Greetings, and welcome to my blog. Permit me to introduce myself.
My name is Dave Salois. My last name is a somewhat contorted, anglicized French name that has traveled down our family tree several centuries from some French fur trapper that first stepped off a boat in Quebec, Canada, in 1648, or so I’ve been told. It looks like it should be pronounced “Sal-ois”. It is not a real common name, so all those who bear it are probably related in some fashion or other and carry the burden of the surname equally, even though they pronounce it differently. It is pronounced “Sal-o-way” in our part of the woods in the Pacific Northwest. French speaking people have told me that it should actually be “Sal-wah”, similar to Dubois, which it probably was at one time, and is in other parts of the civilized French speaking world. Then again, there is the “ois” ending that is also pronounced “oy” like in Illinois, so I guess you could pronounce my name “Saloy” also and be somewhat correct as well. I understand those who live on the east coast prefer this version. Who knows?
There are a great number of people with this surname still in Quebec and scattered throughout Canada and along the east coast of the United States, so I suspect more than one person with this surname may have stepped off the boat. I’ve discovered about eight or nine other people online named David Salois, and most are located in Canada and the United States. All I know is that, growing up, a lot of people stumbled over my name and mispronounced it, and it caused me a lot of grief. I usually answered to anything close that started with a “Sal”, and I always had to explain why my last name was so funny and wasn’t pronounced like it was spelled. It was a major inconvenience. Later on, my friends just called me Sal, to simplify things, and the nickname stuck with me all through school. So there you have it. Those of you who are named Smith, or Jones, or something normal, consider yourselves lucky.
This blog is a mixed bag of different things that come across my stream of consciousness from time to time and which I feel compelled to post on cyberspace, hence the name: This and That. Some might say it’s just another WordPress Blog filled with some interesting tools and Internet marketing information. I’ve attempted to create a valuable one-stop toolbox here mainly for stay-at-home moms, the retired elderly, and newbies who are seeking good information about Internet marketing. I remember how many hours I spent when I started out trying to locate reliable information and piece it all together and it inspired me to create a collection of resources in order to save people time and get them started off on the right foot. Once in awhile I say something funny or interesting, and if you want to get to know me better, you can follow me on Twitter, if for nothing more than the raw humor, and the shear entertainment value of it.
By day I’m a mild mannered, self-employed Internet marketer, web designer, technical writer, article writer, project manager, apartment manager, handyman, father, husband, cook, bicyclist, and designer of custom homes….whatever it takes to turn a buck in this economy. I wear a lot of hats. By night, I’m an insomniac, a reader, a novelist, a YouTube surfer, a webmaster, a blogger, a marketer, and a cyberspace explorer extraordinaire. I’ve planted my flag on many far off web sites over the years, to be sure, and had numerous cookies stuck to my feet during my expeditions. However, at the end of the day, I’m really no further along than when I first started online many years ago. I’ve covered a lot of ground in my journeys, and the remarkable thing is that I never left my chair. Its a very strange feeling.
I live in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, USA, home of the Iron Man Marathon, and my wife, whom I’ve been married to for thirty five years. We have two beautiful adult daughters, who have moved out of the nest, one granddaughter, and a cat, who doesn’t do much of anything but eat and sleep.
I’ve been online since 1984 and on the Internet since 1994. Since the most significant event that has occurred in my lifetime is the development of the computer age and the Internet, I’ve put together a brief bio for you detailing my personal relationship and development with cyberspace so you know with whom you are dealing. Basically, I’m the guy next door or just down the block. I purchased my first personal computer two years after the Internet was founded when the surfing choices and software were still in their infancy. This was back before there were browsers and DSL, and why I consider myself one of the original pioneer surfers that grew up with personal computers and the World Wide Web. Little did I realize then how my life would become so intertwined with the growth of the Internet and how much impact it would have on my career and society in general. Wow!
I know this will date me, but I remember watching the famous 1984 Apple Computer advertisement on January 22, 1984, on Super Bowl XVIII Sunday. It was on my wife’s 29th birthday. The ad announced that Apple would launch Macintosh personal computers within two days….and the seed was planted. I started reading up on personal computing, and later that year, in June, I took my family to Seattle on our summer vacation and bought one of the first Macs right off the Apple Store’s shelf and brought it home. It cost me $1,995, which was a fortune in those days, but even so, I put it on my credit card and I never looked back.
