I'm actually sick of the word "entrepreneur" and I prefer something like businessman.
The media's conconction of dotCom "entrepreneur" is basically someone founding / running an IT startup.
I guess raising money from investors is a legitamite revenue stream, though I dislike it. Most entrepreneurs waste my time and everyone elses with their bankrupt ideas and even worse IT skills.
A real entrepeneur in my opinion has worked out how to generate money from the product or service. Almost from day 1. Earning money. With a long term outlook.
Something that most startups utterly fail to do.
It's not sexy sending invoices. Checking your bank statement on bank's shitty timeout-ing Web application. Manually marking off invoices as paid since there is no way of automating this.
But this is where you need to be in order to have a real business and real credibility in my book.
Pre-2013, at http://www.prazefarm.co.uk/ we had a "20CN" ADSL connection.
The very best broadband speed we could achieve was 6.26Mb/s down and 0.36Mb/s up. It's useless for uploads.
If you ignore the BT line rental tax of ~150GBP a year, we were paying about 20GBP a month for Internet via our esteemed ISP A&A.
After Superfast Cornwall
After a long nervous wait, we finally got FTTC about a mile away from our property. Much closer than the previous Cardinham exchange.
The cost of the upgrade was 100GBP with a 12 month minimum contract and we received two new modems. My heart sank when we got the first new readings of our Superfast line. About 10Mb/sec down and 0.5Mb/s up. Useless for uploads. I thought this must be a horrible error, since these new FTTC readings are a fraction of the predicted "upto" 24.1 Mb/s down and 5.6Mb/s up speeds.
Our internet speed just about doubled, however so did our costs. Ignoring the BT line rental tax of ~150GBP:
- Home::1 Internet Access is now 25GBP
- Home::1 Add-On: FTTC line, for having Superfast Internet costs 10GBP extra a month
Putting our Internet cost at 35GBP a month. This is about twice the cost of ADSL when you factor in the 100GBP installation cost.
Looking around, the monopoly BT offers BT infinity for 15GBP a month, but:
- I do not want to support the BT monopoly
- BT are probably getting a special price from BT Openreach
- BT product is subsidised by the fact that they usually manage to sell you loads of other crap too
- Dynamic IP / no IPv6, so BT's product is useless if you want to have a home cloud server
To add to my woes our new FTTC connection seems unstable at times. We've called out BT several times via AAISP who just run a line check and leave. They make no effort to deal with the instability or slow speeds. One engineer speculated that the copper wires running from the cabinet are probably in bad shape, however BT will not work on them.
I've spoken to directly with http://www.cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk/ and they say "Having looked at your location this is the sort of speed that I would expect over that distance of copper." I can't help but think this technology is inappropriate for rural settings since you can't expect people to live close to a cabinet! If you are lucky enough to live very close to a cabinet, you are probably laughing, otherwise this technology is not fit for purpose.
I intend on complaining and participating in broadband studies until something is earnestly done about broadband in Britain. There are still many villages without mobile service, let alone broadband. Considering the costs to consumers, together with 100s of millions of European funding support to aid the BT monopoly, it's a scandal and I'm not the only one to think so.
Yes! A way to easily watch my downloads on a big screen, which was basically impossible to do on an Apple TV.
- UI is a bit crap. Why are pictures, movies and TV shows seperated? The mind boggles.
- IOS7 doesn't work
- No bug tracker, only the dreaded Web forum
- Fails to pick up .srt subtitle, e.g. foo_eng.srt isn't found from foo_.mp4
- When I try playback videos on my Samsung UE46C6530 TV, the TV loses signal, later solved by a re-install
- Zeroconf fails to show Web sites, have to add them manually
Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center (OpenELEC) at least has a decent github powered issue tracker. Nonetheless both raspbmc and OpenELEC rely on XBMC. Nonetheless OpenELEC's support / IRC channel seems much healthier than the Raspbmc project.
- Annoyingly the Web interface isn't enabled by default, so I had to plug in a USB mouse instead of controlling it from my iPhone
- HDMI CEC works with my Samsung UE46C6530 TV nicely. Not sure why Raspbmc fell short here.
