Review | Sony PRS-600 Touch eBook Reader

June 17, 2013

So after much thought, deliberation and research, I finally decided to seriously consider purchasing an electronic book reader.  I wanted to buy it used because I’m on a budget, but that doesn’t factor into my review here.  Instead, I will focus on the practicalities, in addition to the FAB (features – advantages – benefits).

I must admit that I didn’t want to like it.  In fact, when electronic book readers became ubiquitous not so long ago, I was still staunchly against them.  This was mostly due to the high profile debacles involved with the Kindle -stories of consumers’ entire book collections being deleted remotely because Amazon was too intimidated by the legacy publishing and/or established writer’s cartels to stand up for its customers only helped to fuel my anti-electronic book reader vitriol.   Why would I possibly want to spend money on an appliance that was only going to screw me over and otherwise aid & abet the corporatocracy ‘s continued assault on Fair Use rights?

I was determined, nonetheless, to avoid any electronic reader containing  a proprietary format (such as Kindle’s .mobi and Nook’s .epub). Proprietary formats serve to prevent customers from transferring content from reader to reader in much the same manner the entertainment companies seek to prevent the end user from transferring digital content from DVD to computer hard drive.  The better to SCREW you so that you will have to separately purchase the same content in a different format to accommodate the use of different players.  (This is what the Kafkaesque digital rights management is all about.)

Another factor that pushed me into wanting an electronic book reader is that I am going to self-publish Book #1 in a seven book series in the supernatural/gothic/horror genre very shortly and exclusively in electronic format.  As a writer, it doesn’t sit very well with me to publish my work in manner that I can’t even see the finished product for myself.

And so with this criteria in mind, I found (ta da!) the Sony PRS-600 Touch.

PRS-600

The Good

File Formats

 Sony is not wedded to any particular file format;  That is to say that while it does support proprietary DRM-infested formats such as  .epub & .mobi, the consumer is not forced to purchase content exclusively in one format or another.  Additionally, the Sony will also support .pdf, .doc, .jpg & .txt.  While this is all very nice, the catch is that you must choose a single format because the Sony will not read multiple formats at the same time.  For example, you won’t be able to read files in .pdf, .mobi, .epub & .txt file formats concurrently.  So choose wisely should you decide to purchase this particular reader.

This limitation hasn’t been a problem for me, however, as the content I want to read is exclusively in non-DRM portable document format. (.pdf)   (Note here that when I say non-DRM, I am referring to a plain vanilla .pdf file, not a .pdf that has been digitally signed with Adobe’s version of digital rights garbage.)

Ability to Annotate

I am a big fan of the highlighting, note taking and dictionary features, but then again, I’m a writer.  I like to take notes.  And while the built-in dictionary will be helpful to the average person, I find that both my vocabulary, as well as that of the books I read (mostly late 19th Century writers such as Blackwood, Bierce, James, Lovecraft, & Machen)  is much larger than what the New American Oxford Dictionary has in its memory bank.

Expandable Memory

The PRS-600 has an SD slot to expand its memory.  And with memory being relatively inexpensive these days, the sky is the limit.

The Bad

Sony’s File Management Software

Upon having charged up the reader, the first time you plug it into your computer, it will immediately prompt you to install Sony’s file management software.  I suppose this is helpful provided that the end user is unfamiliar with any other options, but Sony’s software should be avoided if you can help it.  Although I have not personally experienced any particular problems, I have read numerous reviews written by other end users whose main complaint is with the software because it apparently does not facilitate the transfer of purchased content from vendor to reader very smoothly.  (This hasn’t been an issue for me because it has never been my intention to purchase electronic books.) Additionally, if you want to avoid using Sony’s software then consider using Calibre, instead.

The Ugly

Calibration

With the ability to annotate, you must calibrate the reader so that it recognizes the stylus.  This is easier said than done.  The process of calibrating the unit was very problematic.  It took me over an hour and made me want to throw it out the window.  Calibration should not be this difficult given that Apple also uses the exact same technology with its products and calibration is not like pulling teeth the way it is for the Sony.

Arbitrary Lock Ups

Since I don’t know the history of this particular unit, I don’t know why this model Sony inexplicably freezes.  Perhaps the previous owner pounded the shit out of it and drop kicked it on a regular basis?  I tend to think not since the casing isn’t scratched up or marred in any way.

