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Posts about general (old posts, page 5)

Farewell ICQ

For those of you who used to chat with me via ICQ and are wondering where I've disappeared to, I'm still alive. I've just stopped logging on because I've been getting way too many spam messages, with apparently no way to prevent them. You can reach me on MSN, my screen name is the same as my e-mail address.


What is it? splittar is a small utility written in Python. It will create multiple tar files from a set of data with each tar file being limited in size. This is useful for archiving data onto removable media such as CD or DVD. Other solutions that I've found rely on splitting one giant tar file, rendering all but the first tar files useless on its own. With splittar each file that is created is a valid tar file that is useful on its own. Where do I get it? Download it here: You'll also need Python version 2.4 installed. How do I install it? If you downloaded the .tar.gz version, running install should do the trick, although this won't install man pages. If you downloaded the .deb version, then running dpkg -i splittar_0.2_all.deb should work How do I use it? An example is probably the best way to get started. splittar -f outputfile.tar.gz -m CD $HOME This will create files called outputfile-1.tar.gz, outputfile-2.tar.gz, etc., each at most 700 MB in size, from the files in $HOME. See the man page for more information.

Printing in Linux?

This post on Christopher Blizzard's blog gives me some hope of improved printing on linux. While my new Epson CX4200 seems to work well for text, there are still some niggling issues like printing beyond the paper area, or clipping around margins, that make me worried about trying to print photos under linux. It also makes me think I should change my blog's theme to distinguish it from the other million default wordpress installations out there :)

Google AdSense as an income stream?

Steve Pavlina's latest post shows the power of Google's AdSense. In the past 12 months his revenues from AdSense has gone from pretty much nil to almost $5,000 a month! I've been listening to a few of his personal development podcasts, and it isn't hard to see why his site is so successful. He has a very good speaking and writing style - very clear, concise and down to earth. The articles available from his website are very helpful as well as inspirational. A few things I've picked up from his website and podcasts:

  • Create a passive source of income - something that requires little or no work per transaction. This liberates you from the day-to-day tasks of running of a business so that you can focus on optimizing or enhancing the processes that make your business run.
  • Focus on your strengths to provide good value.
  • Use the Internet to distribute this value. Actually, I'm not sure if he's ever said this directly, but it certainly makes sense in my mind. The Internet allows you to distribute your product at a very low cost per customer, and allows you to scale your business extremely quickly.
I had no idea that Google AdSense, or advertising in general, could be such a good passive source of income. It requires quality content, but Mr. Pavlina certainly has no problems with that!

Addicted to podcasts

I started listening to some podcasts back in December...The funniest thing got me started: a post on comp.lang.python was adversiting a podcast of the newsgroup as read by pyTTS. Since I started listening to podcasts back in December I have subscribed to a number of podcasts, and have been falling behind listening to them...Travis warned me that would happen! As I write this I have 780 MB of podcasts that have been downloaded but never listened to. Right now I'm listening to these podcasts:

I'm using iPodder to download all the podcasts, and a custom python script to move them onto my MP3 player so I can listen to them on the subway. I'd really love to be able to use bloglines or to manage my podcast subscriptions instead of iPodder. Nothing against iPodder, but I don't like being tied down to one application. What would be even cooler would be some system where I could mark certain episodes as having been listened to instead of just deleting them from my hard drive when I'm done listening to one :)

    No turning back now!

    I registered today for the Sporting Life 10k run. The run is on May 7th, so I have some time to get back into running shape :) I'd love to be able to finish it in under 50 minutes, especially since practically the entire run is downhill! The Canada Running Series website also has a few suggestions for training clinics for preparing for the race. I've never participated in a running clinic before, but I think it could be quite helpful, particularly as a way to force myself to get out running at least once a week! I'm also going to try using the training log at to track my performance over the next few months. I went jogging last night and had to quit after 15 minutes...but that was shortly after having dinner, so my stomach was upset at me for shaking it up so much.


    If you haven't heard of The Million Dollar Homepage I would suggest checking it out. It's a very simple concept - this guy is selling blocks of pixels on his home page for $1 per pixel. He's got an image 1000x1000 pixels in size, which works out to one million dollars. There's a small catch in that you can only buy pixels in blocks of 10x10 for $100, but still...that's pretty cheap advertising! It looks like he's almost sold out. In fact, he's auctioning off the last 1,000 pixels on ebay. As of this writing the current bid on the auction is $152,300. An extremely simple idea. Very low initial investment. Huge returns. Brilliant.