Free Gilt Invite

if you know what Gilt Groupe is and you’re just looking for a free gilt invite, enjoy.

if you’re unaware of Gilt Groupe, it’s basically an invitation only site with daily sales (up to 70% off retail) for a limited supply of luxury items.

you can’t explore the site without a membership, so feel free to use my gilt group invite and check it out.

Better Than an XBox Wireless Adapter

last week i finally decided to shell out and buy a wireless adapter for my xbox, so i could play on xbox live and stream netflix. the price for the various xbox wifi adapters has as always seemed too high for me. afterall, i might decide that xbox live isn’t for me; sure i cancel that account, but i’m left with an adapter that i can’t use for anything else.

thankfully, i googled around for xbox wireless adapter alternatives. i discovered that i could take an old home router and possibly reprogram it to act as a wifi network adapter for my xbox, but that seemed like i could spend a lot more time than i was willing to invest. then i stumbled upon something called ethernet over powerline, power over ethernet, powerline hd, etc. basically, you use the powerlines in your house or office to connect devices like an xbox to a network/internet.

for just a little more than the cost of an xbox wireless adapter i got the Netgear HDXB111 Powerline HD Plus Ethernet Adapter Kit from Frys, who had it on sale for $20 cheaper than Amazon! So, now I can use the adapters for any ethernet capable devices without having to rely on cat 5 cabling and enjoy speeds that aren’t achievable using a distant wireless router and wifi adapter.

FIX FOR: SQL Express 2008 x64, file is corrupt during install

while setting up a new windows virtual server on the rackspace cloud i ran into a hiccup. not with rackspace, so far i’m liking their setup even though it’s still in beta mode for windows. the problem actually came about with installing microsoft’s sql express 2008 x64. the installer seemed to download without any problems, all 600MB of it, but when i ran the installer (actually a self extracting cabinet file) it would get 2/3 complete and then pop a message box with “File is corrupt.” so, i’m thinking.. that’s odd that i downloaded it straight off so, i google the error message real quick.. i’m still addicted to google so no bing action. google came back with tons of discussions regarding this problem, many of them on m$ sites… google “sql express 2008 file is corrupt during install” and see for yourself. the only problem is that none of those discussions had a real solution. people, like myself, were upset with many of the m$ tech responses… paraphrasing: “just keep downloading it until it works.. something is probably wrong with your anti-virus software.” no help.

ultimately here’s what worked for me: i realized that because i was downloading the sql express 2008 software from the web server.. i was using the IE browser (because i didn’t have chrome or ff installed on it.. no need). however, i wasn’t just using IE.. i was using the 64 bit version of IE. i remember long ago, with vista x64 that the 64 bit version of IE corrupted every executable I tried downloading.. so i quit using the 64 bit version and stuck with the old trusty 32 bit version. anyhow, i just downloaded sql express 2008 x64 using the 32 bit version of IE and ta-da no more “file is corrupt.”

i’m too busy to login to all those sites discussing this problem, but hopefully anybody searching for a solution to “file is corrupt” when installing sql express 2008 will find this blog entry and save themselves some time and frustration.

Website Uptime Monitoring

lately i’ve been moving a number of my websites to new hosting providers. downtime was not my motivation for moving the sites, however after hosting most of those sites with one particular company for 10 years to hosts whom i have no personal experience, uptime is concern #1. with hosting companies you never know exactly what you’re getting until you’ve been running for a while, sometimes for several years 🙂

i’ve used free uptime monitors for a couple of websites in the past, but i’ve never noticed any problems that would encourage actually paying for better service. during the recent moves however, it has become very clear that i can’t afford to not have thorough monitoring in place. so, if you’re comparing uptime monitoring services and stumbled on this blog i’ll just say you absolutely have to consider pingdom. at work we use another service that our sys admin likes, but it was a little more expensive. he’s going to take a look at pingdom too and see if we can save a little bread and still get the same quality of service.

pingdom doesn’t just ping. it monitors all the other fun stuff too: http, https, tcp port, dns, udp, stmp, pop3, imap, post data and will check for specific strings on a resulting page. you can get notifications via email, sms, twitter and iphone.

money well spent..

Billy Mays Checklist for Inventors Who Want to Be Seen on TV

‘As Seen On TV’, Billy Mays summed up what he and his partners are looking for in an invention or product on the interesting tv series Pitchmen.

1. Does it have the wow factor?
2. Does it have mass appeal?
3. It is demonstrable?
4. Does it solve a problem?
5. Does it give instant gratification?

So now you know the minimum requirements for developing a product that might make you rich and be seen on tv via Telebrands, the “As Seen On TV” company.

UPDATE: Billy Mays died while sleeping on 6/28/2009.

Google can crawl Javascript

Micro$oft might be spending $100,000,000 dollars to convince you that they have developed a better search engine than Google, but Google’s I/O conference stirred up some conversations about the ability of Googlebot to crawl JavaScript. That’s a tremendous step forward for search engines. If it’s true it’s also a serious game changing feature; one that should shush those (like myself) who’ve been saying that Google has been neglecting it’s search engine and focusing too much on all the other stuff they’ve been building, buying and giving away. So, it seems that yes Google can and does crawl JavaScript.

Here are some articles that SEO experts should check out.. and you’ll get a whiff of how important JavaScript crawling is: