Circular References May Not Be Resolved!
by Bob Nunn
I had a program once. It was several years ago. It was Multiplan for the Commodore 64. It didn't work the way I thought it should. Every time I would try to install a formula it would give me the "circular references may not be resolved". I formatted the disk the program came on and used it to store text files which gave me great satisfaction. Of course I had to wait for Excel to be invented before I could do spread sheets.
For a long time I puzzled over what that statement "circular references" exactly meant. As I became older, I began to realize what that meant. I recently installed a lot of networking systems. I could get the new router to work for serving up to 253 users on my network, but I could not get it to see the two servers it was sitting next to. I could see the entire Internet and reach systems all over the world but not those two systems not two feet away. I called customer support. A woman answered. I told her what I was doing and what equipment I was using. She thought about it for a minute and said "there is no way to do that" and started talking about needing a way to tunnel and virtual network software. I hung up while she was still talking. We both know what she really meant; "circular references may not be resolved". I eventually found a solution by the way, guess I figured out how to "tunnel".
The birth of a new web business
You may recall back in April I wrote about single item sites. The example I used was Mac-Batteries.com (note the hyphen). I have done a few thousand dollars off of the <http://mac-batteries.com> site. I actually linked the site to my store and so to be fair traffic has come to it from several directions. The profit margin is good on the product so as you can imagine I am very pleased. A friend of mine listed my site on one of the web deal newsletters and that traffic is largely responsible for the early sales. Normally traffic would have taken much longer to build. But then I have that steady traffic to look forward to as well. By the way, if you need clock batteries for your Mac, I have the best price.
Here is a repeat of the recap:
- Identify business niche
- Locate source of product
- Review competitors
- Consider other business costs (shipping, inventory etc.)
- Consider what other value you can add. (provide information etc.?)
Our single item sites continue making money. Perhaps this concept can work as well for you.
Move Your Domain Names Now! - Network Solutions Suck
Network Solutions has recently started automatically billing updates for two years instead of one year renewals. Besides being higher than the regular market, they are now taking advantage of being a one time near-monopoly. When I tried to renew using the automated payment I got a notice that there was an error. The error was I only paid for one year (still an option in the pulldown). When we called to get it fixed, we couldn't except by paying the additional year.
I am transferring my domains and quickly so I can to avoid this in the future. You can't take the chance of expiration after building traffic to your domain and you don't dare risk losing your domain. This is a suicidal long term business practice and damned short sided of them. Use Dotster <http://www.dotster.com>, they don't have any better customer service dept. but they enable you to do what you need online ($15 a year) without having to wait on hold to talk to someone. They have a special deal for transferring your domains from Network Solutions! You have to appreciate people taking advantage of opportunities when they arise.
New Server - New Growth
There comes a time when a business outgrows its initial resources. Future planning and directions are an important part of everyone's business. Figuring out what direction to go is tough. There are so many options today. Many have found out the hard way that when their ISP goes broke there may be trouble. Moving your domains, changing IP addresses etc. is seldom painless. Several companies offering bargain DSL are now gone. Ask any of their customers how much money they saved.
We just added a third server. This is the third time we have expanded this year. This one is attached directly to a DS3, which has 28 times the speed and capacity of a regular T-1 connection. You might visit it at: <http://biz.headgap.com>
I have moved all our graphics and high demand sites to the new facilities. There comes a time when your traffic grows to the point to where your systems can no longer support the demand. I agonized over the decision. When your systems are providing your income, it is much more painful if one of them fails or has downtime. With so many options today you have to think about things like how dependable the resource is. We have been using WorldSpice Technologies <http://www.wspice.com> since they were a small operation. Their new facilities are state of the art for Memphis and what they don't have they are in the process of adding. More importantly though, they are sound business people that know what is important and always go out of their way to make sure your needs are met.
Service Above and Beyond - WorldSpice Technologies
I recently had a lightning strike take out my router. Yes, I had one of the high priced surge thingies but it don't make any difference when it comes time. I probably could have gotten a replacement flown in and would have been back up in 24 -48 hours. I have backups for every piece of my system save this one and I shudder to think what dollars I would have lost. It was after hours when it happened. I gave Paul Tomes at WorldSpice a call on the off chance he was still there. He was, and he met us at his office, sold us a replacement router that he preprogrammed with my settings and I was back up in less than three hours. It is hard for me to put a price on that kind of service but I have learned that I can always expect that kind of treatment from the folks at WorldSpice <http://www.wspice.com>.
Bob Nunn - Owner, Operator Headgap Systems, Inc.
http://mac-batteries.com - affordable clock batteries for your Mac!
http://drivejumper.com - jumpers or shunts are sometime hard to find but necessary when changing drive configurations. Order online!
http://MemphisApplecore.com - Apple User Group
http://PortalMemphis.com - Memphis Best Web Sites