Archive for May 2009

Weekend Sale at Corel! Ends Midnight May 31.

Corel, the makers of WordPerfect, VideoStudio, and Paint Shop Pro, is having a special online sale which ends at midnight on May 31. Here are some links to some of their products. The links will let Corel know you found out about the sale from Skylarking.

bs_pspx2ult_lgSave Up to $40 on Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate. Full $99.99 $59.99. Offer ends Midnight 05/31/09: Paint Shop Pro is a very popular and easy to use photo and image editing program. It’s popular with high school and college students, and very handy for web site developers, too.

Save $40 on Corel VideoStudio™ Pro X2. Full $99.99 Only $59.99. Offer Ends Midnight 05/31/09: I have been using Corel VideoStudio for many years now to edit my home movies from my digital camcorder. With VideoStudio you can import video from most digital camcorders, edit them, and burn them onto DVDs which can be used in most DVD players and game consoles like the Xbox 360 or PlayStation. You can even use VideoStudio Pro to upload your videos onto YouTube. It’s a great product, and I recommend it highly. And this is a great price.

Save up to $30 on WordPerfect Office X4 Standard. Full $299.99 $269.99. Offer Ends Midnight 05/31/09 : WordPerfect Office includes the WordPerfect word processor, the Quattro Pro spreadsheet application, the Presentations slideshow application, Visual Intelligence SE for creating charts and graphs, the WordPerfect Lightning notation application, and WordPerfect Mail for email. It also includes tools for opening and creating PDFs and web sites.

bs_painter11_lgFREE $40 GelaSkins laptop Cover & Photo Painter webinar with Corel Painter 11 from $199.00. Expires Midnight 05/31/09: If you purchase a copy of Corel Painter 11 online through before this offer ends, you will receive protective GelaSkins laptop cover (a $40 value) for your laptop, and an invite to attend an online seminar to learn more about using Corel photo Painter 11.

photo_video_bundle_lgSave $30 on Corel Photo & Video Bundle only $149.99 $119.99. This package deal provides you with the tools for editing your digital photos and videos with your personal computer. This bundle contains Paint Shop Pro X2 Ultimate for photo editing, and Video Studio Pro X2 for video editing and video CD and DVD burning. You can also create videos which can be played back on your video capable iPod, iTouch, iPhone. or T-Mobile G1. This package also includes a 2 GB USB flash drive, and WinDVD for playing DVDs on your PC using your PC’s DVD drive. Read more about each of these applications in my descriptions above.

bs_windvd9plusblueray_lgSave $40 on WinDVD 9 Plus Blu-ray. Full $99.99 $59.99. Ends Midnight 05/31/09. WinDVD9 Plus Blu-ray allows you to play DVDs and Blu-ray DVDs on your PC’s DVD or Blu-ray DVD drive for enjoying Hi-Def video discs on your computer. If you’re not sure your computer is equipped to handle Hi-Def Video and Blu-ray you can download Corel’s Hi-Definition Advisor Tool to check your computer system’s compatibility. WinDVD 9 also supports Dolby Digital EX Pro Logic II, Real Player, QuickTime, DivX, AVCGD, and DTS Digital Surround. And it’s compatible with Windows Vista.

Feel free to contact me about these products, or add your comments on this offer and the products with the links below.

Got a story to share? Have a question? Post Comments or Questions with the link below. Keep up-to-date with Skylarking: By Email or RSS Newsfeed or on Twitter. You can also send questions with Skylarking’s email form.

Free Internet Marketing Course from Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker

v4_300x2501Over the last few months there is one question I get asked at least once a week: “Rob, do you have any thoughts on these ‘making money online’ programs?”

Some want to know about affiliate marketing (product promotions), others want to know about Google Adwords and Adsense (pay per click or PPC), and some want to know about both.

More often than not I tell them it’s not as easy as it sounds, and if anyone says they can make it easy for you, chances are they are going to make more money off of you than you will. I also end off by telling them if they want to read more about Internet marketing they should check out Jeremy Schoemaker’s Shoemoney web site. The Shoemoney blog is a great resource for learning the ins and outs of Internet and affiliate marketing.

