Windows 8, is it really ready?

There has been much said about the new Windows 8 operating system. With Microsoft offering an early upgrade offer, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Using Windows 7 for two years, I have got everything working just fine, so thought, lets do a compatibility check first to see if there would be any problems. Everything seem ok, so I downloaded and installed. A perfect upgrade.

It took a while to get used to how the system worked, but I found I always went to the desktop module to do all my work. Loved the weather App. All programs are now called Apps, a point to remember.

I had a problem with a program, and found access was locked, then found my Norton 360 could not shut down and my email program Thunderbird was frozen. Thank goodness I had made a full backup first with a system image, which means a full copy of the C drive.

I shut down two or three times the pc, but the programs would not respond. OK then do a refresh, this is where things started to go wrong. The refresh removes all non Microsoft Apps, remember programs = Apps, so doing the re-fresh solved the problem, but removed all of my programs.

Microsoft need to look at this area because programs like Thunderbird store access data in the program, so I lost all of my emails. OK, lets do a back-up re-install.

Unfortunately the back-up would not load. Posting to the Microsoft Community did not produce a single reply. In the end I contact Microsoft support and got onto the Chat line, this is covered by their 90 day support. After 5 hours of remote access by Microsoft they could not come up with a solution. The back-up had the system image but it would not install. Shame that Symantec Norton still did not have a Windows 8 version of Ghost ready yet.

On the third day I decided to re-install Windows 7 and then use a Norton Ghost copy I had from two weeks earlier. Everything is back apart from some missing emails and some passwords added to my memory folder.

A phone call to Microsoft, and the refund was underway. I signed the Letter of Destruction" online. All very professional, pity about my Windows 8 installation.

Windows 8 Gadgets, do you need them back?

 Windows 8 upgrade

I very recently upgraded from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8 Pro. I was not happy, so much to learn, my main area of work is the Desktop, which was set-up just perfect. What no Gadgets?, Nobody mention that at the start. Maybe I should have done more research, before accepting Microsoft's offer to upgrade.

I really missed the Gadgets and have found a method to get them back.

No point in covering all the same ground of a post I made on the Web Consultant site, which shows exactly how to bring them back.

Windows 8 Start and Shutdown

There is also a solution to add a Start and Shutdown to the Desktop Taskbar. Maybe of interest to you?


Telling the World about an updated website

Munich City Guide

Everybody is either buying or selling something. But the new Munich City Guide is just a resource of Munich information, whether you are planning on relocation, looking for a hotel, or just want to know what is the Munich Oktoberfest.
There are some advertising marketing opportunities, but these will always be limited as the site is my hobby.
Do you have a local guide for your town or city?


For users of FireFox

I use FireFox most of the time because of the wide range of Plugins available. But a Plugin can get out of date easily, use this link and let FireFox check your Plugins and make recommendations.

We can check your plugins and stuff

Business Networking Resources now at 29

29 Free Social Media opportunities

There are many opportunities to market a business and a website, the most common and most effective are the use of Social Media. Everybody knows and possibly uses Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, but there are many more which can have great benefits. See Business Resources

Pick and choose 

Pick and choose from the list those that suit you, and meet your objectives. I use all of them, so I know I can safely recommend them. If you need help just make contact, if you are interested in more about me, see the Drachsi info.

A useful article if you are interested in Linkedin

Very interesting information if you are in Marketing or Website Promotion. I decided to join the website as there is much of interest. The link is

I will be using some of this information on my business support website.


Great solutions come from unexpected sources

I have been having a problem with a WordPress Theme I purchased. The support company sent a link to a website which you also might find very useful.

Everybody knows you can do a "screen dump" to capture an image of what is on your monitor screen, but when actions on a website are needed, traditionally, software has been used to capture a video, now there is another method, and it is free. is the link. This a very special solution, you can embed the created HD video file, save as a MP4 file, or even post as a YouTube video. You may ask, why is this web based idea useful? If you are operating in any type of online support function, the ability to have your customer record what is happening on their screen, can save many email messages, and lots of time. There are other applications that can benefit from a video recording of what is going on screen, i.e Webcam, Skype, or instructions. Like this post? see more ideas on the website, which provides Website Adviser services.

