Archive for January, 2005

Internet Marketing – Fierce Competition

January 31, 05 by kenrich

It appears that I have a lot to learn about Internet marketing. With my first month of marketing training under my belt, I’ve learned quite a bit. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and it is hard to market something that is so commonly available. Everyone is trying to market to the same target audience and because of this, the competition is fierce.

We are practically giving our services away and we have not garnered much interest. It’s hard to get your foot in the door (so to speak) when consumers rely so much on branding and name recognition as well as friends recommendation when making a decision about a hosting provider.

We are far from giving up however. This year marks the first year where we are starting some intensive marketing plans in order to drum up some new business. If anyone has any ideas or would like to discuss web site ideas, feel free to drop me a line. We often go above and beyond the call of duty which is why our customers are so loyal to us.

Iraqi Election Taking Place

January 29, 05 by kenrich

Right now the first Iraq election is taking place halfway around the world. I hope the election is a success. By success, I mean that I hope that the vote is fair and their citizens accept the authority that elected officials hold.

It has been a long and hard fought war to get these elections to take place. Many people have sacraficed their lives so that Iraqis could have the freedom to vote. Although, with the constant threat of violence, I’m not sure I would exactly call it “freedom”.

Simple XML Parsing Library for ASP Nuke

January 28, 05 by kenrich

In preparation for adding theme support to ASP Nuke, I put together an ASP class that will parse an XML document and put it in a neatly organized class hierarchy. You can then query the document for a specific node or nodes and iterate over the results. This will be used to manage the configuration files for each ASP Nuke theme. The contents of which will be parsed and placed in the database.

The parser will handle multiple elements each with their own attributes. It can handle regular and self-closing elements and has no problems handling multiple elements with the same name. By using Microsoft’s regular expression parser I was able to make the entire process very efficient. The XML configuration files are not very big so it wasn’t too critical to make it efficient.

One thing I haven’t solved yet is what to do with content between an open and closing element which is embedded with sub-elements. My parser will parse the sub-elements just fine, but I haven’t worked out any way to handle content that is intermixed around the child elements. Maybe I will just wait until I absolutely need this functionality before I solve the problem.

Of course, I could have used Microsoft’s SAX XMLReader object to do the parsing. But I am always trying to keep the requirements for my Nuke software to a minimum so it is easy-to-install as possible.

New Server For Hosting Purposes

January 27, 05 by kenrich

Well, today was the day that I bough a new server for our . I wanted to get a dual Xeon server (probably a Dell 2650) to provide optimum performance, but instead I opted for a much cheaper Dell 2450. It provides all of the same reliability and fault tolerance as the more expensive server except it runs a little slower.

I decided to buy all new drives for the . I purchased 3 36GB Seagate Cheetah SCSI hard drives to go into the server for a RAID 5 array with a capacity of 74GB. This will be the true capacity because the SCSI drives are rated at their formatted capacity. I also purchased the drive trays that will be needed for the additional drive bays being used.

One benefit of buying an older server, the replacement parts are cheaper and it is compatible with a lot of our other servers so we can exchange parts. We really needed to replace our current linux server and add something promising more reliability. Once the server and all of the parts get here I will be busy putting Linux on the new server and setting up all of the services.

By the way, the difference between the dual Xeon and the dual Pentium III server is about triple the cost.

Object-Oriented Programming is Cool!

January 26, 05 by kenrich

Here at work we have very little standards as far as “good coding practices” or general guidelines for architecting our web applications. Everyone pretty much does what they want to. This causes all sorts of headaches when someone else (namely me) has to go in and use their code or add on an additional feature.

As an example, one of our coders has decided that they wanted to do a totally approach to ASP () programming and place everything in class objects. Every query from the database is parsed and stored in a class or even a dictionary (hashtable) of classes. After which, we can begin doing the real work on the page.

Don’t get me wrong! I am all for object-oriented programming and understand the benefits it can offer, but ASP has such weak support for OOP that the benefits aren’t really worth the extra time it takes to program pages that way. It is just a lot of extra code that takes more of my time to maintain. Maybe our programmer here is looking forward to the day when we convert all of our ASP web pages into Dot NET. Either that or they just like to see the “auto-completion” feature in Visual Studio .NET.