Now I can do that one better.

Jeremy Schoemaker recently started a 12 week email based course on Internet marketing. He’s offering the course for FREE with no strings attached. Here’s a rundown of the week by week course topics:

Week 1 – The Beginner’s Guide To Internet Marketing
Week 2 – Affiliate Marketing 101: Everything You Need To Know To Start Promoting Products
Week 3 – Market Research: How To Crush Your Competitors And Discover Hot Niches
Week 4 – Pay Per Click: How To Earn Cash With Each Click
Week 5 – SEO: How To Rank Higher And Increase Traffic
Week 6 – Site Creation: How To Build A Site With Zero Programming Knowledge
Week 7 – Content Creation: How To Create Articles That Attract Users And Increase Sales
Week 8 – Marketing: How To Use Social Media To Spread Your Brand
Week 9 – Make That Cash: 10 Ways To Monetize Your Site And Increase Profitability
Week 10 – Testing & Tracking: How To Optimize Your Site & Make Sense Of The Figures
Week 11 – Building Your Team: How To Network With Others And Find Long Term Partners
Week 12 – Launch Day: How To Kick Start Your Business And Manage Your Projects

Here’s your opportunity to learn from a master. Jeremy’s writes in a layman’s style which is very easy to read and understand. If this is enough to pique your interest then sign up for Jeremy Schoemaker’s Free 12 Week Internet Marketing Course. I just signed up for it myself just this past weekend, and I’ve started the first week.

Need more information?

Well, each week you’ll receive a message from Jeremy in your Inbox. Each message contains a synopsis of the week’s topic with a link to a multi-page PDF filled with in-depth knowledge from Jeremy’s own 13 years of experience. As I said earlier, the PDFs are easy to read, and they include an “Action Plan” of tasks for you to perform to start your own Internet marketing business.

So sign up for the course, and if you have any questions, please post them with the comments links below, or send me an email. I’ll be happy to help you out as much as I can.

Got a story to share? Have a question? Post Comments or Questions with the link below. Keep up-to-date with Skylarking: By Email or RSS Newsfeed or on Twitter. You can also send questions with Skylarking’s email form.

Exclusive Savings for Skylarking Readers

More special offers for Skylarking readers from Tigerdirect. (I’m considering making this a regular Friday feature on Skylarking. What do you think? Let me Know.)

HDTV Accessories

Canon HiDef VidCam

Canon HiDef VidCam

SAVE $12 – APC 2M/6.6-ft HDMI Pro Interconnects Cable – $7.97. This is handy if you’ve purchased a new HDTV with an HDMI interface. many new high-def cable boxes have HDMI connections for the highest quality sound and picture quality.

SAVE $100 – Canon HG10 High Definition Video Camcorder – $499.99: This is a refurbished item. This is a high definition video camcorder from Canon with an internal 40GB hard drive, a great 10x Optical Zoom (in my book, optical zoom is always better than digital zoom because it’s done in the lens and not in the camera’s processor). But if you like the digital zoom this unit has a 200x Digital Zoom range. Great for following tigers and lions on safari.


SAVE $90 – HP Photosmart D7360 Color Inkjet Printer – $39.99: This a refurbished item. It prints in color and black and white. Black and white prints are printed at a rate of up to 32 pages per minute. (That’s about 1 page every 2 seconds). It connects via USB and accepts PictBridge technology for selected digital cameras.


SAVE $400 – Gateway P-7805u FX Notebook – $749.99: I must be refurbished crazy today, because this is a refurbished item, too. Powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor (Model P8400, with a 2.26GHz clock speed), an extraordinary 4GB of RAM (DDR3), a 320 GB hard drive, and a nice wide 17 inch screen (and this is a laptop). It, too, is powered by Windows Vista Home Premium edition for 64-bit processors.

Acer NetBook

Acer NetBook

SAVE $100 – Acer Aspire One Netbook – $199.99: This a refurbished item. Netbooks have become very popular this year, and some cellular networks are making it easy to connect to the Internet anywhere you go with your netbook. This unit is powered by an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, with 1GB or RAM, and 120GB hard drive (a rare find on a netbook in this price range). The screen is 8.9″, and it runs on WinXP Home Edition. (Yes, Windows XP not Vista).

