Well, things have been picking up over at Revel Software, so it was time we needed an office manager. Kona Puppy, our fearless chocolate lab, was eager to take on the position. Her new duties include, barking when someone rings the doorbell, running in her sleep while she naps in the afternoon, and annoyingly jumping on me while I try and code my latest masterpiece web application because she thinks it’s time to eat. She will also be there to greet you by jumping up and sniffing your crotch if you ever stop by during work hours.
Yep, you read right. No longer working for the man. Well, probably still working with the man, but hopefully now I’ll be calling more of the shots and getting to pursue the things that really excite me. I started a new web consulting business called Revel Software. Our bread and butter is doing custom web applications. Not just pretty web design, but sites that do something, like allowing you to interact and manipulate data and integrate with other sites. Sounds fun doesn’t it? If ever you or someone you know needs that sort of thing, you’ll know where to turn now.
Here are a couple of the steps to get my new business up and running:
1. The new computer
Of course any respectable software consultant is going to have a nice computer. I happen to prefer desktops over laptops because I like screen real estate. Here’s the breakdown of the computer I built.
- Rosewill R512 BK Black Ultra High Gloss Finished Steel MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case with 400W Power Supply – $39.99
- ASRock H55M Pro LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard – $89.99
- Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80616I3540 – $139.99
- G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL – $109.99
- XFX HD-467X-ZDF2 Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card – $69.99
- Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Hard Drive -Bare Drive – $54.99
- 2 x Dell ST2310 23″ Full HD Widescreen Monitor – $179.99
- Total: ~$1000
2. The new desk/cleaned up office
Since my wife also works from home we needed a clean office, which wasn’t working out so well. So we spent a lot of time doing that. I also decided to build a new desk to hold my new computer. That consisted of a solid core door 28″ x 80″ and two metal shelves attached for ~$100, see how to build it here.
Last but not least, I will probably be consuming lots of coffee during my new endeavor.
While we were in the Philippines attending my sister’s wedding we were treated to some fire dancing on the beach at a party before their wedding. What better time to test out all the features of our newish camera. The video was shot with a Canon T1i in 720p with a 50mm f/1.8 lens.
In preparation for our trip to the Philippines for my sister’s wedding I thought I should at least know some interesting facts about the place that’s going to take 30 hours of travel time to get to. That way I can ponder this newly aquired information while flying over the pacific ocean and so can you (well you wont be over the ocean, but you get the idea)! So here goes:
- It is an archipelago comprising 7,107 islands.
- The United States was once at war with the Philipines.
- Average temperatures range from 75°F – 88°F with Humidity 70-85% (not good for someone like me from Colorado).
- Their monetary unit is the Peso. The current exchange rate is $1 USD = 44.935 PHP.
- The main exports include electronics and garments.
- The largest naval battle of World War II was fought in Leyte Gulf.
Here’s a nice map so you can follow along with our 8,103 mile journey:
And a little eye candy to make you jealous of where we’ll be in Dumaguete:
When I got my Jeep Compass a few years ago I had a couple of choices on the sound system. The basic package came with a basic cd player and 4 speakers, but it had an auxiliary audio input. The upgraded package had a six disc mp3 cd changer and a 9 speaker Boston Acoustics system with a subwoofer. Of course I went with the booming subwoofer. But it was at the cost of an auxiliary audio input. Now, a few years later, I’ve grown tired of always having to burn new mp3 cds when I want to listen to new music. Here’s how I went about installing a new aux input so I can plug my iphone in and listen to those new jams. Total cost: ~$100.
I love my iPhone, but I rarely sync it to my computer. It seems like every time I do, I’m in a hurry to get some new music on it to listen to while I’m biking into work or something. Here’s what I end up having to endure:
Step 1: iTunes update
I’ve been doing some research on SEO lately on how to build up some of the sites I’m working on and I’ve come to one conclusion; Search engine optimization is hearsay. Well, either that, or the people who do it are witch doctors practicing voodoo black magic. I can understand some of the basic things like “make sure your keywords are relevant” or “use canonical urls“. But when you use terms like “link equity” and “trust rank”, you’ve officially drunk the kool-aid.
“Now, all you need to do is have your <h2> tags filled with keywords and wait…are you still using meta-keywords? Ha! Those don’t mean anything these days! When Google did the florida update…bla bla blaa” – SEO “Expert”
I’m not saying some of these people don’t know what they’re talking about, but when everyone’s just speculating about how an algorithm deep inside the google machine works, I think I’ll take what they say with a grain of salt. Excuse me while I finish up some link baiting…
To preface, I like the show. There’s something fun about seeing the C-list celebs squirm in that boardroom when they see the donald’s combover.
Ok, on to the real issue. There’s portion of the show that I’ll call “the infomercial”, which features a big corporation giving the teams a task to somehow market/promote their product and in return for the winning team’s hard work, said big corporation will donate money to that team’s charity. Sounds like a win-win for the corporation and the charity. Wrong. The disparity between what the corporation gets and what the charity gets is laughable.
Let’s break it down for this week’s show. During “the infomercial” part of the show the Kodak’s name/product are spoken about in good light for almost half the show. Let’s be really conservative and say they had 20 minutes of product placement during the show. If this time had been a commercial during the show it would cost $100,000-200,000 per 30 second spot(Source). Using the low end of that range, the 20 minutes of product placement is worth $4,000,000! That’s a lot of money. So you’d think that Kodak would be generous in giving to the charity that wins the competition. Wrong again. Kodak donated a measly $20,000 or %0.5 of what they’re getting in return. You read that right, a half a percent. Laughable.
I know, I know, this sounds totally crazy, but… I watched her ridiculous/insane video with Beyonce last week and felt sick to my stomach after watching it. The first thing that popped in my mind after this was, “did she sell her soul to the devil to get this fame?” Now, this isn’t something I normally think about, and that makes it interesting. Here’s some more interesting; My wife and I were enjoying some breakfast the other day and I told her about the video I’d watched, but didn’t tell her any of the details. The first thing out of her mouth was, “Something about her seems evil. I just get this evil feeling.” I wonder why we both came to the same conclusion seperately? I remembered a quote I’d seen by her that stuck out to me in light of all this, I’ll leave it up to you to interpret if she’s someone who’d do anything for fame:
“I had a boyfriend who told me I’d never succeed, never be nominated for a Grammy, never have a hit song, and that he hoped I’d fail,” she says.
“I said to him, ‘Someday, when we’re not together, you won’t be able to order a cup of coffee at the f—ing deli without hearing or seeing me.’”
Now, I’m not one for a lot of crazy conspiracies, but I will say that I think Lady Gaga is not doing everything just for shock value, there’s more meaning behind it.