I fell in love with the Mac. It was a small beige plastic box with a handle formed in the top and a small 9 inch wide screen barely larger than a greeting card. It had a 500 kb floppy disk drive slot chiseled into the lower right side. It came with a matching keyboard and a dot matrix printer. So began my ventures into computing and cyberspace, and it formed yet another branch, or diversion, in my career path. As luck would have it, I bought my first personal computer just as the Internet was going through some major growth changes. In 1984, the domain name system was created along with the first Domain Name Servers (DNS) which made surfing the net a lot more friendly than using number codes.
The original Macs were equipped with only 64 kilobytes of RAM and used the Motorola 6809E microprocessor which supported a 256×342 pixel black-and-white bitmap monochrome display. It also had an operating system with a graphical user interface (GUI), the complete Quickdraw picture language and interpreter in 64 kb of ROM. The Mac I purchased had 128 kb of RAM in the form of sixteen 64 kb RAM chips soldered to the logicboard. It didn’t have any memory slots, but its RAM was expandable to 512 kb by means of soldering sixteen integrated circuit sockets to accept 256 kb RAM chips in place of the factory-installed chips. I later upgraded and bought the Mac SE when it came out with the 512 kb RAM already built into the logicboard. The initial Macs came bundled with Macwrite and Macpaint to show off its user interface capabilities. Later on in 1984, other software soon became available too such as MultiPlan from Microsoft.
In 1985, Microsoft Word appeared in January followed by Lotus Software introducing Lotus Jazz for the Macintosh platform. Apple also introduced the Macintosh Office suite later that year. Other Mac-specific software like Boston Software’s MacPublisher and Aldus PageMaker enabled users to perform desktop publishing with complete design, preview, and print page layouts complete with text and graphics. Initially, desktop publishing was unique to the Macintosh, but it eventually was made available for other platforms as well. Later on, applications such as Macromedia’s FreeHand, QuarkExpress, and Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator further strengthened the Mac’s position as a graphics computer and helped to expand the emerging desktop publishing market. Apple’s LaserWriter printer was introduced too, which produced high quality resolution copies.
During the pre-browser days, information was accessed online through subscription directories in those days and I used one called Prodigy. It cost $12.95 per month and offered subscribers access to a wide range of networked services; including email, shopping, weather, news, movie reviews, bulletin boards, polls, games, banking, travel, expert columns, stocks, and a variety of other features. The dial-up service was accessed using a 1200 baud modem through the local telephone line. I can still hear all the pings, pops, whistles, and other weird sounds it made as it established the online connection. If anyone called while you were online, it would dump you off right in the middle of what you were doing. Yes, those were the good ole days.
I felt extremely fortunate to be able to witness and be a part of this phenomenon which was unfolding before my very eyes. The Internet was more than just the “information highway” for me; I regarded it more like the next step in the evolution of human consciousness…the formation of the collective, hive mind, and the eventual storehouse of all human knowledge. Coincidently, on November 10, 1983, which was my wedding anniversary, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, Microsoft formally announced Microsoft Windows, its next-generation operating system that was to provide a graphical user interface (GUI) and a multitasking environment for IBM computers. Unfortunately, Windows 1.0 finally shipped on November 20, 1985, almost two years overdue past the original promised release date. Nevertheless, the race was on between Apple and Microsoft.
In 1985 Apple founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs left their company. Wozniak went back to college and Jobs quit after a personality conflict with CEO John Sculley. Sculley raised the price of Macs to $2,495. In October, Apple introduced the Mac 512K, which had quadruple the memory of the original unit, and sold it at a price of $3,195. It also offered an upgrade for 128k Macs that involved replacing the logicboard. The Mac Plus also came out with more memory and a floppy drive that was increased to an 800 kb capacity. By 1985, the Internet was already well established as a technology that supported a broad community of researchers and developers, and was beginning to be used by other users for daily computer communications. Electronic mail caught on in a big way.
