CodyLoco's Random Rants… A little bit of everything…

24Jan/120

Traitor…

Traitor

Traitor...

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12Aug/110

New Small Business Tools Site

I wanted to take a couple seconds to share my new web project I'm working on.  It's a new resource site for small businesses so they can find useful tools and services online that can help them streamline and expand their business.  It could be considered a new generation of my internet fax to email guide but with more features and definitely more content.  I've called it the eBizToolkit - and so far it covers Business VoIP Phone, Electronic Signatures, Email Marketing (Newsletters), and of course, Internet Fax.  Check it out, I've spent lots of time on this one!

24May/110

Fix the “Error: ActiveX component can’t create object” in Video Vision Plus 10

I use Vision Forecasting's Video Vision Plus 10 software to keep track of my movie rentals at Twilight Video Club and kept getting an error running the software under Windows XP whenever I tried to import movie information from an XML file (exported from Collectorz.com's Movie Collector).  Whenever I would open the import window, where you are asked for an XML file where your information is stored, I kept getting the following error Error: ActiveX component can't create object.

Because my support contract is expired - they wanted $250/year for email support - I was on my own to find the fix...  and after a few hours of research, have found the solution...  Install SQLXML, which apparently Windows XP doesn't seem to have, and Video Vision Plus doesn't install for you.  Simply install SQLXML 3.0 from this Microsoft page, reboot the computer, and it should start working!

Being that this is a standard ActiveX component, if you are getting an error similar to this Error: ActiveX component can't create object that I received, which also comes up often as Run-time error '429' ActiveX component can't create object in other programs, and it comes up when you are trying to load a dialog or window that involves importing / exporting data via XML files, than this might also fix the problem for you!  If you aren't trying to use XML in the program and you're getting that error, it's probably a missing ActiveX library, and you should hit up The Google for help on your specific program...  It's worth a shot anyways, since installing SQLXML should not cause you any grief at all if it's installed on your computer even if you don't use it.

19Jan/110

Flattr – The e-tipping jar…

Flattr

Flattr

I'd seen and quickly forgotten about this about a year ago when it was pretty much ignored by most, but the other day I was reading a donation page for a site and ran into this little icon which I had no idea what it meant.  I figured it was just another digg-type link sharing clone, but I was curious so I clicked anyways.  From there I was taken to the Flattr.com page, and signed up for an account... so here's the lowdown of what it is...

Flattr is the solution to that guilty feeling some of us get from using free resources (say, like Exact Audio Copy) and not giving anything back.  A lot of sites have a PayPal donation box, or you can click on their banners (and hope they don't get cheated by their ad provider), but never has there been a way to easily throw them a little tip every now and then.  PayPal works if you want to donate, say, $5 or $10... but it's just not worth most people's time and effort to donate a quarter, especially when you consider you'll be paying more in fees than the donation value itself (in North America last I checked it was 2.95% + $0.30, and in other places it can be higher).

Flattr greatly simplifies the "tip giving" down to literally one click.  All you need to do is sign up for an account and deposit some money into your "means" - your available balance to give with.  You can deposit the cash using PayPal, and since it's a european site the balance is displayed in € Euro (not that location matters anymore on the internet, right?).  Next you set a total monthly € amount that you want to share between all those things (things = websites, freeware sites, videos, etc - anything that has a Flattr button on it, even real world stuff - there's a phone app for that!).  You can choose anything between €2 up to €100.  Once you've set your monthly Flattr amount, you are ready to go out on the web and start clicking the Flattr button on anything you think is worthy to get a share of your allocated monthly total you set to share.  The actual giving is done at the end of the month, so you have all month to click on those Flattr buttons around the web and at the end of the month the amount you set before is split evenly among every thing you Flattr'ed.

Example, if you have set a €5 amount to give per month, and clicked on 20 Flattr buttons, each person who owns the Flattr buttons would get €0.25 from you that month.

14Jan/112

The 34th Dimension

The 34th Dimension

The 34th Dimension

A few days ago a friend of mine told me he was going to take another go at running a website.  I know he's put in tons of hours getting it going over the past couple years, mostly on getting the design and template tweaked... but of course its kind of boring to write for a site when you get no traffic (kind of like this blog!)...

So when he mentioned that he was going to work on the SEO - first thing I said that what matters most is your content and then your backlinks.  He then asked me how these magical backlinks are acquired... to which I replied good content of course.  So as my good deed for the day, despite the fact that this site gets little to no traffic anyways, here's your first backlink my friend - The 34th Dimension -

If you are reading this post right now... then you really have nothing better to do, so why not check out his site?  It's actually pretty good!

Oh and Kent - why don't you Flattr me?  😛

4Aug/100

Pisexy.org’s open for signups – hurry in!

If you are still stuck using ThePirateBay.org and the rest of the "low level" (read, crappy) torrent trackers - here's your chance at getting into a normally quite exclusive torrent tracker called Pisexy. They have opened their signups for a limited time - so make sure you rush in, sign up, and KEEP THAT RATIO UP! If you don't use the account or seed back it's bye-bye...

Remember to seed or bleed out there...

20Dec/090

Can’t find your cellphone? WheresMyCellPhone.com will!

I'm great at putting things down and forgetting where I left it the next second... like my cellphone.