SAVE $50 – HP Pavilion Desktop – $399.99: This desktop computer is powered by a 64-bit AMD Phenom X4 processor (1.8GHz for you techies who need the numbers). It also has a whopping 4GB or RAM (DDR2), a massive 500 GB hard drive, and it runs on Windows Vista Home Premium Edition for 64-bit processors. (That’s the operating system I run on many of my own computers).


SAVE $50 – Magellan RoadMate 1412 GPS Navigation – $79.99: This a refurbished item. Save your husband or boyfriend from having to ask for directions with this GPS navigation unit. It has a 4.3 inch Touch Screen Display. Includes maps for US, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

DVD Drive and Mouse

DVD Drive and Mouse

SAVE $150 – AMD Phenom 9500 Processor – $89.97: For all you AMD techies out there. Are you looking to speed up your AMD powered computer? Then this might be the processor for you.

SAVE $30 – Samsung 8X DVDRW External Drive – $79.99: Here’s a special offering, a portable DVD burner with a Black Neoprene travel sleeve and a USB Mouse. The drive is powered by the USB port, no need to worry about the seperate power units. It doesn’t get much simpler. Supports both 8 cm & 12 cm discs, and the Manual Disc Eject function means discs can be ejected when it is powered off.

SAVE $50 – BFG GeForce 7600 GS Video Card – $99.99: This video card is for gaming computers. It has 512MB of GDDR2 video RAM (manufactured by OC) with an AGP 8x connector for the motherboard, and DVI, VGA, and TV Out connections on the outside so you can connect your computer to a TV, VCR, or monitor.

Got a story to share? Have a question? Post Comments or Questions with the link below. Keep up-to-date with Skylarking: By Email or RSS Newsfeed or on Twitter. You can also send questions with Skylarking’s email form.

Android 1.5 Update (Cupcake) Delayed

Bonnie Cha at cnet news reports:

T-Mobile USA announced on Monday that it’s still finalizing the build to “ensure optimal functionality and smooth delivery” so it has delayed pushing out the over-the-air update by one week. The carrier said it expects all G1 owners to have the Cupcake update by early June.

Well, I will have to start anxiously waiting again next week.

More news stories regarding the Android 1.5 update delay can be found here.

The image above can be added to your G1 boot screen by following instructions at I haven’t tried it myself, so be careful if you decide to try it yourself.

Got a story to share? Have a question? Post Comments or Questions with the link below. Keep up-to-date with Skylarking: By Email or RSS Newsfeed or on Twitter. You can also send questions with Skylarking’s email form.

Exclusive Deals for Skylarking Readers

TigerDirect has sent me a list of exclusive deals for the readers of Skylarking. These are TigerDirect Exclusive Deals, Limited Time Offers, Act Now And Save! Click the link at left to see a complete list of special deals. And remember, this are only available at these prices for a limited time. The link will let them know that Skylarking sent you.

Some noteworthy items are:

m122-7828-main01-jlMaxtor Black Armor 160GB External Hard Drive: $59.99 (After $10 savings).  I like external drives for storing my music files, particularly my iTunes library. By storing my iTunes library on an external drive I won’t have any problems when I get a new computer. I’ll just disconnect the drive and connect it to my new computer. Voila!

D-Link DSS-16+ Recertified 16-Port Network Switch: $39.99 (After $20 savings). This is great for a small office network (or a big home network).

hpprinterHP Photosmart C4580 All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer with Wi-Fi: Refurbished $79.99. Imagine wireless color photo printing and standard printing of 23 to 30 pages per minute on your home wireless network. It also has built-in copier and scanner functions (but no fax). This is a refurbished unit. This printer costs over $120 new from your major retailers.

Acer X203H bd 20″ Widescreen LCD Monitor: $129.99 (After $40 savings). This monitor has a 10,000:1 contrast ratio and 1600×900 pixel resolution.  You can use either a VGA or DVI connector.

There are many, many more items to choose from. So check out the rest of these TigerDirect Exclusive Deals, Limited Time Offers, Act Now And Save! And remember Tigerdirect offers $1.99 for shipping for orders over $100 but less than 20 lbs.

