Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fear of Video Marketing Go Away and Don’t Come Back Another Day! Hello Easy Video Suite!

Fear of Video Marketing Go Away and Don’t Come Back Another Day! Hello Easy Video Suite!

Video Comes To LinkedIn Ads

Video ads have been proven to be the #1 vehicle to educate and communicate your message to a wide variety of users.  Targeting a particular audience has always been the Holy Mantra of effective marketing.  Now, you have a chance to put both of these truths to work for your business.

• 52% of Video Viewers Take Action
• 35% Increase In Requests for More Information
• 18% Increase in Phone Calls
• 83% More Likely to Buy

You now have access to reach LinkedIn’s 175M members buy using LinkedIn's Self-Serve Ads Platform.

That service allows businesses of all sizes to place text and image ads across the entire LinkedIn site. A LinkedIn Ads campaign can be initiated for a little as $10/day.  And, it is an investment where you can control your costs, pay per view or click, and stop your campaign at any time to be sure your are reaching your targeted ROI goals.

You can utilize LinkedIn self-serve video ads with videos you presently host on YouTube - so you can keep a unified brand image that transfers across the #1 video platform as well as the #1 Social Media platform for Business.  When you use your YouTube videos, you will be able to track engagement using the expansive statistical tracking resources you are already comfortable using within your YouTube site.

Your LinkedIn Video ads will be highlighted in standard 300x250 ad units across the LinkedIn site and will compete for impressions similar to how traditional text and image ad formats do.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Being Video, they'll probably compete 3-4X as effectively.

When a LinkedIn member is engaged and clicks your video ad, the video will take over the entire 300x250 ad unit and play a 30 second video. After the video completes, users will still be able to click through to your landing page or visit your website, just like with current ads.  Combine this usability with the power of YouTube annotations (see my earlier blog article and YouTube video on this subject) and you'll have a Powerhouse of control at your fingertips.

If you have a story to tell and feel video is the most effective vehicle to tell it, just hop on over to your LinkedIn Ads account and create a new video ads campaign!

If you want to create a NEW video to run on LinkedIn, just start your planning process with a simple video storyboard - available for free from:

Learn how to add a narration track to any PowerPoint - Here's how:

Just select a PowerPoint you want to use as a basis for your video, and call us for a $249 HIGH IMPACT video created from these resources - delivered to you in only 48 hours; and Yes, I said for only $249 for a 2-3 minute video.

SKYPE: jimbannon306  BudgetVideo4BIZ  815-759-1314

Article Source:

As always,  COMMENTS & QUESTIONS ARE INVITED!  Please click on the "comment" underlined link below and then type your question or share your opinion.

IDEA STARTERS to become part of our interactive community surrounding THIS article:

1) Have you ever used a PowerPoint to create a Video?
2) Would you like to see a Blog Article on "How To Add Video To Your LinkedIn Profile"
3) Would you like to see a Blog Article on "How To Add Video to LinkedIn's New Company Profile"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Can you share examples of how you are using the Power of YouTube Annotations to create Two-way communications?

Video Marketing has become a significant aspect of the new Social Media Marketing trend. Some industry leaders are developing "Leading-Edge Best Practices" and I for one would rather follow a leader than recreate the wheel or remain with the old standby skills. If you are pushing the envelop to develop new and better ways, I would love to see your work.

As always,  COMMENTS & QUESTIONS ARE INVITED!  Please click on the "comment" underlined link below and then type your question or share your opinion.

IDEA STARTERS to become part of our interactive community surrounding THIS article:

1) How many our YOUR videos could have benefited from this technique?
2) How do your track "Call to Action" results on your YouTube posted Videos?

INEXPENSIVE DIY adjustable Videocamera Dolly Track

"How to achieve the Professionally-produced look from creative camera movement, as an alternative to typical (and boring) straight-on shots of a "talking head" in your videos -  without buying expensive camera dolly equipment."

I wanted to share with you a great tutorial I watched today by JR Demello on his "The Research Page" Channel on YouTube.