Today I lost it, and had a traumatizing image of my phone sitting in the jeans I just put in the washer... For a second I thought I'd go check the washer... but realized that would only make a mess (it's a building coin-op) and decided I'd take a leap of faith and just assume it was somewhere dry. I don't have a landline (or friends I could call obviously) to make it ring, so I figured... there must be someway to do it on the internet!

So, I Googled call my cellphone and WheresMyCellPhone.com was the first result. Clicked the link, typed in my phone number (only woks with +1 country codes, ie, North America), and two seconds later I hear my annoying ringtone that my girlfriend set for me coming from the other room.

Hopefully I won't be getting any marketing calls now...

15Oct/090

Baby 2D Flash Version of Portal is VERY Addictive!

Portal: Flash Version, Level 15

Portal: Flash Version, Level 15

Looking for a healthy time-waster?  I found this highly addictive puzzle game on Break, which is a 2D version of the very popular Valve game called Portal.  The flash game puts a portal generator in your hands, just like in the Valve version, where you create an entry and an exit portal which you can use to get around the level.

The catch, however, is that you can only shoot portals within line-of-sight.  The later levels have you dodging giant spikey things coming from the roof or electric fields that will fry you if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It's a great way to waste your time.

Find the game at Break.

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26Aug/090

Ubuntu 9.04: Latest version of Ubuntu better than ever!

Ubuntu: For Desktops, Servers, Netbooks and in the cloudIf you're not yet aware, Ubuntu 9.04 has been out for a while now, and it's better than ever!  I installed it on my Asus G50V, dual-booting between it and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit and it's running like a charm (writing this on it right now!).

As usual, you need to install the "extras" that aren't included since they are proprietary, closed source apps, in my case such as the nVidia driver, the Windows corefonts package, and ubuntu-restricted-extras to be able to play mp3s, video codecs like divx, etc.  The nice thing though, is they have been making it easier and easier to get this part up and running with the inclusion of apps such as the hardware drivers box which lets you two-click install the latest video driver (that's way easier than Windows!!!) and tons of walkthroughs and help on the Ubuntu website.  There is now even support for 64-bit Flash and Java plugins!

I also updated Wine (the Windows compatibility layer) to run MS apps, and other than having to install the Windows-propietary fonts, it thus far has run anything I try including what I'm playing now, Eve Online.  I've even installed Serato Scratch Live, which although I haven't tested it with the hardware SL1 since mine is in Costa Rica, the app itself runs as if it doesn't even know it's on Linux (and it's a fairly resource-intensive professional DJ app! - check out my AppDB Entry).  In case you didn't know, if you're thinking of switching to Ubuntu and NEED a Windows App but you there isn't an equivelant in Linux (most have one), check the WineHQ AppDB to see how well it runs under Wine.  You'll be surprised to see how many games run out of the box under Ubuntu/Wine!

My bareyl customized desktop (while editing this post).

My barely customized desktop (while editing this post).

Speaking of games... While Linux can emulate Windows games, Windows can't emulate Linux games or apps.  There are quite a few interesting games and apps available for Linux, and a good place start for games is LinuxGames and for apps is the "cool apps" thread on the Ubuntu forums.

Of course, Ubuntu does have some drawbacks.  Because I'm using the 64-bit version, some drivers I can't get to work, such as the one for my Canon scanner, however most hardware DOES work for the 32-bit Ubuntu.

All in all, other than to run Photoshop, which I haven't tried installing on Wine yet even though it says it can be done, I have had no reason what-so-ever to boot into Windows.  I can access all my files that are in the Windows partitions in Ubuntu (so I can play my music in Amarok, and my movies / videos in VLC, and edit MS Office documents in OpenOffice), play Eve Online, edit my websites and stuff with KFTPGrabber for ftp and Bluefish for PHP/HTML editing, and check my business email through Evolution mail... all just as efficiently as I would with Windows.  Only, with a MUCH stabler, customizable, prettier, and FASTER operating system.

Be sure to check out this video (it's even an OLD version of Ubuntu):

Oh, and by the way, everything about Ubuntu is completely free!  Ubuntu 1, Windows 0.

1Jun/090

“Procrastination is like masturbation. At first it feels good, but in the end you’re only screwing yourself.”

I have a problem.  I am a self-diagnosed chronic procrastinator...

Up until I actually bothered looking it up (I had been putting it off), I was under the impression that "procrastination" was simply the act of saying "I'll do it <insert relative time in future here>."  However, according to Wikipedia and several other sites, chronic procrastination is actually a form of psychological disorder that can be caused by several things, among them severe perfectionism (like myself).  It is the act of doing other, much less important things, in order to avoid doing what should be an immediate priority on your todo list. Procrastination can also be a sign of a more severe underlying condition, such as depression or ADHD.

Here's an obvious symptom, quoted from Wikipedia:

People who exhibit procrastination and decreased impulse control appear to be prone to internet addiction.

The hardest part about a serious procrastination issue is being able to recognize the flags that you are procrastinating.  If you find yourself always getting sidetracked, that's an obvious sign.  This video I found on YouTube sums up a chronic procrastinator's day perfectly:

If you want to try a supposed solution to procrastinating, check out John Perry's "Structured Procrastination" method, and read up on what causes and types of procrastinators exist in this Wikipedia article.

Oh, and by the way, yes, I write to this blog as a form of procrastination, like right now!