Friday, December 28, 2007

Video Professor Version 21.0 aka I can’t wait for ’08!

Wow, another year has flown by. Why do they seem to go by faster the older one gets? I’ll save that subject for a future blog.

This certainly is a time that people tend to look back. But, since I started this company I’ve always preferred to look ahead. Rearview mirrors are great in cars but not in business. Always best to keep your focus on the road ahead.

That said, 2007 was a challenging year for most businesses. The folks who run Wall Street acted like drunken sailors with money to burn. They burned so much of our money, but of course, not their own. More than ever, people are looking for maximum value and customer service for every dollar they spend. Both are something we’ve been proud to offer since we started, in 1987.

I’ve stayed in business for two decades by watching my pennies and hiring good people. So far so good!

This is a good time to salute the hard work and generosity of our Video Professor team. Recently, they collected over 330 gifts for 110 needy families through the Salvation Army Angel Tree Project, over 850 food items and hundreds of dollars to the Jeffco Action Center, dozens of coats to people in need, plus gift cards and turkeys for holiday dinners. Many of our employees are active volunteers in the community. I’m proud of them all and I fully support their efforts.

As a company we were able to donate to groups like the Fisher House Foundation™, which provides a free place to stay for families of our soldiers recovering from illness and injury at Military hospitals. Also, to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver that makes a difference in the lives of 9,000 terrific kids each and every day. We just presented a check to Jeffco Action Center as well. They tell us that families who used to come in one door to donate food, clothing and shelter, now come in another door to get help themselves. All of these nonprofits have coveted 4-star ratings by Charity Navigator, which analyzes and rates the financial health and efficiency of charities and nonprofits in the U.S.(

We also donate computer lessons to many nonprofit organizations which include computer education as a part of their programs. We recently helped the New Horizons Independent Living Center in Shreveport, La. Daryn Broussard runs the program there and tells us “The tutorials we received have worked marvelously. Our students report an overall positive experience with the Video Professor products.” We’re glad to have helped you and your clients Daryn.

O.K., lets move on to next year.

I can’t recall ever looking forward to a year like I am 2008. There’s an excitement at our corporate headquarters that’s simply contagious. It’s generated by some of the team who’ve been with me since day one. It’s also fueled by a new generation of leaders and technical wizards who’ve recently joined us.

Video Professor is known for our lessons that teach you everything you need to know about operating your computer. But, when you look at our library of over 50 titles, you’ll also see lessons about online travel, buying and selling on eBay®, online investing and how to connect and actually use all those new digital toys you found under the tree.

We’ve taught a generation how to use their computers. Now we’re teaching them along with new customers how to get the most benefit and value out of their computers. All this technology is designed to make our lives easier, more productive and simply more efficient. You just have to know how.

I know Internet safety is an important issue for the entire family. We’ll be revisiting that subject with a terrific new tutorial being released in just a few days. Definitely content you can use.

Finally, our list of titles is going to increase dramatically from dozens to thousands in 2008. If you can place a “How to” in front of it, we’ll have a tutorial for you. While CD-ROM lessons are still a part of our business, we’ll be making a very strong move to provide lesson material that can be streamed directly to your computer.

It will be easier and faster than ever before to start learning with Video Professor.

2008 promises to be an exciting year. I wish all of you a most happy and prosperous New Year and promise you that whether or not you agree with everything I post on my blogs each week, I will sign my real name to it!

Never hesitate to contact me at


John W. Scherer

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Mitchell Report: Major League Baseball’s dark cloud

Shoeless Joe Jackson must be smiling somewhere. Along with his fellow Chicago White Sox players, Jackson is finally off the hook, the 1921 Black Sox scandal is no longer the worst disgrace in baseball history.

There are far more opinions about the Mitchell Report than there are actual findings issued by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell on the use of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. Almost everyone has an opinion, including me.

Let me say this right now. I’m old school. Baseball is a game to be played on green grass, on warm afternoons under the bluest of skies. The game itself doesn’t have to be played by saints. Hank Aaron was darn near perfect while Mantle and Ruth were far from it. What made them all special is that they played the game with a level of integrity baseball needs to remain America’s favorite past time.

But the list of names in the Mitchell report is staggering and stunning.

The numbers: 409 pages. 86 names. 30 teams.

We expected to hear about Barry Bonds, but Roger Clemens? Clemens was known for his seven Cy Young Awards, but now people will only think about his 82 mentions in this report. Ouch.

Let’s begin where the stink starts: Bud Selig and Donald Fehr. Selig, by any measure, is the weakest commissioner in the history of baseball. Fehr, heads the Major League Baseball Players Association, the players’ union, is equally complicit. They’ve always known and they’ve done nothing. I would hate to look under the rugs in their offices.

Both should step down immediately. Of course, they won’t. Selig will hide behind record attendance and revenue numbers. Same goes for Fehr, the only thing we have to fear is Fehr himself.

It doesn’t help matters that Sen. Mitchell is on the board of directors of the Boston Red Sox. Which makes him an insider. He does, however, have a well earned reputation as a respected and honest man. So while his report has no legal weight behind it, it is a damning indictment that the past 20 years of baseball will forever be known as the Steroid Era.

Numerous records, awards and even World Series titles are tainted forever.

Congress, of course, will call hearings; they love to do these sorts of things. It gives them plenty of face-time for the folks back home. Unfortunately, while Congress loves to hear, it seldom listens and they will do nothing. It’s what these appointed officials do best.

But when every single team in Major League Baseball is named, teams that play in stadiums financed by you and me, action needs to be taken. Selig says the “report is a call to action” and that “[he] will act.” We’ll see.

So, will Roger Clemens be locked out, instead of a lock for the Hall of Fame? That will be decided by voters who are all a part of this sorry mess.

To be fair, everyone named in the report deserves a chance to defend themselves. It is indeed likely that some of the players named did nothing wrong at all. Major League Baseball commissioned the report and now must deal with the consequences. 

There is simply too much dirt hidden under the rug to hide anymore.

Here is my solution, simply step up or step aside. All the members of Congress, should have hearings, bring in league officials, owners and players, and meet in private if they have to. (There will be less showboating that way.) The best way to handle this is to listen, then act and give us a plan.

Make testing for steroids and other human growth drugs mandatory. Testing would be random and conducted by an outside independent agency. If a player tests positive, they’re off the team for good. One strike and you’re out. What possibly could the players’ union have against that? What honest player wants to play against a cheater?

 We’re going to hold every member accountable which you will see at voting and ticket booths. Some fresh leadership is in order.

The report is out, what’s done is done. I agree with Sen. Mitchell, to a point. Let’s not hang the players out to dry. The people in charge weren’t doing their jobs. In fact, they failed miserably. Let’s hold Selig and Fehr accountable instead. Moving forward, everyone knows what the rules are. Life and business are all about rules.

There are rules for fans. If I throw a bottle on to the field or chase after an umpire, your tossed out, arrested or both. No second strike. Fans have a clear choice: behave yourself and  enjoy the game, but if you do something stupid, you’ll be tossed out.

Players should follow the same rules. Behave yourself and enjoy the game.  Do something stupid, like take performance-enhancing drugs and you’ll be the one tossed out.

I’m just one fan who hopes the game can save itself, from itself. I’m not an optimist.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with me at


John W. Scherer

Friday, December 14, 2007

My name is URL

I thought about calling this blog “Shootout at the E-comm Corral.”

E-comm is short for electronic commerce, which is business conducted over the Internet. We love jargon in this industry, so we often refer to it as e-commerce or e-comm. We might even shorten it to EC one day, but I can assure you it’s anything but EZ.

Enough with the one-liners, even if they are intentional. What was once “the wave of the future,” has become more like a Tsunami.