Sony blames unit freezing on a corrupted file, but that’s a load of ca-ca in my opinion.  It’s too easy to blame a file for a malfunction, particularly since my files are all in non-DRM .pdf format.   In fact, it’s a lot like complaining to Caltrans about pot holes and being told that the ginormous holes in the road is due to the weather.  Pffffffffft!  Maybe that excuse flies on the east coast where it snows, sleets and the weather otherwise pulverizes the roads, but over here on the other side of the country, where the sun shines approximately 300 days of the year, not so much!

But then again, this is a used product and the locking up issue may or may not be attributable to previous use and abuse.   The main thing I absolutely adore about an electronic book reader is that I can store hundreds of books on it and have them at my fingertips on a slim unit instead of hauling around dead tree books in my bag.  (All that extra weight adds up when you’re a bus & bikin’ kind of person.)  And also, real estate for extras such as books  is at a minimum given my current living situation.  For a bookworm like me, the ability to have instant access to the content that I don’t want to have to read on the computer is priceless.

In reading reviews written elsewhere, a lot of end users bellyached about the absence of sharp fonts and a glare problem on this model, but I haven’t been troubled by either as the glare issue is solved with a simple re-angling of the unit into another position.  As to the fonts, this model lets you select the size of the font from five different sizes plus a zoom feature.  So if you’re blind as a bat, then you’ll be glad to know that not only can you select XXL sized font, but you can also zoom in.

In the final analysis, I’m fairly happy with this reader.   But fret not dead tree lovers, electronic book readers won’t replace printed books 100%, but it sure does wonders for portability and convenience of reading material.

Free Electronic Book Archives

Internet Archive

Project Gutenberg

©2013 Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Toshiba Canvio 3.0 External HDD

December 21, 2012

Featuring one terabyte of space ( 1 TB =  1 x 1012   (1, 000, 000, 000, 000) whereas one gigabyte (1 GB =  109 ( 1, 000, 000, 000).  USB 3.0, and, disk imaging software are also included to back up your existing computer hard drive, this portable drive is no bigger than the average QWERTY keyboard mobile phone. From the time I took it out of the packaging and plugged it into my Windows desktop, it worked perfectly.  If you’re concerned about rigging new hardware, rest assured, the Toshiba is about as idiot-proof as you can get which makes it custom ordered for the technology challenged.

System Requirements

Windows 7, Vista, XP

Mac OS x (Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard & Lion)

Features

I did some research on the drive beforehand, and, was intitally concerned that USB 3.0, despite being touted as backwards compatible with USB 2.0, wouldn’t work on my XP box.  But I was pleasantly surprised when it ran just the way it was intended with my existing USB 2.0 ports.

Where Macs are concerned, the Toshiba is formatted with NTFS and can be read and written to on a Windows PC.  Mac OS X can read data from the drive with no additional software, but if you want to write to the drive, then you have to install the software which is already loaded on the external drive. Once installed, Tuxera NTFS for Mac will enable both read and write support for the NTFS partition on your Mac.

Comparison

I have an Iomega 300 gigabyte drive that I purchased back in 2007.  At the time, its retail price came in just under $300.00.  This drive (pictured above next to the black Toshiba Canvio) is about the size of a electronic book reader, and requires external power, which can make portability somewhat of an issue. (Especially if you’re using another computer that is not at your own private desk with your own private electricity socket.)  Additionally, after the Iomega has been powered up for a little while, it tends to get really hot so you have to take care not to place it near or on anything heat-sensitive.  Plus, it’s on the heavy side.  (I’m not sure what the exact weight is, but you wouldn’t want to get hit upside the head with it.)

I also formatted the Iomega to that of the NTFS file system since doing so would maximize space on the drive.  (Out of the box, it was just the bloated FAT-32 system.)  The Canvio, on the other hand, is about a third of the size of the Iomega and requires no external power source, which makes transportation and interfacing with another computer fairly simple. The drive comes with its own USB 3.0 leash and will work with most USB 2.0 ports.  (I was able to successfully jack into an XP system owned by the local library which are notoriously, woefully, not state-of-the-art computers and locked down so ridiculously that it’s a wonder the system is even operable.) 