He shows how to construct a really INEXPENSIVE video camera dolly system, demonstrates it's effectiveness,  and even provides a detailed list of materials needed.
Hats off and a big THANX to JR for investing his time to produce a video that can help others.

As always,  COMMENTS & QUESTIONS ARE INVITED!  Please click on the "comment" underlined link below and then type your question or share your opinion. 

IDEA STARTERS to become part of our interactive community surrounding THIS article:

1) How many our YOUR videos could have benefited from this technique?
2) What would you consider a reasonable budget to encourage you to build your own camera dolly?
- Less than $100
- Between $100 and $250
- I wouldn't want to build one at any cost
- I'd rather let someone else produce videos for me

FYI - The most popular video currently trending on my YouTube channel is: How to Record Yourself in Windows -

THANX for your support!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

BudgetVideo4BIZ launches presence on Independent Business Owners Network - IBOToobox

BudgetVideo4BIZ today is pleased to announce the launch of their presence on the online community at IBOToolbox - a community of Independent Business Owners whose goal is to expand their online presence, in a safe/secure and reputable business environment.

Tagline: “Providing ECONOMICAL tools to help communicate your mission critical messages @ the Speed of SIGHT”
 VISIT WEBSITE (learn more)

BudgetVideo4BIZ is an internet video editing and production company - helping companies “Propel their Sales Forward” - with Video.

Our 3 core products provide the absolute necessary ingredients for any company who wants to build a solid Video Marketing Strategy:

• You*VeeTM - [Sounds like Movie, but You are the Star!] - Your company’s “Unique Value Proposition” - in a 60-second Video “Elevator Speech”.

• Vid-eMonialTM - Customer Testimonials delivered in Compelling Video - to develop trust and prove credibility.

• Video-IDEAGramTM - Communicating Your Critical Business Messages, MEMORABLY!

For about the price of a cup of coffee a day, we can spark e-Motion and ignite Action!

Leveraging a solid foundation of learning and extensive "real life" experience with such Corporate leaders as General Electric, Square D, Wooster Brush, and Triad Systems (Now Activant) to create leading edge, "out of the box" solutions for small and medium size businesses. Our motto is: "Propelling your sales forward by utilizing the latest Video, e-Marketing, collaboration, social networking, and customer relationship management tools - leaping ahead of your competitors"

Our flagship, POWERPOINTTOYOUTUBE (formerly a website by that name, now a video feature at   PowerPoint To YouTube), is one of the fastest and most economical ways to create a video - for those just getting started.

Asking you to submit a PowerPoint presentation, we teach you how to create an audio narration track - permitting us to apply our professional editing, enhancement and conversion process - to combine those 2 basic elements into a powerful HIGH IMPACT VIDEO for use on YouTube, your web page, or for distribution to clients and prospects.

All this with a turnaround of only 48 hours and a cost of just $249 for a 2-3 minute video.

Our secondary focus is a presence on a wide variety of "MicroJob" sites - promoting LIVE video backgrounds and Chromakey editing to allow users to impose their spokesperson over professionally captured 1920x1080p HD video in beautiful outdoor settings. Tips and Tricks for proper Green Screen lighting for professional high quality output are also featured.

Feedback and communication with potential "Mutual Benefit Relationship" business partners is always welcome. Believing in integrity and transparency, a simple Google search for "BudgetVideo4BIZ" and "YourPCGuruJim" can identify numerous "ProBono" contributions - providing FREE Tutorials and "How To" assistance.

To foster two-way communication, we always try to deliver VALUE in the posts made not only here, but also on our primary BLOG and YouTube Channel

If you can benefit from our experience and open-minded willingness to learn, please reach out. We work hard to be responsive to every contact within 48 hours.


Jim Bannon
Chief Innovation Advocate
BudgetVideo4BIZ - the dot goes after the 4, and the suffix of becomes the email address.

PS - Standard Web Site Header Indexes typically include "About Us", "Contact Us", Products/Services", and the most progressive and effective are including another header, "Video Testimonials".

