Picked Up My New Letterhead

I just picked up my new letterhead, and it looks great.  Ed Lackman at Guideline Printing was incredibly helpful in selecting the papers and working with Lynn Capestrani at Advertising Concepts to get the colors and bleeds just right.  It’s amazing the variety of papers available today, and how much technical information on each Ed has stashed in his head.  Lynn also designed the PowerPoint template I use (you can see that in my SAF 2005 presentation).  Lynn and Ed’s expertise made the whole process incredibly easy–I just had to pick a few things I liked, and they handled the rest.  Painless.  If you need design and print services in or around Pittsburgh (well, anywhere for that matter–they’re digital), I definately recommend both of them.

Everything features my logo (which you can see on my homepage at http://www.rjdudley.com).  The original logo concept was designed by Molly Masood, but she got swamped with other work, and so Lynn and I traded some work with one another to polish it off and get everything printed.  You can see the proofs below; the bright blue was toned down to a more navy-blue for the actual pressing.

Business Card Proof

Letterhead Proof

Envelope Proof

Why “Naked Conversations” Has Me Jazzed

I’m part owner of a flower shop in Butler, PA (The Bloomery, thanks for asking).  Butler is a rusted out steel town about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh, and about 15 miles north of the suburban sprawl.  We’re having a holiday open house on November 6, and to promote the event, we’re doing a postcard mailing.  We had 700 sheets of cardstock printed with postcards 4/page.  We then spent several hours cutting the cards apart.  We pared our mailing list down to about 2600 people based on proximity and purchases.  Mailing labels and return address labels had to be printed and applied, and stamps purchased and applied.  We’re in for close to $1000 just in copies, stamps and labels, plus the hours and hours of our time.

By contrast, it would take me about 10 minutes to put the same information on our blog (at www.floristblogs.com), or about half an hour to get really artistic in the blog post.  Now, we’re a long way away from 2600 people in this town reading blogs on a regular basis, let alone our shop’s blog, but the time will come when we can really scale back the expense and effort it takes us to reach our customer base.  Cindy Closkey, one of the founders of Pittsburgh Bloggers, lives here in Butler and is doing her darndest to spread the word.

I hope the time is soon.  I want this week’s evenings and 1 grand back.

Five Chapters Into “Naked Conversations”

I’m going to have to read this book twice.  “Naked Conversations” has me jazzed.  I’m probably supposed to be reading this book with a critical eye, but I find myself so interested in the content that I lose myself in it.  The writing style is casual and informative, and solid tips are worked in between the vignettes of bloggers.  So far, it’s been part history lesson, part glimpse of the future, with a focus on the end result: relating to customers.  One aspect I really like about the book so far is the wide variety of people who are included.  Favorite quote so far: “Blogging is word of mouth on steroids.”

One annoyance: page numbering restarts with every chapter.  I prefer not to have to refer to “page 10 of chapter 4”, but rather “page 142”.

I will definately be recommending several people add preorders of this book to their Christmas lists (consider this a personal recommendation for anyone reading this; there’s a handy link below for your use).  And hey, my uncle’s a master plumber in NH, so y’all may have your blogging plumber soon.

Crystal Reports .NET Error – “The request could not be submitted for background processing.”

There are several causes for this message, you should read all the information before trying any one of these solutions.

1) This is a known issue in some versions of Crystal Reports, and there is a hot fix at http://support.businessobjects.com/library/kbase/articles/c2012318.asp.

Note that although the article’s metadata indicate this hotfix is for CR .NET, the body copy speaks only of CR 9.0.  As such, apply this hotfix with some trepidation.  On Win XP systems, you may want to make a retore point in case the hotfix messes up your installation.

2) On a Win 98 machine, exporting to HTML 3.2 or 4.0.  There is no known fix at this time.  http://support.businessobjects.com/library/kbase/articles/c2013300.asp

This error message seems to stem from problems in crqe.dll, which is the Crystal Reports Query Engine.  If you search the knowledgebase at support.businessonjects.com for crqe.dll, you’ll find additional articles that aren’t specific to this error message that may also help/

Crystal Reports .NET Programming
If you’re new to Crystal Reports, or just to CR .NET, this is the book you need. Part how-to, part programming reference, lots of simple examples in both C# and VB.NET.





The DotNetDoc made me do it!


Congratulations, Richard!
Your IQ score is 135

This number is based on a scientific formula that compares how many questions you answered correctly on the Classic IQ Test relative to others.

Your Intellectual Type is Facts Curator. This means you are highly intelligent and have picked up an impressive and unique collection of facts and figures over the years. You’ve got a remarkable vocabulary and exceptional math skills — which puts you in the same class as brainiacs like Bill Gates. And that’s just some of what we know about you from your test results.

Not to pick nits, but the second sentence should start “You have a remarkable…”

Here’s the link: The Classic IQ Test.  You’ll have to create a free profile, but that’s what GMail is for.

Florists: How optimized blogs boost search engine visibility

Specifically, to optimize blog entries for search engines, MoreVisibilty advises its business clients using blogs on their site to focus on a very limited set of keywords in any blog updates. The main keywords should appear it the title of the blog entry, and the same keywords should also be mentioned one to three times in the blog entry itself, based on its length.

Read more at http://www.internetretailer.com/dailyNews.asp?id=16268.