You’ve likely conducted electronic commerce, which is when you buy something on the Internet. Perhaps you were notified by e-mail from businesses you have bought from concerning a sale, or perhaps you followed a link suggested in an e-mail.

Imagine a shopping mall with millions of stores. Then imagine the many ways they would try to get your attention: huge billboards and signs, people handing out pamphlets, or even being lost and wandering into the wrong store, where they make it very difficult to leave. All of these methods have electronic equivalents that exist today.

E-commerce is a business full of terms like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) the process of improving the volume and the quality of traffic to a web site,  URL’s (Uniform Resource Locator) which specifies an actual web site address, keywords and new terms being developed every day.

We have a very talented team of professionals here at Video Professor who specializes in all of this. In fact, they’re pioneers of sorts, whose ancestors settled the West in the 1800s.

That’s where “Shoot-out at the E-comm Corral” comes in. Cities like Tombstone, Ariz. sprung up overnight. It was a wild and wooly place, until lawmen like Wyatt Earp brought in a little law and order. While the early Western towns were full of fine, law-abiding folks, there were also more than a few villains.

The Wild West relates to e-commerce due to issues like cyber squatters that buy up domain names of very familiar or popular brands, but with slight misspellings. We often type faster than our brains can keep up, or misspell the URL we’re looking for. Cyber squatters want you to end up at a web site much different than what you intended. It could be a pornographic web site or one that is simply designed to steal your identity. Some very important companies recognize how damaging this can be and are taking legal action. There aren’t many laws pertaining to this subject and lawmakers are finding it hard to keep up with the technology.

Another nasty bit of business going on the Internet these days are web sites designed to allow users to post blogs, or anything, for that matter, anonymously. Many allow people to make any claim they want and then sign their work with a false identity. Forget the facts, anyone can be falsely accused or slandered on these sites. There are sites that will charge money to clear your name and absolve you of wrongdoing. Whether you are part of a business or are a private individual, we’re all equal opportunity victims, so be careful.

You may have read about the 13-year-old girl who committed suicide as the result of false and hurtful postings made under a phony name. This is all protected by what some would consider free speech. I wonder how the parents of the young girl feel about this falling under First Amendment rights. These were not just innocent postings; they were malicious attacks made on a young girl, which inevitably lead to her taking her own life.

The great thing about the Internet is that everyone has access. The bad thing about the Internet is that everyone has access.

Again, technology is moving much faster than litigation and businesses, so government agencies are starting to take notice. Just like in the old West, people are calling for law and order. It is on the way, it is hard to say how long it will take, but it will be good for all of us.

This is obviously a hot-button topic. I’d like to hear your thoughts. Send an e-mail to and let me know how you feel.


John W. Scherer

Friday, December 07, 2007

To TiVo® or not to TiVo? That is the question

You may have read recent news stories about the just–completed, November television ratings period. It’s a time for networks and their local affiliates to get a measure of who is watching and who is not.

These rating periods are conducted four times each year in November, February, May and July. You’ll have no problem noticing these occasions because it’s when the networks air their most popular shows’ premieres and   promote various new series.

A company called Nielsen Media Research measures the results which are critical to programmers as it sets the rate they’re able to charge people like me for commercials..

One method involves a group of selected viewers filling out diaries and sending them in. Others have boxes hooked up to their TV’s in order to electronically measure viewing data. In a market like Denver, between 4-600 viewers are needed to make up the sample to be able to measure the viewing habits of hundreds of thousands of people.

But is measurement technology keeping up with viewing technology?

Here’s an example that one of our staff here at Video Professor shared with me.

He watches programs like NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’s “Face the Nation”, at his leisure instead of Sunday mornings when they both air. He can watch them later that evening or while eating lunch on Mondays. Both programs are available as podcasts which he watches on his video iPod® player.

On a recent Tuesday night he watched episodes of “Shark” airing on  Sunday evenings on CBS, and “Heroes,” airing on Monday evenings on NBC,  via DVR (Digital Video Recorder.) He enjoys being able to skip through commercials, two hours of programming is compressed into less than 90 minutes.

He also mentioned that at least twice that Tuesday evening, he checked in with a local station’s news website via his BlackBerry ® device. He didn’t have to watch a traditional newscast to find out the news, weather and sports he needed.  I just hope he read the e-mail I sent to that very same BlackBerry about getting next year’s budget numbers in!

So, while he does watch some programming live, much of his news and information comes via delay on the DVR, his iPod or BlackBerry device. So it appears that while he watches, he’s not one of the counted.

Companies like Nielsen are working hard to catch up with technology, like many of us these days. While technology moves ahead at what seems light speed, the methods to measure it, and legislate it effectively, move far slower. So, is that good or bad? Do you even care?

However, that’s just part of the equation. You could get your news on the Internet and comment about with a blog, like I do. Some blogs are extremely influential in politics, business and entertainment.

While you may be watching a show on television or your iPod, others are listening to music on their MP3 players, playing video games, watching movies on their home theater systems, or downloading video to their computer. Nowadays, people are not just watching television. We have many choices, whether it’s between a satellite provider or cable company, both are  available in HD (High Definition) which is optional. There are even more choices with the invention of HDTV, built-in digital video recorders and third party hardware such as  TiVo ®  digital video recorder.

Here’s the bottom line: Technology is doing what it’s supposed to be doing: Empowering you, the consumer, with choices. Networks do not dictate when or how you watch. You do. When there isn’t something interesting to watch in  our 500 channel universe; you now have so many other choices.

All of us here at Video Professor have been paying very close attention to this surge in technology since we started working on our Digital Devices Made Easy tutorial. We learned from our own experiences, plus those of our customers that while all this technology is fabulous, understanding how it works can be quite frustrating. We’ve also learned from all the lessons we’re selling, you will continue to come to us for help.

It reminds me of when I first started Video Professor over 20 years ago, people knew that computers were the future. They knew that like it or not, computers would become a part of their every day lives. They just needed someone to teach them how to operate their machines.

Technology we could only dream about 20 years ago, including  HDTV’s, iPods and digital video recorders are here to stay. So, the technology has changed. What hasn’t changed is that we simply need to learn how to operate it all!

I guess it’s true, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We’re happy to keep up with it all in order to help you keep up with it all.

I’m curious as to how the many home entertainment choices available today are used in your house. Share your stories with me at

I look forward to hearing from you.


John W. Scherer



Friday, November 23, 2007

An extra helping of Turkey for all!

MLB blows MVP call
A mysterious group of sports writers picked Jimmie Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies as the National League MVP. They obviously didn’t see the Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday play. They obviously didn’t read his statistics. They obviously blew the call. They obviously have an East Coast bias. This makes them oblivious and obtuse… obviously. I say, HOO-RAY for Holliday!

Baseball is going to need a very big asterisk
If for some, strange and incredibly bizarre reason Barry Bonds makes it into Cooperstown, there won’t be an asterisk big enough to put next to his name and “accomplishments.” It’s been both interesting and incredibly sad to see Bud Selig and company hide their heads in the sand.

Rocky Mountain News
columnist Mike Littwin recently wrote an article entitled “Special bat a reminder of a time before steroids,” in the article he writes that he heard about Barry Bond’s indictment the same day he bought a baseball bat autographed be his hero, Duke Snyder on eBay®. Baseball is “the one game where history matters” said Littwin. He also added that when you lie to the government, they will win 95 percent of the time. That’s .950 in baseball terms. Even A-Rod isn’t that good.

I would bet that Bond’s only visit to Cooperstown will be as a paying customer. You see, the Baseball Hall of Fame is for heroes.

That said…
There are many terrific professional athletes out there. They realize that fame and fortune comes with responsibility. One great example of this is Domonique Foxworth of the Denver Broncos. He’s a volunteer teacher at one of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver every Tuesday night, leading creative writing class. He’s one of the many pro athletes who volunteer when the cameras aren’t there. Good for him.

