Author Archives: a8le

eBay: 9% S/H

eBay is taking more nowadays. After selling off a few extra items I noticed that eBay took a fee off of my S/H charges. If you look into their final value fees, you’ll see this:

Here’s a simple example of a final value fee calculation for an auction-style listing:

  • You sell an item for $95.00 with a shipping cost of $5.00.
  • Your final value fee on the item cost is 9% of $95,00, which is $8.55.
  • Your final value fee on the shipping cost is 9% of $5.00, which is $0.45.

It’s the same thing as: item cost + shipping cost * 9%, which equals: total value * 9%. No wonder they aren’t charging an insertion fee any more; they simple raised rates all around. Then add on PayPal fees (~5%), which means eBay nearly takes 15%. Some seller are paying 20%+, WOW!

Just thought I would rant a little to spread the word around to all you unsuspecting eBay sellers…

A Little Warning About ZenniOptical.com

About 2 weeks ago I bought 4 pairs of eyeglasses from ZenniOptical.com and got them about a week. Ordering from them was a cinch and enjoyable. But (there’s always a but), when 2 the pairs that were for me ran a little small; the other 2 were for the kids and fit them perfectly. One of the was a medium (#730712) and bearable but the other which was supposed to be medium/large (#730712) but actually smaller than the medium.

Immediately I emailed support asking for a refund. But they said, “after your return has been processed by our office, you will receive a refund in the amount of fifty percent of the production cost of the returned glasses. We do not reimburse for shipping and handling. So, I asked if I could exchange? Again they repeated that it was my fault and should have read the sizing instructions, which I did! Additionally I had already ordered from them before:

The brown case and pair to the right are from an older ZenniOptical.com order; IMO when their quality was much better. Look at the cases they give you now, about half the size of the original. They really cram them in there. I digressed a little didn’t I? As stated they didn’t care I am a repeat customer or the fact that they glasses I got for myself were bought as spares and dirt cheap. Why would I scam them over $15? Additionally, of the four I bought these were the cheapest! Oh, the photographic proof of their mislabeling/sizing:

No more buying them for me, especially after what I just went through. I know it’s only $15, but its the principle of it all… how easily they took my money but can careless if they made a sizing mistake. So, be careful if you are thinking about ordering from them. Oh, by the way I’ll be keeping them because it just doesn’t make sense: $15+s/h, return for 50% ($7.50)-s/h costs(3.75)=3.75. That means I paid $12 and some change for their sizing mistake and end up with nothing!

[rating:2/5]

-Thuan

Bad GoDaddy Customer Service

Last night, I noticed a couple of my sites were down, both hosted on GoDaddy. After talking to support for about an hour and hearing that it was my fault. I did my own check up and restarted the application pool for ASP.net. That worked.

But this post is not about there servers randomly going down. It’s about another bad customer service experience I had with GoDaddy support. Every time I asked for the support expert (ha) to check to see if something had gone wrong on their end he said, “nothing has gone wrong, your site is scripted wrong.” Even after explaining that I had not touched my site in ages and the other was install by GoDaddy… he continued to disregard any my suggestion/queries has to what might have gone wrong.  In the end all I wanted was the sites up and not to point a finger.

I even started a post on their forums and without surprise other users have been experiencing the same problems for 30+ hours. Honestly they could have just checked and might have found/suggested something like “please try restarting your application pool?!?!”

http://community.godaddy.com/groups/web-hosting/forum/topic/sites-down-1/

It gets worst they edited any (if not) all the comments on the forums that made the server failures their fault. Again saying it’s our fault. Big time, NO NO!!!

After writing this I will still keep the sites mention with them because moving the sites will be such a hassle and their prices are one of the lowest for Windows hosting. But as for future sites and any potential customers they might have had going to them from me… the count is now ZERO.

So if you are considering GoDaddy web hosting. Be very very careful.

[rating:2/5]

-Thuan

Ooma

I have been using Ooma now for about a year. Initially the free line was going to take over our land-line. I ended up keeping our land-line for emergency reasons.  You know… in case our internet and all our cellphones go bad, lol. No matter how you look at it the Ooma beats having to pay $30+ monthly for unlimited nationwide calling, 3-way calling, caller ID, call waiting, and more.

Admittedly, it has its ups and down. To use the line as a fax number, I had to tweak the system a little. If you are using any Voice over IP type of system, you should really give Ooma a try… it’ll save you hundreds of dollar a year! Whatever you do though, don’t buy their Telo headset. It’s a piece of junk that has little features, low volume, and poor clarity. (Update: If you get the Telo headset, you get the instant second line… free.)

Ooma support seems to be outsourced and utterly useless. They’ll just repeat what is on the Ooma website. If you have any problems with an Ooma go to their forums, you find your answer there. Oh, BTW, I have had to RMA my first one already because I stopped work after two weeks.

