It is with a bitersweet heart that I say goodbye to a couple of things this month…
My eBay Business
It’s funny how when you think about a period of time ahead of you, it feels like a long time, but when you think about the same amount of time in retrospect, it seems very small. Sappy intro aside, it’s been 12 years since I started selling junks on eBay. At the time pretty much anyone could join, buy, trade, and sell with ease. Now, in order to join, you have to have a valid credit card number, bank account, wait 30 days before receiving ANY money from your first auctions [paypal puts a “security hold” on it], and soon I hear they’re going to request blood samples to make sure you’re not a Chinese terroristpiratemolester. Basically they’re discouraging new sellers from joining the marketplace, all in the name of security.
In all fairness, eBay played a large role in my income for the past 12 years, and for that I am grateful. My happiest memory of my eBay business has to be pulling a stack of items out of the closet that people had given me to list, and just hammering away at the keyboard, listing junks for sale well into the night, under this funky blown glass lamp in my old apartment, with folk music compliments of The Lake. Thanks to my new day job (article coming soon), at this point it’s just not worth my time anymore. So, if anyone’s interested in selling items for me and my former customers, let me know. There’s some lunch money to be made! (I am still planning on writing “brutally honest” ebay and craigslist selling guides.)
I know, it’s not like me to replace that time with leisure time. In its stead, I am filling up my evenings doing some new activities:
- My in-home computer services business has exploded as of late, so much of my time is now spent at your houses, dear readers!
- Project Phoenix: (Dependency: attention span) Finishing up the business plan for my revolutionary international cable company.
- Computers for the Bronx: My yet-to-be-trademarked microcharity. If any of you have any oldish computers that still power up, I can refurbish them, add free educational software, and send them to my cousin’s elementary school classroom in the Bronx. It’s exponentially more rewarding than fighting with some eBay psycho who demands free shipping after agreeing to a purchase…
- Teaching myself Java for fun.
- Buying and selling cars.
- And yes, the occasional game of Dawn of War against my roommate.
Serendipity (and my stubbornness)
So a while back I wrote an article about how WordPress sucked and I therefore switched to the Serendipity software for my blogging needs. The problems were threefold:
- Backing up was awkward: Figuring out how to back up my Serendipity website took at least a week, required the help of my Web Host, and involved a lot of obscure software back alleys (and scary MySQL sessions). All I need to do with WordPress is click Export, and it takes a snapshot of my entire blog site and buttons it up into a tidy little XML file on my desktop.
- Upgrading and even fully utilizing the Serendipity software installed was impossible on my current Web Hosting company: Enabling certain features required SSH-ing in, and while blog software should never have to require this, my host wasn’t about to grant me that privilege. However, ISPNet is a super-friendly Host and very reliable, so I’m not leaving them anytime soon! So, instead of using blog software installed on my host, the Blog portion of Teknosophy resides here at WordPress.com. As much as I wanted to keep my information in “my own cloud,” this proved to be inefficient and ineffective. I remember being reluctant to add more content to the Serendipity blog, cringing at the thought of performing MySQL backups!
- Serendipity isn’t quite as refined looking as the latest WordPress. As you’ll see in the next section, I’m learning slowly that a technology simply cannot be all self-righteous without a little sparkle. Whereas my old site’s articles sometimes stretched beyond the default page width and/or required large load times, WordPress’ banner photo feature had me at “hello.” Yes, that banner up top is customizeable. Can anybody guess where I took that photo?
Well folks that does it for this episode of Teknosophy. Tune in next time when I explain why I had to suck up some more stubbornness and say goodbye to one of the neatest gadgets I’ve ever owned, the Nokia N800.
P.S. Here I am again, listening to music and typing away, well into the night, but blogging to my heart’s content instead of selling stuff!