Check out your competitors' site to see how many are using Video to increase their SEO.

ibosocial ibotoolbox budget video editing McHenry cameraless production You*Vee Bio Elevator Speech

COMMENTS & QUESTIONS ARE INVITED!  Please click on the "comment" underlined link below and then type your question or share your opinion. 

Have to get this Legal Gobbly Gook taken care of - One Time

PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning!! ALL Person(s) and/or Institution(s) and/or Agent(s) and/or Agency(ies) of ANY governmental office or structure, including but not limited to, ALL departments and/or divisions of the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website, or any of its associated websites, be advised you DO NOT have my permission to utilize any content, portion or segment of my profile, personal information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to, my photos, the comments made about my photos or any other "picture," "image," or "art" posted on my profile. YOU are hereby notified that you are STRICTLY PROHIBITED from copying, disclosing, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me, or on my behalf, with regard to this profile/page and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to you, your employee(s), agent(s), representative(s), officer(s), student(s) or any other personnel under your direction or control. The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Creating a "Jump To" INDEX within your YouTube Video

To use a "JUMP TO" INDEX
First, create a Numbered List on a graphic INSIDE THE VIDEO,
for example, a menu bar on the right border containing text like this:

1. Chapter I - Start at the beginning of this video

2. Chapter II - Go to a point 1 minute and 15 seconds into this video

3. Chapter III - Go to the part where I show a "before" example in a DIFFERENT video on my channel [2:39]

4. Chapter IV - Go to timepoint "X" in this video [at 3 Min 12 Sec]

5. Chapter V - Go to the closing credits in this video

Once the video is rendered and uploaded, edit it to create 5 individual annotations using a "Spotlight" - set to invisible - and place each over each bullet, with appropriate timeline and video identification URL settings for each bullet.

NOTE: Set the timing of ALL these annotations to remain on during the entire time the "MENU" rendered in the video is showing on screen.

The example I will use for this demonstration is, #3 = "3. Chapter III - Go to the part where I show a "before" example in a DIFFERENT video on my channel [2:39]"

CRITICAL NOTE: If you plan to "jump to" another video (like bullet point 3. I am using in this example) to have the viewer go directly to a certain point in a video OTHER THAN THE ONE THEY ARE WATCHING that has the INDEX GRAPHIC in it, PLEASE REMEMBER, once you send a user away, there is no way to get them back (unless that video you are redirecting them to ALSO has a annotation that leads the user BACK to the original with another mouse click, and you are CERTAIN they will do it!)

You'll want to copy the URL of the video you are leading the viewer to (in most cases like bullets 1,2,4,and 5 on our example index menu - it will be THIS ONE they are watching) from the browser's address bar and paste in onto a text editor like notepad.

To create the code to have a video "skip" to that certain time point on that "external" video - [2 minutes and 39 seconds from the beginning], we'll now change the code in notepad a little to become -

IMPORTANT: If you copy this URL from the address bar of your browser, be sure to remove the "s" from the https://" then add a suffix - "#t=2m39.0s" to indicate the point in time [2 minutes and 39 seconds from the beginning]

When you are creating the annotation itself, a drop down data entry box will appear after you check "Link", where you copy this line from your notepad and just paste it directly into that box.

Once you are done, remember to include your INDEX in the YouTube Description Field, for example:

0:00 - Chapter I - Start at the beginning of this video
1:15 - Chapter II - Problems that our prospects have with Powerpoint presentations
2:39 - Chapter III - The "Before" example from an industry-leading slidecast
3:12 - Chapter IV - The SOLUTION - "After" example using focus zoom, and animated graphic highlights
5:26 - Chapter V - How to contact me to learn more

COMMENTS & QUESTIONS ARE INVITED!  Please click on the "comment" underlined link below and then type your question or share your opinion.  

HOPEFULLY, you'll come back here and give us a link in our comment box - to the Video you created using these new-found skills!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Direct Message Order Form - INSIDE YOUTUBE!

Wouldn't it be nice if you could use your YouTube videos to actually GAIN ORDERS?

