. A website is more than a billboard. It should work for your company day and night. If it is not, your business is missing an opportunity to make money in the toughest of economic times.”

Schrock Innovations, a local Lincoln computer company, has hired Brian Augenstein to captain the company’s Web Development Division as demand for their local web-based services grow in the face of a recessionary business environment.

Schrock Jumps into March Madness on KLMS 1480 ESPN Radio with Ultimate Upgrade Sale

  • Comments: 5
  • Written on: March 21st, 2010

This weekend Schrock Innovations kicked off the 2010 Ultimate Upgrade sale with all of the normal events, plus one new twist.

While I was taping last weekends show in the studio with Chris Goforth the first day of the NCAA Basketball Tournament was under way.

In between each segment Chris was switching between the studio mode and the KLMS 1480 – ESPN Sports Lincoln feed to catch the latest scores.

I am not a huge basketball fan, and while an upset is always interesting something else stood out to me above all else.  There were no local commercials in the commercial segments.

Why No Local Commercials?

In just 5 weeks 1480 AM was flipped from a sports station, to an oldies station, and then back to a sports station again just days before the tournament began.

There was simply no time for the sales management to put together commercial packages, get them to the sales people, and then present them to clients.

These situations always interest me because here I saw a great sports product paired with a station with available advertising spots, and a lack of a pre-defined pricing structure.

I was already in the studio, so we cut a quick :30 spot (listen to it here) and I simply asked the station manager if I could advertise during the games.  Of course they agreed, so the only thing to work out was the price.

I was able to get spots during each game for an unbelievable price just because I asked.  The price was so good that I asked if I could have 2 spots per game instead of one.  They agreed!

What is the Ultimate Upgrade?

The commercial we cut was all about the Ultimate Upgrade sale at Schrock Innovations.  During this sale you can trade in an old computer for credit against a new system.

The new computer is only $449 after your trade – $250 off our normal entry level price – and you can trade any old computer working or not!

Its a little early to know how the commercials did, but for the price I paid I would be willing to blindly commit to a regular KLMS schedule no questions asked!

Only Hours Left to Make a Difference on Healthcare

  • Comments: 9
  • Written on: March 19th, 2010

Barak Hates ThisBarack Obama’s health care plan is scheduled for a vote on Sunday, and rather than preach my feelings about this bill and the methods used to pass it, I have decided to simply urge my readers to contact the representatives who are undecided.

The website Barak Hates This has a list of the undecided Congressional representatives and their phone numbers.

Their is still time to make a difference in this vote, but you have to act now.

Regardless of your position (I believe most of the American people are against this) take advantage of your right to influence your Congressmen and Congresswomen.

How to Start an Online Business –
Basic Questions Answered

  • Comments: 12
  • Written on: March 11th, 2010

There are a million posts about how to start an online business on the Internet, but they all have an angle of some kind.  They are all pushing a product either directly or indirectly.

I received an email a couple days ago from a woman who had seen me in Next Internet Millionaire and wanted some advice on starting her own home based internet business.

Like many online entrepreneurs she was looking into buying the packages and the programs that promise fast results.  She wanted my advice on how to build a real online business that would make money.

I have purposely refrained from posting links to affiliate programs in this post or recommending specific products.

I am also withholding the emailer’s last name so she does not get deluged with offers from TONS of people out there with programs to offer.

With that said, if you genuinely want to help this person, make a comment below and let her know how to get in touch with you.  Here is her email:

Hi There Thor,

I found you via multiple internet clicks that ultimately landed me on the Next Internet Millionaire.

I watched a little of one of the episodes and you seemed to me to be the most genuine of the lot. That’s all interesting but you’re probably wondering why I’m writing to you.

I’m not looking to recruit you into any screwball thing, I guess mostly I’m looking for some advise / insight. I have my own home based business and I see lots of internet marketing, attraction marketing, magnetic marketing programs online and they all say they are the best.

They all say they have the “secret”. In fact one of your fellow contestants on the show Steve Shuitt along with a guy named Ryan Dunn are selling a “MLM Biz Builder Course”.

Even the show you were on is selling (and I see posted on your blog a contest to win) “The Secret Classroom” program.

I have purchased some of Tim Sales products and on Facebook I see lots of MLM’ers promoting themselves as ‘experts’ but in reality most of them don’t know any more than I do.

I do like Tim Sales approach and his products but other than just being friendly with strangers I’m not sure of the best way to get people who are looking for and open to a real work from home business in front of my product/opportunity.

Essentially how to drive traffic to a website and if there really is a tried and true way to do it on a budget.

I appreciate your feedback and wish you well.

Warm Regards,

Lanelle -Last Name Withheld-

This is what I told her:

Thanks for your email. Your question sounds easy enough, and if there was an easy answer I would give it to you right here. Unfortunately there is not.

Sometimes people online get so focused on pushing traffic to a site that they are willing do do anything, pay anyone, and believe anything to make it happen.

Most of the programs you buy are simply study at home courses that package and present information that is freely available on the Internet anyway. Don’t get me wrong, these packages can greatly speed up the deployment of your product and even increase its chances of a successful launch, but they are not a silver bullet.

