Month: May 2008

How SmartDD v2 Protects Your LARGE Downloads

When I released the original SmartDD (v0.98), there were a couple of minor niggles with it that made themselves apparent over time.

I think that the most annoying one for people was securely delivering large files.

To begin with the file size wasn’t a problem, but after a few months I started to get more and more support questions about why some files wouldn’t download.  After clicking on the link, the web page seemed to hang there without doing anything, and finally timing out.

We eventually realised what was happening.  Because of the way that SmartDD delivers files securely, it takes up a memory buffer on the web server equivalent to the size of the file.  If you’re delivering an ebook, it isn’t a problem as the zip files involved are only about 3-5MB.  The delay while creating the memory buffer is almost unnoticeable.

But if you’re delivering a video or an MP3, or any other large file, then it can take several seconds to create the memory buffer.

This became a problem when the file was very large and the time went over 30 seconds.  Many servers are now configured to time out after 30 seconds without a “keep alive” signal from the application.

Another problem was that an increasing amount of servers are being configured to only allow 8MB of memory to be allocated to an application.  Again this is a problem for people who want to deliver large file sizes securely.

Well, we fixed that in version 2.

Now you can specify a normal URL to a file and SmartDD will hide the real link while delivering it via the normal HTTP method.

While this isn’t as secure as the file system method, it’s still very secure.  The reason it isn’t as secure as the file system method is because you have to put the file inside your web space somewhere.  With the file system method you can store your file above the web root where no browser can get at it.

So, if you have small files (less than 8MB), use the file system method for very secure storage and download of files.  If you have larger files, use a URL to the file and SmartDD v2 (and above) will still hide the real location.

The reason I’ve said v2 and above is because we’re almost ready to release v3.  We have to do a little testing first, but when we’re done I’ll roll it out.

There will be a small charge for upgrading to v3 from v2, but I won’t be asking you to part with another $97.

I’ll post more details about the new features etc, here on this blog when I can.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

GIMP Videos Nickel Sale

Okay, just a quick post to say that everything looks ready for the nickel sale for a set of 12 videos from Stan Craigie showing you how to use The GIMP, and ultimately putting together your own mini-sites.

In case you didn’t know, The GIMP is a free graphics tool that with each release gets closer to rivalling the enormously expensive Photoshop. You can even load most Photoshop format PSD files into The GIMP.

This means you can take advantage of the huge number of existing PSD files out there on the web and use them in your own creations. In fact I just checked my hard drive and I have resale rights for 40 graphics headers in PSD format.

I really want this sale to succeed for Stan, so I tell you what…

Buy Stan’s GIMP videos and I’ll also supply you with the 40 PSD graphics headers too. Included in the pack are some background tile images for your sales pages and a selection of order buttons which you can edit.

If you register with Stan I’ll get him to email you a link in the next few days.

So to me, that sounds like a pretty impressive package for just a few dollars, and remember, once you have the initial skills that Stan will show you, you’re not just limited to using those skills on your own sites.

You’ll then also have the ability to put together your own unique sales page bundles and graphics, which you can sell.

So at 3.00pm GMT (10.00am EST), the sale goes live and I’ll let you know about it here on this blog. Don’t hang around and you’ll get it at the lowest price.

But even if you end up paying $15, it’s still an incredible bargain, and is one those opportunities I wish I’d had 2 or 3 years ago.

Watch this space.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

Nickel Sale – How To Create Your Own Web Site And Graphics

When I was first trying to get my internet business off the ground, I spent a LONG time using trial and error to get a web page up and running.

I then spent a fortune buying pre-made graphics that I could edit.  The software I used was PhotoShop, and even though I got a second hand copy on eBay for a couple of hundred dollars or thereabouts, it was still a relatively big investment for something I knew nothing about.

Then with another long period of trial and error trying to get to grips with Photoshop, I eventually splashed out on some videos to show me how to do it.

The total cost to me I guess has been about 150-200 hours, and about $2,500 if you count I also bought the Macromedia Suite 8 which cost me about $1,800 (most of the suite I’ve never used).

I was prepared to spend all this time and money because I know it’s a skill we all need online.  Even if you don’t get good at it, I feel it’s still important to know how it all works, and be able to put together a simple page.