- Plugging in a USB stick in the top port causes the PI to reboot, same as Raspbmc
Zeroconf does not work like Raspbmc, Web sites aren't shown but can by manually added in the horrible UI
OpenELEC:~ # avahi-browse -at | grep http
- eth0 IPv4 XBMC (OpenELEC) http.tcp local
- eth0 IPv4 x220 http.tcp local
Doesn't automatically mount ExFAT formatted USB sticks. I found a fix in a pull but I have no idea when it will be deployed or how to use this particular revision
- For subtitles, I've discovered the amazing XBMC subtitles that goes off and downloads the subtitles
- Zeroconf fails to show Websites
Anyway, both projects stem from XBMC which has a ton of usability issues, however I really like their potential. I wish Chromecast was better supported, but after looking at it briefly, you get the same functionality by just pointing XBMC to the content as suggested in this JSONRPC post.
I can't help but think though, if it was easier to connect my laptop or desktop to my big screen TV, it would probably be a better solution overall. Basically I like to flick through my photo collection at lightning speed. You need SSD, fast CPU, a suckless image viewer and the latest codec support like that for WebP. Nonethless I still think the PI presents a pretty good low cost dedicated media solution. It's better than the Apple TV, if you can live without Airplay Mirroring (which is so damn nice tbh).
In Singapore payment processes are still stuck in 90s. You need to raise an invoice. The payer typically writes a cheque. Cheque is typically sent by post which takes two working days. And then it's cashed.
For personal accounts there is a recurring payments feature generally available with online banking.
However if you have a business account, recurring payments are generally not available with online banking. YMMV
You have to go to your banking branch and take out either a:
The standing order is for a fixed amount, and it costs 10SGD to setup. This makes it unpopular.
The Giro can take a month to setup and you get charged 10SGD for any amendments.
Giro grants the payee the right to debit the payer's account and is typically used for things like utility bills which, because they have an unpredictable component, can't be settled with a fixed monthly payment set up by the payer.
GIRO payments are instigated by the payer which needs to be a GIRO billing organisation, not the payee, in order to "pull" money out of the payer's account.
So I'm attempting to migrate my emails from Gmail to https://www.fastmail.fm.
Why? I don't like the privacy implications with Gmail and especially the new Gmail Compose UI.
Need some support
So I signed up for a Fastmail trial and the thing that bothers me is that you apparently don't get support unless you pay. But I don't want to pay until I know I can successfully "on board" to Fastmail.
PLEASE NOTE that we can *not* provide technical support to guest and member-level accounts; if you require technical support (other than billing/pre-sales support) with one of these accounts please click Options and then Upgrade Account to upgrade to Full, Enhanced or Premier level.
Tbh fastmail support have come through for me, despite not paying them yet!
The first annoyance I ran into is the ridiculous default fastmail footer, which I promptly removed. To those who have the same footer as defined your From: address, you're are creating noise.
A more serious issue is the Migrate IMAP UI wasn't friendly. Initially I wrongly used imap.google.com instead of imap.gmail.com and this message confused me:
Could not connect to remote IMAP server SSL imap.google.com: Invalid argument at /home/mod_perl/hm/ME/ImapMigrate.pm line 269.
The Gmail server seemed to refuse access to the account because it came from a New York IP. This was eventually resolved, but it took some time. It's a bit unnerving that Fastmail is hosted in the US, though I wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org asking about it and they say although the NSA can physically seize their hardware, they would have to go through Australian law to access your account through Fastmail.
After "Migrate IMAP"
So this is a "one-time only action" and it doesn't do anything clever like keeping your emails in sync with Gmail. So if I don't switch my forwards, my emails will get more out of sync as everyday passes.
While the "Migrate IMAP" is happening, it looks rather strange, emails are constantly being injected into the DOM. However once this "one time" process finishes, I can't find my Gmail labels/folders of my mail!
Despite using Fastmail's Global Bayes database, I am getting a lot of spam. Annoyingly sometimes from the SAME X-Mail-from: address. Fastmail argue after time your personal database will become trained.
It's a shame that somehow when you move away from Gmail you can't bring along your own "Bayes database".
Update: After using Fastmail for more than a month now, I can honestly say it's improved a lot, but not quite as perfect as Gmail... yet.
Goodbye filters, hello Rules
Gmail's filters work really well. I love the fact you can test and then apply them on email after the fact.
My experience with Fastmail's Rules has not been good! Gmail's UX is better.