If you’re looking for a highly portable,  easy to use, mass storage device to replace a thumb drive (as I was) then this drive is for you.  The price tag is not cost prohibitive and retails for approximately $70.00.

Disclaimer: I am not receiving any kickbacks from Toshiba or any other company for this review, but tips are welcomed and appreciated using the Pay Pal link located on the uppper right hand side of this page.

Note:  The Canvio has an L.E.D. located at the top of the case that will blink white intermittently when reading/writing to the drive, but goes black when the drive is idle.

©2012 Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo™.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Opinion | Timeline Revisited

March 31, 2012

From a social media perspective, for every implementation of a new -and I use the word loosely- “feature,” there is widespread ensuing clusterfuckage on the website. 

A case in point:  Timeline. 

March 31st is the official forced usage date, but I’ve been using it for the past few weeks.  And while my original opinion has not changed substantively, I have, however, noticed that Timeline essentially neuters cause-inspired networking. While it is fine for individual pages, if you are using Facebook to publicize a web page such as POB, then you will quickly determine that it is not only decidedly visually unfriendly, but also essentially smothers communication. I previously wrote about my initial impressions of same here

Gone are the days when you could return to a previous post and adding additional commentary would “bump” it to the top of the page to initiate further discussion.  Now, if you wish to revisit the subject matter and have it noticed by your audience, then not only will you have to repost it, but you better include an image to entice eyeballing because Timeline is so cluttered and busy that most text based posts are obscured. And it isn’t just me who has noticed.  I’ve seen this very matter discussed on various pages with a large following of actively engaged adherents. Timeline is definitely diluting the ability to network.

It is this writer’s opinion that in its zeal to maximize revenue and to otherwise provide on a silver platter to marketers a comprehensive member dossier, Facebook Timeline has basically reduced social networking to image based dumbassery.  As evidenced by the proliferation of pages with vaguely witty titles that specialize in posting moronic sayings superimposed over cutesy, largely infringed images, I like to refer to this phenomenon as the Blunt Cardification of Facebook. 

Nevermind that the owners of these pages are a scourge unto themselves. It is apparent that any time a page receives over 1,000 likes something apparently happens to the owner sufficient to twist his mind into that of a mini feudal lord. I’ve un-liked numerous pages for heavy-handed moderation, as well as the demonstration, in no uncertain terms, of an overall plantation owner mentality. Another case in point: I used to follow a page that posted retro porn images, and, when said posts received comments of a prurient nature, the owner then backpedaled into a sanctimonious bloviation about keeping it clean. 

Common sense would dictate that if you create a page featuring porn  -retro or otherwise- then you’re bound to generate some colorful remarks. But this is an axiom that was evidently lost on the page owner in question, the same guy, who, upon having discovered that a female friend of mine who had also un-liked his page, and, left a parting comment as to why, then proceeded to stalk her with repeated friending requests. She had to block the guy to make him go away.

But returning to the issue at hand – Not that there is anything inherently wrong with humor as I happen to find Blunt Card quite amusing.  It’s just that the me-too clones seem to crop up like so much electronic STD. Meanwhile, anyone with a web page featuring content above a kindergarten reading comprehension level is left in the dust.

Contemporary American society is already so dumbed down it is positively staggering, and, now the biggest social network on the planet is contributing to the demise of critical thought in a big way. The mind fairly boggles.  Or is that just me?

Subscribe Feature

A second issue I’ve noticed with Timeline is technical in scope and involves the subscribing feature. While it is convenient that one need not accept a friending request in order for one’s public posts to be seen by a wider audience, I’ve determined that once you subscribe to an individual or page, you won’t be able to unsubscribe very easily. 

The way unsubscribe is supposed to work is by clicking on the Activity Log, selecting Subscriptions, then hovering the mouse over the subscribed button and waiting for unsubscribe to appear in the drop down box. Once the page is reloaded, you should be unsubscribed, but it doesn’t work.  You have to go out to the actual home page, click the icon of the cog, then select report/block. 

Once you do that, a box pops up with unsubscribe as an option.  When you select unsubscribe in this manner, and, click continue, then, and only then will you be unsubscribed.  By the way, attempting to report any kind of bug to Facebook results in a comedy of errors. You’d have better luck winning the Mega Millions lottery.