Combining WordPress and HTML

WordPress is a very popular solution for many websites. I have always used html to create a site, but thought it would be a good idea to explore the possibilities of combing both solutions into one website.

The site at still has all the information as normal, but now there is a link to my WordPress version. I use version 3.4, and found it easier to locate and use a template theme that suited the style I felt would be professional and modern. There was much I needed to learn, but found plenty of support in the Forums and from different Theme suppliers. Highly recommended for new and existing webmasters.

WordPress was easy to instal and set up, then came the biggest surprise of all, the extensive range of "Plugins" which extended the basic installation. Using WordPress, I have pages, and menu as normal, and a Blog. The Blog is set up different from this one, and I found it easy to use. There are benefits for having a separate url for a Blog, but for the majority of users the time and effort are not worth it.

I still create a wide range of sitemaps which benefit the whole site, in addition to those locate within WordPress.

There are many excellent web designers, but I sometimes wonder if it would be a lot quicker and cheaper, to use WordPress with Theme, and then let the designer modify the parts and graphics to suit the style required.

My first website was created in 1996 using a basic text editor and code provided by the new type of Internet magazines. Progressing through FrontPage to my current software, Microsoft Expression 4, Over the last 16 years, (I'm 70 plus now) I found I am not a web designer, a graphic designer or a code creator. I do like helping small companies with my background in international marketing, sales and have worked on a number of business websites, providing ideas, support and using networking media to spread their message.

Anyway, enough about me, how can I help you?

Cost cutting and a better service

Many companies still do not use a ticketing system, or on-line help desk for customers visiting a business website. Evaluation of some popular websites will often show these services are provided.

If a visitor has arrived at a site, can they find what they are looking for, if not, how do they request assistance? If you do not help and provide support, they will go to your competitor.

There are many resources, free and paid for, that can support you and your customer. A simple free version is used and available at Website Support Services. This can be operated within most companies, or outsourced to just about anybody in the world. Simple and effective.

Many companies have outsourced customer care and support to international companies, which can provide excellent services for the bigger company, but are not very useful for the smaller company, unless the support is provided locally. This can be achieved by setting up a support network of helpers, with the required knowledge and experience. Paid by the hour or support time this would suit many house bound members of the community. This can be part of your "Nudge" project. More about this exciting idea now being used on websites.

Frustration at websites

I am planning to purchase a new TV with an Internet connection, and like many people use Amazon to check prices and specs. Sony looked good, but no details of the Internet connection. Trying to send an enquiry was a waste of time, unless I wanted to phone or complete a a form with lots of questions. I did not bother. Sony is off my list for not being very customer friendly.

Samsung showed a TV had WiFi but not a cable connection, sending an email was easy, with an auto reply within two minutes. Looking forward to the reply.

If you are like me, you use the Internet to find and locate specific information. Filling in unnecessary forms just as an enquiry is one way to turn off potential customers.

Make it easy on your website for customers to make contact, using a simple form, you can always request more details after contact. Think like a potential customer or let me do a Website Review, then you may have answers to questions, nobody has ever asked.


A cost effective method to support your business

Have you ever thought you need help for a few hours a week or month? Many small companies are now using experienced, older people to help with a wide range of jobs. There are a number of benefits for the company owner.

If you are a expanding, you will normally recruit younger people who have the specialised skills you need, it would then be a shame to use some of this expensive time on the many small jobs that are always waiting to be completed.

Retired people can be active, have a wide range of knowledge and skills, and want to be "wanted" Consider these possibilities.

a. A retire accountant or financial officer, could be use for checking expense claims, or additional computer data entry at peak times.

b. An elder sales person could provide support and training to new staff, (everybody must sell the company in some way) and act as a mentor to the sales team.

c. A senior IT specialist to help maintain office networks, ensure supplies of consumables are in stock.

d. Many people have graphic skills, and can be used for brain storming and for ideas.

e. Web skills are often overlooked when considering using members of the older generation, mainly because the industry is only 16-17 years old. This is an area that has many requirements for a few minutes or hours at a time for, for example, posting pre-written text to Blogs, Forums etc. supporting the "FAQ's" on a website or answering requests from a ticketing system. If you use a CMS or WordPress application, good for general up-dates.