No automatic addressbook migration
I expected Fastmail to migrate the addressbook. But it doesn't. And it doesn't seem to be able to gleam email addresses from my Gmail migrated mails. So at first I wondered how best to move my addressbook from Gmail to Fastmail
I've exported my contacts from https://www.fastmail.fm/contacts/ using vCard standard and imported them into https://www.fastmail.fm/contacts/. I have something like 6k+ contacts thanks to Gmail's automagic adding of contacts.
A lot of the contacts could be pruned, but there is no sane UI to do that.
Support replies not by email
If you get a reply from support, you will be shocked to see DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. REPLIES WILL NOT BE MONITORED. in their email body. You need to click the link to use another form to reply. Face palm
The password field on support tickets is also quite jarring to me. I should be logged in already!?
Furthermore tickets are archived after 30 DAYS. Sorry for all the broken links.
Have to use
Mail iOS app push does not work
Btw their mobile Web client is pretty damn good!
From Fastmail's support:
Push on iOS is currently only possible using ActiveSync, a proprietary protocol from Microsoft that you have to pay licensing fees to use. We don't currently support ActiveSync and have no immediate plans to do so.
This is all really annoying, because there is a way for IMAP to support push, but Apple don't want to support it. Additionally Apple apparently have their own proprietary IMAP extension to do IMAP push (http://www.dovecot.org/list/dovecot/2012-August/067682.html), but it's not officially documented so attempting to use it might just end up in our servers being blocked.
So at the moment, I'm afraid a 3rd party service is required to do true email push:
Having said all that, we're looking at another option, which is to create our own FastMail app which could support our own push protocol. Hopefully we'll have something by the end of the year.
Fastmail Notes are not compatible with notes from IOS
The "Notes" on the iPhone is a different thing and is not related to our notes in the webinterface. At the moment, we don't support the "Notes" sync feature on the iPhone. Its also not something we plan to support in the near future.
Things that Fastmail has that Gmail seemingly doesn't
- I find the keyboard shortcuts much more usable on Fastmail
- You can easily find the oldest emails, so I can see the first email between my wife and I from Aug 5 2005 in Melbourne!
- The Fastmail.fm blog is a very good read
- Their servers are in the US, but they are looking into ways of offering their service from non-US servers
- Fastmail listens to you. However their support mechanism could be better and they also could be better with twitter support too.
The Adobe Flash plugin for Linux 220.127.116.117 is completely unstable.
The workaround I use is to use Google's "Pepper Flash":
Which only works in the Google branded Chromium "google-chrome" product. It isn't free software. This is a complete disaster, since Flash used to work fine in Linux. Now Flash 11.2 series crashes without fail and has become unusable.
- No way to export logs
- No search
- No way to kill account
- Quite a heavy Web app
Nice try though. I wish the developers luck.
I'm back to tmux+irssi. Works on IOS pretty well with prompt.
Following up from Singapore telecommunications.
Wait, you are probably looking at that Speedtest and salivating?
That Speedtest is only testing OpenNET fibre connection local to Singapore.
What about Malaysia?
What about Hong Kong?
And now San Francisco?
And finally London
These were taken on a Friday evening on the best M1 Fibre product you can buy, here in Singapore. Business line. Fiber BizPac 100M for almost 300SGD a month or ~220USD.
European transits go across North America
Basically if you are dealing with Europe, you are at the end of the World. There is no routing west of Singapore. Lines typically go upto Hong Kong, then Tokyo, then across North America. If you get better than 5Mbps to London you are doing very well.
Contract lengths are usually 24 months
Want a fast connection for just 6 months? Sorry, you're screwed.
All paths lead to OpenNET/Singtel
Even though there is a couple of ISPs in Singapore, they all end up on the same OpenNET/Singtel infrastructure I'm told. There is effectively no competition or innovation.
No customer service
Want to complain to your Singaporean ISP about Packet Loss on their end discovered by My Traceroute? Fat chance. No status pages or issue trackers here! No sane email responses.
Porn and Gambling sites are filtered by the Media Development Authority.
Adding filtering from a purely technical standpoint makes the Internet slow.
Since my wife Ruth is an interior designer and I have a good friend who is an architect, it frustrates me that their work can't be easily viewed on the Web.
Furthermore when someone books my parent's cottage or when I book accommodation myself, you generally do not have a good idea of the physical space except for a gallery picture.