“About Me” Profile Box Added to the Site

January 24, 05 by kenrich

Well as you can see from my site here, I have finally put up an “About Me” section with a photograph of myself. Also in the picture (sitting on my lap) are my two daughters. Because they are so damn cute, I had to do a little sepia tone to protect their identity. The world is not a safe place and I have to take every measure to safeguard my children.

This picture was taken about two years ago but I haven’t changed any. My daughters have grown up quite a bit but they are both still cute-as-a-button. Our oldest is going to be starting kindergarten this year. It’s amazing how the years go by so fast.

My oldest daughter has come down with this abominable cold that I had the past few days. I really wish she wouldn’t have caught this cold because it just makes you miserable for at least a couple of days. At least, I can be consoled in the fact that my wife is home taking good care of her.

So now you have a little insight as to who publishes this blog. With my full-time job and running my own business, I don’t have any time for pets or hobbies. I’ve given up video games and other fun stuff a long time ago. Thanks to everyone on Blog Explosion for the excellent blogs. I enjoy reading them in my free time.

Finishing Up a Client Project

January 23, 05 by kenrich

Today was a pretty uneventful day. Took a trip to a couple of stores around town to take care of some chores. Now I am feeling a lot better but my daughter is now sick with the same cold. I hate to see her suffer like that.

I finally made some headway on a project that has been dragging on for what seems like forever. It looks like we are just about to wrap up this project (I say with my fingers crossed.) It would nice if I could finally see some income on this project. This project has truly been the project from hell which is why I am not mentioning this project by name.

I knew this project wasn’t going to be easy from day one. I regret ever deciding to take on this project. It just goes to show how important it is to carefully evaluate a project before estimating its cost or accepting the project. It’s one of those lessons they don’t teach you in business school, but you can only learn from experience.

Feeling a Little Useless These Days

January 23, 05 by kenrich

I’ve been feeling absolutely useless the past few days since I’ve been afflicted with this nasty cold. That is why I haven’t posted much here on my blog. I am going to get back into the swing of things starting today… honest!

I missed a couple of days at work so when I go into work tomorrow, I will have plenty of work on my plate. The good news is that I should be well rested! My boss is wondering if I plan on leaving. Recently, we have had a mass exodus of employees who sought work elsewhere because of the poor working environment.

My boss talked with me and asked me if I wasn’t happy working there and if I was looking for work elsewhere. Among all the employees where I work (at least among our IT staff,) I am probably the most content worker there. But then again, that really isn’t saying much.

Google Information for Webmasters

January 20, 05 by kenrich

I caught some sort of flu bug the other day so I took the day off of work today. I was barely able to sleep last night so I spent a lot of today just catching up on some sleep. I hope that I will be able to go back to work tomorrow since I got somoe work to catch up on.

On a side note, I just saw someone post on the Web Pro Forums that there is no need to submit your site to a billion different search engines. Good search engines need to find your site on their own for fast inclusion.

I always noticed that the Google spider does a complete crawl of your site only once a month. This explains why some of the newly created pages on my site weren’t showing up. More information from Google is available describing what you need to do to make your site “search engine friendly” and also includes valuable information about Page Rank and the GoogleBot spider.

Google Linking Campaign Woes

January 19, 05 by kenrich

It’s hard to create a for your site when Google doesn’t even index your site properly. Maybe Google has something against me. Even though the Google spider comes to visit my web site every few days, it is very slow on indexing new pages. My best guess is that I need to work on the popularity of my site before all of my pages are indexed.

I didn’t even know my page was not indexed yet until a sent me a message saying that they couldn’t post a reciprocal link because my link page wasn’t being indexed by Google. Sure enough, after checking google, I found that the page was not there. Oddly enough, a page right before it had been indexed.

Just as I was writing this blog, inspiration hit me! It could be that the path to the page is too deep. It is two folders deep right now and the Google spider seems to index everything at the top or “one folder deep”. Excuse me while I go re-organize my site and try to get my new pages indexed!