So for me it’s a given fact that in order to be successful online, you need to have at least some web page and graphics creation skills.

But rather than spend weeks of your life and thousands of dollars, how about learning how to do it all in a couple of hours using FREE tools to achieve the same thing?  NO Photoshop, NO Dreamweaver.

Yeah, I know.  Great isn’t it?  That’s progress for you…

The other day Stan Craigie contacted me to let me know that he’d finally finished putting together a set of videos on how to create your own sales page graphics using a free graphics tool called The GIMP.

So I took a look at what he’d done, I was impressed (I didn’t know you could do that with The GIMP), and then I suggested he top it off by creating an additional video showing how to create your own sales page, which he’s now added to the set.

I won’t go through all the details, but the videos will show you how to create ebook covers and software boxes WITH reflections and shadows.  He’ll also show you how to create sales page objects such as order buttons.

Now I can remember paying $97 for a set of Photoshop videos to do the same thing, and that’s without the sales page video.

Stan has decided that his launch price will be $27, BUT…

As Stan is a customer of mine, he’s decided that it’s a good idea to pre-launch his product using the Nickel Script in a nickel sale.  So tomorrow at 3.00pm GMT (10.00am EST), Stan will be opening his site for a pre-launch of his video set, starting at $5.

This is NOT something you want to miss out on.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now.  I don’t promote every single product that pops up.  I don’t jump on the big product launch band wagon – I’d probably make a lot more money if I did.

But this is definitely something worth having and using.  And starting at $5.00, you really can’t complain about the price!

Think about it.  If you’re quick off the mark, then for less than $10 you can have over two hours worth of video that will propel your knowledge forward, and also give you the skill set to offer a graphics and design service to other web users.

Yeah, that’s a nice thought isn’t it?

So tune in tomorrow at 3.00pm GMT (10.00am EST) for a blog post here pointing you to Stan’s nickel sale.

-Frank Haywood

P.S.  I predicted that we’d begin to see lots of nickel sales appearing now that it was easy to do so using the Nickel Script.  Didn’t I?

Well, here we go…

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business

The Email Diet Is Working

It’s a bit of a surprise for me, but after backing away from email I’ve found that I really don’t need it that much. In fact it looks like email needs me more than I need it.

In case you missed it, I’m doing a bit of an experiment in low-information “diets”, and I thought the first to go would be email. I know I can’t do away with it completely, but I certainly don’t need to check it every day, and definitely not multiple times a day.

I’ve never realised this, but when I send an email, I’m fairly relaxed about when I get an answer to it as long as I get one eventually. Sometimes. Usually.

It seems I’m even more laid back about it than I thought I’d be.

But some (just a few) other people seem to get a little bit irate when they don’t get an answer from me straight away. Most people are fine if I leave it a few days before answering, but I’ve found that some people are a bit uptight about it.

Oh well…

This is I suppose, a good example of the fact that we all live in our own little universes, and all we’re really interested in is ourselves. I’ll qualify that at a later date, but if you want to read more about this concept go get yourself a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends And Influence People” which I’m re-reading at the moment.

(This is turning into a bit of a ramble, but there’s two books that I would say have been important to me and my business. One is mentioned above, and the other is Robert Cialdini’s “Influence”. You should definitely get both of the above, and if you take the information inside them to heart, it will do wonders both for your life and business.

Back to email…)

So if I’m not missing email that much at the moment, I think it’s time for stage 2.

Stage 1 was to only check email 3 times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and only spend 15 minutes reading email, and 60 minutes to reply. I should say that if I need to send an email now, I’ll do that, I won’t wait until one of my “checking” days.

So I’m now at the end of week 2, and also the end of stage 1. So far, so good.

Now it’s time to trim that back to Mondays and Fridays starting this week.  If that works out – and I’m now very confident it will – I’ll just move to email on Mondays only. Which will mean it will be faster to get hold of me either by snail mail or via the support desk.

The result of this move away from email is I feel much more focussed now and I also feel more productive. I’m keeping an eye on it all as I don’t want something else to replace email and fill the time I’ve gained back.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business