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Archive for September 2009

Take a Video Tour of the Ameritron Amplifier Factory

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Take a Video Tour of the Ameritron Amplifier Factory

Wow.  Did you ever want to see how your Ameritron Linear Amplifier was manufactured?  If so, then this video is for you.

The video is quite long, and at times slow moving.  But for your patience in watching this 28 minute video you will see the components and the parts that go into making the Ameritron product line plus the people that put them together.  Yes Virgina, they are hand assembled by Americans.

Plus you will get to see some of the other MFJ products.

Written by frrl

September 27, 2009 at 1:42 am

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Accidental Entrepreneurs: YouTube pays David $14K for a months fun at the Redneck Resort

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Revenue sharing

So you thought that all the content that people put up on YouTube was a waste of time?  Not so.  Google now has a Partner program and revenue sharing model with content providers.

If you have good content, lots of subscribers, and lots of hits, you can apply to be part of the Google / YouTube Partner Program.

I must have been asleep on this event – I just found out about it.

And, I was amazed at just how much money people are making on this.

The top channels on YouTube are making six figures a year in revenue sharing with Google based on click throughs to ads that appear on channel video pages.


Well, all I can say, is that all the work that early adopter YouTube content providers made to develop popular creative content for YouTube (at no compensation to them) finally has paid off – unexpectedly.

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Written by frrl

September 26, 2009 at 4:48 am

EVERNOTE – Save your ideas, things you see, and things you like: Comprehending the Business Model of FREE

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evernote_logo2The Challenge: Remember anything – make is searchable and available from just about any network connected device.

There are applications that come and go.  You download an interesting application, try it out a few times, and then, there it sits, idle on your computer, unused, just taking up space.

These unused applications will stay on your computer until you refresh the operating system.  They won’t be back.  You didn’t use it and you won’t install it again with the new operating system.

Many apps have not make it past these refresh points on my computers or Apple iPod Touch – except a few.

And one in particular that you should know about


Welcome to your notable world. Use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer or device you use. For free.

The compelling feature of Evernote is that there is an Evernote application for just about any operating system and any networked device AND every thing you saved is on the network.  What this means is that Evernote can synchronize all your notes (ideas, things you see, things you like) in a central repository – over there on the Evernote servers – for free.

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Written by frrl

September 25, 2009 at 2:01 am

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A Low point in Microsoft Marketing

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Windows 7 “Launch Party” video and Parody

Microsoft is inviting people to have a Windows 7 “Launch Party”.  Wow.  If you have seen those Infomercials for the Magic Bullet you will notice the similarity.

This is amazing

As is the parody (Warning – “Adult Swim” for more sensitive viewers)

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September 25, 2009 at 1:44 am

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The Story of Radio – from the BBC – across the pond

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September 24, 2009 at 1:45 am

Emergency Preparedness: 30 ft fiberglass mast and base for $40

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Emergency Preparedness: 30 ft fiberglass mast and base for $40

Need an emergency 30ft fiberglass mast, base, and stakes for $40?  Read on.

mastguy_kitThe Antenna Mast Guy

If you travel to hamfests in the Midwest maybe you have seen the “mast guy” or the “pole guy”.  This guy has been traveling around to hamfests (according to him) for the past five years selling this stuff.

He always has good sales.  He has the right product at the right price in the right market with customers lined up to buy.

I am not sure what the original use of these were, or where he got these from – but he always seems to have a trailer load full of them.  He will mix and match whatever you want.

What you can get for $20

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Written by frrl

September 20, 2009 at 7:18 am

Accidental Entrepreneurs: the evolution of a small business

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Accidental Entrepreneurs ?

“(08-11) 17:45 PDT — A month after he was laid off in October, 38-year-old Marcus Ronaldi realized he was facing the toughest job market he had ever experienced. “I had been out of work before, but this time I wasn’t getting any calls,” said Ronaldi, a high-tech job recruiter.

In November, as he despaired of landing a full-time job, Ronaldi started taking subcontracts from other recruiters with hard-to-fill vacancies in technical or executive fields.

“At first I did it just to keep busy and to help pay the bills, while I continued looking for a job,” said Ronaldi of Daly City.

But as he got more contracts, Ronaldi began to consider himself self-employed, a conviction that jelled a couple of weeks ago when he got a tip about a full-time job.

“I turned the tip over to a friend because I was happy doing the contingent stuff,” he said

Ronaldi is an example of what Bay Area business analyst Carolyn Ockels calls “necessity-preneurs” – people who become self-employed because regular jobs are so tough to find.

“I think a lot of people are trying to fill the income gap with any skill or service they can find,” said Ockels, managing partner of Emergent Research in Lafayette.”

