Month: December 2013

Ubuntu Touch Poised to Enter Market with New Smart Phone Partner

It is not often that one can be slightly ahead of a major change or curve.  I like to document these moments in a blog post.  Bit Coin was my last one.  People thought I was crazy to accept Bit Coin at my coffee shop and just a few months (not years) afterwards people were coming back and asking, “how did you know?”

I knew because I knew.

I had already been looking into Bit Coin for years and just failed to start accepting it earlier.  Inside information is just that – inside.

I have had inside information about Ubuntu for years.  Naysayers of Bit Coin are the same people who naysay Ubuntu.  They just naysay for the sake of naysaying . They like their fruit devices and start menus.  They like RRSPs and consider a bank’s savings account an ‘investment’.  But I digress…

Ubuntu (in any shape or size – and they have many) is the best kept secret this planet has seen.  Actually, Ubuntu for computers is not a secret at all considering that major governments have already embraced it as well as fortune 500 companies.  But Ubutu Touch, until this article was published was a very well kept secret. My close friends have been running this mobile OS for well over a year and I absolutely love it.  I know *for sure* that once people actually use it there will be no turning back.

  • It’s simple.
  • It’s clean.
  • It’s functional.
  • It’s safe (if you want safe).
  • It’s awesome and revolutionary.
  • You will either get it now or wish you had it later.

Here is the article again

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How to Recover your Thunderbird Emails with Free and Open Source software

I wanted to post this post right away to make sure anyone in my boat knows there is help coming soon.  It took me almost a month to figure out how to do this so I hope you will save a month and even more important, a lot of pain and money.

The actual tutorial is coming as soon as I can finish it.  I’m trying to make it very easy so that more people can benefit but believe me it wasn’t easy.

Stay tuned and don’t hesitate to keep pushing me daily to get this blog done.

Here is the start of the blog post:

How to Recover your Thunderbird Emails from an erased hard drive Disaster

So, you’ve accidentally erased your hard drive and all your email is gone?  Perhaps you’ve already got all your photos back like I did by some simple forensics software but your emails are gone.  For some reason it seems that the forensics software (free ones) do everything except save your email.  I came across many paid pieces of software that claimed they could do it but I was convinced if open source and government level software could recover photos and PDFs that surely there was a way.  I was right, thank goodness.  I am creating this tutorial for you to follow and hopefully recover your email as well.

Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at what we need to accomplish:
1. Carve your emails out of your hard drive
2. Get those emails into an email client so you can actually read them (we’ll use the best – Thunderbird)
3. Sort the meat from the bones so that everything recovered is in an effective and searchable format.

What you need before you begin:

1. A gigantic external hard drive – at least twice as large as the total size of the drive you lost.  You should have one of these anyways to prevent this disaster from happening again in the future so it’s a good investment and much cheaper than what you would pay to have a professional recover your files (upwards of $2000.00)
2. A computer running Ubuntu 13.10.  This tutorial [insert tutorial} will help you
3. A basic understanding of Ubuntu 13.10 including how to find the terminal and how to open applications.  This tutorial will help you {insert tutorial}
4. The software Foremost installed on your computer via the terminal/command line.  This tutorial will help you {insert tutorial}

….stay tuned for more as I can…

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Keep it Clean and Don’t Burn Bridges: It’s a Small World After All

It has been a few months since I have been spit out the other end of my coffee shop franchise – the most painful 5+ years of my life.  There are not too many people out there who have lost their entire lifetime earnings plus their inheritance, but when this suffering occurs it creates an instant bond with others who have the same experience.  It’s almost as if others who have suffered the same hardship are drawn to you via some invisible magnetic pull.  So, although there are not many of us out there, I know many of them personally now.  Many of them are victims of the franchise system; a silent machine that has the potential of slowly grinding up innocent families in neighbourhoods where you live in while producing yachts, homes, and luxurious cars for the financially and legally skilled.

