2008 October


eBay Tool that Texts Your Cell Phone on New Buy-it-Now Auctions

“This the season to be jolly!” Wait a minute! In the midst of the global economic downturn, how can anybody – except of course for those top-level corporate executives with hefty bonus packages – be “jolly” this season? I personally know of people – including myself – who have lost thousands of dollars in investments.

Ironically today, my PDA reminded me with its yearly recurring alert to beat the Christmas rush and buy presents early. Hooray for even more expenses! I hate to be a Grinch, but it’s hard to even think about gift giving in this economic crisis.

Cut Corners with eBay

But, you’ve got to make do with what you’ve got, right? Some people will turn to plastic. However, with the financial scare, there will be less credit to go around. Therefore, since many people will be paying with actual money, it’s imperative that they get the best bang for their buck. eBay is the perfect place for that. Think about it. On-the-side eBay sellers will emerge from dormancy and start listing items to supplement their income. Even better, there will be fewer buyers in the market because they’re holding on to their money … except smart people like you! It’s a great scenario of supply and demand where potential buyers win!

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Macro-based HTML Tag Support for Microsoft Word

Many people reading this are lone bloggers or – as I like to call them – “armies of one.” You manage the server, design the site, code the template, write posts, network with other bloggers, and market the blog. If you’re like me, grammar is kind of on the backburner. Since, I can’t really afford the price of hiring a full-fledged editor/proofreader or the time required to reread my articles an indefinite number of times, my dependence on the grammar check function is a bit more than recommended by most college professors.

The Problem with Plain Copy & Paste

I know many lone bloggers who write and format posts on Microsoft Word just for the spell/grammar check function. After they finish an article, they port the post to WordPress using copy/paste. However, with this method, the formatting gets either skewed in the visual WordPress Editor – since the original formatting is in Microsoft’s rich text format – or lost in the plain-text HTML WordPress editor. Trust me, its not fun ALT+TAB alternating between Word and WordPress windows trying to synchronize the formatting. Because of this, I personally prefer to write my posts in raw HTML. I think it’s a control issue. 🙂

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Simple MortScript Programming for Windows Mobile Smartphones

As a proud owner of Sprint’s new Palm Treo 800w, I regularly subscribe to the treo|central forum for my phone. Now, there is a common sentiment expressed in PDA/Smartphone forums – not just the one I read. “Is there a one-[touch/button/tap/click] approach I can do to [some function]?” This potential function could be toggling the GPS, killing the current application, terminating all open programs, toggling PowerVision/EVDO/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA, soft resetting, etc. If you’re lucky, someone knows of a for-pay program that contains the requested function hidden in an obscure menu. But usually, the bulletin board thread ends with … silence (crickets chirping).

But don’t concede yet! Once in a blue moon, if there is a high enough demand, somebody benevolently writes a program and releases it to the forum community. But why wait for that person? “Ask not what the hacker community can do for you. Ask what you can do for the hacker community!” Why not be that benevolent person? If there is not a way, make a way. Program it yourself!

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