There’s been a lot of chat on the Internet and in the press concerning bloggers getting paid to review products and web sites. (Most notably in the Wall Street Journal last month). I get approached a few times a week to write about particular products and web sites, but I always offer my honest opinion in my posts. I have turned down many, many more offers than I’ve accepted.

The same applies to the products in this post. I have only highlighted products that I think are worthwhile and provide a significant savings compared to their regular price.

Google Android Will Update This Week

It’s been a while since I discussed Google Android on this site, Sept. 16, 2008 to be exact, but I have been keeping an eye on it. (I bought one in February).

Currently, the only phone using the Android operating system is the T-Mobile G1 manufactured by HTC.

Last week T-Mobile announced they would start distributing the long awaited “Cupcake” or v1.5 update. (An update was previously released in February 2009). Here’s an excerpt from their announcement:

T-Mobile is delighted to announce the upcoming release of Android 1.5 with ‘Cupcake’ coming soon to the T-Mobile G1,” T-Mobile wrote in a statement late last week. “We plan to begin sending out the update starting the end of next week. As with previous software maintenance releases, the update will be randomly sent ‘over the air’ to T-Mobile G1 customers. We expect everyone will have their update by the end of May.

The earlier update many fixed some problems, but added few new features. The new “Cupcake” update will have several new features — some of which, like a virtual keyboard, are highly anticipated by owners of the device. Here is a list of new features to be found in the update:

  • On-screen soft keyboard
    • Works in both portrait and landscape orientation
    • Support for user installation of 3rd party keyboards
    • User dictionary for custom words
  • Home screen
    • Widgets: Bundled home screen widgets include: analog clock, calendar, music player, picture frame, and search
    • Live folders: Allows viewing of SD card contents without opening an application.
  • Camera & Gallery
    • Video recording
    • Video playback (MPEG-4 & 3GP formats): Previously only possible via a free Android Market download
  • Bluetooth
    • Stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP and AVCRP profiles)
    • Auto-pairing
    • Improved hands free experience
  • Browser
    • Updated with latest Webkit browser & Squirrelfish Javascript engines
    • Copy ‘n paste in browser
    • Search within a page
    • User-selectable text-encoding
    • UI changes include:
      • Unified Go and Search box
      • Tabbed bookmarks/history/most-visited screen
  • Contacts
    • Shows user picture for Favorites
    • Specific date/time stamp for events in call log
    • One-touch access to a contact card from call log event
  • System
    • New Linux kernel (version 2.6.27)
    • SD card filesystem auto-checking and repair
    • SIM Application Toolkit 1.0
  • Google applications
    • View Google Talk friends’ status in Contacts, SMS, MMS, GMail, and Email applications
    • Batch actions such as archive, delete, and label on Gmail messages
    • Upload videos to Youtube
    • Upload photos on Picasa

Additional features include a more refined user interface, animated window transitions, keyboard clicks or vibrates if desired, and an accelerometer for rotating applications onscreen. The camera will have a faster startup time, and faster shutter speed (image capture), while the GPS features are supposed to have faster response times. (GPS navigation wasn’t suitable for driving, and the route didn’t recalculate if you changed your course. Improved GPS functionality was available from third parties such as Telenav.)

Google has released a video highlighting the improvements and enhancements (shown at top) found in the Cupcake update. T-Mobile has released an Android 1.5 with Cupcake video as well. Many G1 user videos can be found on YouTube.

And in case you were wondering, Cupcake is a codename for the update, and the codenames are alphabetical. The next update will start with the letter “D” and some, like Rob Jackson at Phandroid, are speculating it will be called “Donut” to be followed by “Eclair” in keeping with the dessert theme.

Wireless Adapter Driver Needed

wmp11A reader asks:

I recently purchased a new computer, and installed the wireless adapter from my old PC in it, but I haven’t been able to get it to work at all. The labelling says it’s a Linksys Wireless B WMP11 adapter. Where can I get the software to make it work?

