When Google was pretty new…

Snow, snow, snow.

Snow everywhere.

And not only that, the wind is bloody freezing.

“Feels like -11C”

Feel like -9000C more like.

(OK maybe I’m exaggerating a tiny bit…)

Well, last night I was nice and warm, eating a home made curry and watching my possibly-all-time-favourite-film-ever… The Matrix.

I haven’t watched it in years, and I can’t watch it without thinking of Windows 98, a DVD ROM drive and a REALMagic Hollywood Plus PCI MPEG 2 Decoder card.

(Did I lose you on that last bit? Don’t worry…)

I was living with my parents at the time, and this was around the time when I was most in love with technical things, building computers, a smidge of programming here and there… but more building gaming machines, and building networks (I loved networking) but I remember this day because of the crushing disappointment I suffered.

There’s nothing, nothing as frustrating (that I have found) as not getting something working.

That new toy

That feeling, as your heart sinks, the truth that you’d been pushing off, “it’s not going to happen today”.

Now this was a revolutionary time, in technology.

DVDs were brand new to the market.

We (as a human race) had already made audio cassettes outdated, now it was time to do the same with VHS.

There were very few DVD players on the market, in fact, you could probably count them on one hand.

I’d had a DVD ROM drive on my PC for little while, and it was approaching Christmas and I desperately wanted to watch DVDs on my PC.

But of course, back in ’99, you couldn’t just get a DVD Drive for your PC and play DVDs on it.

It wasn’t powerful enough.

It needed a decoder card, to handle the number crunching and display the video.

So for Christmas, I asked for this decoder card (the REALMagic Hollywood Plus PCI MPEG 2 Decoder card).

I excitedly ran to my PC, plugged it in, connected the necessary wires and, in went my FIRST DVD: The Matrix.

The intro started, and it looked amazing. This was the piano Warner Bros intro, and it was immediately followed a video ‘trailer’ for the movie before the DVD menu.

I was so excited.

It played the intro fine, but then the intro was jittery as hell…

…it was unwatchable, as was the movie.

Confused, and immediately annoyed, I started trying to work out what was wrong.

Whilst Google was pretty new and it wasn’t the “standard” to just “Google it” – I do remember trawling the web.

But here’s the problem with being an early adopter – no bloody else had got my combo of hardware, and/or were experiencing the same problems.

I was troubleshooting for days.


Each day getting more and more frustrated that this super duper decoder card wasn’t working right.

Then… I found a thread.

Someone else had a similar-ish issue.

And I found out that a box (yes, just one box) hadn’t been ticked.

“Ultra DMA Mode”.

It was a setting on the DVD ROM drive, not the decoder card, that was causing me my woes.

I stuck the DVD in and prayed… watched the intro for the 500th time and … YES! It Worked!!

I was ecstatic, and we finally got to watch The Matrix in it’s full, glorious DVD quality.

Ah, it was amazing.

And the best feeling of all?

Fixing the bloody thing!

Now The Matrix itself, well, I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

But it’s funny, isn’t it, how you can think your problems are caused by one thing, but actually they’re caused by something completely and entirely different.

I see this very often with businesses I work with.

They see their website as the problem, but in fact, it’s not the website as such, it’s the whole marketing strategy.

This is why I’m working one on one with more and more businesses.

To look deep into what they’re doing, and find ways to get more out of all of their marketing tools, the website being just one of them.

Now I’m not claiming to be a World expert on running a business. I’ve made mistakes, many of them.

But the one thing I can confidently claim to be an expert at, is generating vast amounts more business for my clients.



And all with a positive ROI.

I’d like to share that with you, with my book Fix Your Website Fast.

Yes, it’s a book on Web Design, but it takes a vast amount of other stuff into account, that’s guaranteed to help you grow your business.

So what are you waiting for?

Grab your free chapter here, it’s free, after all…

Read The Top Posts From 2017

Read a selection of my best posts from 2017, fill with insights to help you grow your business…

View Top Posts

Meet the Author

Ben Waters

With over a decade of experience and 3 books currently under his belt, Ben is an expert in marketing. Ben runs The Magnetic Tribe, a private, exclusive group for high performing business owners and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business. The Magnetic Tribe allows Ben to mentor other business owners, with tried and tested strategies, that work. Grab your free chapter of Ben's book Fix Your Website Fast here.