A July report from the Small Business Administration documents the self-employment surge nationwide. The SBA said the number of self-employed people grows about 2 to 3 percent a year when the economy is good. In 2008, the most recent year on record, the number of people working for themselves jumped 8.1 percent.”

Accidental Entrepreneurs / Necessary Entrepreneurs ?

Wow.  People starting their own business.  “Accidental” and “Necessary” in the context of Entrepreneurs does not give the impression that the decision to go into business was an intentional, planned, deliberated, and considered process.  It sounds more like a reaction to unexpected (or at least, undesirable) series of past events. 

Is “taking the plunge” into small business a good idea if you are an “Accidental” Entrepreneur?

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Written by frrl

September 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm

How to make a Cheap WiFi Antenna Booster

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September 14, 2009 at 1:46 am

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The History of Radio – Marconi to Telstar (1896 – 1960)

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This is a really great summary of the history of radio from Marconis “Telegraph without wires” up to Telstar 1 (1960’s).  Lots of nice pictures and diagrams and easy to read in 30 pages.

Written by frrl

September 13, 2009 at 1:46 am

Surface Mount Soldering, Manufacturing and Robotics

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I came across some interesting videos

Surface Mount Soldering “by hand” – Patience is a virtue

Prototype PCB Surface Mount – very nice

SMT Selective Solder Robot in Production 4TECH

Motoman robot

You definitely want to put this on your Xmas list –
Aldebaran Robotics’ Nao

Written by frrl

September 11, 2009 at 1:47 am

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Small Business – The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician

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smallBusiness“With roughly 6.7 million jobs lost since the start of the recession, it’s tempting – and often a great idea – to launch your own business. That way, of course, you can take matters into your own hands. No more rolling your eyes at the boss; it’s your show.”

Of course, reading something like the above is going to encourage some segment of the 6.7 million to rush out and start their own business.  “No more rolling your eyes at the boss; its your show”.

The great thing about small business is that there is nothing to stop you.  Now that could be a good thing or a bad thing.  You are free to succeed or fail. “It’s your show.”  No one to blame but yourself.

There are a handful of reasons why people start their own business.

Maybe you have a great idea.  If you worked for a large mature Fortune 500 company and you wanted to create a new product or service – guess what – you are going to be in for a long, difficult, and treacherous road to actually seeing  your vision realized  in the corporate marketing collateral and your product or service being delivered or offered.

In this case, why not kiss those corporate folks good-bye and start your own business?  If you had your own business “It’s your show” and no one is there to stop you.

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Written by frrl

September 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm

The University of Phoenix – Business model mystery solved

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This take on the University of Phoenix (UoP) is complements of Michael Gerber. Gerber has written a number of books targeted for small business owners.

Gerber is probably most famous for this concept of the E-myth with a book of the same name.  The E-Myth: Why Most small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.

The e-myth is stated below- It is the “fatal assumption” and why many small businesses fail.

“E-Myth stands for the “entrepreneurial myth,” the end product of which is most often a business and life disaster.  The E-Myth says that technicians suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure believe that because they understand how to do the work of the business they intend to start, they are automatically gifted with an understanding about how to build and grow a business that does that work.”

But enough of that – if you want to read Gerber’s E-Myth books – have at it.

I mention the E-Myth in the larger context of Gerber’s analysis of what makes a business successful.

Back to the University of Phoenix (UoP) and Gerber’s take on this.

Gerber uses UoP as an example of the clarity one must have in setting up a business.  That is, clarity of your business model – clarity in which category you compete; clarity of who your customers are; clarity in what product you are offering; clarity in what your customers expect, and so on, and so on, and so on.

The Chimera of the University of Phoenix

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Written by frrl

September 5, 2009 at 3:40 pm

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A Doctor’s Plan for Legal Industry Reform

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If politicians (who are mostly lawyers) can reform health care can doctors reform the legal industry?

Read the entertaining “A Doctor’s Plan for Legal Industry Reform: My modest proposal to rearrange how lawyers do business” from the Wall Street Journal.  Link on our Mashups page.

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September 5, 2009 at 1:48 am

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What Makes a Psychopath?

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“Psychopaths are often big trouble for those around them,” said clinical psychologist Joseph Newman at the University of Wisconsin. “If we can find out what underlies their problems, we might be able to identify what kinds of interventions might be able to work for them.”

Scientists investigating the disorder commonly agree that psychopaths are often marked by the following traits:

-Lack of empathy, guilt, conscience or remorse
-Shallow experiences of feelings or emotions
-Impulsivity and a weak ability to defer gratification and control behavior
-Superficial charm and glibness
-Irresponsibility and a failure to accept responsibility for their actions
-A grandiose sense of their own worth”

Read the full article –

Written by frrl

September 1, 2009 at 1:49 am

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