They call it Cyber Monday
You’re likely hearing about Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when people fight incredible crowds, jammed parking lots and long lines at stores. Growing in popularity is the Monday after Thanksgiving, which is becoming a big on-line shopping day. writer Seana Mulcahy calls it “Cyber Monday”. She reports on 58 percent of on-line shopping is done from the office, which spikes up after the holiday weekend and search engine queries go up 20 percent. One can safely assume that worker productivity goes down about the same amount!

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
"We all agree. Climate change is real, and we humans are its chief cause... we are on the verge of a catastrophe if we do not act,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The United Nations warns that unless we do something by 2012, it’s the beginning of the end for planet Earth. Ki-moon points out China and the United States as the two biggest polluters in the world. Actually, India deserves the 2nd spot on the list but facts do not matter much at the UN. It’s the UN that allows terrorist nations to serve on the Human Rights and Security Councils, and spends time at tea parties while people are slaughtered in places like Darfur every day.

Once again, would someone with credibility step up for a free and reasonable debate on the subject? The keyword being credibility.

Stupid HOA tricks
Mary Sims is a nice lady who lives in Aurora, Colorado. Her son died in Iraq two years ago fighting for our freedom. Her husband is a civilian contractor working in Iraq. She has an American flag hanging from the front porch of her home to honor her son, her husband and all those who serve. Her Home Owner’s Association says she has to take it down. The rule says her porch is a “common element,” whatever that means and flags aren’t allowed. She can hang it in her window, but not on the porch. Mary vows not to take the flag down. Good for her.

Tech news and notes
Amazon® is trying to revive its e-book business. They want to kindle your interest in curling up with a Kindle. Instead of a book, there is a screen about the size of a book. Reception has been lukewarm, at best, so expect the next generation to include pictures and snazzy graphics. Just like real books, except you can store hundreds of books on the one device.

DirecTV® is making an out-of-this-world offer to NASA. Really. The satellite TV provider wants to install a receiver and a High Definition flat screen in the International Space Station. Of course, they’ll have to orbit between noon and 5pm waiting for installation.

Big is bigger, at least for big screen TV manufacturers. Companies like Sony®, Toshiba® and Philips® are pushing 40-inch screens and larger this shopping season. Sony especially, promoting both size and brand, claiming they have the better screen. (Thanks to

Happy Thanksgiving everyone
It’s my wish that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We all have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is living in the United States of America. Let’s take a moment amidst the feasting and football to remember our troops standing guard here at home and around the world. Also, that at least in some places, we’re still allowed to fly our flag, that part needs work.

My inbox is open 24/7
E-mail me anytime with ideas, thoughts, comments and suggestions at

Enjoy you enjoyed your holiday,
John W. Scherer

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bonds will post bond, Army vs. Navy is class of the field and advice for Wall Street.

Bonds indictment makes for creative headlines

A grand jury has indicted Barry Bonds on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. It’s making for some very creative headlines around the country. My favorites:

“Lyin’ King”-Rocky Mountain News

Drew Litton, sports editorial cartoonist, has a cartoon showing Bonds going from “Inducted” to “Indicted.”

“A full count on Bonds”-The Denver Post

“Mighty Barry has struck out”-Woody Paige of ESPN and The Denver Post.

I’m a firm believer that everyone deserves their day in court and that holds true for Barry Bonds. But, he’s definitely spent his last day playing baseball.

This is a sad day for baseball. And shame on baseball for letting this happen. Sadly the courts are doing, what baseball should have done a long time ago. There are a lot of kids who idolize these players. And that's the saddest part of all this.

College football: parity and clarity?

Ohio State became the latest team to add a loss next to their win column. Just two teams remain undefeated as the regular season winds down, Kansas and Hawaii. Many sports pundits attribute it all to parity in college football. Yet the Jayhawks are ranked 3rd in the BCS poll behind LSU and Oregon, who both have lost one game. Hawaii is ranked 16th. It’s not about parity, it’s about politics and it will all change again. As I post this, Oregon lost to Arizona on Thursday night. But it does give the sports talk shows great fodder. And I’ll be talking about it more in next week’s blog.

Mark your calendars for this game

Army takes on Navy December 1 for one of the best college football traditions in the nation. The players on these two teams, along with the players at the bowl-bound Air Force Academy don’t have multi-million dollar contracts waiting for them when they graduate. Instead they’ll serve at least five years in service to our nation. The only “bling” they can look forward to is a shiny new set of Lieutenant’s bars on their shoulders or perhaps some aviator wings.

Then, when they return to class Monday after the game, they’ll be getting ready for finals in courses like engineering, physics and chemistry.

It’s always a fabulous game to watch, full of tradition and sportsmanship. But these players are truly something special. Enjoy the game and honor their commitment to America!

As far as bowls, Navy is heading to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego (there will be no shortage of Navy fans in that crowd) with Air Force likely playing in the Fort Worth Bowl.

Veteran’s Day Salute

Our own team here at Video Professor gets up bright and early each Veteran’s Day to place over 150 flags around our headquarters. Here’s a link to a video of our COO Bettye Harrison and the team honoring our vets.

What’s with Terrell and Randy?

Did you notice that the only attention Terrell Owens and Randy Moss are getting this season is for on-field accomplishment instead of off-field silliness? Maturity is a wonderful thing, however late in coming. Plus it makes a difference in the win-loss column.

Tu-lo two short

O.K., I’m a homer and I am very disappointed that Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzski lost out by two votes to the Milwaukee Brewer’s Ryan Braun for Rookie of the Year. The voters appreciated hitting more than fielding, apparently. No worries Troy. Keep playing the way you do and you’re going to end up in Cooperstown. Without the asterisk!

How about a debate Al?

Al Gore won an Oscar for his documentary (actually a video of a Microsoft Power Point® presentation) about global warming. He even won the Nobel Peace Prize. (But so did Yasser Arafat.) Curiously, he ducks every opportunity to actually debate his claim of an imminent global disaster. Gore may indeed be right. But, many distinguished scientists and even – John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel dispute what he says. I think hearing both sides would be very interesting.

Google®, Gas and Go

O.K. guys, one less reason for us not to ask for directions. Google is launching a program at 3,500 gas pumps around the country. While you gas up, the pump will have a screen where you can get directions using the Google Maps feature. You’ll still have to check your own oil however. Although I’m sure Google is working on that too.

How true

I got this from a friend. It’s a joke, or is it? “The reason congress tries so hard to get re-elected is that they would hate to have to make a regular living under the laws they pass.”

Memo to Wall Street

I don’t have a degree in economics from an Ivy League school, but my suggestion to the folks on Wall Street; don’t buy stuff you can’t afford and don’t lend money to people who can’t pay it back. The headline in this week’s edition of Fortune Magazine says it best. “What were they smoking?”

Brew U

Colorado State University has launched a very popular new course on brewing beer. Officially it’s called Brewing Science and Technology. Yes, science is involved including engineering, biochemistry and microbiology. The class has room for 20 students, but hundreds applied. They actually produce their own micro-brews with tasting parties. Imagine getting an e-mail from your college kid asking for money for beer class!

Tech news and notes

Intel® announced a new chip this week. It will have 820 million transistors. That’s up from 582 million. For a real comparison, Intel’s first chips released in the 1970’s had just 2,700 transistors. Look for these new and very powerful chips to show up in servers and high-end video games soon. All in something that fits on the tip of your finger. Wow.

I hear that Google is in talks with American Idol creator Simon Fuller that “…could change the way TV is watched over the Internet.” According to sources in the U.K.’s The Guardian, the partnership will do for video, what Apple’s iTunes® music store did for music.