Long story short, Ooma is great when it is works. There is a small learning curve and once you have it set up right, everything will be great.

One more thing, there are two versions of Ooma, the Hub and Telo. The Telo is the later version and looks slicker, but comes with an annual tax of approximately $11.

[rating:4.5/5]

DNN Forums Stored Procedures

If you anyone gets these errors from Dotnetnuke Forum Stored Procedures…

Msg 207, Level 16, State 1, Procedure Forum_AA_StatisticsSiteUpdate, Line 64
Invalid column name ‘IsPrivate’.
Msg 207, Level 16, State 1, Procedure Forum_AA_StatisticsSiteUpdate, Line 78
Invalid column name ‘IsPrivate’.
Msg 207, Level 16, State 1, Procedure Forum_ForumUserViewsUpdate, Line 0
Invalid column name ‘LastForumsView’.

This is because the table columns were changed without updating their relevant stored procedures. After looking at the stored procs and the table structures, it seems that:

IsPrivate is now PublicView &
LastForumsView is now LastActivity.

Changing the variables mentioned temporarily fixed my problems.

HTHs,
Thuan

DNN RADeditor Config’ing

A few weeks back I updated all my DNN sites to 5.4.4. Primarily to take advantage of ASP.net 3.5, but I also needed to come to terms with the fact that skins are now treated as modules. There were many other changes, one that came as a surprise was that FCKeditor was no longer DNN’s default editor. Telerik’s RADeditor was the new big guy in town and works just as well, but better in that it has more tools. The most useful tool that I have already taken advantage of is it’s spell checker. With that said, can there be too many tools? Tools that some of us will never use? YES!!! This is where the RADeditor’s configurability comes in handy. If you are looking to remove some of the tools from the default configuration, then edit this file…

DNN/Providers/HtmlEditorProviders/Telerik/Config/ToolsDefault.xml

I suggest that you only comment out the tools that you don’t want, you might find them handy later on…

If you look within the DNN/Providers/HtmlEditorProviders/Telerik/ folder you will also find the EditorOverride.css file. Which I found I needed to edit because by default the editor used the same “imaged background” and “centered” properties the site used.

Finally, if you find that you don’t like Telerik’s RADeditor, you can always revert back to the original FCKeditor via the web.config file…

find:
<htmlEditor defaultProvider=”TelerikEditorProvider“>
… change it to:
<htmlEditor defaultProvider=”FckHtmlEditorProvider“>

Happy Coding,
Thuan

Instant Messaging All-In-One (AIO)

It was just a few years back when Trillian dominated the IM scene, that was when they didn’t require an additional account. Trillian 3 was the last of its kind, or at least I thought so for a while.

To be frank, if I were forced to sign up for a new account I would rather use Meebo. Meebo is another popular AIO IM platform, their thing is that you don’t have to install anything; all you need is an Internet connection to get going with them. Still a new account is required if you want to see all your clients in one place.

But after some searching, I found Pidgin. Pidgin, the universal chat client is exactly what Trillian 3 was and my new favorite AIO IM program. Pidgin is an easy to use and free chat client used by millions. Connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and more chat networks all at once. It is simple to use and light on resources. So, if you are on the hunt for a new chat client.

Give Pidgin a try…

“IM all your friends in one place.”

Outlook Folder List View

It’s a real annoyance when you have a really bad memory. Yesterday for example, I forgot how to switch to Folder List View in Outlook. It is an option that I can’t live without, so  it is pretty important. And it took me over half an hour to find it again. Why is that? Well, it’s because the view isn’t in an obvious place, under the “View” tab. It actually isn’t under any of the tabs. It resides in an icon, the little folder icon on the bottom, left or of the corner! Someone…  should really fix this problem. It shouldnt be so hard to find… bad memory or not!

Okay, I feel better now. 🙂

Windows Security Essentials

I have been using Windows Security Essentials to see how I will work versus Avast Home Edition. And so far Window Security Essentials is my preferred antivirus. Both of course are free. And both work equally well, but I am sticking with Windows Security Essentials because it uses fewer resources. Try it out… click here.

microsoftsecurityessentials

Firefox Spell Checker

Why isn’t it more obvious? I just literally spent 10min looking to turn Firefox’s spell checking abilities on then remembered that all you need to do was install a dictionary of the language I wanted to have it spell check. Duh? No, because if you look through Firefox’s options, there is no reference to it’s spell checker. Also if you googled: firefox spell checker, you’ll get links going to outdated spell checker prototypes and tutorials. Granted that I am a computer geek, we do get old and forget things. 🙂 Additionally, if Firefox’s spell checker is intuitively integrated, shouldn’t the default language’s dictionary be intuitively integrated as well? I think so!

I hope this post is useful to someone somewhere.

Here’s the link to the English Dictionary… click me.