There are three things that every business needs – Time, Money, and Differentiation. If you have any 2 of these in great supply, starting your work-from-home business is a snap. If you don’t have time, you can use money to buy other people’s time. If you don’t have money, you can use your own time. If you have differentiation your product is better than all of its competitors and you have either the time or money to let others know about it.

What happens a lot of time is that people get off the Time, Money, Differentiation track and get focuses on buying tools that allow them to get more Time, Money, or Differentiation. Time and Money spent on tools directly takes away from time and money that can be spent promoting your product.

While many people don’t believe it, there is no silver bullet shortcut to getting traffic. It takes time, content, and sometimes money to get your message out there.

With that said, the situation most new online entrepreneurs find themselves in is that they have little or no money, need to make money quickly, and they have an untested or unknown product.

Since there is no silver bullet, the best thing you can do as an entrepreneur is arrange the circumstances to give you the best possible chances of success. There are no guarantees, and the odds are 75% against you – but you know that going into it.

Here are the steps that I would do to get a product up and running as quickly as possible with little or no money:

1. You must have a good product. No amount of traffic, money or time can make up for a flawed product. To be a good, your product must fulfill a gaping need that the public has – whether they know they have it or not. Start with a specific problem that your product will resolve and then focus everything around your product from your marketing, design, videos, audio clips, and imagery toward showing people how your product solves their problem. If you find that your product doesn’t really solve a problem, or its a stretch at best to say it does, save your time and look for another problem to solve.

2. Get something online. Anything. Content first, beauty last. Now that you have a product that solves a real problem, start getting ranked in the search results. Use video, audio, images, local business center listings, press releases, blog posts, tweets, facebook posts, MSN spaces blog posts – anything you can do to get your message and backlinks out there without spamming.

As time goes on your talents and abilities will increase with every post, and every video you upload. You will learn the lessons you could have bought in some of the products you have looked into in the school of hard knocks. As your skills increase, your ability to communicate how it solves the specific problem will increase as well.

Traffic is a function of time because the more content you create the more traffic you will get. As time passes, your older content will gain traction and you will begin to see exponential results. Most online entrepreneurs pump out the content and then fizzle out. Those who keep going are the ones who succeed.

3. Stay Open to Opportunity. Best laid plans rarely work. Businesses are all run by people, and people who run successful businesses adapt to changing circumstances. You could build a year of content only to find that search engines changed a math formula and now all of your content has disappeared from search results. Some people faced with this would quit. Others would look back on their old content, revise it, and re-purpose it into new applications.

Time is never wasted. Old spent time can be used again and again to get results in the present. You just have to be loose enough to realize that things are changing so you can get back on top of the game again – and continue solving problems.

4. Look for Force Multipliers. Never stop talking to other people – especially within your industry. The more you stay involved with others the more you will learn about what they need to make their own projects succeed. You may even find that you can provide a resource to them that they need to help reach their goals. Likewise, the odds they can help you are good as well. By working together you can use all of their old time to push your current efforts while leasing your old time to push theirs.

Imagine how much more quickly you would get your product off the ground if you had three friends who instantly would help you by giving you access to their old time?

I hope this helps in some small way. Good luck!

Schrock Radio Recruitment Advertisement Seeks Computer Repair Technician

  • Comments: 11
  • Written on: March 10th, 2010

Schrock Innovations successfully hired a new Web Development Director last week thanks to a radio recruitment advertisement we ran on KIBZ-FM, The Blaze.

Brian Augenstein was hired away from Phoenix Computers in Beatrice, NE to head the company’s Web Development Division.  Brian is a very promising employee who is laying important groundwork for Schrock’s future expansion into website development, hosting, and application development.

Normally if we would have advertised that position in the paper we would have had to search for the proverbial needle among dozens of applications from unqualified people.

Let’s Do it Again!

The radio recruitment ad worked so well that we decided to run a second one seeking a Computer Repair Technician.  For some inexplicable reason experienced computer break / fix technicians are hard to find in Lincoln Nebraska.

We have had a post up on Craig’s List for weeks, only to get applications from people ranging from auto mechanics to fry cooks.  We can’t hire a poorly skilled technician to work on our customers’ computers, so the next step was to drop an ad in the paper – or try the radio again.

I decided to give radio another try.

What Schrock is Looking For

You can listen to the radio recruitment ad we are running the week here.

In the ad we describe the kind of person we are looking for.  Schrock technicians are never allowed to give up on a problem.  At times this leads us to work directly with developers and engineers at companies like Microsoft or Kingston to resolve problems on the bleeding edge of technical support.

When a Schrock technician is confronted with  an un-patched problem, they don’t quit and wait for a patch.  They become the catalyst that gets the patch created.

In fact, Schrock is so selective about the kind of person we employ that two of our senior technicians have been courted by Google.

This position pays up-to $30,000 annually plus benefits.

How Can I Apply?

If you are a technician who wants to take the next step in your career, fill out an application on Schrock’s website. Its nice to be part of an award-winning team that will challenge you to rise to the next level of performance.

We will not contact your current employer unless you allow us to do so and we will arrange an interview around your work schedule.

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