Mobile App for Allergy Menus is a real life saver

If any of your friends or family or family have ever had a food allergy, you know how difficult it can be to pick a “safe” restaurant. Most people don’t get it and often equate your allergy with a placebo or best case an intolerance.

This happened to us the other day after a Tampa Bay Rays game when we were trying to find a bite to eat. Two family members in the group suffer from food allergies so it was requested that we eat at a chain restaurant since they are far more likely to have an allergy menu.

Well, long story short, indecision went on for the entire nine innings and post game because we couldn’t agree on a nearby chain restaurant. Either the restaurant was too far away or we weren’t sure if it catered to allergies. So everyone just went their own ways…

If you’ve ever found yourself in this or a similar situation, you need to download the new Food Allergy Menus Mobile App.

It pulls about 100 common restaurants and their allergy menus in to one handy app which makes it easy to see if it is safe for you or your loved ones to eat there. Best of all it’s available for both iOS and Android.

Check it out here for iPhone/iPad or here for Android.

Do you have any other awesome Food Allergy Apps you use? I’d love to hear about them below.

How to get an EpiPen for free


If you have severe allergies in your family like mine I’ll let you in on one of the Internet’s best kept secrets…You can get a Epi-Pen for free – better yet make that a 2 pack!

EpiPen is short for epinephrine autoinjector, or a small medical device for injecting a measured doses of adrenaline into a person that is experiencing anaphylaxis due to an allergic reaction.

For years it has been an industry standard. Now there are newer devices like Auvi-Q which actually speaks the instructions, which makes it a nice to have for care givers or peace of mind.

However, the trusted and true EpiPen will still work fine. But if you’ve ever purchased either you know how expensive it can get, even with insurance because they usually expire in about a year so they must be replaced, even if you never use them.

On EpiPen’s website there is a coupon for getting an EpiPen 2 pack for as little as $0 depending on your insurance coverage. Considering that this prescription with insurance is around $100, this is quite the savings.

I wanted to post this because what is common knowledge to some is not common knowledge to all. I was reminded of this the other night when my wife was purchasing dinner for us and the lady behind the counter mentioned how her nephew has severe allergies. My wife went on to tell her about this coupon and the lady was so grateful. She went on to explain how much it would help them in their financial troubles.

So if this is you or you just want to save a little cash I strongly recommend looking at EpiPen’s website often for deals as they do often expire but re-run the promotion often.

And if you just purchased an EpiPen without this coupon, go ahead and print it out and take it back into the store with your receipt. Many quality retailers will gladly refund the difference because they don’t lose money on coupons. The manufacturer actually pays them for the coupon.

Hope this helps.

Karma Go Review and First Impressions

Karma Go Powered On


I’d been anxiously awaiting my Karma Go since I pre-ordered it back in November of 2014. The devices were suppose to start shipping in Q1 of 2015, but due to some manufacturing setbacks and approvals they did not begin shipping until mid-summer.

Between “Amazon Prime Day” and receiving my Karma shipment notification I felt like Christmas was already here.

I had high hopes for Karma as I had previously tried similar services before with crappy service or refurbished equipment (ahem FreedomPop).

Services like Verizon or AT&T are fine for road warriors but I wanted something for occasional use and family travel.

Would Karma Go live up to my expectations? Only time will tell for sure. But here are my first impressions of Karma Go.

Shipping Time

Not including the time Karma tortured me by making me wait so long while they were manufacturing the device, the shipping time from the warehouse on the West Coast to my home on the East Coast was less than a week.

Also, Karma did communicate well with the people that pre-ordered with monthly status emails and gave us a few opportunities to pre-purchase data at half price. I stocked up.


Presentation and Design

I was very impressed with the design and presentation of the Karma Go, and so was my wife (she appreciates clean design even more than I).

Karma Go Wool Sleeve

The device itself came with a grey wool sleeve for protection. It has only one button and 5 indicator lights.

Karma Go Power Button

The materials feel very sturdy and it looks as though it was well manufactured.

Karma Go Magnetic Cable

The charge cable is a minimal-looking USB cable that magnetically connects both ends when not in use and also allows you to tame the cable with a loop connector.


It also came with some stickers for you sticker heads. I knew this would be my 3-year-old son’s favorite part.

User-Friendliness and Simplicity

The only instructions were a couple of cards that explain power on, power off, sleep mode, signal strength, and mobile apps.

The single button leaves little to the imagination. Hold the power button equals power on or off. Press the power button for a second or so when the device is on and it will go to sleep to conserve battery.

Green indicator light means the device is on. Red indicator light means it is off. White means that it is asleep. The 3 middle indicator lights are the signal strength.

The best part is that the lights flicker Knight Rider style. This alone makes me want to power the device on and off constantly.