I’m assuming you have a Windows computer. I’m surprised it didn’t just work with the Windows drivers, but your wireless device may be about 6 or 7 years old, as it was initially released around 2002.

Regardless, you can download the driver for the Linksys WMP11 Wireless-B PCI adapter here:

But you will need to know which “version” of the adapter card you have. The two versions are Version 4.0 (2003) and Version 2.7 (2002). This information can be found printed on the adapter card, but you might need to remove it again in order to get this information. It should be imprinted on the blue and black label you see in the picture above.

If you have version 4.0 you will see that there is a Setup Wizard which can be downloaded to help you configure the device. My link in the prior sentence will take yoy directly to the download page for it.

Linksys also provides instructions for updating the driver here:

Feel free to contact me if you run into trouble.

Spam Fighting Update

My blog post titled “I’m Fighting Acai Berry Spam Today” from August 14, 2008 is the 4th most read post on Skylarking. It has received a fair amount of commentary since April of this year. The comments have lead me to add an update to the post to clarify the intent and purpose of the article:

This post is about spam in general, using Acai Berry spam as an example. I aim to (1) illustrate that sometimes email addresses and web site addresses don’t match; and that when WHOIS is used, one may often find that they might not belong to the same person or organization. That should be a warning as to the legitimacy of the email message (or the site). Some readers have focused more on the email aspect of spam, but (2) much spam directs you to a web site. As some commenters have pointed out: email addresses can be spoofed, and tracking an email can be very difficult, BUT it is my opinion that web sites can be easier to track.

So my point is that spam is often associated with a web site, and discrepancies between a web site and an email message can often help determine the validity of the email and/or the site.

You can read the updated post and comments here.

Thanks to everyone who has commented, and added their thoughts, ideas, and knowledge concerning the subject. And thank you for leading me to elaborate further. I look forward to hearing more comments and thoughts on the subject.

Beam Me Up!

Star Trek, the new movie, comes out this Friday, and you might want to accessorize for your trip to the theater. Here are some items from Many of these items can be delivered to you at warp speed.

You may remember I mentioned a while back when I reviewed the Pogo iPhone Stylus. (I’ve been thinking about getting one to go with my T-Mobile G1).

adf2_star_trek_tunic_tees_triumvStar Trek Tunic Tees: These are quality heavyweight 100% cotton shirts in command yellow, science blue, and expendable red. Each has the appropriate department logo in the upper right. There’s even a special captain green shirt, too, with the insignia low on the hip. Sizes run from Small to XXXL, and prices start at $24.99. These shirts can be found in the ThinkGeek Apparel and ThinkGeek T-Shirts departments.

expendableJust in case you didn’t get the “expendable red” reference above, here we go again; and if you got it, but you want everyone else to know, too, then here’s the shirt for you. Just be careful not to buy this for a Mother’s day gift. It won’t go over well. This is also a great deal for only $18.99. (These are 21st century prices by the way.)

Oh, by the way, there’s no Star Trek logo on this one. It only has the classic Star Trek typeface, so you’ll have many more opportunities to wear this shirt. Might be good for casual Friday. Yes? No? Discuss in the comments below, please.

star_trek_classic_communicatorStar Trek Classic Communicator: Well what do you know, they’ll still have voice dialing in the future, and flip phones will sport grills, too. This is a full size replica of the prop from the classic series. It’s doesn’t just beep, it even comes with voice clips and other sounds from the TV show. There are over 20 sound effects and phrases in all, right down to the hailing frequency. Sadly, the communicator isn’t currently supported by any of the major cellular networks. Maybe the folks at Apple can help us out here.

Live Long and Prosper!

Wirefly - Free Cell Phones: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, Nextel, Alltel

Can Anybody Find Me Somebody To Follow?

Twitter web site

Twitter web site

Okay, so you joined Twitter, and you just “didn’t get it”. So you stopped using it. Join the club.

Maybe you’ll go back after you read this whole article about with a bonus paragraph about

Lots of people hear about Twitter, they try it out, and they stop using it after a month or less because they “don’t get it”. (Read Twitter Quitters Just Don’t Get It) A Nielsen study shows that 60% of new Tweeters do just that: quit.