It used to be for kids that saving up your pennies followed by a trip to the comic book store was the highlight of a Saturday afternoon. Then you could catch up on the adventures of your favorite superhero. Marvel Comics is now taking the experience online. You’ll be able to sign up for a year for $4.99 per month and have access to 2,500 titles. These will include original issues of Spiderman and other Marvel comic book heroes.

The Professor is in

My inbox is open 24/7. It’s always great to hear from you about the blog, comments about our product and suggestions to serve you better. Just e-mail me at


John W. Scherer

Friday, November 09, 2007

Talking sports, tech and heroes.

Half of Super Bowl field set

Ok, without a doubt, the New England Patriots will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Their win on Sunday against the Colts showed me a team very strong team on both sides of the ball. They beat a great team in a great game. I believe they will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLII. Brett Favre is playing like a 28-year-old, not someone 10 years older. It will be some game! What would really make it exciting is if the Packers play the Cowboys for the NFC championship. Remember when they played 40 years ago on the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field?

The Pats look simply unbeatable. For those of you who disagree with my choices, feel free to drop me an e-mail and tell me why I’m wrong!


I recently read a report on that Alex Rodriguez wanted at least a $350 million offer from the Yankees before he would even consider meeting with them. There was no meeting. Wow, one-third of a billion dollars for a baseball player.

Instant replay for baseball?

Baseball General Managers voted 25-5 in favor of limited use of instant replay by umpires. Instant replay would be limited to determine only if possible home run balls are fair or foul, go over the fence or bounce back and of course fan interference. Personally, I think replays would make long games longer and would take away the human factor of a game that is played with a stick and a ball. Baseball changes about as fast as molasses flows in January. We’ll see.


The folks at Google™ unveiled their long-awaited cell phone strategy. It’s called Android. Essentially, Google would like to make Internet services work on your cell phone the way they do on your computer. You can easily e-mail someone from your PC to their Apple. Although, the multitude of cell service providers and manufacturers make it difficult to do the same thing with your mobile devices. Google isn’t going to manufacture phones like Apple does with its iPhone™, nor do they plan to offer their own cell service. What they plan on offering is an operating system with a full feature Internet browser that will work across all cell phones. Some big names are already signing on including LG® Electronics, Sprint®, T-Mobile®, Qualcomm®, Texas Instruments Incorporated®, Samsung® and even eBay®. Apple® and AT&T® haven’t. Ultimately, consumers will benefit from all of this. As companies like Google offer more and more services, prices come down and we all prosper. Look for it to launch by the middle of next year.

TIME Magazine’s pick of top tech toys

The November 12th edition of TIME® Magazine TIME® Magazine is a must-read if you’re into tech toys. Their invention of the year is on the cover; the iPhone. TIME TIME describes the iPhone as “more than just a gadget. It’s a genuine handheld computer, the first device that really deserves the name.” It is also one of the reasons Video Professor came up with our popular “Digital Devices Made Easy” tutorial. When you invest in tech, it’s best to get the maximum benefit from that investment by knowing how to use it.

Dobbs dumps on candidates

CNN’s Lou Dobbs never hesitates to speak his mind. Speaking this week on Larry King Live, he predicted that none of the existing presidential candidates from either party will be elected. He thinks someone may actually step up with real solutions to the challenges our nation faces. Maybe even a third-party bid.

Hail and farewell to a hero

General Paul Tibbets, who commanded the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan during World War II, died last week at the age of 92. Tibbets was a hero in every sense of the word. His mission over Hiroshima directly helped bring an end to a terrible war. I hope that this nation finds an appropriate way to honor him. If we had invaded Japan, there would have been millions of casualties. Tibbets and his brave crew prevented that. Sadly, Tibbets requested no funeral or gravestone because he feared it would be disrupted, or worse, by protesters. People who still protest against the Hiroshima bombing should take note; it would never have happened if we weren’t attacked first at Pearl Harbor. Just like the attack on 9-11,someone else always starts it. Heroes like Paul Tibbets always step up to bring an end to it.

I salute General Tibbets and all those who continue to serve so bravely to keep us free.

Tech News and Notes

A new Harris Interactive poll shows 80 percent of us now use the Web on a regular basis. That is up from just 9percent 12 years ago when they started polling. Still, that 20percent who don’t use the Web translates into 60 million Americans. (I have a great tutorial for them.)

Research released this week by the Kelsey Group reveals 44.7percent of mobile phone users say Internet capability will be a key factor in buying their next cell phone. (I guess Google really is onto something!)

Next year’s Olympic Games in China are billed as the “high-tech games.” But an attempt to sell tickets online failed when an influx of ticket buyers crashed the site. They’ will try a lottery system instead. They should have called the Rockies first.

I read on, that the perception of the United States is that we are shedding jobs overseas, but we apparently continue to develop new and better ones like no one else. What are the hot, new careers? Disease mapper, robot programmer, information engineer, radiosurgeon. My favorite?, Second life lawyer ,yep, practicing law on virtual sites like

Inbox open 24/7

As always, I appreciate hearing your thoughts, ideas and comments. Especially ideas for new products and how all of us at Video Professor can serve you better. E-mail me at



John W. Scherer

Friday, November 02, 2007

ROX, SOX and Cheap Laptops

SOX sweep, but Rockies fans don’t weep.
The Boston Red Socks swept the Rockies. All it took was fabulous pitching, timely hitting and the fact that the Rockies left way too many runners stranded, instead of hitting them home. It’s the second series sweep for Boston in just four years and already there is talk of a dynasty. With A-Rod on the market, and Boston on the very short list of teams who can actually afford him, they could have a long run. The Yankees won’t be a factor next year, so I won’t be surprised at all to see Boston in the series next year. And the year after that.

Two key stats that tell the story:
Team series batting average: Boston- .333, Rockies- .218
Batting average with runners in scoring position: Boston- .419, Rockies- .167

That said …
Rockies fans are down but not out. It would have been nice to win at least one game, but the bar was set so low last April that it made September and October beyond memorable. The Rockies are a very young team, with just about everyone coming back next year. Boston played fabulously. They had to because the Rockies are a terrific team with very good pitching, fielding and hitting. Of course, after this season, the bar will be set a tad higher. Opening day at Coors Field will be awesome, especially when they raise the National League Championship Pennant.

Former Rockies star Joe Girardi is set to take the helm of the New York Yankees, by the way. He was hugely popular here in Denver and has made the transition from Blake Street Bomber to Bronx Bomber easily. Former Yankees manager Joe Torre looks to be headed for the top job with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That job has a great perk: You get October off! (Sorry Dodgers fans, I couldn’t resist that one.)

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in three and a half months. I can’t wait!

If you need to reach me Sunday….
I’ll be in front of the TV watching the Patriots play the Colts . Regardless of who you are cheering for , it will be a pleasure to watch two of the best teams in football play against each other. One of them will be playing in the next Super Bowl.

World Internet Day
Monday, October 29, 2007 was World Internet Day. There are many different stories about exactly who invented the Internet. Here is a link to a lot of interesting information about something that is such a large part of our lives, including all of us here at Video Professor. A number that really caught my attention was that, according to Internet World Statistics, 1.244 billion people have access to the Internet.

Our tax dollars at work. Really.
Once in a while the Government gets things right. This week Congress voted unanimously to extend the moratorium on state and local Internet taxes. Both Republicans and Democrats agreed that surfing the Net shouldn’t be a taxing experience. The moratorium continues through 2014.

$100 laptop! Just $200.
MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte had a good idea: Produce a laptop affordable to just about everyone. His $100 laptop was the talk of the town, and third world countries. But as they say, reality bites. The machines are now priced at $200, with only Uruguay, Peru and Mongolia placing orders. Negroponte predicted he’d sell 2.5 million laptops by May. His heart was in the right place, but as with anything going to market, start-up costs, manufacturing and marketing all add to the bottom line. Negroponte’s biggest mistake was setting too high an expectation with too low a price. If he can indeed market the machine to millions of people with a $200 price tag, good for him. But that won’t be the headline.

Tech News and Notes
It’s looking like the much anticipated cell phone by Google™ will become a reality next year. Look for an announcement in a couple of weeks.

The name is weird, but look for a new video site called The NBC/News Corp.-owned site is being tested right now.

Nintendo® is saying “whoo-hoo” about Wii. Third quarter revenue indicators put Nintendo ahead of the Microsoft® Xbox® and Sony® PlayStation® lines.

Inbox Open 24/7
As always, it’s great to hear from you. I get so many great ideas for products from folks just like you. E-mail me anytime at See you next week.

Friday, October 26, 2007

World Series Week, PR 101 and what NASA doesn't want us to know

World Series Time in Denver.
Forget about team salaries, batting averages, ERA’s and all the statistical stuff baseball fans love. It’s the ROX and the SOX. Two teams at the top of their game. And now they play in the World Series; one of the most special events in all of sports. Have you noticed that the truly great series were the ones with the great moments? Remember Kirk Gibson’s home run back in 1988? Or how about Reggie Jackson’s 3-homers in one game against the Dodgers in ’77? And one of the true classics has to be Bob Gibson’s 3 complete-game wins in the ’67 series. I hope the ’07 series brings even more.

The series, so far.
Game 1: Boston 13-Colorado 1. What happened? Josh Beckett. His fastball worked. So did his curve ball. He struck out 9 in 7 innings allowing 6 hits and just 1 run scored. “We got outplayed,” said Rockies Manager Clint Hurdle. Every Red Sox starter except Mike Lowell drove in at least one run.

Game 2: Boston 2-Colorado 1. What happened? Not much. 2 runs and 22 strike-outs in 2 games doesn’t cut it. The finisher was when Matt Holliday was picked off at 1st in the 8th inning with Todd Helton at the plate.

Game 3: There will be a game 3. And a game 4. I guarantee you that two losses in Boston won’t diminish the Rockies fans. Coors Field will be packed, it will be loud and it will be a sea of purple. It’s the World Series. I was lucky enough to get a ticket through a friend and I’ll be there, cheering as loud as I can.

Roctober Crash of ’07.
Not all went well in the long week leading up to the series for the Rockies. The team chose to sell series tickets on-line only. The first day the system crashed and fans literally marched on Coors Field. The next day things worked, sort of, but there were a lot of disappointed fans who simply couldn’t even get to the Rockies website, and became even un-happier when they heard others were able to log in multiple times to get tickets. The Rockies blamed “outside and malicious attempt” by some un-known hacker or company for the crash. Late this week the FBI announced it was investigating. Malicious and the Internet are two words you hear more and more these days. It will be interesting to see what the FBI finds out.

Rockies PR did get pretty testy with local media and lost some goodwill. Sometimes it’s best to simply say you did the best you could, mistakes were made, and that you’re sorry and will do better next time. Fan who did get tickets of course, have no complaints. And you won’t believe what tickets are going for on eBay. Ouch!

California Fires.
I doubt many fans in the San Diego area are thinking about baseball. The worst wildfires in history have displaced over a million people. The scope of the fires and devastation is overwhelming. I love the San Diego area and especially the people there. They’re going through a very tough time and it’s good to see the nation stepping up to help. One of the best stories I’ve heard so far is about a local Rockies fan that wasn’t able to get series tickets. She’s donating the money she budgeted instead to relief effort. You can help too. Visit the Red Cross at No one does a better job than those fine folks. And the people in California really need our help.

One last sports story.
New England Patriots versus the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, November 4. ‘Nuff said!

Scarlett O’Hara to head NASA?
Just after Rhett Butler ditched her, Scarlett O’Hara said she’d “worry about it tomorrow.” Well, she has nothing on NASA who just completed a detailed study on air traffic safety. You didn’t hear about it because NASA tried to bury the bad news which included far more near-misses, both in the air and on the ground, than anyone anticipated. There were also a lot more aerial blunders reporters by thousands of pilots surveyed. But NASA tried to bury the results, ordering the research contractor to purge records of their computers. Thankfully the Associated Press got wind of all this, filed some timely Freedom of Information Reports and now we’re finding out the facts.

Memo to NASA: You’re a public agency. We pay your bills. You owe us an explanation. Not only about the research, but why you chose to bury the information.

Even more stupid Congress tricks. Granted, the debate in Washington these days has sunk to historic levels. But things are getting out of hand. Here’s what USA TODAY reported about a recent speech by Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif.

“He has added another item to our catalogue of the sort of discourse that now defines so much of American politics.

Stark took to the House floor yesterday to speak in favor of overriding President Bush's veto of legislation that would have expanded a children's health insurance program. He somehow veered into Iraq, saying that young Americans are getting their "heads blown off for the president's amusement."

"The truth is, Bush just likes to blow things up in Iraq, in the United States and in Congress," Stark says.”

Shameful? You bet. Stark, finally, apologized. Too little too late. We face serious issues. We need serious people solving them.

The Washington, DC think tank, The Urban Institute, reports muggings are up 7%. And it thinks it knows the reason: iPods. Seems like folks zoned out listening to tunes are easily identifiable by the white ear buds. And iPods are extremely easy for crooks to fence or re-sell. Crooks wipe the drives clean, re-box them and sell them. So enjoy your music but keep an eye peeled. And when buying an iPod, shop with a brand name retailer. This way you don’t contribute to the problem.

In-box is open 24/7.
I love to hear from our about our lessons and customer service. If you have an idea for a new product or how we can simple serve you better, e-mail me at

Friday, September 28, 2007

Setting it Straight

You may have heard in the news that I’m suing my customers or that I somehow am violating First Amendment rights. I’m doing neither.

A number of people have gone to web sites and anonymously posted less-than-flattering statements about their experiences with Video Professor. I am simply trying to learn who these individuals are so that I can fix the problems they have had with my company. I am committed to satisfying my customers and I will go to great lengths to make them happy, as we always have. However, I can’t help them if I don’t know who they are.

If the posters are truly unhappy customers, I want to find out what made them unhappy. Maybe they aren’t customers? If so, I am committed to stopping them from writing false and damaging statements about my company for their own financial gain.

Months ago I sent a letter to the “Bash” web sites asking for contact information so I could do something to help the people who say they are unhappy. The “Bash” web sites refused my request, making it impossible for me to help these people. So, I have subpoenaed the websites to get information on the posters who have made negative comments about experiences with my company. In the meantime, I want to encourage those posters to contact me so that we can fix whatever they feel went wrong.

In fact, anyone that feels they have had a negative experience with Video Professor can go to for help in resolving any issue. If you are a customer – contact us directly so that we may help you.

I want everyone to remember Video Professor has helped over 10 million people learn computing and we can teach you – just go to

Friday, March 02, 2007

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog March 2, 2007

Let’s talk some tech!

The new political arena
If you are like me, you get incredibly tired of political ads the closer we get to November every other year. Many people probably try to escape watching TV by going to popular video sharing Web sites to get their fix. Well it looks like you still won’t be able to escape. is going to help give the candidates a leg up this year by getting their messages out. In theory this is great, as long as the candidates stick to promoting themselves. You know what is coming. Get ready for the mud to start flying.
Read More >

High-speed power lines
Forget about cable modems or wireless connections. We’ll soon be able to get high-speed Internet over our power lines. This is a very interesting story about the emerging technology and the benefits it could provide the electrical companies.
Read More >

A better weather predictor
It’s amazing what you can find on the Web. There are sites that can show you a satellite photo of your house. If you look closely enough, you might be able to see you on the porch. That’s nothing compared to where we are headed. Here’s one example that will just scratch the surface. The Weather Channel,, is revamping their online offerings next week to provide truly localized weather reports. It’s one thing to get a forecast of you general area, but if you are a weather nut, the new technology will provide you a pinpoint report down to your neighborhood.
Read More >

Going overboard on your E-signature
Do you view e-signatures as a nuisance or a help? True, they are great for passing along your contact info without having to attach an e-card each time. But do your e-mail recipients need them or even want them? According to manners mavens, people tend to go overboard with the information listed on the e-signature. They add Web sites, blog addresses, physical addresses, etc. Before you know it, your reader has to scroll through a dozen lines of text to find your phone number, and that’s only if you remembered to use it. No matter what side of this issue you land on, my advice is keep it simple.
Read More >

Off topic:
Is any athlete clean?
It seems that every week there is another major story in the press about a steroids ring that got busted that always accuses a major sports figure of doping. Is anyone in pro sports clean, or should we just assume that everyone is doping? It’s getting incredibly hard to look past it. Every time you see an athlete perform some major feat, I assume he must be on the sauce. It’s very, very sad. I grew up in an era in which our sports heroes accomplished all their feats naturally. Ok, I know I don’t have any concrete proof. Maybe guys back in the day were doping, but you certainly didn’t see a major news story about it every two weeks. Take it one step further though. Take Henry Aaron for instance. Look at his physical stature. Aaron by no means looked like he was using any performance enhancing drugs. He NEVER showed any physical signs. Now look at Barry Bonds. A story published last week pointed out that in the book “Game of Shadows” the author’s report that Bonds’ shoe size grew from a 10 ½ to a size 13 since he joined the Giants in 1993. Bonds has been accused of taking Human Growth Hormone (HGH). He adamantly denies these accusations and has never failed a test. But how does someone’s shoe size grow 2 ½ sizes as an adult? It seems a little fishy to me.
Read More >

That’s all the news I have for now. Have a good week!

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder

Friday, February 23, 2007

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Feb. 23, 2007

Wanna talk about technology?

Winning the spyware battle

Is your computer running at a snail’s pace? Are you bombarded with pop-up ads and don’t know where they are coming from? If so, your computer is probably infected with spyware. If you surf the Internet regularly and have never used anti-spyware software, your CPU is swimming with it. This article will shed some light on what programs will work best for you to eliminate spyware. If you have any more questions about computer safety or Internet help, visit
Read More >

The next Ansel Adams
Do you yearn to be the next Ansel Adams? Because today’s digital cameras make photography so easy, there is no question why it is so popular. If you are looking to take your photography to the next level, here is a review of some new cameras that will help you shoot professional-looking images.
Read More >

In a related note, organizing, editing and managing digital images can sometimes be a nightmare. Video Professor has a couple of tutorials that help consumers get a handle on this chore. The Learn Digital Photography and Learn Photoshop® CS tutorials give amateur photographers the skills to shoot like the pros. The Learn Digital Photography tutorial includes tips and tricks for taking the best photos, removing red eye and scratches, sharing photos with family and friends and even how to use your digital camera to film and edit short movies. The Learn Photoshop CS tutorials give users all the information they need to expertly use one of the world’s most powerful photo-editing platforms.

Will your existing software work with Windows Vista™?
If you are an early adopter of Microsoft’s® new operating system, Windows Vista™, you probably already know what applications run or don’t run properly. If you are still up in the air about upgrading because you’re unsure if your software will work, Microsoft announced a list of 800 software applications this week that work fine on the new operating system. But with that good news, there are certain software applications missing from the list, including some Adobe® applications and the Firefox® web browser.
Read More >

Off topic:
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to e-mail
It seems that in the last decade our workload has increased significantly. Few of us, if any, work a typical “9 to 5” job, and even if we have core hours at the office, we often can’t leave it behind. We go home and check our e-mail, or our portable PCs deliver the news right to our palms. Well if you are addicted to e-mail, there may be help yet. An executive coach has developed a 12-step program that can help cure you of this affliction.
Read More >

You have to set limits
Even Bill Gates, Mr. Microsoft, has to limit the amount of time his kids spend on their computers. What ever happened to going outside and playing in the park or starting a football game in the yard? Kids these days are spending more time in front of TVs and computers instead of experiencing the outdoors. Trust me, as the Video Professor, I love computers as much as the next guy, but kids need to be kids, and that means going outside and playing, running, jumping etc. Parents, wake up and tell your kids to get off the Internet.
Read More >

Have a good week!

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder

Friday, February 16, 2007

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Feb. 16, 2007

Tech Talk!
As promised in last week’s entry, I mentioned that I’d have more information about the Windows Vista™ preview CD that Video Professor recently launched. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll quickly realize that Windows Vista is unlike any other operating system Microsoft has ever released. We wanted to give consumers an introduction to all of Vista’s new features and advantages. It will help you decide if Vista is right for you and help you decide when and if to upgrade. If you are interested in getting a copy of the Video Professor Windows Vista Preview CD, please call 1-800-591-1038.

In addition, Video Professor will launch its Learn Windows Vista tutorial in the coming months. You may be thinking that since you’ve mastered the previous versions of Windows, you don’t need a Windows Vista tutorial. Don’t be too sure. As you begin using Windows Vista, you’ll quickly see that many changes have taken place. From the Start menu, to the new look and feel of a window, to the capabilities Windows Vista offers, a lot has changed. Video Professor’s Learn Windows Vista lesson will teach you everything you need to know about:
• The new Windows workspace
• New methods to use, store and access graphic files
• Working with redesigned desktop tools
• Vista’s improved security features
• Personalizing Windows
• Using improved Windows System Tools
• Using the new Windows Sidebar and Gadgets
• Multimedia options, including Windows Media Center and Microsoft Movie Maker
• How to set up a network between multiple PCs and devices
• Wireless computing

Worried about ID theft? Check where you live
According to a recent study, people living in certain areas of the country run a higher risk of ID theft. If you live in Arizona, California or New York, you’re more likely to be attacked. We all know that you have to take precautions to keep your identity safe online, but this study is very interesting. The researchers said that knowing the areas that ID theft is more likely to occur could do wonders for fighting back. If you are looking for more information about how to keep your identity and your computer safe online, visit the resource library at
Read More >

Let’s keep our kids safe, too
In a related story, efforts are being stepped up to keep our kids safe online. With all the dangers lurking on social networking sites, discussion boards and chat rooms, an agency that rates web sites is working hard to protect kids. This is an interesting article detailing their upcoming plans.
Read More >

Off topic:
Going to great lengths to avoid school
I guess kids today will go to great lengths to avoid going to school. Unfortunately, technology plays a role in their deviant behavior. Two teenagers in Ohio are accused of posting a fake message on their school’s web site announcing that school was closed due to the snow. Isn’t it easier just to study for the test? It seems that maybe if these students would put all that effort into their schoolwork, they wouldn’t need to avoid class.
Read More >

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder

Friday, February 09, 2007

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Feb. 9, 2007

Let’s talk about tech!

PC sales jump after Windows Vista™ launch
Did you hear the news? Windows Vista™ launched last week. Unless you’ve been out of the country or in solitude, you probably heard the announcement. This new operating system is certainly different than anything else Microsoft has released. According to Current Analysis Inc., PC sales went up 67 percent in the first week after Windows Vista’s launch.
Read More >

If you are contemplating converting to Windows Vista, check back next week. Video Professor is launching a new Windows Vista Preview CD, giving users the information they need when deciding if and when to upgrade. Because Windows Vista is much different than previous Microsoft operating systems, consumers may find it confusing when deciding which of the five versions is right for them. The Video Professor Windows Vista Preview CD guides users step-by-step through the different versions—Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate and Enterprise editions—analyzes the pros and cons of each and helps consumers choose which version their computer can run and which version they actually need.

Look out!
I knew online theft was rampant, but I had no idea how bad it really was. Did you know that a hacker tries to penetrate a computer every 39 seconds? Michel Cukier of the University of Maryland said, “Our data provide quantifiable evidence that attacks are happening all the time to computers with Internet connections. The computers in our study were attacked, on average, 2,244 times a day.” If you need more information about how to keep your computer safe, visit the resource library at
Read More >

Watch where you step
iPods may be taking over the world, but law enforcement agencies in New York aren’t buying into the hype. If you live in New York you could soon be subjected to a fine if you cross the street while wearing your ear buds. If lawmakers have their way, New York pedestrians will actually have to pay attention when strolling across the street. What a novel concept.
Read More >

Off topic:
Well the NFL season has come to an end. Yes, I know there is a game this weekend, but that doesn’t count. Like that tree in the forest, if a football game is played in Hawaii and nobody is around to see it, did it really happen? For a lot of sports fans the next couple months will be pretty tough to handle. The NHL and NBA are in action, but things don’t really heat up until the playoffs are about to begin. “March Madness” seems so far away. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training this month, but who really cares about baseball until opening day in April?

Congratulations to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts for finally getting their rings. In a very sloppy game, especially in the first half, the Colts pretty much dominated the Bears. What surprised me was how the Colts won the game. Their defense was phenomenal. In my opinion, it was the defense that carried them to the Super Bowl title. The defense was highly criticized coming into the playoffs, but they really stepped up when they needed to. It was no different in the Super Bowl. The defense had Bears quarterback Rex Grossman confused all night. After Chicago ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown and then picked off Manning on his first offensive series, it was all downhill from there. Good job, Colts. You earned this one.

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder

Friday, January 26, 2007

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Jan. 26, 2007

Technology abound!

Keep your hardware up with the times
I’ve been teaching people how to use the software on their computers for years, but Video Professor does not have a tutorial on how to upgrade a computer’s hardware. So as a service to you, I like to try and offer articles that can help. By doing simple things like adding more RAM or using an external hard drive to back up your system, you can extend the life of your computer without breaking the bank to buy a new one.
Read More >

I’m being watched, but I don’t care
This is encouraging news for IT directors and bosses around the country. According to a recent survey by, 69 percent of workers said they use their work Internet connections for personal use. And, 55 percent of workers surveyed use their work account to receive personal e-mails. What does this survey really mean? Is it that employees just don’t care about the job they have and that they would risk losing it to surf the Web? Or, do employees simply believe that IT experts just aren’t going to take the time to watch them? Read More >

Hey waiter, where’s the fly in my soup?
Are you ready to walk into an eatery and order by using a touch screen? What’s next, a conveyer belt that drops off my food? Call me “old school” but one of the reasons I go to restaurants is for the personal service. I like interacting with the servers. I realize that cost of labor is a big issue for restaurateurs, but it’s personal service that separates restaurants from vending machines.
Read More >

Let your photos see the light of day
If you’re like most people, you probably have a hard drive full of digital photos. The problem, however, is that you aren’t doing anything with them. Maybe you’ve been snapping digital photos for years, or maybe you got your first digital camera over the holidays. Well, if you don’t know what to do with your photos, this article can give you some interesting ideas. In addition, Video Professor recently released a couple of tutorials that can help you get the most out of your digital images, including Learn Digital Photography and Learn Adobe Photoshop CS2 Essentials.
Read More >

Picks o’ the week!
It’s a darn good thing Video Professor has been so successful. If I had to rely on my NFL picks to make a living, I wouldn’t survive very long. I have to give credit to the Bears and the Colts. There were a lot of people like me who did not think they had a chance to win. For the first time in a while the Bears didn’t just escape with a win. They handled the Saints from the beginning and had control of the game. The Bears’ defense showed why it has been feared all season long. They played a complete game and deserved to take the NFC crown.

Switching gears to the AFC, that was one of the best football games I have seen in a long time. I still can’t believe, however, that a Bill Belichick-coached team would squander a lead in the second half. I give Peyton Manning and the Colts credit. They fought hard all game, and in the end, they deserved to win. It was just odd not to see the Patriots pull it out like they have so many times before.

Heading into the Super Bowl, my playoff record stands at 5-5. I have one last chance to ensure I don’t finish below .500. I think Chicago will give Indianapolis all they can handle. In fact I think they will have a legit shot to win in then end. But, Indianapolis will escape with the win. Have a good week.

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder

Friday, January 19, 2007

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Jan. 19, 2007

Time to talk tech!

Book ’em, Dano

Finally, here is some relief for parents and students in the fight against higher college tuition. How many times have you needed an obscure book for a class and realized that it’s only available at the school’s bookstore? Who knows how much they are marking up the price. There is a new web store that helps students find the books they need and saves them a lot of money in the process. Where was this when I was in school?

Read More >

Do we need more distractions?

Video Professor has taught a lot of people how to use the Internet and how to e-mail, but this is definitely not what I had in mind. Aren’t drivers distracted enough on the roads? We certainly don’t need a more convenient way to send and receive e-mail while driving. I realize that the makers of this product say that it’s safe. They claim it is hands-free and eyes-free, but you’re still not thinking about driving. If your mind is focused on 16 work-related topics, you certainly aren’t paying attention to your driving.

Read More >

MySpace® stepping up its security

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the dangers lurking on MySpace. Thankfully, MySpace is stepping up its security efforts by adding parental notification software. I’m in the business of teaching people how to use their computers, and I know that there are a lot of ways to get into trouble. Please be careful and please watch your children. If you need any more information about how to protect yourself, your kids and your computer, please visit the resource library at, where we have a ton of great articles to help you.

Read More >

Picks o’ the week!

As for drama, last week’s games were pretty good. As for my picks, I could have done much better. I finished 2-2 for the week and sit at 5-3 overall in the playoffs. Here are a couple of thoughts from the week that was. I don’t want to pile on Marty Schottenheimer anymore. Can you really blame San Diego’s collapse on him? Some will argue that you can while others will say that the players should have been better. Regardless of what you think, Marty and his team, haven’t exactly been clutch in the playoffs. It was no different this year. Taking nothing away from New England and what they’ve accomplished, San Diego was in complete control of that game, but they made some boneheaded mistakes that caused them to surrender 11 unanswered points down the stretch.

As for the other game in the AFC, had I told you that the Colts would fail to score a touchdown but still win on the road, you would have thought I had lost my marbles. What an impressive display by the Colts. But it wasn’t the offense that got it done. Indianapolis’s defense has been on fire the past couple of weeks. Can they keep it going this week when they take on New England? We’ll see. It’s going to be a great game.

AFC Championship Game

New England over Indianapolis: Is this the year that Peyton Manning finally breaks through and gets to the Super Bowl? I don’t see it. How can you bet against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady this time of year? It’s in the dome, but I still think the Patriots will have enough to win. They have seemingly “owned” the Colts in the past few years, and I don’t see anything changing this year. A lot of people will claim that the stars are aligning for the Colts this year. They were the No. 3 seed, and it looked like if they had a shot they’d have to win twice on the road. Well, now they are hosting the AFC Championship. That should be enough, right? Just remember the Broncos last year when the stars were seemingly aligning for them. They were dominated by the Steelers—at home.