Up until now, you probably thought of YouTube as a broadcast medium; certainly not an e-commerce site, right?


Well, I created a little video that shows some "tricks of the trade" that you might find eye-opening.  This might forever change your view of YouTube's power as a two-way communication vehicle and revolutionize the way you utilize this grand-daddy of social media sites.


Clearly, I believe Video is the #1 way to communicate, so I won't explain things further here, just go watch the movie :-) 


BTW - Once you watch the video, please click the "Show More" line in the description to gain insight into how this was done.

COMMENTS & QUESTIONS ARE INVITED!  Please click on the "comment" underlined link below and then type your question or share your opinion.  Hopefully, this video provides enough value that you'll want to share the link with other folks you know in the Internet Sales, Web Design, SEO, MLM and Video Marketing Business spaces.


PS -- I'll know if you figured out how to hover your mouse and follow the CALLS TO ACTION included within the video, based on the number of Direct Messages I receive from YouTube users and the increase in subscribers at my Channel :-) 

How to Make Adobe Illustrator Background Transparent

When you edit a vector image for your web page or video editing, one of the first skills you'll need to master is saving the "Alpha Channel" or transparent background.  Here's how to save an image to assure it retains the transparent background.

On the Illustrator Top Menu >> View >> Show transparency grid
or use the key sequence: SHIFT+CTRL+D

To be sure the file you "File/Saved" retains this transparency....

1. Go to File > Save for Web...

2. Save as a PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file. You have two options: PNG-8, and PNG-24. The main difference between them is that, like GIF, PNG-8 comprises a maximum of 256 colors.PNG-24 is a lossless format and supports up to 16 million colors. Once chosen, make sure the Transparency checkbox is enabled (it normally is, by default).

3. You can also save it as a Graphics Interchange Format file (GIF file). As with the PNG file, make sure that the Transparency checkbox is enabled.

4. Success! The background of your PNG or GIF file is now transparent, and can be placed atop other objects.

Have you ever wondered how to change the color of the artboard?

To change it, begin by accessing File and Document Setup or Ctrl+Alt+P.

1. Select the drop down box, select "Artboard"

2. Change the selection to "Transparency".

3. Click on the top color box.

4. Change the color.

5. Now put a check mark by Simulate Paper. Press OK.

Your artboard should now reflect the changes.

COMMENTS & QUESTIONS ARE INVITED!  Please click on the "comment" underlined link below and then type your question or share your opinion.  Are there other topics you would like to see addressed regarding Illustrator?  Photoshop?  Or, other software used for Video Editing and Production?


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Creating a Google + Custom Vanity URL Address

Google Plus is quickly becoming "today's facebook" - ON STEROIDS.
Launched in 2011 Google+ now has over 250 million registered active users and growing exponentially.

How do you capitalize on this trend so you don't get left behind?

If you don't already have a Google "account" - i.e you are not already a gmail or youtube user...
Just create a Google "account" by visiting

In the process, you'll receive a google email account which is "Yourchosenusername"
Remember, Google are the folks who bring you YouTube, so you'll probably want to create a YouTube account as well (but I divert from the main purpose of this post).  This will now take you thru the process of creating your google account profile.

From the google profile you can choose to use this profile in Google+.

-------->>>>>>>    To create a Google+ account, just go to:

Now, back to creating the short / custom vanity url for your google+ profile
1. Create your Google Plus Page

2. Go to your Page and get the Page ID on the address bar. For example, my page’s ID is 104782433895441071396

Google+ unfortunately uses a rather ugly URL for your "Profile", here is my profile URL:

Not very intuitive or easy to remember, right?

Currently, you can’t set the "username" [104782433895441071396 in my case], directly to a "Vanity" Google+ URL, BUT there is a pretty good way shorten it so that it looks cleaner and more recognizable.

Just go to a third party site for FREE - -  to enter your Google+ ID [104782433895441071396 in my case] into the box and this site will generate a shortened URL for you.

Here is what mine looks like:

Just copy that URL and start giving it out to all your friends, business associates, and then listing it on web sites and in your Blog, like this one :-)

Just because you were interested enough to read this far....

CHECK: If you want to check your google "account" at any time just go to:

CHECK: If you want to check your google+ "account" - just look on the left margin for a link to check your Google+ settings:

MULTIPLE SIGN-IN: If you have multiple Google accounts, you can sign in and out using multiple sign-in, which allows you to use up to ten Google Accounts within the same browser.

1. Open a new tab,
2. Sign into a product that supports multiple sign-in (like Gmail),
3. Click your name or email address at the top of the page, and
4. Select Add account from the drop-down menu

To learn more:

COMMENT?  To rate the value you found from this article, please click on the "comment" underlined link below and then type a number for 1 to 10, 10 being a HUGE amount of value received.  THANX!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Great "Give-Away"

Republished from 2 years ago - STILL A HUGELY PROFITABLE IDEA!
As Sales Managers, Business Owners, Marketing Executives and New Business Development Sales Professionals we get trapped into the old habits of "Conventional Thinking".

Here's an idea whose time has come...

Would your TARGETED TOP PROSPECT listen to your message - if it was delivered enclosed in a FREE DVD player?
That's right FREE!  When you think of all the time, money, and effort you invest trying to get in front of the decision maker and then relying on a diverse sales force to deliver YOUR MESSAGE in their sometimes random, inconsistent ways... it only makes business sense to find a vehicle where you CONTROL THE MESSAGE and CONTROL THE DELIVERY.

Video allows you to do just that!
If your best sales person can make a PowerPoint that delivers your UVP [Unique Value Proposition] in under 5 minutes, we can package that into a HIGH IMPACT VIDEO presentation burned on DVD, which you can then DELIVER to your top prospects.

Does it work?

I can only tell you of a personal experience I had [using a less sophisticated vehicle of a "Autorun" PowerPoint on a Thumb Drive that I gave away to KEY TARGETED PROSPECTS] which landed me an audience, and eventually gained the business from a top production builder I had been trying to get into for over 3 years.

The net result was an exclusive as a "Standard" product to go into every home they built in 4 neighborhoods, each with over 200 lots.  With a total "Lifetime value" of that prospect in the area of $1-2 Million, my FREE Thumb Drive [or a FREE DVD Player that you can purchase for about $50] was a very wise investment indeed!

To learn more about ways to "Propel Your Sales Forward", please visit...
[My former site is being auctioned off] - replaced by a new web site at and a video on YouTube -

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gaining Trust with Communications

Nothing Communicates Your Message Better Than Creative, Engaging & Compelling Video!

The Key to Gaining TRUST is Demonstrating Integrity w/ Credibility

"People don't want to hear, and do not TRUST, what you say about YOU...

RATHER, they base their decisions - and their actions - on the thoughts and opinions of others; WHAT THEY SAY about you." 

From Lessons Your Mother Taught You


1. On a scale of 1 - 10, (1 = least important, 10 = most important) how important do you think it is to have customer testimonials on your company web site?

2.  On the same scale, how would you rate the typical testimonials you have seen -- that usually involve customer quotes in text with maybe a picture or logo as well, along with the person's name and company name --  compared to the customer making this same statement in their own voice/image on a Video?  

 Just click on the "comment" underlined link below to add your answer to these questions.


The Science & Art Behind Successful Online Videos

With attribution to:

In an age of dwindling attention spans, online marketing is trickier than ever. Here’s the truth: People may find your company online, but most of them will leave your website in about eight seconds. (And, if they actually read what you’ve written, they’ll only remember 10 percent of it.)
There’s a better way to use your marketing budget. Putting your company’s message into a video means that you can share more information in less time, and your audience will remember more of it — 58 percent more, in fact.
Essentially, you have two choices: Very few people can remember 10 percent of what they read on your website, or many more will remember 68 percent of what they saw in your video. The choice is simple. But why does it work?
The Science Behind Memory
Information you receive verbally is coded one way, and information you receive visually is coded differently. When you read or listen, you’re stimulating the auditory sense; when you watch, you’re stimulating the visual sense.
Using audio and visual stimulation together is the best way to reach the most people. Why? Because when a person receives information verbally and visually, he’ll have a retention rate of 68 percent.
That’s why, to put it simply, video is the optimal form of communicating information: because it stimulates the auditory and visual senses simultaneously. After a person watches your video, you’ve got two paths in the brain leading to the memory, rather than just one. A video functions like a worm, burrowing itself deeply into multiple recesses of the brain.
Building an Effective Video: A How-To
Most people won’t watch a five-minute video, and even if they do, it’s highly unlikely they’re really absorbing the information. So what’s the best way to hold their attention in a short timespan?
1. Keep it simple. Simplicity is the key to a good script — and it’s surprisingly hard to achieve. Most of the time, business owners have difficulty simplifying their companies’ purposes into short, digestible summaries. It’s just a matter of perspective. But, in order to appeal to someone watching a video online, you need to find a way to make your story simple and memorable.
At my company, Switch, we had to produce more than 200 videos before we became experts at this, for one reason: It’s hard to be simple! Find someone in your network with an outside perspective, or find an experienced company to help you distill your thoughts down to the essential, simple idea that describes your business. A good example of this can be found in our Opinion Lab portfolio clip. It doesn’t appear to be simple, but there were many more complicated ways to tell the same story — try to think of two and compare them to the final product.
2. Use powerful metaphors. The first way to simplify your company’s message is by using metaphors. That means that you’re describing your product or service with a relationship that people are already familiar with. Dropbox’s video does a wonderful job of doing this; by comparing leaving your wallet in your other pair of pants to not being able to access documents from a specific computer, Dropbox has pulled you in by reminding you of a similar frustration.
A strong metaphor — especially when it’s one that the viewer already has emotional ties to — activates large areas of memory quickly. If you connect your message with the viewer’s long-term memory in the first five to 10 seconds, he’s much more likely to reach out and become a customer.
Brainstorm with people inside and outside your company to find metaphors that help other people understand what your business does. Here’s a question to ask yourself: When you’re pitching your business, which metaphors connect, and which ones don’t? Once you’ve come across one that’s accurate and relatable, make it the center of your script — and focus on how your company works, what problem it solves, and why it’s important.
3. Stimulate the auditory and visual senses with simple images. Make an animated video that’s simple. Using visual metaphor will help you tell your story, and simple visuals will help you communicate it effectively. While having a flashy, dazzling 3D video may look neat, it will only distract from your message. Choose a style that matches the simplicity of your script, and focus on making your brand’s message and function as clear as possible instead.
Our Avvo video used simple images to isolate the story and make it the focal point of the video’s pitch. While sparkly pictures and graphics may seem captivating, simple images, paired with a great story, are much more so. The story becomes twice as memorable.
Simple is Stronger
Here’s a breakdown of the winning equation for a successful web video: a simple script, clean visuals, and a strong metaphor. People relate to a story. Make sure that you’re telling one that fits your company’s purpose, goals, and functions.
Then, when you find the right balance between audio, video, and emotion, you’ll finally be able to fully hold your viewers’ attention — and you’ll find a way to turn your marketing budget into an asset that truly makes a connection with your customers.
Andrew Angus is an author, speaker, and founder/CEO of Switch Video, a video animation company that produces simple videos that “explain what you do” in an engaging and compelling format. Andrew is a thought leader in the online video industry, writing and speaking about the brain science behind making your company’s story stick. He welcomes people to reach out to him on Twitter or Google+ and can be booked to speak on Speakerfile.
image courtesy of Google and Sinnott Productions

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Magic Code for YouTube

Magic Code: To let people OFFLINE Direct Message to your YouTube account:  Substitute your Channel name for mine.

I have MOVED my Your PC Guru Jim YouTube Channel to my NEW BudgetVideo4BIZ Channel

My goal is to deliver VALUE to my subscribers.  I do not want to lose contact with you so would appreciate your coming with me, as I have MOVED my YouTube channel ->

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Who's Responsibility Is It To Be Sure Communication Actually Took Place?

