“I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.”

…Wallace Stevens “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

When I purchased my first Vista computer, I suspected there would be a hassle in configuring my old software for it. However, I was confident that the Vista backwards compatibility settings would enable me to get everything to work. For all except my copy of Quickbooks 2003, I did not have any major issues.

I bought Quickbooks 2003 way back when I formed my corporation and I only use the software for about 20 minutes a month. Everywhere I looked online, I would see that I was apparently SOL for my version of Quickbooks working with Vista. I stubbornly did not want to spend several hundred dollars to update Quickbooks for my limited use of the program and I couldn’t find any open source alternative that would allow me to import my several years worth of history. So, I kept digging and digging and wouldn’t give up the fight even after I read the same thing many places.

Then, I stumbled upon the following post in a not-so visible forum (reprinting most of the post since the link hasn’t always worked):

So I need to install QuickBooks 2003 on my new PC with Windows Vista. However I get the error message: cannot find c:windowscommand.com…

…There, Intuit does a good job of telling all users "You are screwed if you do not upgrade to QuickBooks 2007, and we will not help you." without directly saying this.

… So I set out to find out how to get this installed on my Windows Vista PC.

Just follow the simple steps below:
1) QuickBooks looks for the command.com file in c:windows but in Windows Vista it has been moved to: c:windowsSystem32 Simple copy this file to c:windows
2) Run the QuickBooks installer located at: d:qbookssetup.exe as administrator
3) Just right click the setup file and choose"run as Administrator"

The install should then complete without a hitch.

Now whenever you run QuickBooks, just Rightclick the QuickBooks icon and choose ‘run as administrator’ this is take care of any compatibility problems you may experience. I have been running QuickBooks this way for several months now without a hitch.

Gee, wasn’t that easy :.) I bet the folks at Intuit hope this post stays invisible…otherwise many more folks will PWN their obvious corporate strategy to force people to upgrade their software.


I’m a compulsively cheap person. Not cheap as in unwilling to spend or someone who hides in the bathroom in order to avoid paying my fair share of a dinner check. Cheap as in being compelled and driven to only purchase goods at rock bottom clearance prices even if there is no financial prerogative that compels me to behave thusly.

My eye for bargains is similar to my eye for dominating SERPS and I get the same thrill for a “steal deal” that I get for any online success that I’ve earned. The same cognitive skills and analysis that I use to do well at search marketing gets tapped in this realm in much the same way. It is well within my capabilities to expound authoritatively on topics such garage sale strategy, couponing, the virtues and vices of outlet malls, or how to most effectively work a “store-closing” sale, I could also give you in exhaustive detail the retail clearance strategy for the retailers I frequent (Target, Kohls, J.C. Penney) and tell you why K-Mart and Sears was a merger of Dumb and Dumber. When in Vegas, I stay at the Sahara :.)

A few weeks ago, my wife sent me to the Washington Square Target to pick up some items. It was a Wednesday which happens to be the day where they mark down their clothing inventory. As I walked by the Men’s Department, I noticed their clerks busy at work adding red tags to select merchandise. Off to one side of the department stood a huge rack of stuff and my eye was drawn to the large selection of Men’s Cargo Shorts. They hadn’t been marked down yet by the employees but when I took one pair to the merchandise scanner, it registered the magic number (75% off…the magic “triple red tag”) making it a $3.74 item. With the clerks not minding me, I quickly selected one of each available pair of Cargo Shorts in my size and hustled away, not knowing if I was supposed to be handling the merchandise prior to it being made available for sale. After paying for the clothes & my other items, I then drove to the other Beaverton Target and encountered precisely the same setup and situation. I got a few more pairs of Cargo Shorts that weren’t in stock at the first store. In total, I ended up with 10 different pairs of Cargo Shorts for about $40.

Now, I didn’t really need that many pairs of Cargo Shorts. However, need isn’t particularly relevant when PWNING.


I remember being in third grade and taking a test to see if I would qualify for admission to a program for gifted students.

The proctor administering the exam gave me a white piece of paper with a thin black outline of a square on the page (the interior of the square being empty).

She posed the following hypothetical question: The square represents a field in which you’ve lost some money. Where in the field would you look to find what you’ve lost?

I took my pencil and drew a line in the square. I then drew another. And another. And another. And another.

Even at my young age, I quickly realized that in order to make sure that I would find my money, I had to search the entire field. Not knowing how much time I had for that particular question, I started drawing lines at staccato speed. I then abandoned all pretense of drawing lines and switched my pencil to a scribble motion. I obliterated any and all white space within that square with my pencil…I needed to find my money and I wasn’t going to leave any part of that field unsearched in order to make darned sure I’d find it.

I was accepted into the gifted program.


Recently, Rae Hoffman wrote a group of posts about why people fail at affiliate marketing. I strongly recommend reading the whole series. I could only find one flaw in what she said: She limited her subject unnecessarily. Her thoughts and ideas apply not only to affiliate marketing but any online endeavor that somebody might participate in.

Since I am a salaried employee, my ability to participate in peripheral ventures is limited and I have to be careful how I budget that time. All my side projects necessitate an element of speed. I don’t have time for the analysis paralysis and any “thrill of the chase” must be pretty brief.

However, since I’m trained myself to perceive opportunity that others might not see, I don’t lack in possibilities.

Recently, I saw a class action lawyer advertisement on television while working out at the gym. I hurried back home to register domains (Quinine Lawyers / Quinine Attorneys…yeah, the sites aren’t developed yet) that the big guys missed.

I’ve perceived and taken advantage of instances where the spread between CPC and EPC (based on prior sales data) were vast and large amounts of traffic were available for purchase & profit.

I used (and profited from) Predictive SEO well before I ever heard folks like Mike talk about the term.

So the processes Rae refers to in her series of posts could actually take place in a blink of an eye and one might need to be ready and able to take instantaneous and decisive action in order to succeed and earn/win.

Are you ready to PWN?

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