The OS Quest Trail Log #50: Spring is Here Edition

Picture of a reservoirDespite some roller coaster temperatures recently today turned out to be great New England spring day. Mother nature must have forgotten it’s the weekend because tomorrow is supposed to more of the same with no rain forecast until Monday. But the days leading up to this weekend did bring some activity on the Quest.

The website remodeling is moving along. Still a work in progress since I’m making the changes live to see how they look. But I took down the “under destruction” messages. Those can be a crutch for only so long and a week is pushing it. I figured the category reorganization would take me awhile but once I found the trick it moved right along. The second feature I wanted was to be able to limit a post list to a certain category.

Among other changes were the elimination of the topic specific category feeds. If the stats are right no one was using them so their deletion will go unnoticed. If the stats are wrong and you used them, hit me up in the comments and add them to my list of things to do. It just didn’t seem worth the effort to maintain them with the other changes.

I Love It When Backups Work

My iPad fiasco threw a scare into me but it’s always nice when backups work as expected. Especially a backup process that hasn’t been touched or verified in months. I almost didn’t was to dedicate the space to a Time Machine backup, but it’s now secured its place in my backup strategy.

Software

I purchased the new Transmit FTP software and have started looking at it again. With my Mac problems last year I had moved a lot of my computer routine to my Windows 7 machine. Mac or Windows? I tend to use what works or what’s working at the time. Once I was on Windows it was the path of least resistance to stay there. Software like Transmit it making it worth going back.

I’m deep into testing KeepVault as my new offsite backup solution. I’ve backed up over 261,000 files totaling over 74 GB. There’s a lot to like, an some things I less than happy with. I’ll write it up once I’ve had some more time with it (especially restores) but it looks promising.

May on the Quest

The month of May is usually brings a challenge to find the time to work on the PC. And this May is no different. Due to Mothers Day and other family events this is the only weekend in the Month where at least one day isn’t booked solid. So things may slow down a bit for the next few weeks. Hopefully the day job won’t beat me up so much that I won’t want to do anything at night.

Domains For Sale

I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve been dabbling in domains and have offered some for sale. I have some computer & tech related domains up for sale at Snapnames. Check them out of your interested. If you want to buy them you’ll need to set up a Snapnames account (the account itself is free). You’ll also need a free account at Moniker. The domains will be transferred to your Moniker account by Snapnames once they receive payment. No waiting for me to do anything.

BackupUtils.com is a domain I bought with the intent to develop a site with resources and information related to PC backups. Since I haven’t gotten around to it I’ve decided to offer it for sale with a buy it now price of $79. This domain is registered until December 2011.

DiagnoseComputerProblems.com and DiagnosingComputerProblems.com are both up for auctions which end May 11, 2010. DiagnoseComputerProblems.com has a minimum bid of $15 while DiagnosingComputerProblems.com has a minimum bid of $19. Both these domains were just renewed and expire in July 2011.

PCSecurityQuest.com is another domain I intended to develop and just haven’t gotten to it. It’s listed with a buy it now price of $49. There’s almost a year left with the domain registration which expires in April 2011.

I also have the following domains registered at Dynadot and available in their marketplace. You’ll need a Dynadot account (free) to buy them. To find the domains go to Dynadot and click the “Marketplace” link then search for the domain name. Dynadot will automatically transfer the domain once they collect the funds. Everything is listed with a buy it now price. The “<.>” between the name is simply to avoid having the names followed/indexed by search engines. The brackets are not part of the name.

SecureInternetGateway<.>com – $99 (registration expires March 2011)

SecureMacQuest<.>com – $29 (registration expires April 2011)

SecurePCQuest<.>com – $29 (registration expires April 2011)

WinmacHome<.<com – $49 (registration expires Jan 2011)

Domains Up For Auction At Bido

image of WWW on goldOver the past year or so I’ve been looking at domaining among other potential ways to turn my interest in websites and operating systems into income producers. At least enough income to make it a self-supporting hobby. One of the ways to make some money with domains is to put them up at a domain auction.

While there are several domain auction houses and brokers a relatively new service, Bido, caught my attention recently. I’ve bought a couple domains domains through Bido and now I’ve decided to try and sell a few through Bido.

More about Bido in a moment, let’s get the sales pitch out of the way first. The current list of domains I have scheduled for auction are listed in the right sidebar and are available for pre-bids. The following three are scheduled for auction this week – HairRestorationProduct.com and CareerInPhotography.com are both up for auction on January 6th shortly after 12:40 EST. PEIShores.com (short for Prince Edward Island in Canada) will be up for auction at 12:42 EST on January 7th.

The folks at Bido have made a lot of changes (for the better in my opinion) to their platform since launching it about a year ago but they’ve always had a bit of the Web 2.0 social aspect to domain auctions. So don’t be surprised if things are different a few months from now. Buying and selling on Bido is fairly straight-forward. In either case you’ll need a free Bido account. If you’re going to be selling you’ll also need to submit (online) a 1099 for the IRS if you’re in the US.

If you’re buying domains you can just browse through the active or upcoming auctions and place bids. If you bid on an upcoming auction it’s an “absolute” bid and that’s the bid that will be submitted when the auction starts. (There’s a rebate if the pre-bid is for over $100 and wins the auction.) If you submit a bid when the auction is live it can be a proxy bid and the system will bid up to the amount you specified as needed to top any other bids. Like most auctions, bids placed in the last moments extend the auction another 5 minutes.

All that is similar to other auction platforms. What makes Bido different is how the auctions get listed:

  • Domains are in live auctions that last for an hour (plus any extension forced by last minute bids).
  • There is a ticker that scrolls messages about auction opens and closes, bids, pre-bids and other information. The information displayed is configurable.
  • Domains offered for auction are screened by the community. If you have a Bido account you can vote on auctions you want to see offered for auction or that you think will sell. There’s a rewards system in place so that if an domain sells anyone who voted on it gets a kickback. This is intended to enhance the quality of the domains being auctioned.
  • It is possible to “accelerate” a domain and bypass voting by paying a few. The fee is refunded if the domain sells but is lost if the domain fails to sell which should keep the garbage out. Sellers also have the ability to set a “buy it now” price”. So with these features Bido is similar to other domain auction platforms.

For domains that actually sell Bido collects the money and facilitates the communication between the buyer and seller. Bido itself doesn’t handle the domain transfer.

Bido provides a unique domain auction platform thanks to its social aspect. In theory the voting on domains for auctions should lead to better quality domains. But the bottom line will be how well domains sell on the platform.