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May 31, 2006

Putting it all together: The search for a Pocket PC Phone

Filed under: Articles, pda, pocket pc, pocket pc phone, smartphone — dugancom @ 1:28 pm

Putting it all together: The search for a Pocket PC Phone by Michael Keenan

 When I decided that I needed to replace my terribly out of date mobile phone – an old Nextel i1000plus – my thoughts eventually wandered toward a pda phone.  For those that know me this probably seemed like a no brainer.  I have a long history of pda dependence going back years to a Palm 3X.  However, I already had a pda that I was quite happy with.  For the last year and a half I had used my HP iPAQ 2215 for everything from a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), an e-book reader, an MP3 player, a photo wallet, an alarm clock, a mobile web browser(utilizing a compact flash wifi card), among many other things.  Trying to cram a phone in to all of this seemed overwhelming, but curiosity – and my need for a new gadget – got the better of me.  My search was twofold – look for a new mobile phone and a new provider.  With my current cellular provider I didn’t get any reception in my home so I needed to find a carrier that did.
Through various unscientific means such as my own opinion polls of friends and work associates in conjunction with some internet research I whittled my way down to either Cingular or Verizon.  Both tended to get high marks from the users I polled and the from internet research.  With this part of the equation worked out I went online to see what kind of phones each had to offer.  I was willing to go with a 2 year commitment in the hopes of getting a better deal on phone and plan pricing.  In addition I wanted to get a group plan where my wife and I could share minutes. 
So, now I’m looking on each company’s respective websites for their state of the art Pocket PC phones.  I’m not talking about the Smart phones – these are the phones with Pocket PC software jammed into a tiny little screen that isn’t even a touch screen – that just wouldn’t satisfy my needs.  I’m talking about the full blown, “why are you talking into your calculator?” Pocket PC phones – the uber-geek, pocket protector included kind of micro computer powerhouse.  After all, I’m married now and I’m really not worried about public opinion or impressing anyone with my sleek, stylish, sexy new cell phone.
I’m hoping to spend around $300.00.  I figure I can sell my iPAQ 2215 on eBAY for $200.00 and $100.00 for a new phone seems like a pretty good deal.
So, what I find is one heck of a price tag.  Verizon has the much talked about Treo 700.  This is the first Treo with the Pocket PC operating system – Windows Mobile 5.0.  This comes in at $500.00.  Way too pricey for me and it doesn’t even have Wifi. 
Cingular’s best price on a PocketPC phone wasn’t much better.  I could get an HP iPAQ hw6510 for $400.00.  Again, no wifi.  This is a real sticking point for me.  I don’t see any reason why a device designed for communication would leave out this major specification.  Being able to connect to an 802.11b/g wireless network when it is available is a necessity.
Okay, back to the drawing board, maybe I can try this from a different angle – Ebay.
Looking up “Pocket PC phone” on Ebay gets you quite a lot of hits with a good assortment of newer and older Pocket PC phones.  At this point I’m thinking that I could get something maybe slightly used that would meet all of my requirements.  This would also give me a good cross section of exactly what is out there and what features are available in this type of gadget. 
After going through quite a lot of auction descriptions and cross referencing manufacturer web sites I had set my sites on a particular phone, the Siemens SX66.  This particular phone/pda combo had been offered by Cingular until recently and it no longer showed on their website.  It seemed to fit my wish list:  a fast 400mhz xscale processor, wifi, Bluetooth, SDIO slot and it had a slide out keyboard for text input.  So, I watched a few auctions and kept an eye on the prices.
But, sometimes you just have to get off of the internet and hit the brick and mortar.  I went to my local Verizon and Cingular stores and talked to the sales reps about what plans I was looking for.  I wasn’t impressed with my long wait at the Verizon Wireless store or the pushy salesman that I got.  He seemed to think he knew just what I needed and kept showing me phones and plans that I just wasn’t interested in. 
I had a different experience at the Cingular store.  The sales rep showed me a map of the cell coverage around my home, he talked to me about the plans that I had seen on the website and when I mentioned to him that I had been looking at a Siemens SX66 Pocket PC phone on Ebay he went into the back of the store and came out with the last SX66 that they had.  I signed on to a 2 year deal with Cingular that night with a heck of a good deal on a Pocket PC phone that had all the specifications that I had been looking for.
And you know what?  I can even talk on my Siemens SX66 sitting in my living room.

