BIG Mike

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BIG Mike last won the day on July 18

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About BIG Mike

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    Drunken Greek
  • Birthday 01/27/1962

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    Ptolemaida, Greece

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  1. Not sure if you've tried this or if it would work for you, but back in the day (when I was a locksmith), I would give out business cards with a code on the back to get people to send me business. I'd give the customer a small discount and pay the person with the code $ actually brought in a shitload of service calls, especially after hours.
  2. Web sites aren't ranked - pages are, so that won't be a problem Personally, I'd redirect any traffic to the closest city landing page...eventually it will dry up anyways and once you're out of the system you can remove them (unless you think they're bookmarked). As far as being less spammy, without seeing the pages I can't say one way or another. Since you're providing a service, I really don't see how individual, city-based pages are a problem, whether you've got hundreds or a few. I'm making a few assumptions of course, but generally it's not an issue unless you think your visitors are perceiving it as spammy.
  3. And ironically, I saw this on CNN this morning:
  4. For all the problems we have here in Greece, the one thing they get right is unrestricted broadband access. When I first moved to Greece in 2001, the only option was dial up (after using both DSL and Cable access in the states). I opted for ISDN, which cost me around 500 Euros a month, because all land line access is metered per call and time. Around 2004, the state telco OTE started releasing ADSL, at 2 MB's - I jumped on it as it was 50 Euros a month and not metered. Today, we're up to 50MB's and they've spent the past year dropping in new fiber all over the country. In October, we're being bumped up to 100 mb's According to OTE (which also includes our TV and phone service), by 2020, we should have fiber directly into our homes There are at least two alternatives for broadband access here, although they're a much lower quality in terms of speed and reliability, but they are cheaper, so folks use them. It's ironic that in this pathetic little country the government is spending billions to provide citizens with as much bandwidth as possible and a world power like the US would even tolerate the idea of limiting bandwidth. Go figure...sheesh!
  5. I finally moved forward on one of my goals (from the original goals thread) to start a small tech support business - simple freelancing and we'll see how that goes. All four current projects are moving forward steadily - one result is some major improvements to the system I use and the development of an API for communicating with mobile apps that Diego and I put together. I relaunched an older product and am seeing sales trickling in (not really promoting it except via email). Now that we're halfway through the year, the only goal I set in January that I've not focused on is my blogging platform, which I'm about to start working on. I do have a new project (maybe) that I'm researching and I think will be pretty cool. It's an interesting diversion from the work I've been doing. Turns out the above mentioned project was 2 beers worth of work, LOL... This has been a surprisingly productive year so far - I'm wrapping up a migration of everything I have online to virtual servers (I'm using Digital Ocean) and have one last dedicated server I'm trying to get rid of by the end of the month.
  6. While eye drops may clear up the "Sandpaper" feeling, if it persists, you really ought to see ophthalmologist - it could be an indication of tearing or separation of the epithelium, which protects the cornea. A contact lens patch and antibiotic eye drops will usually clear it up permanently. Welcome to my world, LOL - we're not exactly spring chickens anymore! When I was a kid, I wore glasses for 3 years to correct a problem with farsightedness, and was fine until I hit my early 30's. Then I developed a pretty bad astigmatism in my right eye (keeps me from wearing contacts) and in my late 40's my vision just went to hell. I can't see close up or at a distance - without glasses I can only see clearly about 12 inches in front of me; no closer or further away. Because of that, I keep my monitors positioned at a distance where I can work without glasses. I have these pretty cool seamless trifocals that allow me to see through all ranges, but I hate wearing them, except for the sunglasses when I'm driving. The good news is, for the past three years my vision hasn't gotten any seems to have leveled off.
  7. Appreciate the thought, but I'm pretty well tied up on multiple virtual servers and really can't risk (or afford the time) in migrating to something new. And, as I mentioned in another thread, I'm just starting out with Bitcoin, but will have to use PayPal to buy them as I learn more about it. As far as domains go, I'm down to my last seven (I centralized just about everything I'm doing since this crap started), so that's not a really big deal. My needs are actually pretty simple, dollar-wise as long as I continue to earn at least a few hundred a month, I'm good to go to cover those expenses.
  8. Seriously, I'm in a somewhat unusual situation here in Greece that affects the entire country in terms of Capital Controls that the government instituted in June of 2015. The net result of that policy is that we cannot move money into or out of the country, nor can we easily use credit cards for international payments (there's a government procedure for this that keeps rejecting our requests). This, in turn, means that I cannot make payments to my hosts or registrars abroad (or anything else), which is incredibly frustrating, because I have plenty of cash locally (and no, don't really need food, LOL). What I've done to ameliorate the situation is to come out of retirement and start freelancing to generate enough cash in my PayPal account to pay for the various services I use outside of the country. At present, I'm good for a few months, but it's time to get back to work on smaller projects, just to be safe, as there is no light at the end of the Capital Controls tunnel. Just to be perfectly clear folks, I'm not asking for donations or handouts (thanks, but not necessary) - what I am offering are my services, which come with around 40 years of high-end technical expertise at ridiculously low prices. That said, if you need help with a project, need scripts written, want your virtual server set up or managed, or just need a professional consultation, I'm your man! I'm well educated, have worked on/developed for virtually every type of platform out there, and will provide flawless communication with you for the duration of your project. I have helped out a number of folks here if you need references. As a special offer ONLY for Spartans, I'm setting an hourly rate of $10 per hour for up to 8 hours per project (I rarely work on projects for less than $100 per hour). I'm not in a position to take on larger projects at this time, but am willing to discuss them for the future. This is a limited offer and all work is on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you have something you'd like me to work on, just send me an email at and I will respond promptly within 24 hours or less. You're under no obligation, until I fully complete the work you requested at the price I quoted you and within the time frame we agree to! My Insane Guarantee: If you're not absolutely delighted with the service I've provided, then you do not need to pay me and may use the work I did at no charge. As my father used to say, there's no harm in asking P.S. - I always like to tell folks this up front...I am NOT a graphics person nor a designer; I'm a hardcore technical person. If your project requires graphics or specialized design elements, you're better off hiring someone with demonstrable talent in those areas.
  9. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones - I've been staring at various types of monitors for hours on end for the past 40 or so years and never had any problems with my eyes, headaches, etc. Same with poor ergonomics, i.e.; Carpal Tunnel or anything else - and I often spend hours on the keyboard almost every day. I remember back in the 80's and 90's a lot of people used all sorts of anti-glare type filters (they were mounted on the front of the monitor), but those drove me nuts because the color was always skewed in some way. This is only a guess, but I've always used high contrast color schemes for my development environments (black background with yellow, green, blue characters, etc), which might explain why it doesn't bother me. Since that's where I spend most of my time, it may well be the reason it doesn't bother me.
  10. July has been really productive - although the kids are driving me batshit, LOL. Theresa and I have continued moving forward with some great ideas on the script we're working on. Diego and I are at a critical juncture for the project ($$$) we're doing so have been spending a lot of time on that. My goal for July is actually to get rid of an old server I've been using and that's on track (I hope).
  11. While the video Alistair posted makes some sense, it also points out (around 2:50) that Google is the innovator - they created a technology that rocketed into dominance and now the EU is trying to regulate how they can profit from it. This isn't a case like ATT for example, when the US broke them up into the "Baby Bells" because, in fact, there were no other choices for telephone service. Unlike ATT, Google isn't the only game in town and should not be forced to promote competitors over its own products. Long-term, the message is, if you innovate, become a market leader, we're going to limit what you can do and how you can do it. #EU Sucks...seriously!
  12. There are actually a couple of issues related to copyright, which is why it's ALWAYS better to talk to a lawyer with expertise in copyright law. In simple terms (FYI - I am not a lawyer and do not play one on TV) when you create something, you are automatically the copyright owner, unless it was a "Work Made For Hire", i.e.; you were paid to create the work for someone else - in the latter case, they own the copyright. Here's a link to the law, which is called Title 17: Today, most developed countries around the world are signatories to the "Berne Convention of 1886", which laid the original groundwork for copyright law and international cooperation for cross-border infringement. In the US, you can "Register" your work (the price varies, but the minimum cost is $35), which proves ownership of the copyright. Here's a link to that information: When you're creating small scale content, such as writing articles, it's probably not worthwhile to register them unless they're generating some serious revenue for you. Instead, as Dan pointed out, using Google Alerts to identify infringement and then deal with them individually or their hosts/registrars (who are surprisingly cooperative in infringement cases). One thing to bear in mind is that if you're syndicating your content, then you are in fact giving permission for others to use it, unless you've clearly defined restrictions to it. That's why it's important to have a solid legal policy on your site that defines copyrighted materials and usage.
  13. I kinda like this "Make Progress Daily" theme - it's interesting to see where everyone is at. Today is my last day of school (we close for the summer) - I've got 180 minutes of lessons remaining, LOL. I'm going to relaunch an old product either today or tomorrow...I've finished upgrading everything (Sales Page, Help Docs, The Script, Downloads, etc.) and have written the emails to send out to 180K people. That was a major goal for me this month as my PayPal account is getting low on cash and it's the only way I can pay for anything outside of the country. Theresa and I have made what I think are some major breakthroughs on the project we're working on and are slowly, but steadily moving forward. There isn't a fixed deadline, which is probably a good thing as after a few beers we get chatty, LOL. Overall though, this is one of my favorite projects. Diego and I are on schedule or perhaps a bit ahead of schedule on our Laser Hair Removal Project. This one is also pretty cool and while the initial project was high-end in terms of price, I'm fairly certain it will lead to an ongoing, multi-phase project over the next year at least. My school project (revamping our EFL school portal) is on track and must be finished by September 1st. One of the cool new features is the ability to SMS parents both manually and automatically to remind them about over due payments, their child's performance, upcoming events, etc. I've also build in an interactive whiteboard so the teachers can write and draw on a virtual canvas I'm about to ramp up the pace on my fourth and final project, since I have a lot of free time over the summer
  14. That's the thing about testing everything obsessively - because what works in one market might bomb in another. The other day I clicked an ad on Facebook for a guy's sling bag and wham - got a light box and a subscribe form with no way to close it. So I bailed out, because I'm not subscribing to a list just for the privilege of seeing something I might purchase. Maybe they tested it, maybe not, but I doubt it's converting well for them... To me it's just stupid to completely block your visitors from seeing your products without jumping through hoops. It's reminiscent of those sales pages with the long videos (controls disabled) forcing you to sit through them before getting to the real sales page or price (I always bail on those too). Over the years I've done an enormous amount of testing on my sales pages (primarily selling scripts\software) and I know what works for me as well as what my prospective customers want. That said, I wouldn't presume to comment on other markets that react completely differently to what's happening on the page other than to recommend test everything over and over.
  15. That's at least the second time you've said something like this... Well, then that's just annoying as hell - why ask the question at all and waste everyone's time when you're clearly going to ignore any advice given you. Because this is a business forum where members ask questions like that all the time. You brought it up, so we're curious or surprised at the extra cost for subdomains. I asked you what the core value was and you gave me a very lame response, getting snippy at the very folks trying to be helpful. In this forum, we discuss and share information about our business activities, but you seem unwilling to do so. Then you probably should leave the forum, because that's the whole idea - why do you or I do things in a given way. It helps to provide insights to other members, and helps us learn as well. You're obviously unwilling to do that... Then I guess I don't understand why you're here - you have no idea at the underlying insult to the other members that comment makes. You're basically saying no one here has a clue, but thank God you've got yourself...sheesh! You keep using words like "Defend", which tells me that you're really insecure about your choices, when in reality no one has asked you to defend anything. You're so ridiculously sensitive (and secretive) about your business, no one here can help you. Yeah, your post was insulting, given the snippy response to what were genuine questions. But you couldn't be bothered to give an answer, instead going the the defense, when any other member here would have simply continued the discussion in a civilized manner. You seem to think it's foolish asking questions here, and now you're sorry you asked at all. I don't understand that mentality and file it instead, under snippy little bitch, for just that reason. Do what you want, stay go, whatever - in the big scheme of things it just doesn't make a bit of difference.