In 1989, Apple withdrew from the AppleLink program, and the project was renamed “America Online”, better known as AOL. This service made the Internet very popular among the average users and helped to expand its access and usage. In 1990, the Internet was originally called “Mesh”, but the term “World Wide Web” was coined by Berners-Lee while he was writing the code, along with the standards for HTTP, HTML, and URLs. He invented the first web browser and called it WorldWideWeb, and later renamed it Nexus.
During 1990, I switched back to a new Dell computer with Windows operating system. I loved the larger screen and all the new software even though the graphic interface was not available. It was faster, easy to use, had more software, and it opened up a broader use of the Internet for me and my family.
The year 1991 brought some major innovations to the Internet. The first web page was created and explained what the World Wide Web was all about. Also, the first webcam was developed at a Cambridge University computer lab to monitor a coffee maker so the lab users would know when to make another pot of coffee.
In 1992, the MidasWWW browser was released by Tony Johnson. I used Earthlink to get online. It made all sorts of whistles, pings, and strange sounds as I waited for the dial-up connection through Verizon to launch me into cyberspace. God, it used to take forever and it was soooo slow.
If anyone called during a surfing session, it would dump us off the connection and I’d have to reboot all over again. What a pain it was!
In 1993, a new browser was developed that was easy to use, easily accessible, and easy to install by non-techies; created by Marc Andreesen, he named it Mosaic. Later it would be renamed Netscape and would become the first widely downloaded browser to spark an Internet Boom throughout the late 1990s. Both the United Nations and the White House came online in 1993, marking the beginning of the .org and .gov domain names.
In 1994, Mosaic’s first big competitor, Netwcape Navigator, was released.
In 1996, Microsoft launched ActiveX. Also the first webmail service called Hotmail was launched. At the beginning of the year, Netscape’s share of the browser market reached 86% compared to Internet Explorer at only 10%. Then Microsoft integrated its browser with its operating system and bundled deals with OEMs, and within two years the positions had reversed. The browser wars effectively ended when it was apparent that Netscape’s declining market share was irreversible. Internet Explorer emerged the victor and I chose to use it toward the end of the year. Most of my surfing during the remainder of the 20th century was done for entertainment and the use of hotmail to contact friends and relatives.
2000 was the year of the dotcom bubble burst, resulting in huge losses for investors. Hundreds of companies closed down, some of which had never even turned a profit. A large number of tech companies affected by the bubble were listed on the NASDAQ, which peaked at over 5,000, then lost 10% of its value in a single day. It finally hit the bottom in October, 2002.
In 2001, Wikipedia launched during the dotcom collapse. It was one of the websites that paved the way for collective web content generation and social media. Frank Kern posted his, “Instant Internet Empires” website and I bought his product for $39.77. Kern later got sued by the FTC for problems that arose from his marketing and was fined a severe penalty. I received a letter from the FTC warning me not to try to sell his product and Kern never reimbursed me for my purchase. You might say Kern took my Internet marketing virginity and was the first guru to rip me off. Unfortunately, he would not be the last one, and there were many more to follow. Nevertheless, it sparked my interest in making money online and I began to buy eBooks and “shiny objects” for years to come.
In 2002, Mozilla 1.0 was released, which had struggled to attract developers, but even so, it evolved into a relatively stable and powerful Internet suite. Also released that year was a spinoff project that would eventually become the popular Firefox browser. As an Internet Marketer, I found this browser to be the best choice and still use it today. I can custom program the toolbars which saves me a lot of time.
In 2003: Skype was released to the public, providing a user-friendly interface to Voice over IP calling. People were able to see who they were talking with on their computer monitors for free. MySpace also opened on the Internet and later grew into the most popular social network until it was overtaken later by Facebook. The CAN-SPAM Act, otherwise known as the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, was signed into law. Microsoft announced that its Internet Explorer browser would not be available any longer as a separate product but would be part of its Windows platform, and no more releases would be made for the Macintosh as well. I attempted to build my first website to sell eBooks but the technical challenges overwhelmed me. It was just too frustrating, so I started to learn html that year.