All in all, I don’t care very much for Timeline.  It should have been optional, not mandatory.  But then again, time and time again, Facebook has demonstrated that it does not give too much of a damn about user preferences.

©2012 Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo™.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Bottle of Blog | Profiles in Cloddiness

May 28, 2011

Regardless of whether you pay for commercial hosting or you prefer the freebie, I think it’s safe to say that even the most casual blogger puts a fair amount of effort into his or her own blog.  So then if that is accurate, then why the hell doesn’t anyone leave any QUALITY commentary?

After spending well over a decade in the digital trenches, I think I have a few theories as to why you may just be talking to yourself in a blogger’s echo chamber of sorts instead of generating any kind of substantive interest.

Note here that I’m defining interest as the quantity & quality of comments as to your material.  I am not talking about the number of followers or how many people have elected to receive email notification of new content.  Just because you may have hundreds of followers doesn’t mean that they are religiously reading your blog.

While there is no shortage of didacticisms on the web regarding how to entice readers into commenting, I don’t believe that it is about writing “compelling” material.  Sure, that’s part of the appeal, but to rely on it exclusively assumes that the reason you aren’t generating any quality commentary (if at all) is because your content sucks.

Call me prejudiced, but I disagree.

Big time.

Case in point:  This blog is not compartmentalized into any kind of specific content, like say, someone who blogs about mullets.  On these pages is a goodly amount of information on topics ranging from soup-to-nuts.  The subject matter is staggering, even if I do say so myself. There is literally something for everyone here, assuming the audience’s eyeballs are attached to a brain with some EEG activity going on. But do you want to know what the most popular topics are in terms of search words that led Internet users to this space?

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the top search words with thousands of hits include the following:

Hell

Whore

Fatass

Fat people

Really fat people

This is the sum total interest in a blog that has a #2 page ranking with Google.

Puts into perspective for you the level that the average Internet user is on, doesn’t it? No wonder the History Channel has abandoned history- themed programming in favor of white trash television in the prime time slot.

While Prattle has received some ongoing thoughtful and astute discourse, it is only because the people who left it are predominantly fellow bloggers I’ve become acquainted with. People in the same boat I’m in. Writers in search of a committed audience. The same blogger’s echo chamber referenced above.

As far as random passersby, I’ve had exactly one intelligent reply left by an anonymous netizen. Other commentary I’ve received from incognitos both on this blog and elsewhere has fallen strictly into the category of gratuitous self-promotion.  In other words, leaving a parting shot that has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic being responded to.

My comment policy affords a very wide latitude in that I will allow for pretty much anyone’s opinion provided that the comment has the potential to lead to wider discussion. In fact, I have been known to approve comments that are boorish, sarcastic & completely devoid of any critical thought.  Even if it disagrees with my premise, so long as the comment in question is not of a trolling, spamming, ad hominem attack or of an overly self-promotional nature, I will still approve it.

But unfortunately, when others do bother to comment, and I haven’t previously made their acquaintance, the resulting remark is one that attempts to shanghai readers to the person’s own blog.

The gist of the comment looks something like this:

Hey! Look at me! I’m an attention whore! Yayyyy! Visit my blog! Vist my blog!

Just this morning, I deleted two comments left by the same random WordPress chucklehead (not to be confused with a spammer) whose only reason was so that he could hijack the topic in favor of posting a link pointing to his own content.  It is astonishing to me that he even bothered, particularly since it was obvious the comment had to be approved before appearing. I suppose he could have accomplished the same objective had he just done what the Internet tough guy did a few weeks back, but I digress.

Really, the thing that blows my mind the most with regard to commenting is when I guest blog and the site’s owner not only allows a 100% self-promotional comment to my article, but actually thanks the b00b for stopping by!  I’m not saying that it happens all the time, but it does, in fact, occur.  Just goes to show that before you agree to allow your content to be posted elsewhere, it behooves you to find out what the comment-approval policy is, if any.

Live & learn, I guess.

Frankly, I would rather have one, quality comment versus one hundred comments left by self-absorbed attention whores all clamoring to be in the limelight no matter how inappropriate. But that’s just me.

PS:  Notwithstanding the above referenced, I still wouldn’t whore myself out for free to a major publication.

©2009-2011 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Blog Revenue Generation

May 23, 2011

So there you are with your very own spot in the ethernet.  When you began, your blog wasn’t much, just a simple electronic presence on the web with which to amuse yourself.

Eventually, you picked up a few followers, here & there, partially as a result of  the half-assed marketing you did on social networking sites & such, and the rest from sheer serendipity. Before long, the trickle of casual fans transformed into a torrent.

Now your blog is receiving more daily hits than malicious state governments give to the downtrodden & unemployed in these United States of, by and for the white collar corporate criminals.  You want to cash in on this new-found, digital popularity before all those eyeballs blink, but you’re not sure what the best way to do that is.  Hey, welcome to the club!

Types of Revenue Generation

There are two ways of generating income –active & passively.  The former allows for an electronic tip jar of sorts such as PayPay & Google Checkout, while the latter includes the implementation of adserving applications such as Adsense.  Theoretically, you can use both, but your choice will be determined largely by whether your site is commercially hosted or a freebie, as well as your level of technical savvy.  For our purposes here, let’s assume that your site allows for the usage of Adsense & other javascript based applications.

PayPal (Active)

PayPal is one way for your most avid fans to pay you electronically.  It works exactly like the shopping cart mechanism does on all the big retailer sites.  The only difference is that the buyer (the donator) must have created his own PayPal account. Thereafter, he simply clicks on your donate button, logs into PayPal, and, selects the numerical amount to be deducted from his card. It is a fast, easy and free way for the fan to demonstrate his appreciation for your writing skills without having to reveal his financial information.  On the other hand, PayPal will remove a nominal fee from your bank account for the privilege of using the service.

Google Checkout (Active)

Google Checkout works similar to PayPal in that it allows for an electronic funds transfer (EFT) to take place.  However, when Google removes payment from the buyer’s card, it’s going to be in the form of a bank ACH Transfer. You should know that if you bank with one of the bailed out, too big to fail thieves, such as Wells Fargo, then you will most likely get hit with fees for the privilege, in which case, you are responsible for paying them.

Adserving Apps (Passive)

There are many adserving apps available for the enterprising webmaster, however, I’m only going to mention Google Adsense.  Once you enroll, you can enable text, video & image ads on your site.  Revenue is generated on a per click, or per impression basis.  Since a more in-depth wiki has already been written on the subject matter, you can click here to read more.  The only caveat with regard to Adsense is that you must have a javascript enabled blog in order for this feature to work.  The free version of WordPress does not have it, but Blogspot, however, does.

In either case, whichever (or both) active or passive trickle down economy bin(s) you end up using, successful execution is going to involve a fair amount of due diligencing on your part to help determine which method better suits your financial disposition.

Good luck & happy blogging!

©2009-2011 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Joomla!

May 18, 2011

What Is It

Joomla! is a cloud-based, content management platform that is used to publish to the world wide web. It is free open source software (FOSS), which simply means that developers can tweak the code to suit their needs without fear of litigation for doing so. (cough Microsoft cough.)  FOSS is popular with self-starters and other technically inclined people who tend to use other open source products such as Linux and Open Office.  (Yours truly uses all of the above.)

According to the New York state non-profit group, Open Source Matters, Inc., the word, “Joomla” is a Swahili word meaning “all together,” or “as a whole.”  It embodies the idea of open source software in that it involves the community, rather than the corporation.

This alone probably explains why FOSS usage is limited to ‘nux geeks & nerds, as opposed to being used in mainstream America.  A sense of united community is diametrically opposed to the financial interests of the plantation owners and their Presidential & Congressional lapdogs currently raping & pillaging the national economy in favor of the uber-wealthy 2% of the population.

How Easy Is It to Use

Since Joomla! is cloud-based computing, there isn’t anything to install to your hard drive. You simply create an account (it’s free), set up the software accordingly, and away you go.  But Joomla! isn’t for everyone.  Depending on your level of technical proficiency, there can be a steep learning curve.

The company recognizes this and has a readily available, veritable plethora of video tutorials, comprehensive documentation, and support from an ever-attentive community of international users, as well as its own techs.  In fact, during the first 24 hours upon having created an account, I contacted tech support twice, and, in each instance, I had a substantive reply to the issue within an 8 hour window. Note here the reply wasn’t just the standard boilerplate, useless, happy horseshit embraced by other companies that take your money and leave you hanging.

You can test drive Joomla! for a 30 day trial period, no strings attached.  At the end of the 30 days, assuming you liked it, you can purchase hosting from Joomla! itself, or bring your own commercial host to the table. As a side note here, Joomla! hosting prices are fairly competitive starting at $4.95/month. Each tier has disk and bandwidth limitations, which, I haven’t seen so much among American owned hosting services, but that is not to say the latter is more cost effective. You may not be limited to bandwidth, but you will, however, get nickel & dimed to death elsewhere for basic services.

Is It For Me

Deciding to choose Joomla! over any other content management system is identical as to whether you use a free blog or  a commercial web hosting service.  First & foremost, it is up to you to assess:

  1. Discretionary cash;
  2. Your level of tech savvy (or lack thereof);
  3. How much time & effort you want to put into the endeavor.

If all you want is a pretty themed site to pimp your pet-sitting business, for example, and you don’t want to spend your free time learning the technological aspects of being a webmaster, then like commercial hosting, Joomla! is definitely not for you.  Of course, this article is but a guide to help bloggers determine fundamental content management needs.  One size does not fit all, and, mileage may, and, usually does, vary.

©2009-2011 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Blog Hosting | Free v. Pay

May 17, 2011

So you say you wanna ditch your free blog and jump into paid hosting?

That you want your own domain name, domain name based email, and the ability to implement all the cool, javascript based plugins you don’t currently use either because don’t know how, or your freebie blog does not allow it?

You’re in good company. But before you saddle up, you should really perform a preliminary gear check before you head out. Otherwise, you may find yourself between a rock and a hard place and end up having to hack off your own arm with a cheap penknife.

I’m going to assume that you’re the do-it-yourself kind of person, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article.  But I also want to caution that if you do get in over your head, then yours truly is available for a consult. Contact me offline for details.

Blog hosting can seem confusing & complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

Step One

First off, deciding which hosting outfit to use can be problematic, particularly if you’re new to the game. So many host providers all yammering for your dollars can make your head spin.  And choosing the hosting plan that is right for you can cause acute constipation if you’re not prudent.  You should ascertain how much discretionary cash you have and move on from there.

A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t have at least $150.00 bucks to start up paid hosting, then don’t bother. Avoid introductory teaser rates because you’ll only end up spending more money down the road. The way it works is that most (if not all) hosting providers will nickel & dime you to death for basic services. So theoretically, you could end up paying the teaser rate in addition to what you would have paid for a regularly priced hosting plan but for the simple fact that you’re a clueless n00b.

Of course, you don’t make this determination until after you’ve paid the intro rate then tried to set up your site.  After hours of searching and reading FAQs & tutorials, you find out that what you paid for the year from UBetchaWeRFree dot com has even less functionality than what a free blog does.  And your personal domain name is little more than a glorified email account that you could have gotten the same deal for FREE elsewhere. D’oh! Where’s that knife?

Step Two

Assess how tech savvy you are.  Are you someone who enjoys setting time aside to learn? Do you have a high threshold for frustration based on your own particular learning curve?  Or are you pressed for time and just want a no-frills kinda blog that you want to put the barest minimum of effort into creating/maintaining?  If the former, then keep reading. But if all you want is a web presence to write the occasional blog entry at your leisure without a lot of hassle, then get thee to a free blog.

Step Three

So you think you have what it takes to be a webmaster, eh? We shall soon see, young Jedi.

The easiest way to gauge your mettle is to just dive right into the cPanel and file transfer protocol. If this sounds intimidating to you out the gate, then you will need to re-evaluate because even if you’ve never heard of a cPanel or FTP, these deficiencies should not deter you.  What you should be thinking right about now is what the heck is a cPanel and FTP and how do I find them?

Hint:  If you aren’t already looking for the answer in your favorite search engine and/or in your host provider’s Help Section , then all bets are off.  You are far too squeamish to continue. Turn back while you still can because I have a feeling you’re going to be needing that penknife very soon.

Step Four

Are you still here? Outstanding! It appears that you possess the appropriate disposition to choose paid hosting. Only time will tell if you have the intestinal fortitude to carry on successfully. Good luck & happy blogging!

©2009-2011 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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