Michael Keenan is a Project Manager at DD&C ( and contributes to  product research for their ecommerce web store at and personally helps to maintain their computer support forum at
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May 30, 2006

Professional Help with Your Computer May Be Cheaper Than You Think

Professional Help with Your Computer May Be Cheaper Than You Think by D. David Dugan

 We all deal with them, those little computer problems that aren’t quite big enough to warrant a call to the Computer Guy.  You know, like every once in a while your camera won’t transfer its pictures the right way.  Or like the times when all of a sudden your computer shuts down for no apparent reason and with no warning whatsoever.  Don’t forget those odd “Run Time Errors” with the crazy numbers in them.  I love those.

The worst part is, you could probably fix some of these things yourself if you just had a little help or guidance.  Calling a professional, while sometimes necessary, can be both a greater inconvenience and of course a greater cost.  It may take forever to contact them, and when you do get in touch with the help desk, they always make you reboot the thing twelve times before you get any real advice.

Let me be clear on a couple things before we continue.  First, I am a professional computer technician and have been working in the industry for over 15 years.  There are numerous occasions where a professional is needed to help with or repair your PC.  It is often my advice to have your system evaluated at least one every three months.  On top of that, there are many things a novice should not try on their PC for fear of causing more harm than good.  Not everything is this way though.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Your best way to help maintain your computer is by staying informed and educated.  I’m not suggesting everyone run out and get a Computer Science degree, but I am suggesting you use some of the top notch free resources that are available to you.  The largest these days is of course the internet.

Don’t get nervous yet, I’m not suggesting you look up some super hi-tech article and study it until you know it inside and out.  You don’t have to.  The net is full of people who already understand these things and are more than willing to pass some of that understanding on to you.  They do this in forums.

Forums are a wonderful thing.  A lot of forums are actual cyber communities of people who love to talk about various topics.  They have people of varying skill sets, all interacting in a friendly supportive way.  I know there’s a free computer support forum out there with people in it just waiting to answer some of your questions.

So next time those pop ups are driving you crazy, and you can’t reach your favorite help desk, stop by a computer support forum.  You’ll be surprised at how good an experience it can be.


D. David Dugan is the president of DD&C ( and personally helps to maintain their computer support forum at as well as their Spyware Information site

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Bowflex for Baby Boomers

Filed under: Articles, baby boomers, bowflex, exercise, health, retirement — dugancom @ 3:30 am

Bowflex for Baby Boomers

There are hundreds and maybe thousands of physical fitness guru’s all claiming to have the perfect answer, the “magic bullet” for physical fitness and a solution to a healthier body and lifestyle. Well, I’m not going to claim to have the perfect answer! However, I do have a few tips on an easy to use piece of exercise equipment that may be one of the best for all ages and is particularly suitable for those of us who are either baby boomers or a bit more seasoned. It’s the Bowflex…any version but a basic machine such as the Bowflex Sport is a perfect place to start.

So what’s the catch here? Absolutely no catch whatsoever….. just an enthusiasm to share some ideas on perhaps one of the most efficient, versatile and affordable exercise machines available for home use. The Bowflex combines aerobic and strength training with a smooth pulley and power rod resistance system that’s easy set up. You can easily switch resistance with the power rods through a wide range of motions for a complete strength and aerobic workout. Now don’t get me wrong on the expected results. The Bowflex ads show smiling, well muscled young people whom we all would like to look like, no matter what age. Well, now you may just want to get back some muscle tone and some of that past strength and endurance you once had. At any rate, here we are at 55, 60, 65 or older and card carrying members of AARP. Most of us simply want to maintain or improve our strength, muscle tone and respiratory efficiency. Today many doctors and physical fitness experts are espousing weight training and especially the use of free weights as we age. Everyone now acknowledges that maintaining and / or building our strength is critical in later years. We will certainly function with greater confidence and renewed strength but we will also be less likely to fall and if we do, less likely to suffer fractures since strength training adds to our bone mass. What we don’t hear talked about too frequently is the potential of injury with free weights if not properly supervised. Added to the injury possibility, there is also the need for other pieces of equipment such as various benches and supports in order to get a full range of activity with free weights.

So, let’s talk about the Bowflex. Perhaps you’ve seen the infomercials and watched as the group of well muscled young men and women gathered around a Bowflex machine and marveled at how easy it works and the quality of the workout it provides. So, how does this apply to you…at 55, 60, 65 years or older?

First, you can safely use the Bowflex without needing a partner. However before staring a program check with your physician to insure that you have no physical ailments that would preclude vigorous exercise. The Bowflex is a home device and since it’s in your home, it’s available at anytime. I must caution you on the hype of “now you can use it anytime of your choosing”. That may be correct, but to be successful you must establish a set time every day for your workout. Once you start slipping or changing times, you run the very real danger of skipping days and then a week or more and then suddenly you have no set program and you’re back to being a couch potato.