Another use case is maintaining a building. It would be great to be able to document how network cables run, how heating is zoned, how different electrical circuits are isolated.
With that in mind I bought my wife a Bosch PLR 25 Digital Laser Range Finder, to measure Praze Farm's dimensions, and that project was a little harder than previously imagined.
First step for Ruth was take loads of measurements and then step 2 re-draw the building in SketchUp. She used the previous photo-copied floor plans as a guide, though it turns out in our "Grade 2" listed building the walls were not level. In the end it was so complex and tedious she gave up, much to my disappointment.
Now with a dose of Science Fiction and Google's driverless cars pushing LIDAR technology, one can imagine a device that can scan a building. The 3D data LIDAR collects could be transformed in the 3D model. Great, two steps in one, with only detailing and annotation of the design left to do!
Though what encapsulated format would this be in? Obviously we need something that can be translated into WebGL with ease. So any browser equipped device can explore and be informed by the detailed model. So far I don't think this functionality exists, so isn't there a wonderful opportunity for development?
- Take photos with iPhone
- Upload with Dropbox App on the Iphone
- On my VPS "~/Dropbox/Camera Uploads", I have a script
dropper.shwhich moves photos to http://static.natalian.org/ (saving space on Dropbox)
- From http://static.natalian.org/ I have another script
flickr.shto upload the images to Flickr
- I tag/title images upon Flickr, which takes a lot of effort with Flick's dated http://www.flickr.com/photos/organize tool
When I backup from Flickr, the images and their metadata is separate. I need to write a script to keep the metadata in the image. I want to back up from Flickr as the years of Metadata I've uploaded is worth a LOT to me.
Don't have a good way of handling videos yet. I do mean to convert them to HTML5 video for http://video.natalian.org/ upon http://static.natalian.org/, but I keep running into rotation problems https://ffmpeg.org/trac/ffmpeg/ticket/515
I don't think Flickr should handle videos.
I generally try to upload videos to Youtube as its fairly easy from the Iphone and it gets maximum exposure. Again I don't have a way of downloading the metadata I add to the videos there.
I have a LOT of duplicates on Flickr and elsewhere which puts me off uploading really old stuff which I think isn't on Flickr. I can't really tell, especially since Flickr has no de-duplication feature.
Of course I don't own the Flickr and Youtube URIs, and I can't make them redirect.
My parents photo flow
They are in Apple land with a Macbook and with the introduction of a Macbook Air, it's truly fucked up.
A lot of the "Apple photo management" problems are raised upon https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5673628. To add:
- Hosting an iPhoto library on the Time capsule even on a good network is pretty much unusable
- iPhoto wants to upgrade the iPhoto library? Or you have two different versions of iPhoto accessing the same library? You're basically screwed.
- The iPhoto library is just insane-ware. It's really really hard to export photos with its metadata embedded in it.
If you do the right thing by trying to take it out of iPhoto, it makes viewing your collection of Photos on Apple TV / iPad almost impossible.
Right now my parents are not taking pictures because I'm trying to sanitise their existing huge iPhoto collection, which is taking me forever.
I'm re-purposing my linux rig to an Archlinux powered NAS to store backup of all the photos on a mirrored 1TB soft raid setup.
I'm keeping all of the photos in a git repository, sorted by year.
I'm endeavouring to keep metadata in the image. E.g.
exiv2 -M"add Iptc.Application2.Keywords String $tag" $image
I plan to backup in the mornings over months the photos to one of my VPSes, probably Hetzner. Then I sync to Dreamhost slowly. Need to come up with something a bit more robust here.
(200 GB) / (0.7 * (Mbit / sec)) = 27.0899471 days
The canonical copy of the photos will be the NAS, in git.
I mount the NAS share in NFSv4 and do my scripting and editing. Then I commit the changes. It's a lot of effort on my part since I'm the only one who can use my sxiv image viewer and metadata scripts. I've sunk countless hours into it and I don't think any member of my family appreciates the herculean effort that's required.
Exporting Photos out of iPhoto to the NAS is so painful. I can't have NFS and AFP services running simultaneously for example. Apple does not support Samba/NFS IIUC. So I have ton of work running around trying to ensure iPhoto is putting photos in the "family memories NAS".
Thank you for commenting !