Why? Maybe you weren’t following the right people? Did you follow anyone? Did they have anything interesting to say?

That’s the key to Twitter: Finding somebody interesting to follow, and maybe even follow you back. And this is where comes in. bills itself as “A User Powered Twitter Directory”. At, Twitter users can categorize themselve with up to three “tags”, and then other users can browse or search through tags to find people to follow. Be aware, getting listed is a manual process, Twitter users must add themselves, it isn’t done for you automatically.

Getting Listed On The Easy Way

There are two ways to get listed on The easiest way is through your Twitter account. Login to your Twitter account and send the following update message:

@wefollow #tag1 #tag2 #tag3

…and replace the tags with one word tags that describe you. For myself, I sent the following update:

@wefollow #blogger #webdesign #longisland

I chose these three because I am a blogger (or I like to think so), a web designer (a developer, actually), and a Long Islander (all true).

Regardless, the update goes out into the Twitter public timeline (a wild and crazy place that will drive you mad) where it is picked up by and their system adds you to the WeFollow directory.

There’s a second way to get listed which I will discuss later in this article. Actually, I used the second method. It’s more calculating. (Evil maniacal laughter rises).

Find Me Someone To Follow

Now, if you’re looking for someone to follow — someone interesting, funny, witty, informative, what have you — you can go to Once there you can browse through the popular tags shown, or you can search for tags of your own choosing.

The home page prominently displays the top 5 Twitter users listed on in the  top 6 most popular tags. The top 5 Twitterers are determined by the number of followers they have. The most popular tags are determined by the number of Twitterers who chose that tag as one of their three tags. The most popular tags are currently #celebrity, #socialmedia, #news, #entrepreneur, #tv, and #music.

celebrities-wefollowThe sidebar shows the top 20 most popular tags and the top ten Twitter users (those with the most followers).

You can click your way through the tags, and when you find somebody to follow, you can click their user name to be directed to their Twitter profile page. Using the example from shown at right, I can see that Ellen Degeneres show has a Twitter user name of “TheEllenShow”, and her Twitter account has 1.26 million followers, and the excerpt from her Twitter bio says, “Find Ellen’s monologue, celebrity photos and videos, games, giveaways, ho…” (Twitter apparently does some fact checking from time to time for the big name users. Fake or unconfirmable accounts are frequently disabled.)

Getting Listed On The Calculated Method

As mentioned earlier, there is a second more calculated method for tagging yourself on Using this method you can find out how popular a tag is before you choose it. Then you can decide if you want to be a fish in the ocean, a fish in the pond, or a fish in the fishbowl. Or maybe you want to be the fish on the plate. You decide.

  1. First go to and login to your Twitter account.
  2. Then go to next.
  3. First you have to “Verify your identity on Twitter” by clicking “Authorize WeFollow!”
  4. Since we logged into Twitter first, all we need do at this point is click “Allow” to allow WeFollow access.
  5. Now we can add the three tags in the boxes (fields) provided.
  6. Last we click “Send! – Add me to WeFollow”, and that’s it.

Now at step 5 is where the calculating comes into play. As you enter your tag a list will appear under the field and will show the top 5 most similar tags along with the number of Twitter users on who are using that tag. So, in my case, I was going to use the tag webdeveloper but found that less than 350 people were using that tag, while over 2,600 people were using webdesign. So I chose the latter so that more people would be likely to find my Twitter profile.

Similarly, while I am a techblogger, no one was using the tag techblog, and only 4 people were calling themselves a techblogger, but over 21,000 people were using the blogger tag. (Blogger is the 11th most popular tag.  Oooo, almost made the top ten there!) So, I chose to be a fish in the ocean there, and went with blogger.


A similar service to WeFollow is  They use the three tag system, but since it is a separate site from WeFollow, you can use three different tags if you wish. From your Twitter account you can send the following update:

@geofollow Your City, Your state ZipCode #tag1 #tag2 #tag3

5 to 10 minutes later you will also be listed on As you can see GeoFollow also allows you to list yourself by geographic location, so that people from your area can find you, too, and vice-versa.

So go out there and find yourself somebody to follow, and get back to Twitter. You could always follow me.