The Bowflex machine comes with a very nice manual of exercises and instructions and most will also have an instructional DVD. Let’s walk through some Bowflex 101 in the real world and set some realistic goals and simple to follow instructions:

1.Maintain a set time schedule either daily or every other day. Many prefer early morning exercise routines so that it doesn’t get cancelled out later in the day by unexpected events…..or lost will power. Early workouts also tend to set a positive, go get ‘em attitude when those endorphins kick in from good prolonged vigorous exercise. Many experts say that the most effective time for the body to exercise is mid-afternoon and the least effective is at night. Working out late in the evening may also cause some sleep disruption.

2.Review the exercise manual that Bowflex provides but don’t become a slave to the described routines. While the programs were developed by experts, let your own sense of what’s working be your guide.

3.After reviewing the manual, establish your beginning program routine and stick to it for at least two full weeks or longer without deviation. Maintaining a consistent pattern will allow you to assess whether the program you’ve selected is comfortable for you and not too boring. It’s important to make the workout interesting as well as challenging. Boredom can lead to you dropping out so don’t let that happen!

4.Design your program to include aerobic as well as strength activities. While the Bowflex will greatly assist in developing strength, the aerobic exercises are terrific and important.

5.Start off with easy resistance power rods. Remember, this is going to be a lifestyle addition and not a quick fix so there is no reason to use too much weight resistance at the beginning. It is best to get comfortable with how the Bowflex operates using lower resistance and then gradually increase the weight / resistance.

6.Don’t feel compelled to “do the manual”. Select the exercises that work well with your strength and flexibility and rotate through them. Make sure, though, that you balance upper body, arms, legs and abdominals in your program.

7.Make sure you take advantage of the aerobic rowing motion. The seat glides easily and the resistance power rods and pulleys are exceptionally smooth in operation.

8.Be Creative! In a short time, you’ll be totally at ease and be able to handle any of the Bowflex routines. When that happens, you’re now ready to mix and match and create new routines on your own.

So, while this is an exercise machine for all ages, the Bowflex from my experience is exceptionally well suited for the great generation of Baby Boomers and beyond. It’s simplicity of set up, easy switching process from one exercise routine to another, wide range of weight resistance and easy fluid motion give this machine an A++ rating in my book!. While this is not an advertisement, you may want to check out the Bowflex website or other websites that offer exercise equipment. At any rate, get started on a healthier life style.

Be active, be healthy and be happy!

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Mike Coll is a recently retired and a lifetime fitness enthusiast and is a contributing author to and

May 28, 2006

Conference Calling – Meeting the Needs of the Modern Business

Filed under: Articles, Conference Calling — dugancom @ 2:49 pm

Conference Calling – Meeting the Needs of the Modern Business by D. David Dugan

 These days it seems business is becoming more and more complex and globalized. We are doing business with people everywhere in the US and in many instances, people in other countries. Due to the wide use of the Internet, the words “foreign country” doesn’t even seem to apply anymore.

The Internet has brought us all closer together in one aspect, but how does that affect investor relations, sales pitches, meetings, and group sessions? A lot of people now work closer with their computers than they do with co-workers and because of the Internet, many companies have people working for them from different parts of the world who have never even met each other.

Never before has conference calling been a more popular solution to the communication needs of companies and individuals all over the world. Conference calls are becoming increasingly popular as a method of bringing people together for meetings and discussions.

In this article, I will do my best to explain the advantages of conference calling for your business communication needs. Whether you are talking about meetings with investors, conference calls with your employees, making your sales presentation to groups, or simply needing several people in on the same discussion, conference calling is the most useful tool there is.

Chat rooms and message boards just don’t cut it. Message boards are impersonal, not real-time, and tend to get filled with useless information that isn’t directly related to your topic. Chat rooms are just that, chatty. You type in messages in real-time so it is better than a message board, but it again lacks the personal touches and insights conference calling provides.

Voice inflection, as many of you know is a great way to tell how someone feels about what you are saying. Simple typed messages do not give you that same advantage. When we hear our counterparts speak, we can tell how enthusiastic, positive, negative, or apathetic they are about what you say.

Conference calling is relational, while message boards and chat rooms are merely informational. That is the great difference in those options. You don’t make sales through information alone. You make sales by creating relationships.

