Note to Future Wi-Fi Enthusiasts

If you can’t get Wireless Zero Configuration to work in Windows XP, try this:

  1. In Control Panel, double-click on Administrative Tools, then on Services.
  2. Double-click on Wireless Zero Configuration in the list.
  3. Set the Startup Type list box to Automatic, then click Start.

If I had been able to find this little tidbit on Proxim’s* web site rather than Linksys’ (see KB10934395), I may have bought an ORiNOCO Gold instead.

In Proxim’s defense, I couldn’t find the answer at Microsoft either.

* LINK TENDING 1/11 – Relinked ORiNOCO link to the new location.

Lemons to Lemonade

LemonLemonade stands are about the most obvious place to conduct a feel-good business transaction I can think of. (Not to mention the poster child of capitalism and democracy in the United States.) Where else can you find a thirst quencher and also help a good cause for pennies on the dollar?

It’s sad that these children, often attempting to earn money for very good reasons, are so often targeted. I don’t know who the nosy neighbor was that tried to cut short 6 year-old Avigayil’s attempt to raise money for college, or who stole $30 from 8 year-old Ami, who was trying to raise money to support her unemployed father. I don’t know why, either; but frankly, I don’t care.

What strikes me most about these two stories – from last Wednesday and 1997, respectively – is that these kids took the losses in stride, coming out ahead afterward due to the sympathy of their normal neighbors and the free international advertising on networks like CNN and Fox News. Now that’s the persistence and customer-first attitude that many Fortune 500 businesses still haven’t figured out.

Ladies, if either of you can ship to Hawai’i, let me know and I’ll gladly buy a cup.

(Lemon stock photo courtesy Ernest von Rosen.)

Blogroll Updates

I’m not doing a very good job of keeping Waileia current, but that’s okay – there’s many others who are doing a fine job compared to me! ;)

I neglected to update my blogroll with Irene’s new URL. This has been fixed. As for the secret handshake, it’s much too long to describe in detail – but here’s a tip for Irene and any other new MT newbies: don’t leave behind your past writing when you move. You may find later on that it’s a useful way to examine how you’ve grown as a writer and a blogger. May I suggest taking your archives with you?

I’ve also added Darren and Phil and Dan to the blogroll. I find their entries to be crisp and thought-provoking.

Stay Tuned for Interactive Commercials

Recently, the local Time-Warner Cable affiliate, Oceanic, debuted interactive TV ads on digital cable service. The first client, First Hawaiian Bank, is using the technology as an easy way of opt-in marketing. During specially-encoded commercials, the cable box pops up a screen which offers to have the bank mail you a pamphlet or call you back. All it takes is to push A or B on the remote (PDF).

I’m really not a fan of these popups. For starters, they’re not particularly pleasing to look at. I don’t mind commercials; I know they pay the bills for the shows I watch. But when you have these pop-up graphics rendered by the set-top box, they’re really hard to read. Plus, they cut off the pictures that a team of creative professionals spent a lot of time designing.

Secondly, I don’t like the fact that the commercial options are available to whoever happens to be watching at the time. At the moment, it’s only a minor nuisance if somebody pushes the button and inadvertently invites a business into their home. What will happen when a pizza delivery chain starts adding a simple one-touch way to purchase today’s special?

If interactive commercials are going to become commonplace, the least they could do is try to make them look like a single product. The Weather Channel does a good job of this – certain commercials for national chains include a computer-inserted list of local stores at the end of the spot, keyed over a nice, blank area of the screen. This is what needs to happen to the FHB commercials. (I don’t expect it to anytime soon, however, because the same commercials are aired both on analog and digital TV.)