In 2004, Internet Explorer reached a peak market share of more than 92% in the second half. However, since then, its market share had been declining and was around 62.69% in December 2009. Web 2.0, a term coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999, which referred to websites and Rich Internet Applications (RIA) that were user-driven and highly interactive, became very popular and a mainstream concept. John Batelle and Tim O’Reilly described the “Web as a Platform” idea at the first Web 2.0 conference, where in their view, software applications were built to take advantage of Internet connectivity, while moving away from the desktop because it had downsides such as operation system dependency and lack of interoperability. Social media, or rather those sites and web applications that allow its users to create and share content, plus connect with one another, were started around this period. Facebook launched in 2004, though at the time it was only open to college students and was called “The Facebook”. “The” was dropped later from the name. I continued to buy training materials and attempted to start various “canned” online businesses, but none of them ever succeeded as expected. I didn’t know how to drive traffic to my websites and was just starting to learn about search engine optimization.
In 2005, Microsoft reversed its decision to release Internet Explorer as part of Windows and announced that a standalone version was under development. YouTube also launched that year, bringing free online video hosting and sharing of ten minute videos to the masses. I spent hours watching YouTube videos. Most of my email messages were from marketers trying to sell me something. I bought a website design and hosting business on eBay called Mr. Netbuilder and began creating and selling websites. I offerred website templates and also custom designed sites and built the business up over the next year. I sold it after it started taking up too much of my time, but I learned a lot. I created my first converting sales funnel and sold a few reports from solo ads which convinced me I could make steady money online if I could just put all the pieces together. I hired several freelance coders to help me build some websites for my customers, and they showed me how to install scripts and make changes to templates.
In 2006, Internet Explorer 7 was released for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista in October. Twitter also launched this year and got everyone twittering. It was originally going to be “twittr” similar to Flickr, but the founders opted for the full name at the last minute. I enjoyed using Twitter and Facebook very much, but they took up too much of my time and I closed out my original accounts. I experimented with a lot of guru products and money making programs; some were mildly successful while most were not. Although I made some money online, I never achieved the level of success promised by most of the gurus. The experience, however, was invaluable. I joined several giveaway programs and attempted to grow a list, but never stuck with it. Much of my progress in online marketing was slowed down by technical issues involving hardware changes and ISP services.
In 2007, Hulu launched. It was a joint venture between NBC, ABC, and FOX to make popular television shows available for subscribers to watch online. I never used it, and opted for satelite TV instead. Without a doubt, the biggest innovation online was the launch of the iPhone, which single-handedly sparked a renewed interest in mobile web applications and design. I joined the craze and used Verizon for my cell phone service. I built a website for my wife called “The Trendy Teen” and she sold children’s clothing online for over a year. I built several more websites for different people on a freelance basis.
In 2008, AOL announced that it would retire support and development of the Netscape web browser. The U.S. Presidential election became the first “Internet Election”. National candidates took full advantage of all the Internet had to offer for the first time. Hillary Clinton was one of the first candidates to use YouTube campaign videos and almost every candidate had a Facebook page or a Twitter feed, or both. This year, the economy slid into the dumpster and the housing market collapsed. Lots of people lost their homes and their jobs.
On March 19, 2009, Internet Explorer 8 was released for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7. None of my online ventures proved to be very successful although they continued to provide me with an abundance of knowledge and experience. In December, our house caught on fire and we spent Christmas in a motel.
2010 was not a good year for us. The house fire had been caused by our wood stove chimney and we lived in a rental for five months while the insurance company rebuilt our house. After we restored the damage, we sold our home and moved out into the country where I could only get dial-up service. All my online ventures had either been closed down or were put on hold for the next two years.
In 2012 we moved back into Coeur d’alene and got DSL through our cable provider. I began building some more websites and starting several online marketing projects and again building a list. Now you probably know more about me than you care to, but for the most part, I’m not complicated or hard to figure out, and what you see is what you get. These days I’ve become more of a social activist who believes that we are the change that is needed in the world. Social rebirth begins on an individual basis, most often at the cerebral level. In order to change the world, we have to change our thinking. Einstein taught us that we cannot expect to solve problems and achieve different results by using the same thinking processes that got us in trouble in the first place. Change begins with you…at your core. This site is all about change and getting started in an online venture. Please explore this site and take away whatever can help you succeed. When you start to make some money, then maybe we can join together in working toward a social and economic rebirth of our nation.
For 2014 I have a lot of things going on and planned for this year. Come back and visit me often. If you have any special requests or suggestions, please feel free to drop me a comment. Thank you dropping by.