- Comments: 4
- Written on: October 3rd, 2009
Last year Kim and I put our house on the market, and although we had a lot of interested people look at it no one could get financed in the middle of the credit crunch.
We plan on attempting to sell the house again next Spring, so the name of the game right now is to make the improvements that will help us sell the house quickly at a fair market price.
Our Realtor told us that one of the biggest concerns about the house was that the roof was at the end of its lifespan. We had a cedar shake roof that was designed to last 30 years. It was put on in 1982, so it really was about time to have some work done.
Kim and I interviewed 6 roofing companies before we finally settled on Hustad Roofing. Kim liked the owner because she had that woman gut feeling that she could trust the owner. I like them because they came in with the best reputation AND the lowest bid.
They showed up at 9:00 in the morning and 7 men amazed my 3-year old son by climbing on the roof and peeling off wood shingles like they were a fruit roll-up wrapper.
The whole removal process took less than a couple hours, and the new roof was on by the end of the day.
Hustad had laid tarps on the ground to catch the nails, shingles and paper that was being torn off for a quick, easy and complete clean up.
Overall I was very impressed with the job they did, and the pictures speak for themselves.
- Comments: 1
- Written on: October 2nd, 2009
William Safire’s recent death has stirred an interest in the speeches he wrote over his many years in public service.
However it is rare to read the draft of a speech that was never delivered – let alone a speech that was to be delivered in the event of an unspeakable tragedy that could have actually happened.
Below is a transcript of the William Safire speech written for President Richard Nixon to deliver to the nation in the event the Apollo 11 astronauts became stranded on the moon.
To: H. R. Halderman
From: Bill Safire
July 18, 1969
IN THE EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in their constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT
The President should telephone each of the widows-to-be.
AFTER THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT, AT THE POINT WHEN NASA ENDS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THESE MEN:
A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to the “deepest of the deep,” concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.
Thank God that speech was never needed.
- Comments: 4
- Written on: October 1st, 2009
An affiliate network called the Partnetka is working hard in Russia to bring malware to your beloved Mac at a bounty of $.43 per infection.
Affiliate networks are nothing new on the web – in fact they are much more common than you might imagine. The basic concept is that webmasters run websites that people go to. They use their websites to promote products and services and gt a piece of the action when people buy.
It turns out that according to ZDnet that this network was offering a $.43 payment for every Mac that could be infected and handed over.
Most Mac infections come in the form of DNS changing Trojans that are downloaded in relation to porn videos.
Affiliate networks are pay-for-performance deals. This means that someone out there somewhere intends to make more than $.43 on every Mac they can infect. The days of the Mac being an invincible platform are clearly numbered.
- Comments: 2
- Written on: September 30th, 2009
Schrock Innovations recently wrapped up a new fishing report application for the Nebraska Game and Parks website.
This application will give Nebraska fishers a whole new way to brag about their catches while helping others find the best fishing in the state.
What Does the New Application Do?
This new application allows fishers to upload a picture of their catch, the location where it was caught, and details about the type of gear that you used and your fishing technique.
Best of all, it gives the individual fisher the ability to rate their fishing experience overall.
The idea behind the application is to help raise awareness that Nebraska has some of the best fishing in the Midwest by SHOWING the proof and telling others where to go on their next weekend outing.
This is the kind of content that separates Nebraska’s Game and Parks website from those maintained by other states.
When Can I Upload My Pictures?
Expect the new application to go live in the coming months, so dig up all of your miracle catches and get ready to share your fish stories with the rest of Nebraska!
- Comments: 0
- Written on: September 29th, 2009
This week Steve from Podnutz and I recorded the first episode of Computer Repair Business Weekly. The podcast will be featured on the topITshop.com website and is designed to help current and aspiring independent computer repair shop owners keep their heads above water and MAKE MONEY.
The podcast will be released in weekly installments on topITshop.com as well as through iTunes when the website goes live in December 2009.
Steve recently sold his own computer repair company and I have owned and operated Schrock Innovations for over 10 years. The two of us have different perspectives and experiences to draw from and together on the podcast we offer some pretty unique conversation.
What Did You Talk About?
For example, in this episode we talked about why it is important to think about what kind of business owner you want to be before you open your doors to the world.
There are two kinds of business owners – Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs.
Small business owners enjoy a less expensive start up and easier management, but typically their operations grind to a halt if they don’t show up to work.