As a busy business owner or a hard pressed manager, you never have enough time for everything, it is also unlikely you will find this Blog post, but somebody you know may find it, and think of you.

Why did I write this post? Well, I'm over 70, exported 85% of a companies products to many countries, including China, Russia, Europe, Asia and the USA. Build a first website city guide in 1996, worked as a "Content Partner Manager" for a global company, and I want to be wanted by companies that could use my knowledge and skills.

I have assembled some great ideas you could use for your business on my Webmaster Services site. If you don't know what you need just ask and maybe we could find a solution.

It takes time to spread your message

Marketing a service or product can be expensive. If you only have a small budget or plan to do it all yourself, be prepared to be disappointed. There are many free resource, you need to register, set up your profile and then use the resource.

If the resource does not like your profile, you just get deleted, often without any feedback, typical censorship. Then there are the companies offering a service you are willing to pay for, you send details, then nothing.

It is important for your on-line reputation, you maintain a good relationship with potential and existing customers. The reason is, you never know if they have a popular Blog or website and you have just missed out on some positive comments and links.

Good for most sites is a ticketing system. Your customers can post their comments, and receive your reply on a "one to one" basis. You get to know more about customer needs and trends, which can help with your current marketing.

I am using Pinterest a lot more now

When you think of an interactive pinboard, you have to think of Pinterest. You should create an account and then add to your Explorer of Firefox menu bar. When you visit an interesting site, (including your own) you pin the link to a Pin Board. This creates a high quality link to the saved url. Worth the effort. You can see my Pinboard Create a number of titled boards and when you see a site or info you like, just add it.

Use SlideShare for extra marketing

There is always opportunities to add marketing back links to information you have created. Here is information about.Student jobsYou can do this for many types of presentations, more examples shortly.

View more documents from Petrafin

Displaying more than one video

I have created a number of small videos on YouTube and have found a method that shows them all displayed in a single window. This makes it a lot easier to show a particular section of possible ideas or products together. There are more ideas on the Virtual Webmaster website.

Using multiple videos, embedded in a single page

Google offers a free e-book. Worth getting

You might to see the free e-book that Google is offering. Well worth your time, as it expains many things that you should consider in your marketing.

If you like the info., please make a comment and Titter the info.



Are you a Twitter Fan?

Find out where your followers live. is worth adding, as it provides a detail global map of your followers.


Marketing Yourself has launched a new site

Sometimes an idea has the opportunity to be very beneficial to a lot of people. Marketing Yourself could prove useful to individuals, and to small businesses, worldwide. Worth a look.


Virtual Webmaster Services. How to use the services to save time and money

A short 2 minute video which covers the use of a Virtual Webmaster Services to help with all aspects of a business website, from general maintenance, add new features, creating unique website sitemaps and boosting visitor numbers.

To create this video I first created it in PowerPoint and then saved as a video, I also created a pdf file if you would rather read off line Virtual Webmaster Services

Webmaster Services page updated

The normal Virtual Webmaster website has a lot of information suitable for Webmasters and skilled Internet users. The problem is the company or business owner who does not have the time or knowledge to do what is necessary to maintain and market a business website.

A small site called Webmaster Services is targeted at this business owner, and hopefully presents ideas and solutions to help grow the company. Let me know what you think.



More and more people work away from the company base

There are many times being able to see another persons monitor screen can be useful. I new product/service which is free for the basic set-up is available from  Worth considering if you need to collaborate.

Let me know if it works for you.


I happy today. Google likes me at last.

Just did a check on Google UK and both of my websites are in the top 10 for Virtual Webmaster. Now you know who to turn to when you did website support. The images are links.


Managing Groups on LinkedIn

I have created two Groups on LinkedIn to understand the interaction between a Group owner and members. Both of the following Groups serve an important area.

The first is for members of any Chamber of Commerce member that does not have a Group to join. the url is Chamber of Commerce

As a Squidoo Lensmaster, you can now join a Group dedicated to all types of Squidoo Lenses.

These Groups enable you to make posts and interact with other members. See you there?

This months very special free offer, is now on the home page

Spreading the word in exchange for a something which has value, has been used many times. Today I am using a very new idea that lets you have the item free of charge, in exchange for using your Twitter or Facebook account. The home page is