Functionality & Service

Although I appreciate the simplicity of the Karma Go, I do not like that I cannot set a password on the Wi-Fi, nor rename the device to something like “FBI Surveillance Van” to keep the gold diggers away.

But in terms of a LTE hotspot, the device and network performance was on point.

(Image Coming Soon)

Battery Life

The advertised battery life of the Karma Go is about 5 hours.  In my initial tests that seems to be about right. Of course I have only tested this in places with powerful signal strength.

I have not tested if the standby really lasts the 220 hours as it is typically just easier to turn the device off.


I purchased the Karma Go on pre-sale for $99 but I think it runs for $150 now. This isn’t bad considering that most of the big guys like AT&T will charge you a couple hundred bucks for a low end device and lock you into a $50 per month contract for 24 months. Ouch.

The data plans for the Karma are very affordable. $59 for 5 Gigs and $99 for 10 Gigs. The best part is that the data never expires. Other companies’ plans typically do expire each month – even the pre-paid ones.


At first blush, Karma Go seems like a fantastic option for road warriors and casual users alike. The service seems up-to-par with the big boys like Verizon (thus far in my limited tests). The design and character rivals that of an Apple product (love them or hate them). The data plans are super affordable. And battery life is reasonably good so far.

The biggest scars on the Karma Go is lack of ability to rename your device and set a password on the Wi-Fi. So if you are hanging out in places with lots of freeloaders or worst yet, with several other people with Karmas, things could get crazy.

Karma Go Coupon – $10 Off

If you found this review helpful and are interested in getting your own Karma Go click here to get $10 off.

OS X Mavericks Updates to SVN 1.7: How to rollback to Subversion 1.6

So I’m not an early adopter but after updating my personal Mac to Mavericks with little issues, I decided to upgrade my work Mac as well.

Besides Mavericks not shipping with Java and breaking all my hard work with Jasper Reports, I soon after discovered that it had also upgraded my Subversion to 1.7 which stopped me from being able to check in my code.

So I found this little tip from Kevin Broome that fixed my issue quickly.  I figured it could be done but Keven actually found where the old SVN 1.6 lived on the hard drive.

To summarize:

1) Make a backup of your SVN 1.7

sudo mv /usr/bin/svn ~/Documents/svn_1.7

2) Point to 1.6 in paths

sudo nano /etc/paths

3) Add the following to paths


4) Check SVN version

svn help

That’s it, you should see Subversion 1.6

[SOLVED] How to Fix JasperReport Server and iReports in OS X Mavericks

So I am evaluating using JasperServer for an upcoming project. As a result I have a Jasper development environment setup on my MacBook Pro which includes JasperReports Server and Jasper iReports.

Recently I upgraded to OS X Mavericks and everything Jasper came crashing down. After further investigation I discovered a few things:

  1.  Mavericks actually didn’t come with a version of JDK, and in fact removed the version was installed on my Mac.
  2. As a result, $JAVA_HOME appeared to be non-existent
  3. Also, after getting Java installed again the default path bin/java has changed to Commands/java

So, to get things working again I did the following:

Install Java

Go here to download the latest release of java.


Upgrade and Reinstall JasperServer

My existing copy of JasperServer would still not run so I upgraded to the latest release (v5.5 at the time of this writing).

Download the latest Jasper here

Note:  In hindsight I’m assuming that this because of the $JAVA_HOME issues and the installer setting paths in configuration files. (Therefore, you may not need to upgrade.  You might be able to simply re-install the existing version. If so, let me know in the comments.)

Once you do this, JasperServer should run again.

Test Java

Check that java is installed

open terminal and type

java -v

You should see your java version number…

To Check your $JAVA_HOME

Open terminal and type:


If you see an empty line then follow steps in Part B, else if you see a path like this:


then congratulations – continue on to the next step.

Part B) Manually Set Your Java_Home (Only if the last steps didn’t work)

So if you tried to set your JAVA_HOME  on your mac but it didn’t work then try doing the following which was originally written about here:

  1. Start up Terminal
  2. Type “cd ~/” to go to your home folder
  3. Type “touch .bash_profile” to create your new file.
  4. Edit .bash_profile with your favorite editor (or you can just type “open -e .bash_profile” to open it in TextEdit.
  5. Type “. .bash_profile” to reload .bash_profile and update any functions you add.

Now test your JAVA_HOME again – Open terminal and type:


Finally, Tell iReport where Java is in Mavericks

  • Right click on the (in Applications)
  • Show Package Contents
  • Navigate to /Contents/Resouces/ireport/etc
  • Edit iReport.conf with your favorite text editor
  • Add a line that says something like
  • jdkhome=“/path/to/javahome”

Where “jdkhome” should match the path that appears when you type “echo $JAVA_HOME” in terminal  For example, mine is:



Save the file and try running iReport again.  Your problems should be solved.