Entrepreneurial operations are more expensive and complex to start up, but if the owner executes properly they can run on their own as a systematized operation. This allows the entrepreneur to make his or her exit at some point and move on to a new venture while their old one continues to bring in money.
Where can I Listen?
The podcasts will not be released until the topITshop website goes live in December. If you follow topITshop.com on Twitter, you will know exactly when we launch and we will tweet when the podcast is released.
- Comments: 0
- Written on: September 28th, 2009
If you follow my Tweets you might know about a project I am working on called topITship.com.
Schrock Innovations does a great job breaking technology down for our customers and clients into understandable and practical servings. One of the reasons Schrock has been so successful is that its somewhat rare to find a tech company that can do that.
What is topITshop.com?
The idea behind topITshop is to serve the other side of the equation – other IT shops.
The website will feature video reviews that you can’t find anywhere else (not even cNet), informative articles about how to conduct business more efficiently, as well as marketing advice and proven-effective techniques for building a sustainable business.
Every year thousands of IT professionals ditch their employers to venture out on their own, and unfortunately most of them will fail. They typically fail because the owner is a technician, not a businessman.
When the new venture is created, the entrepreneur fails to realize that the skill set required to be a good technician is completely different than the skill set needed to build an effective revenue model and execute it.
topITshop.com is designed to help tech entrepreneurs and their employees bend the learning curve, survive the initial volatile start-up years, and prosper in an ethical way.
When Will it Launch?
We have the website designed, and have released it to our coders this week. I am anticipating a November / December launch, but there are a lot of loose ends that need to be wrapped up before that can happen.
You can keep up on the latest topITshop.com news by following the project’s Twitter updates.
Some of the content for the website includes:
- A Weekly Podcast Called “Computer Repair Business Weekly”
- Video Reviews of Components you will actually order (not cool stuff you can’t sell)
- Marketing Advice Articles
- Guest Contributors
- ID10T Stories (shop owners you know that we all have these)
- Tips on Refining Your Business Practices
Want to Be a Part?
If you are involved in the IT industry and believe you have content that would be valuable to others in the industry, we might be interested in talking with you.
If you are interested in becoming a contributor, email me your information, a description of what you believe you have to contribute, and what you want in return for your contribution.
This website is based on predictable, accurate, high-quality content, so make sure you bring your A-game!
- Comments: 0
- Written on: September 27th, 2009
After a bit of a posting drought, we have started posting our Compute This shows again on the Schrock Innovations website for those who couldn’t listen live, or live outside of the local market.
I have heard rumors that KFOR may be posting our shows as podcasts as well. I will look into it, and get you a link so you can subscribe through iTunes is you would rather do that than download the .mp3 files individually.
September 12, 2009 Show:
During this show we launched a new sale called the Great XP Escape Sale.
There was an early Husker game this week, so the call volume was a little light, but we did have a few callers and they asked questions like:
- Should I buy a laptop or a desktop computer?
- Why does my music sound different when I burn it to disc?
September 19th 2009 Show
During this show we wrapped up the Great XP Escape sale, talked about which browsers are the most energy efficient, and took a few calls as well.
Our callers asked questions like:
- My DVD drive disappeared from My Computer. How can I get it back?
- How can I fix a broken VGA cable?
- Why did my auto-fill stop working in the Yahoo Toolbar?
Compute This airs every Saturday morning on KFOR 1240 in Lincoln, NE from 10-11 AM CST. You can listen live on the KFOR website and call in toll-free with your questions at 800-825-5865.
- Comments: 7
- Written on: September 26th, 2009
With excitement building for the upcoming release of Microsoft’s latest operating System, Windows 7, a couple of familiar guests might be missing from the launch parties.
Microsoft has removed Outlook Express (Windows Mail in Vista) and Windows Movie Maker from Windows 7 deciding instead to promote their Windows Live products.
Windows Live Mail
The basic concept behind Windows Live Mail is that you can run it from your mobile device, your computer in offline mode, or live on the internet.
Rather than clicking on the “Send/Receive” button you instead click a “Sync” button. The idea here is that you can use your phone or computer in offline mode, and as soon as they go online they will “sync” with the online system to keep everything in one place that is shared with all of your devices.
Here’s a video that shows you how the process works from start to finish:
Windows Live Moviemaker
Windows Movie Maker has been included free of charge with Windows since Windows XP was released.
On the Windows Live blog, the lead designer on the Movie Maker project explained that the company’s research showed that most PC users employed Movie Maker to create small videos, video slide shows, or combinations of both with some titles and transitions.