When I discussed their nasty practices with an acquaintance of mine – an experienced man of business – his response was:  “So?  They are in the business of making money and especially money off of you.  That’s their business model.  You signed up for it. You agreed to be their slave.”  He is right in the legal sense: that we all unwittingly signed a franchise agreement the size o the Oxford Dictionary.  Some people in business think that as long as a party is willing to sign a document that everything is ethically A-Okay.  I have learned that a contract not reviewed by someone with hands-on experience in that specific industry is a recipe for massive hardship.  I used a top notch law firm in Vancouver to review my franchise agreement before I purchased the right to attempt to make money at my location (because you aren’t actually purchasing anything more than that in most cases I’ve seen) and I guess the firm somehow thought that I had a reasonable chance of success.  They were very wrong as the wording of the agreement made it nearly impossible.  They lawyers hadn’t operated a coffee franchise, although they had reviewed a lot of paperwork throughout their career.  Regardless of which standpoint you take on this, there is a greater point at work that supersedes all of this temporary contractual banter.  It is the law of honour.  Dani Johnson pulled this concept together well for me in her book, The First Steps to Wealth.

At one point in the midst of trying to sell my franchise coffee shop I took a sales position with a printer company since I had a signed and accepted offer to purchase the store with a closing date.  To my surprise and chagrin, the sale fell through (just one of several times) and I was stuck with both a sales job and a coffee shop to operate at the same time.  I decided to keep the job regardless and learn what I could seeing that my shop was going nowhere.  While I was out and about in the city doing sales calls, what was interesting was how the decision makers (typically owners) of many companies had already heard stories about the questionable way in which our franchisor treated their franchisees.  I was shocked.  How did all these people know?  During the year this general awareness increased and at one point I entered a retail business (a prescription eyeglass shop to be specific), and at one point during an unrelated conversation I revealed that I owned this particular brand and he looked as if he was going to vomit and then began spewing very bad things about them – all of which were true, all of which was what I thought inside information, and all of which I was surprised to hear from this unknown and completely removed third party source.  My first thought was one of fear: I’m never going to sell my store if everyone knows how bad they are. I’m never going to get out!  It was a horrible moment but it helped me make the decision that I would ‘lock & walk’ (that’s a term I think I invented) even if it meant walking away with nothing but a debt the size of a Vancouver house.  I would no longer have my named yoked to this kind of operation and drag out the inevitable.

Lessons to be Learned

Here is a bullet list of things I’ve learned from this so that others can avoid destruction in both their current businesses and the purchase of a business (ie. a franchise)

You Only Get One Name and Reputation

  • If you plan to buy a business go into the business community, a dig around to see what their general reputation is.  Business owners are a group that just seem to know things that non-business owners don’t.  They will have the inside scoop and you will find it if there is one. You do not want to purchase a business with a nasty reputation as it will require a complete branding tear down and rebuild to restore it.
  • If you are a business now and you have done wrong to others, drop all your other lofty plans and ideas and dedicate yourself full time to fixing your past before it catches up to you and destroys you – because it will.  I didn’t make the sowing and reaping law and I can’t turn it on or off.  It’s on.  This includes staff, partners, vendors, customers – everyone.  Let no stone go unturned.
  • Transparency is the better option.  Confession of wrongs and restitution of damages is not easy to stomach in the present, but the reward for taking this proactive step is priceless.  Secrets eventually get discovered anyways.  Skeletons always fall out of the closet.  And even if they don’t, the courts can and will force them out.  Why wait that long?  People are amazingly graceful when action follows confession.
  • You only get one name.  Protect it.  In Vancouver, even more so it seems.

Win-Lose = Lose-Lose.  Give-Take = Win-Win

  • Do you think gouging someone you do business with is ok whether it’s a vendor, customer or partner?  If you do, you may gain now but you will lose in the most ugly way later while killing your only reputation.  Therefore, win-win is a recommended strategy in all that you do.  I am pleased to report that at least one coffee franchise appears to be building on this foundation and there is joy and peace surrounding their operation.
  • The yacht won’t cover your guilt or fill your empty heart.  You can’t take your riches to the grave.  They, like your corpse, will eventually decay into the earth below from which they came and the earth will have no recollection of you a few years later.  Why not prioritize your life differently and think eternally?  Why not give your grand kids something they can proudly tell their grand kids about?  Why not fill your funeral house with sad franchisees, vendors, and other people around the city who will miss the positive contribution you had on your city and the people you touched?  Yes, it is possible.

Have a nice day.

That was an unconventional blog ending.

 

 

 

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