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments if this helped you!

How to make your computer run faster…when it is running slow

Make Your Computer Run Faster Book

I’m happy to announce the release of my book How to Make Your Computer Run Faster on the Kindle platform.  Buy the book from Amazon or get it for FREE by simply entering in your email below.

In the Book You’ll Learn

* Scan & identify the files on your computer that are slowing it to a crawl* Learn what add-ons you need and how to disable all the other ones* Start-up programs are one of the biggest reason your computer runs like a turtle – I’ll show you how to stop them.* Uninstall the junk software that automatically downloads other software you don’t need

* Flush all the temporary files down the toilet to free up PC resources

* …and more…

I’ve spent more than 8 years doing technology consulting for a wide range of companies and they all had one thing in common – computers that would slow without warning.

So in the process I perfected method of “tuning up” Windows computers in less than 30 minutes.

This guide will show you how to make your computer as fast as it was the day you got it. Purchase the book from Amazon here or get it FREE by simply entering your email below, and I’ll send it to you to download instantly.

– Eliot

How my Computer Science Degree Actually Hurt my Internet Business

Most online entrepreneurs that I have met are not technical people. More often than not they are visionaries with some other specialize skill set like accounting, investment banking, or general business to name a few.

For these people the fears and difficulty they have is the technical stuff: putting up their website, search engine optimization, or compiling and submitting their mobile app to the app store.

That is why so many of the beginner guides in the Internet marketing space are geared towards non technical people.

For me, the problem was not learning how to put up a website or write code – I’ve done both pretty well for about 10 years.

My problem has been what to do before and after your product is built – things like customer validation or marketing.

Because it is relatively easy for me to build something – a website, an app, an e-commerce site, whatever, I was quick to “fail fast” as the old startup proverb goes, and even quicker to move on to the next shiny object.

While we are on the subject, the suggestion to fail fast is bad advice.  Instead of failing fast, your goal should try to “learn faster than everyone else” as Eric Ries suggests.

I was given the curse of knowledge when it came to the internet.  But to make money online you need to understand a lot more than just how to put up a WordPress blog or how to write code.  In fact, I’ve seen many people better off BECAUSE they don’t know technology.

These people instead focus on the PROBLEM before they figure out a SOLUTION.

But anyone with this “curse” finds it difficult to keep an open mind and learn new things because they already feel that know it.

Like me, I already knew how to start a software company. After all, I knew how to write software. I already knew how to do SEO. My website was in Google’s search results, right?
The problem was that although I know how to write code I didn’t know how to make software useful to people.  And yes, I do know on-page SEO that was valid in 2005 but now-a-days it is off-page SEO that matters most.  But I ignored it.

Many elderly people struggle with a severe case of the “curse of knowledge.”  That is why so many reject new technology or new norms in society. “When I was your age…[Fill in the blank here]”

My point is: don’t be blinded by what you know.

Again, don’t be blinded by what you already know.

Because I knew technology, I THOUGHT I knew how to turn that knowledge into profit. My blinders were on.

It wasnt until I stopped screaming and started listening that the ball started rolling forward.  And believe me it is a lot harder to get the ball rolling than it is to keep it rolling once you have momentum.

Ultimately that is how I got 13,000 mobile app downloads literally overnight.  And no, we weren’t featured in iTunes.

Our app solved an annoying problem and bloggers liked it.

So if you have been struggling with something lately – be it starting a business or getting customers or even becoming a better listener, I suggest that you find somebody that has done what you are trying to do, or is good at what you want to learn and absorb everything you can from them.

There is this strange thing that happens when you hang out with people enough – your traits tend to rub off on each other. The same happens when you live in a country or part of a country. I am from Maine but I live in Florida. Every once Ina while I still catch myself with a little twang in my voice.

So although one might think that knowledge of the Internet might help you with an Internet based business, you might be wrong. It can only help you if you can take off your blinders long enough to look around.

Have you ignored something in your field or trade that is stopping you from getting to the next level?

Where to Enter Google Adword Coupon Codes?

Every time I start a new website I get emails from Google with a $100 Adwords coupon code in it. Besides free traffic, at a minimum, I use that $100 to test what headlines get the most click thru rates so I can use similar ones to increase conversions.

Unfortunately I don’t enter these Adwords coupon codes often enough to remember exactly where to paste them in – but I do remember that they are hidden.

To enter a $50 or $100 Adwords coupon code first create your account at Next click on the Billing tab and Billing preferences.

Then go through the billing setup wizard and on the billing screen at the very bottom of the screen there is a “coupon code” link.

Enter your code and complete the wizard.

It is also important to note that you will get a message prompting you to pay them so your ads don’t end automatically. You don’t have to do that to collect the $100 credit. The way Google words it makes you initially think that you also have to deposit $10 of your money to your Adwords account, but it is not true.