Do you share my belief that communication is the RESPONSIBILITY of the communicator?

Do you believe the only way to know if it was successful is to CONFIRM receipt and UNDERSTANDING of the message; and the only way to do to ask for feedback?

Why then do we so often neglect the importance of confirming the receipt, understanding, and e-Motion created by our communication DELIVERY?


Please come join me in my goal to help others

"Communicate @ The Speed of SIGHT!"

Just click the underlined link below to enter...

My New BudgetVideo4BIZ Home Page 

DIT Telepromter - Under $100

RE: DIY Teleprompter
$300 to buy -- about $60 to build!!!
WOW!  That was my reaction when I saw the video at  With credit to Tom Beattie, he discovered that many folks following the "Video Revolution" have a need for teleprompters.  He then discovered they usually cost more than $1200.  Even the cheapest are in the $600 range!

So, Tom got inventive and built a DIY product that he sells for $299.  He even provided a video about how he built it.  INVALUABLE!

I went out to Bed Bath and Beyond today (as Tom suggested), bought the Laundry BackPack Bag for $9.99.  I then drove across the street to Home Depot and bought a 24" X 18" acrylic sheet (1/4" = .22mm) for $17.74 including tax and used a propane torch to bend it at 45 degrees.

Before bending I wanted to make the sheet 14" wide to fit my laptop, so I scored the acrylic (MANY times with a carbide ceramic tile scoring tool), and placed the score over the edge of my workbench, then hit the small section sticking over the edge of my workbench with a rubber mallet.  It broke off "fairly" cleanly.  To smooth the rest, I ran the edge along a grinder (slowly and carefully so as not to heat it up).  I had previously tried using a jigsaw [unsuccessfully] on an earlier acrylic project - as it just heated up the plastic and made an ugly cut as the cooled plastic just filled the line where I had just cut :-(

Marking a line with a grease pencil at the spot where I wanted the bend (10" from one edge),  I ran along that line with the propane touch on what was to become the outside of the bend.  I did make a few passes along the inside too, but focused the heat on the outside bend area.

When it was ready, I again used the front edge of my workbench to act as the bending mandrel.  To make sure I had the angle right, I had drawn 45 degree lines in pencil on my workbench and compared the bend of the acrylic against those "target lines" holding it in place until the acrylic cooled down.

The canvas bag from Bed Bath and Beyond required me to cut off the shoulder straps and use a thread remover from my wife's sewing kit to remove the "Pocket", but with a little patience and the chance to review the video a couple more times, we got it right.  My plexiglas was longer than the one Tom used, because I could not get anyone at Home Depot to cut it to length, and I wanted to avoid a second cut... so I kept the full 24".  This means I had to mount my top strip of Velcro 2" down from the edge of the acrylic, as the bag would not stretch around the entire perimeter.

I am bringing the custom cutout bag to a tailor tomorrow to have him sew velcro all away around the edge that will attach to the acrylic mounted velcro.  I am having it sewn to the OUTSIDE as I plan to turn that 1" width of velcro under/in as I attach the bag to the acrylic-mounted velcro strips.

What I did with the top two inches of acrylic that will stick out beyond where the top of the bag attaches, was to put strips of electrical tape along that space, so it will provide a black backing which (once applied) will allow the Biekert Slate 50 Mirror Film  to act as a reflector.

Thanks also to Tom for giving me Excel Glass Tinting as a source for the film as I am sure it would be tough to find something like that near my home in NW Chicagoland.

All this started with my search this morning for some free teleprompter software that our Technical Director was speaking about as I was in the conrol room of our Video Ministry at Mass this morning.... so it must be God working his wonders in my life again.  For that, I am grateful!

I can't wait to apply the film and try this out!

PS - Since this initial blog aired March 13, 2011 on
one of my previous blog site at:

it was the #1 most viewed articles I wrote, so I thought I would start this new blog with it.

Jim Bannon
Chief Innovation Advocate
and Your PC Guru Jim