A Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with the First Step

It doesn’t take much to put pen to paper but when it comes to it, I’m always trying to think of something else to do instead!

I think to myself that if I am to make this huge effort to write, then it has to interesting, easy to read and above all, useful.

I am in the fortunate position that I can work anywhere, given a broadband connection, so I have lived and worked in one of the most beatiful countries in the world for the last 20 years, and it was here that I got my first computer and all alone in a caravan I embarked on one of the most illuminating journeys of my life, wishing of course, that it had all come along just a little earlier!

There was no broadband then, this was when Bill Gates said, “840k ought to be enough for anyone!”.  Dial up from an 8O88 or 386 was done at the DOS Prompt and Bulletin Boards were the destination of choice, containing lists of files and dot-matrix illustrations.  The text was in different colours though!

I guess there wasn’t much point in having a computer unless you needed one or you were a gamer, but for me it opened up a whole new world of possibilities and my self-taught abilities grew with the technology, every day filled with fascination anew!  Every new task a hair-tugging learning curve that sometimes took days to understand and the glowing sense of achievement when finally it all came together.

I still have days like that, but it’s all a lot easier now.  You don’t have to learn php to use it, for example, nor Flash.   You can just buy modules, and html has become second-nature.

I’ve learned some fundemental rules of thumb that help in making choices, such as, when buying a computer, to look for what is NOT in the specifications rather than what is.  To know that a vital part of running an ecommerce business is email marketing, and that a large customer database may not be reachable on your hosts shared server because of their daily limit.   Chances are you’ll find this out after you’ve committed, because you won’t know to ask the question and your host or ISP aren’t going to tell you either.

So what I’ll do is to try and give you tips, in plain English.  Things I have learned, often the hard way, and hope that they prove useful to someone,  somewhere along the way.