NFC Championship Game

New Orleans over Chicago: What a potential story brewing in the Big Easy. If the Saints are able to get past the Bears and go to the franchise’s first Super Bowl, it would be such a tremendous lift to the entire region. There was a time when it looked like the Saints were going to move out of New Orleans, and now they are on the verge of going to the Super Bowl. The Bears are tough, especially at home, but they have not been very good of late. The defense is showing weaknesses and the offense isn’t very good. Frankly, the Bears were lucky to win last week. Plus, quarterback Rex Grossman is finally going to cost “Da Bears” a game. Saints win!

See you next week!

John W. Scherer

CEO and Founder


Friday, January 12, 2007

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Jan. 12, 2007

Technology: It’s fantastic!

It’s a small world after all

We hear the term “downsizing” and we immediately think we’re going to lose our jobs. But it seems that technology keeps downsizing. Here is a look at a new computer that fits in your pocket. More than ever people are using their cell phones to get their info on the go, but here is a computer that will let you do so much more.
Read More >

And speaking of cool gadgets …
Working in the technology field for the past 20 years with Video Professor, I felt I had to talk a little about some of the coolest new products that launched this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Here is a pretty good wrap-up of the show and info on some of the cooler gadgets. If you are interested in more, there are plenty of articles out there talking about CES. If you are a technology junky, there is no better show on earth.
Read More >

Having trouble with Internet Explorer® 7?
If you are like this reader, you may be having a problem with IE7. For all its pluses, there are some negatives floating around. Apparently the new browser will work great with the new Vista operating system, but in XP it has some flaws. This helpful article gives a few tips on how to help remedy the situation.
Read More >

Don’t worry: This is not going to be a review of the Broadway show produced by the Monty Python comedy troupe. Are you like most people who are bugged by spam e-mail, or do you have a very good filter that keeps the junk away? According to the company Postini®, spam mail accounted for 94 percent of all e-mail sent in December. That is an increase of 144 percent over 2005. Staggering! If you want more information about preventing spam, and what filter is right for you, visit the resource library at
Read More >

Picks o’ the week!
Well three out of four isn’t bad. But how many people picked all the games right? I would say most of you. Looking back, it turned out to be an easy week of picking. Every home team won. No Wild Card entrants were able to move on. That’s a pretty big deal in my opinion, considering Wild Card teams have been very successful in recent years. Heck, a year ago the Steelers were a Wild Card team that won three straight road games to advance to the Super Bowl.

A quick note before we get to my picks: I will admit that I was completely wrong about Indianapolis last week. I agreed with the experts who said that Larry Johnson and the Chiefs would run roughshod over the Colts. Indy’s defense stepped up big time; in fact, the Chiefs went without a first down until midway through the second half. It was a very dominating performance, but can they replicate that effort this week? It’s going to be very, very hard. It’s a lot easier to get up for a game when you are playing in the comfort of your own home. This week they travel to Baltimore to face one of the hottest teams in the AFC.

Well, on to my picks …

AFC Divisional Playoff Games
Baltimore over Indianapolis:
Despite the effort they gave last week, I really don’t think they can get it done against Baltimore. Even if the Colts’ defense can hold Baltimore’s offense at bay, their offense is going to have its hands full with the Ravens’ defense. Baltimore, on the defensive side of the ball this year, is almost as good as they were in 2000 when they won the Super Bowl.

New England over San Diego: This is going to be the game of the weekend, and probably the hardest to predict. San Diego looked great this season and LaDainian Tomlinson can’t be stopped. However, how will Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers react in his first career playoff game? On the other sideline, they’ll face Tom Brady, who is turning into this generation’s Joe Montana. There has not been a more clutch quarterback in the playoffs than Brady. In a very close battle, I see the Pats pulling off the upset.

NFC Divisional Playoff Games
New Orleans over Philadelphia:
I know this is the popular choice, but I think New Orleans is the better team. Philadelphia escaped last week, and I don’t think they have the man power to beat the Saints. Plus, the Superdome is going to be rocking. The home field advantage in this game will prove to be the key.

Seattle over Chicago: I don’t trust Bears quarterback Rex Grossman. He was incredibly shaky down the stretch (and that’s being kind). Granted, Seattle didn’t exactly knock our socks off last week with their squeaker win over Dallas (thanks Tony Romo), but I think they are good enough to beat “Da Bears.”

Have a good week!

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder

Friday, January 05, 2007

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Jan. 5, 2007

Time to talk tech!

People will sell anything on eBay®
By now we’ve all seen the reports that Denver got pounded by two major winter storms in the past month. The storms pretty much shut down the city for a series of days. I guess there was nothing better to do than think of crazy business ideas. A woman last week began selling the snow in auctions on eBay. When Video Professor launched its Learn eBay tutorial last year, this isn’t what we had in mind. But give her credit for originality.
Read More >

Do you trust your security software?
Internet and computer security is one of the biggest issues we constantly face while surfing. It seems like every week a new hack or virus is detected and we are all immediately warned. We all take great strides protecting our computers from installing firewalls to purchasing antivirus software. Are we really safe, though? Have you given your computer a complete check? If you need any more information about how to safeguard your computer, Video Professor’s web site has a resource library with a number of articles on how to protect your computer.
Read More >

Flaw found in Acrobat® Reader®
On a related note, I wanted to pass along a bit of a warning for computer users who regularly use Adobe® Acrobat Reader and PDF files. Researchers last week discovered a flaw in the software that could potentially allow hackers to break into your computer through trusted links. Read this story for more information.
Read More >

Off topic:
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Darrent Williams
It’s with an incredibly heavy heart that I write this entry. By now most of you have heard about the senseless tragedy that occurred in Denver early in the morning on New Year’s Day. Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams, who was only 24 years old, was murdered in his limo after leaving a club on New Year’s Eve. I was shocked when I heard the news and I wanted to pass along my deepest condolences to the young man’s family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I truly hope the slayer is brought to justice.

Picks o’ the week!
The playoffs start this week, and I must say, I wasn’t too happy with how I finished up the regular season. I missed two of three picks last week and finished the season at 27-24. If you remember, back in September, I warned you not to take my advice when picking your own games, and I guess my statement rang true. As we move on to the playoffs, maybe I can do a little better. The plan is to pick the winner in every playoff game leading up to and including the Super Bowl. On a related note, it sure looks hard to bet against San Diego getting to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately the way it looks now, if Baltimore and San Diego meet in the AFC Championship game, that could be a better game than the Super Bowl . We all know how bad the NFC is compared to the AFC. Can the NFC representative stay within 15 points of either San Diego or Baltimore? We’ll see. You know what they say: that’s why you play the games.

AFC Wild Card Games
New England over the New York Jets:
This is going to be one heck of a game. These two bitter division rivals will face off for the third time this season, and I think New England will come away with the win at home. The Jets will put up quite a fight, but the Patriots and Tom Brady will be proven stronger in the end.

Kansas City over Indianapolis: It seems as if there is always one upset in the Wild Card round, and I think this game could be it. Indianapolis has a lethal offense, but there defense has been offensive. The Colts don’t defend the run very well and running the ball is KC’s specialty. If the Chiefs can survive the first quarter and not find themselves in a huge hole, they’ll be able to take control of the game with the run, wind down the clock and keep Peyton and the boys off the field.

NFC Wild Card Games
Seattle over Dallas:
The Cowboys have not played very well the past couple weeks and have no momentum heading into the playoffs. They choked away the division title to Philadelphia and limp in after a humiliating loss at home to Detroit last week. Seattle finally appears healthy and could be hitting their stride. I don’t see this game being very close in the end.

Philadelphia over the New York Giants: This game almost mirrors the other NFC Wild Card game. One team struggled down the stretch, while the other is playing great. Philadelphia got hot a couple weeks back and is soaring into the playoffs. Philly is a tough, tough place to play and the Giants won’t be able to compete in those conditions. Like the Seattle game, I don’t think this game will be very close. Philadelphia wins going away.

Have a good week!

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder