Review of Acer C7 Chromebook

Well I did it… I just picked up a new Acer Chromebook running the Chrome OS.


Well, I travel several times a year, and I am tired of lugging my 17-inch laptop around in airports and planes.  I wanted something light and portable.

And I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money.  I am not replacing my HP laptop which is my primary computer.  I was looking to supplement it with something that could do 90% of most of my tasks on the road.

Verdict so far?  Pretty Good!

I picked it up for $172 at Best Buy which was an open box price.  Someone returned it.  The regular price is $199 which is still pretty remarkable.  I am typing this review now on my new Acer Chromebook on my lap.

I was looking for something small and light and portable that I could put into my backpack when traveling – no separate computer laptop bag.  And I wanted something cheap so that if lost or stolen I wouldn’t be out of a lot of money.

I really looked hard at the ASUS X201E-DHO1 which runs Ubuntu flavor of Linux and costs $299 at  Probably better construction than the Acer Chromebook and the reviews of the Asus laptop commend the audio.  Just fyi the speakers on the Acer Chromebook suck.  I mean really bad.  However the sound is great with earphones…

BUT! and this is a huge but – I can install ChrUbuntu on this Acer Chromebook laptop and dual boot between the ChromeOS and Ubuntu.

So for 90% of what I do online working in the cloud, working on WordPress sites,  the Chromebook is probably going to be sufficient.  If I really need to do some graphic editing or use Filezilla, then I will boot into Ubuntu and get that done.

Will keep everyone posted on the status.

Verdict so far?  Awesomeness!


7 Dollar Secrets

7 Dollar SecretsThe  book and script 7 Dollar Secrets isn’t dead.

In fact, Don Morris is giving away free training on how to install the 7 Dollar Secrets Script.  He is hosting free webinars.  I signed up for this webinar this Saturday.

What is 7 Dollar Secrets?

Really, it is two things.

First, 7 Dollar Secrets is a short, to the point, no fluff, inexpensive 33 page report that shows you why creating and selling short, to the point, no fluff inexpensive information products that sell for $7 can be more lucrative and profitable than trying to create long, expensive ebooks that sell for $47, $67, or more.

The strategy is simple. You can quickly create many more high value information products products that focus on a single solution to a single problem, than trying to create a big 100 page or 200 page or more ebook that attempts to solve a number of problems with several solutions.  An information product of that size and comprehensive, can take weeks or even months to write.

And of course it is easier to sell an information product that only costs $7 or $9 or $17, then trying to sell an information product costing $47 or more. Low ticket purchases less than $10 or even less than $17, are spontaneous purchases – the buyer really doesn’t have to justify the purchase. And most low ticket purchases are paid with Palpal funds, which is quick and easy. But if you want someone to pay $47, $97, or $197 for a product, most people don’t have that in a Paypal accout, and so they get out their credit card – if they even get to that point of opening up their wallet.

Secondly, with the 7 Dollar Secrets report came a hidden gem – the 7 Dollar Secrets Script or 7DSS as it is known.  The 7 Dollar Secrets Script is a php script that automates the process of selling and delivering digital information products.  The latest version of the 7 Dollar Secrets Script is version 2.8.  You can get the 7 Dollar Secrets report and script for only $7 by clicking here.

You are probably asking yourself: What does this script do? And why do I need it? Why can’t I just stick a PayPal “Buy Now” button on a web page such as a salesletter?

The 7DSS php script has it strengths and weaknesses.  It’s strengths are:

  • Inexpensive (only $7);
  • You control it (the script resides on a webhost that you own);
  • If integrates seamlessly with PayPal;
  • It protects the downloads by giving a download link that expires;
  • It automatically adds your buyer to an autoresponder list
  • The 7DSS has the built in ability to offer your buyer a One Time Offer (OTO), which significantly raises your income and your customer/dollar value
  • Did I say that it was inexpensive? No reocurring monthly fees.

The 7 Dollar Secrets Scripts weaknesses are:

  • By default, you can only install the script and sell a single product from one domain (you cannot run a shopping cart with multiple items for sale) (you can install the script on subfolders in your domain, selling one product per folder);
  • Sometimes 7DSS chokes with PayPal and the buyer never gets to the download page;
  • It is a php script, and installation can be daunting to newbies;
  • The default salesletter template is rather butt ugly, and no other templates are provided;
  • If you want to change the buying sequence, you are forced to edit and change php code – not for the faint of heart
  • The only way to test if the script is working is to make an actual sale – no test mode.

Enter Don Morris.

Don Morris is a programmer, and created several expansion packs for the 7 Dollar Secrets Scripts.  These expansion packs included error checking of the installation, and what I consider the holy grail – PayPal test mode! No more getting your friends to make a purchase and then refunding them. Just login to the 7DSS admin screen, click a link, and violia! You can go through the purchase and test the entire sequence to make sure everything works without actually interacting with PayPal.


I purchased both the Admin Expansion and the Expansion pack.  And just recently, I bought all of Don’s expansion packs for the 7DSS.  Don had a customer appreciation sale, and offered all of his products for one low price to existing customers.

I bought.

The Admin Expansion and the Expansion packs are musts if you are going to install the script on more than one website.  It will save your sanity.  Highly recommended.

And the PayPal test mode is worth every penny!

The beauty of the 7DSS is that affiliates are paid instantly to their PayPal account – no waiting.  No affiliate program to manage.  An affiliate tacks on their PayPal email address at the end of the url, and forwards buyers to that url.  If someone buys, instant commissions.


There are many options for digital product delivery and getting traffic from affiliates.  The 7 Dollar Secrets Script is just one of them.  And hey, for only $7, how can you go wrong?

If you want to check out the script and give it a whirl, download the 7 Dollar Secrets report here, then look for the special link inside the report that allows you to download the script.

Let me know how it goes.




Oregon Coast, Siltcoos Lake, and Labor Day

What do the Oregon Coast, Siltcoos Lake, and Labor Day have in common?

How about a great and glorious end of summer weekend.  The boys have been sandboarding, skateboarding, and towed behind the boat on inner tubes.

We have fished, hiked, swam, slept and eaten.  And I even wrote 5 articles for my new website on carnivorous plants.

Ready to Go Bear Hunting at Siltcoos Lake, Labor Day 2010

Here is a photo of me on Sunday morning, coffee in hand, as I and the owner of the boat, a friend named John, are preparing to go black bear hunting.  We take the boat to the far east end of Siltcoos Lake, get out on the land, and then scramble up the bank to a skid road which we follow for over a mile.  At that point, the road dips into an area filled with mosquitoes, blackberries, skunk cabbage – a  black bear dinner.

We walked the dirt and graveled road for about four hours and didn’t see or hear a bear.  We did see a lot of bear sign though, and they have obviously been feeding on the blackberries.  We cut real fresh tracks of a large bull elk and a few cows.  The big boy must be getting into the rut and is probably gathering his harem.  We didn’t hear any bugling, but the bulls must be starting to move into the rut by now.

We also saw several ducks on an upland pond, who took off pretty quickly when they say us.  Pretty skittish.

Better luck next time.

Why You Should Outsource

Here is my feeble attempt at producing a header graphic after an hour’s worth of work:

Exhibit A: Really bad header made by me

And then I broke down and decided to hire someone from to do a header for me.  For $5.  I sent them to my website, told them what I was looking for – fuzzy warm dog and a satellite.  They said they could do it no problem.  I sent them $5 via PayPal,  wrote more articles for the website, then went to bed.  I woke up and it was done.  And here it is!

Exhibit B: Great looking header! This is why to outsource

It isn’t perfect.  I think I would rather have the text to the left.

But good enough is good enough.  Exhibit B is miles and miles better than Exhibit A.

And I spent my time doing something more important.

Writing content.

No longer do I have to do everything.  For $5, I can have someone else who is a LOT better than me do something faster and better.

I like this outsourcing thing.

Customer Service and Dollar Rent a Car

My family and I are on a two week vacation in the Southeast.  We flew into Orlando Airport (MCO) and picked up a Dodge Caravan from Dollar Rent a Car.  The vans were parked in the lower level of a parking garage, so it was rather dark, and I really didn’t have a chance to view the condition of the vehicle.

We drove the vehicle that evening until 8:30 pm.  Then stayed in a hotel in Altamont Springs.  Got up the next morning and drove 10+ hours to Boone, North Carolina.  It was here in Boone, that I really got a chance to look at the vehicle.

The tires are worn badly.  Especially on the driver’s side.  Here are pictures of the tires:

The contract states that the vehicle is is “good condition” .  But I don’t think that the tires are in “good condition”.

So here is an opportunity for customer service.  Let’s see how Dollar Rent a Car is doing so far.

Yesterday and today, I contacted customer service, explained the situation, and asked what could be done.  I emphasized the fact that we like the car, and I made a point to say that supplying a vehicle with badly worn tires must have been an oversight on their part.  I explained that we were in Boone, North Carolina, and headed to South Carolina in a couple of days.

Dollar Rent a Car’s response has been to tell me to take the car to a Dollar Rent a Car facility, and exchange the car there.

The problem is that there is no facility here in Boone.  The nearest is in Greensboro Airport, North Carolina, which is about two hours away.  And there are no Dollar Rent a Car facilities in South Carolina.  And we can exchange the car in Florida, but we won’t be there until a week in our trip.

So we are inconvienced by the fact that we are renting a vehicle NOT in “good condition” with tires that are in my opinion unsafe to drive on.  And the best that Dollar can do is to have me take time out of my vacation and drive out of my way to exchange the vehicle. They will probably just turn the vehicle around and rent it to another unluckly soul…

Because I wanted to document this (especially if anything, God forbid, should happen on wet roads) I went to their website, and found a Contact Us page, with a form to fill out.  I filled it out and submitted it.  After submitting I am told that it will take 3 to 7 days for them to respond.

Shame on Dollar Rent a Car!  This is the 21st Century!  Is that the best you can do?

All I want is to go to a local, nearby tire repair facility authorized by Dollar Rent a Car, and have tires in “good condition” installed on the car.

We’ll see what their response is to resolve this.  But based on the real lack of understanding the issue (safety of their customers) I don’t doubt that the response will be canned and in the interest of the company and not the customer.

Customer Service and Dollar Rent a Car?  Not that I have seen yet.

Earn1KaDay Seminar

Getting ready to head to the airport, and a short flight to Las Vegas where I will attend the Earn1KaDay Seminar.

Looking forward to learning a lot, meeting on-line forum friends in person, and building JV partnerships.  Won’t have much time to lounge around – each day is full from 8 am to 5 pm.

To learn more check out the website:

Earn1KaDay Seminar

How to Organize Paper Files

Tonight I was fortunate to be able to interview the other half of – Kathryn Gaines.  Kathryn is also a business efficiency expert.  Her area of expertise is public speaking, seminars, and file organization.

File organization?

Kathryn Gaines
Kathryn Gaines

Yes, helping business owners and busy executives manage their paperwork.

In this short interview (less than 20 minutes) Kathryn tells us why it is so important to have a clean desk top at the end of the day, and the two biggest secrets for organizing your papers once and for all.


MP3 Kathryn Gaines Interview May 11, 2010

Camstudio and PowerPoint Videos

I have almost figured out how to make videos using CamStudio and Powerpoint.

After much frustration and digital pulling of hair, I have figured out the following steps.

HP Pavilion Laptop and Samsung Monitor

I have a HP Pavilion dv7-1285dx laptop running Vista 64-bit with a Centrio 2 Duo Core P8600 with 6 GB of RAM.  I use two monitors – the laptop is open on a notebook stand, and I have a Samsung SyncMaster 2333 hooked up as a second monitor.  I have the monitors configured separately, so the desktop is spread across both monitors.  I can just drag windows or programs from one monitor to another.

Once you use two monitors, you can’t go back to a single monitor.

Here is the software I am using:

  1. I am using CamStudio 2.5, not Camstudio 2.0.  This records the video and audio, and creates an avi file.
  2. To convert avi to flv (flash) or mpg4 (Quicktime) files, I am using ImToo FLV Converter 6 software.  I did a search on Google, it looked legit.  Downloaded the trial program, which worked well, then paid $29 USD to register the software.  After I bought it, I found that it supports converting mp3 audio files into flash files… sweet!
  3. To play the flash files, I am using the JW Flash Player pluggin for WordPress.  The documentation is not real clear.  After installing the plugin, you have to go to the website and download a zip file containing  the player and two other important files.  Then you have to upload those three files to a folder on your WordPress blog website.  Not real clear.  Maybe I’ll do a short video showing how.

And that is it!

Convert an article to a text file without periods.  Import into PowerPoint.  Create slide show and cleanup slides.  Narrate slide show and record using CamStudio 2.5.  Convert the .avi file to a .flv file.  Log into your WordPress blog.  Upload video into post or page.  Done!

Here are examples of the same CamStudio and Powerpoint video presentation.  The first is a flash using the JW Player.  The second is a mpeg-4 file.

[jwplayer mediaid=”103″]

And here is the same video, in a larger resolution and in MPEG-4 file format:

Click Here to view MPEG-4 file at resolution of 640×480

I have found that the best recording resolution is 640×480.  I have also found that it helps to reduce the resolution on my monitor before trying the screen capture.

CamStudio and PowerPoint – they were made for each other!

Earn1KaDay Seminar in Las Vegas

Getting excited about my up coming trip to Las Vegas.  I am going to attend the Earn1KaDay “Underground Marketers” seminar the weekend of May 21-23, 2010.  I am looking forward to meeting people I’ve known on-line for a while, breaking bread together, and building JV partnerships.

Probably very few of the speakers are the typical “guru” status like at most seminars, except maybe Jason Fladlien, James J. Jones, and The Rhodes Brothers.  And Dennis Becker, the organizer, has a strict no product pushing from the stage policy.  The goal is to learn from each other.

One of the members of the forum lives in Las Vegas, and teaches a beer making class.  A couple of months ago he said that he was going to have his class brew a porter similar to our Deschutes Black Butte Porter.  Looking forward to sampling the home brew porter!

CamStudio and PowerPoint

CamStudio - Free Video Recording Software

I have been trying to use CamStudio to record a PowerPoint video.

Camtasia has a built in plugin for PowerPoint that makes recording PowerPoint presentations dead drop simple.  But still, I would like to see if I can get CamStudio to work.

The price is right (free!) but there aren’t a whole lot of bells and whistles. And I am spending way too much time on this.  Time is precious, and I want to get things done more quickly.

As soon as I get it working, I will post the results on my blog.

CamStudio and Powerpoint – great combination… if I can just make it happen!