Knowing that users were not using Movie Maker to create feature length films, Microsoft focused on making an application that can do what its user want quickly and easily.
For example, the “Auto Movie” feature allows you to select a group of pictures and an audio sound track and then let the computer do the hard work of organizing the images so they start and stop with the sound track.
Here’s a video that explains the most hyped features of Movie Maker:
Why Do I Have to Download It?
Windows 7 will not come with Movie Maker of Windows Live Mail (or even Windows Messenger) installed by default. Users have to make the decision to download the components from the Windows Live website or through the Microsoft Update (Windows Update) feature.
This solves a lot of anti-competitive issues not only in the US, but in Europe as well, while still allowing Microsoft to give its own products a slight advantage over their competitors in the marketplace.
- Comments: 1
- Written on: September 25th, 2009
I had a little debate today with some of the staff about Schrock’s 2009 Holiday Special system.
We have always offered a complete system (CPU, monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers) for $1499 in past sales. We have offered a tower-only option for $200 less, dropping the price to $1299.
So here is the question…
Do we advertise the Holiday Special as a $1299.99 tower only system and then offer the monitor and accessories as separate items for purchase or do we assume that most people will want the accessories, market it at $1499 and then offer the take-away discount?
If you Were Buying a New PC Right Now
If you were in the process of buying a new PC right now would you want to replace your monitor and accessories for $200 or would you fly with what you have?
- Comments: 1
- Written on: September 23rd, 2009
We have been hard at work for the past few weeks designing the Schrock Innovations 2009 Holiday System, and the first prototype testing is underway.
This year’s Holiday Special will feature 2 new technologies that have never before been used in a Schrock build. The result is a new Modular PC that is faster (not seconds faster but STUNNINGLY faster) more reliable, and better prep[ared for tomorrow’s technology than ever before.
What is the Holiday Special?
Schrock’s Holiday Specials are always highly anticipated because the systems push the limits of technology at an unbelievable price. We offer a complete system (including monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, and speakers) for only $1,499.
These systems are configured with amazing specifications. This is not the typical Dell up-sell routine, where you are lured in for $499 and end up spending way more than you planned.
These computers are configured to rock your PC experience with no modification required.
This year’s Holiday Special Modular PC is no exception. We are keeping the exact details close to the vest at the moment, but I can tell you it will be running Windows 7.
Faster than Anyone Expects
ONe of the big reasons we are so excited for the 2009 Holiday Special is because one of the new pieces of technology we are introducing will bring MASSIVE speed increases to the table that will be unavailable anywhere else in Nebraska (even by special order form Dell).
This new technology will unleash AMAZING speed that most computer users have only imagined. In our tests this technology has cut processes that used to take HOURS down to mere minutes.
We get excited whenever a system we produce can dramatically improve a PC users’ experience. To put it bluntly we have not a game-changing PC since we introduced Lincoln to Windows XP and LCD displays ion 2001. This system will be just as revolutionary.
Reliable Beyond Anything You Have Imagined
The 2009 Holiday Special is going to be faster than anything we have ever built before at Schrock, but it is also the most reliable system we have ever built.
This system runs COOLER (temperature wise) than any previous computer we have built, even though it sports a quad core processor. Because it runs cooler, it also uses LESS POWER than other quad core systems we have released in 2009.
Another new pieces of technology cuts the odds of a PC breakdown by an amazing 75%. This PC has more up-time, less lag time, ind its overall cost of ownership is dramatically lower over its expected 8-year lifespan.
Power for Today and Potential for Tomorrow
As always, this Schrock system is Modular. That means your computer has everything it needs to meet your demands today, and it can grow with you as your needs change in the future.
Schrock Innovations is the only company in the country that offers Modular computers, and that is why our Holiday Special systems last more than 8 years while other manufacturers are lucky to get three years out of their builds.
How Can You Learn More About This Computer?
Unfortunately, you will have to wait a little while longer before we let everything out of the bag. But there are some things you can do to make sure you catch the tidbits when we do let them out.
- Subscribe to the RSS Feed on this blog. You’ll get an email as soon as we release anything.
- Follow me on Twitter – I am prone to moments of weakness. If something slips, it will happen here
- Get on Schrock Innovation’s mailing list – Contact Schrock and ask to be added. It’s free and rumor has it there is a coupon involved
- Listen to Compute This every week. Chris Goforth has a way of getting me to talk