You don’t encourage or motivate your employees or partners through information alone, you do it by creating relationships. You don’t instill confidence to your investors through providing just information, you do it by letting them hear how enthusiastic and positive you are about your proposal.

Only conference calling can provide the relationship solution when working with people who are too far away to physically attend meetings.

A simple search on your favorite search engine or just following the links in the footer of this article can provide you with many options for your specific conference calling needs.

What are some of the things that separate good conference calling services and bad ones? That is the question I get asked the most when discussing this topic. Here are some of the features you should look for;

High sound quality; The last thing you want to do is try to hold an important meeting through static, interrupted service, and low quality sound. The sound quality of your conference calls is far more important than the price or other features. If they cannot hear you speak clearly and you cannot hear them clearly, what is the use of a conference call at all?

Operators: While an operator assisted call is not necessary, having someone from your conference call service provider greeting each person as they are connected is a valuable service. They can tell the participants what to expect better than your own staff can, since they are familiar with the conference call software and service. In addition to that, the operator can and should monitor the entire call to make sure the sound quality maintains a high level of clarity. They will know what to do to fix it if a problem arises.

Recordings and Copies: If your conference call provider has the ability to record and provide playback of your conference call sessions, then you will want to take advantage of that feature. Some conference call providers can even provide it to you on CD afterwards. This is enormously helpful for you to be able to review your conference call sessions later. It may also serve as a record of agreements made during the conference call session.

Price: Last, but certainly not least, you have to consider price. You may be able to choose a conference call provider that gives you all of the features I mentioned above and more, or you may be on a tight budget and have to settle for less service. Whichever conference call service you use, do not sacrifice sound quality for price. That is the one feature you cannot afford to do without, no matter what the cost.

I hope this article on conference calling has been helpful to you. It was my goal to share with you what features I consider the most helpful to me in my business meetings.

For more information about conference calling and conference calling services visit , a site dedicated to providing the best conference calling information as well as conference call pricing and company information.

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How Do I Get Traffic to My Website Right Now?

Filed under: accelerated traffic, alexa, Articles, Web Traffic, Website Traffic — dugancom @ 2:50 am

How Do I Get Traffic to My Website Right Now? by D. David Dugan

 Okay, I have my website built. Its beautiful! It has all of my adsense, yahoo publisher, affiliate program code in it or it has all of my products and services I provide in it, so what’s next? Okay, let’s wait. Checking my stats . . . nope, no one visited my website today. Maybe tomorrow.

After about a month of this, you start to wonder, “Why isn’t my website getting any traffic?” “My website is better than all my competitors”. “I have lower prices and better products”. “Where is all the traffic that guy that designed my website said I was going to get?” “And that SEO Guru that charged me $1500, where is he now?”

Then you search the webmaster forums and they all tell you, “Be Patient, it takes time for the search engines to index your pages”. They each give you different advice on how to get traffic for your website, but which of them do you listen to? And what if you don’t want to be patient? What if you want traffic right now?

There are ways to get traffic to your website immediately. There are a lot of reasons why someone needs traffic right away, like testing out their sales pitch to see how well they are converting traffic into sales for there website. Or testing to see how many people per 100 will click on the contextual ads where you currently have them placed on your website.


One of the best ways to get traffic to your website right away is to buy that traffic. I am not talking about banner ads at the top of other people’s pages that nobody clicks on. I’m not talking about emailing a thousand webmasters and begging them to trade links with you. I’m not talking about buying links on other webpages or submitting your link to link farms and spam pages where even if you did get traffic to your website, you still would not make any sales.

I’m talking about popunder traffic. If your website is fairly new you need to listen to this. It will take time for your webpages to get indexed by the search engines so that is not going to drive traffic to your website in a short period of time.

"If Mohammed cannot go to the mountain, then the mountain must come to Mohammed.” In other words, until the search engines index your webpages or other websites begin to link to you, people cannot come to your website because they don’t know where it is.

So you take the mountain to Mohammed. By purchasing popunder traffic, your webpage is displayed to as many people as you want. When they go to websites they already know about and know how to find, your website piggybacks that website they are visiting by popping up underneath the website they are viewing.

As soon as they close that page, they are now at your webpage. Now you have visitors and it’s up to your websites design and conversion ability to turn those customers into sales.

When you buy this kind of traffic, its like throwing a switch. They can turn that traffic on in minutes. If you use a real-time stat counter you can see the number of visits to your website. You can also target the type of traffic you want for your website and you can choose what country you want the traffic to come from.

You want traffic to your website right now? Go get it!

D. David Dugan personally helps to maintain the DD&C Spyware Information site and often uses traffic from

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