Oops, I’m #1 in Google. How’d I do that?

Back in the days of 2007, before anyone knew what a “tweet” was, when Facebook was still for college kids, and before email storage space was unlimited, I needed a way to archive my funny email forwards that I got from friends and family.

Well, I thought: why don’t I just start a free blog on that blogger platform that Google acquired and just post them up there.  That way I can free up my email and others might find some funny stuff on there.  And so was born.  I created the site, uploaded about 50 email forwards that were humorous, and then pretty much forgot about it.

Sometime in 2009, I had another stockpile of funny forwards so I posted about 50 more.  Then I honestly forgot about it again.

Then in 2010, happen to stumble on my Google Analytics account and noticed that I was getting tons of visits every month.  The traffic would generally be about 100 to 200 visitors a day with spikes of up to 1000.  So I did what most rookies would do and slapped some Google Ads up there.  After a few weeks and only making a couple of bucks on ads I foolishly decided to move on.

Looking to consolidate some of my web properties and focus my efforts I stumbled across this site again a couple of months ago.

Now that I know what a niche actually is in the online world and know how to identify and evaluate one, I realize that I picked a really good one and set it up properly to get traffic.

What I am still uncertain of is if I picked a niche that I can monetize easily.  For example, when selecting a website niche where the goal is to put ads on, you want ads that have high cost PPC rates.  This way you make dollars when ads are clicked, not pennies.

However, if your plan is to monetize with a different method, say an eBook, you have completely different qualifications to look for.  For instance, it might be difficult to sell an eBook to monks, as they typically don’t do a lot of purchases online, let alone Internet browsing.

To make up for my mistakes I am going to be spending some time on this site to see if I can monetize that traffic.  I’ve already changed the design, changed the ad style, and moved the ad placement a couple of times to test what works best thanks to Pat Flynn’s advice:

The changes that I’ve made with my Adsense ads that have dramatically increased (and decreased) my income.

Was I foolish to turn my back on this? Yes. But granted, I didn’t know then what I know now: that getting consistant traffic can be really difficult and that there are thousands of different ways to make money from that traffic.  In my own defense, it is hard to know what you don’t know.

So if you do have some websites already, take a look at the analytics once in a while.  What you see may shock you.  And if you do have some traffic, figure out a way to convert that traffic to sales.  Or at least start building a relationship with your audience.

I will keep you posted on my progress with this.

Oh yeah, and case and point of this post, I guess content really is king.

How to Avoid Burnout as an Entrepreneur

I used to lift weights a bit when I was in high school. I always thought that the harder I worked the more muscle I would gain. But after a certain point I noticed that it was much harder to see gains then it was when I originally started.

This only convinced me that I needed to workout harder and longer. Still no gains.

I remember one night after one of these intense arm workouts. I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. Both of my biceps we locked at about a 45 degree angle.

Luckily one was able to bend far enough for me to reach the icy hot in the cabinet. Ahhh, instant relief.

Think I over did it? Perhaps a bit.

I have a habit of doing this to myself with whatever I do.  Luckily I have discovered in the past couple of years that more is not always better, and in fact more is often worse.

Tim Ferris has a book on exercising called the 4 Hour Body that talks about doing highly targeted workouts for a short amount of time an achieving phenomenal gains with it.  I’ve even heard stories of distance runners training with sprints.

I’ve tried it myself, both with workouts and running, and I must say that I agree.  I was always able to see improved gains when my training was more focused but took up less time.

One thing that I remember about that arm workout from hell besides the pain, is that I couldn’t workout my upper body for almost 2 weeks after that – I was too sore.

That meant that any of the gains that I got in the short term were long gone before I could build on them again.

I see this same thing in my life as an Internet entrepreneur.  For so many years I was glued to my computer screen working on something really important, only to get burned out and lose momentum.  After all, my laptop is just down the hall and I DO have a mighty long list of stuff to do.

Don’t do this to yourself.

Even though running your own business is a ton of work, especially in the beginning. It is not required that you work 80 hour weeks all the time to make it happen.

In fact, I would argue that if it takes you that long then you need to take a step back and see what items are getting you the most results.  Then just do those one or two things that work. Get rid of everything causing you to spin your wheels.

That is why I have been doing inventory on all of my niche businesses and ideas. Then either bailing on them or consolidating them into niche markets.

The most important thing you can do for yourself is gain focus on one thing at a time.

Think I’m lying? I would have thought I was lying too a few years ago too.

This is why so many people like Pat Flynn, Jay and Sterling, and Patrick McKenzie are able to build businesses that require only a few hours a day to maintain.

Putting in the work upfront is very important.  But more important is staying consistant and focused with whatever you are doing – especially when it feels like you are not moving forward.