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5901  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Software Revenue/Licensing Thoughts on: July 01, 2011, 08:49:30 PM
^On par with QB for sure when it comes to straight accounting.

QB however, will have a definite edge for tax reporting support if you get the industry specific Non-Profit one.

The real issue would be if your auditors were comfortable with you guys using it since it's all about making them and the IRS happy.
 smiley
5902  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Software Revenue/Licensing Thoughts on: July 01, 2011, 07:43:25 PM
But I have to ask, do you think Nola's model appeals to us because we're techie and we "get" it? Or do you think it's also pretty intuitive to the average person as well?

@JJ - I don't know about the average user. But the business users I've discussed it with thought it was a great idea. Even the most skeptical were all for it, once they saw they weren't about to be nickle & dimed for every little thing.

So in the case of Nola Pro, it think it's as much a function of how they treat their customer as it is how they implemented their in-app modular licensing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is they give their users a very fair deal. The clever way they make the deal work is pretty much icing on the cake after that. And it's especially refreshing because it's all up front and easy to understand. No games.

Gotta love that after wading through all the bogus "lifetime license" and adware bundling nonsense that's been going on.


----

P.S. If you need a really nice business accounting app, grab a copy and check it out. You can run it on a PC. It doesn't require an actual server although it can be installed on one if you want to. I like this puppy enough that I may shift my operation over to it eventually if I like the way they handle tech support.

5903  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: July 01, 2011, 07:30:13 PM
@Mark0 - no offense taken.  smiley If you had asked me what I thought of FB prior to my GF's involvement with the horse rescue people, I would have used the exact same words - and meant them exactly the way you didn't. But life is a learning process. And FB wouldn't be the first thing I was wrong about. Nor will it likely be the last. Grin
5904  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: July 01, 2011, 06:58:12 PM
Facebook was always about over-exposing and basically shouting & showing in public.

Umm...I'm not a Facebook member. And I don't personally care for it all that much. But I think that's painting with an overly broad brush. I've seen a lot of good things accomplished through savvy use of Facebook.

My GF is involved in horse rescue They buy and find homes for decent serviceable horses sitting in auction "kill pens" in order to prevent them from being shipped to Canada where they're slaughtered for their meat. Some of what her group's auction spotters see is pretty sad. Especially when they see how some of the horses in the pens arrive with show-braided manes and tails. Obviously somebody wanted their horse to look pretty so it would put in a good appearance and attract a decent buyer. You can only imagine what the parents told their kid when they sent those horses away. ("She'll be all right honey. She's going to go to a place where they'll find somebody nice to take care of her and show her just like you did. She's gonna be ok. Promise.")

The group started with fewer than thirty or so people. In just a two years it's grown to 20,279 members (as of today), with more joining every week. They purchase, find homes for, and ship between 20-40 horses every week. And just last week some chance discussion (and local amateur investigation) led to the shutting down of a bogus horse rescue operation. Now they're working with the police and DA's office where the place was located to help in securing a criminal conviction for animal cruelty and operating a fraudulent charitable organization. Talk about crowd sourcing!

And they're not alone. A lot of responsible political action groups, local news agencies, businesses large and small, and indie artists use Facebook very effectively in ways that transcend the usual Newsweek "anti-social 14-year old bully" stereotype.

And my GF would be ROFLHAO to see me speaking up for Facebook right now. Grin

Quote
G+ is more focused, seems more like group conversations / collaborations / friendly talk-abouts.

I'm gonna have to take your word for now. I haven't been able to see it yet. I'm still waiting for Google to send me an invite. smiley

Quote
that was Wave's target, or at least part of it.

I did not get that at all from using Wave. Maybe that's what they hoped it would become. All I saw was people floundering around trying to build some momentum and figure out something useful to do with it. Maybe I was just too un-hip to "get it." But if so, I certainly wasn't alone.

Quote
I think the similarities with FB are more skin deep than substantial: while they appears similar (mostly in the UI), I'm already finding that I'm using them in very different ways.

Despite not having seen it, I think you're spot on with that. It does seem to approach the whole social-net thing in a much more focused and structured way. Which is smart. Because if it didn't, what would be the point?

Of course it's small wonder when you consider the resources Google has at its disposal (and the fact they're standing on the shoulders of others) that they'd come up with something better. Still, I'm surprised they're using the same "build the buzz" roll-out strategy they used for Wave. All that did was get a lot of people pissed off at them. When they finally opened the gates for general admission it was already too late.

I don't think it will go quite that way for G+. There's a lot in there to like if what it says on the wrapper is true. And it's much more comprehensible a paradigm since it's evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

Either way, this is sorta like me getting into a discussion about what Angelina Jolie is like in bed. I've heard some things. And since I have related experiences in my background, I can sorta surmise - and possibly extrapolate. But there's just no way I can actually know.

Which is fine. I'm in no rush.

(For the G+ invite at least.) Wink Cool









5905  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Software Revenue/Licensing Thoughts on: July 01, 2011, 05:06:47 PM
He's just in the time consuming process of doing an in-depth review of Nola Pro for another website and wound up being very impressed by it.
Would be nice to supply a link to that review once it's publicly available, please Thmbsup

Will do.  smiley

5906  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: July 01, 2011, 04:09:33 PM
Mark, I don't really see how G+ is much like Wave at all. It's very much like Facebook in fact,

Gotta agree. I tried Wave. I didn't understand what it was supposed to be before I got an account. And I still really didn't get what it was trying to do after I got an account. G+ looks pretty straightforward. Social apps with sensible bells & whistles added. No paradigm shift required. smiley
5907  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Software Revenue/Licensing Thoughts on: July 01, 2011, 03:50:11 PM
One of the best licensing approaches I've ever seen is used by Nola Pro accounting by Noguska LLC.

They release an exceptionally powerful and very well-featured accounting package (easily on par with Peachtree Complete IMO) at no charge. There are, however, certain features and advanced capabilities that require separate licenses to use. These licenses can be purchased and installed via a built-in mechanism.

Quote
NolaPro Add-Ons & Plug-Ins are additional features you can activate inside your NolaPro installation to give you certain capabilities not included in the base package. The activation process is very simple:

  • Click the purchase button for the add-on/plug-in you are interested in.
  • After buying the feature you will be sent an activation code.
  • Paste the code in the appropriate feature box on this page.
  • Click the activate button, and then the finalize installation button at the bottom (in case new menu links need to be added).

Your feature will be turned on inside NolaPro, and you will be able to use the add-on or plug-in even if you need to move your application to a different server.

[attach]


What makes Nola unique is the way this has been implemented.

  • The plug-ins are very reasonably priced ($3-$12 average per)
  • Decent functionality has been included in the free program, which is very usable by itself, so it's not like they're bleeding you for every little feature or to get core functionality.
  • Many of the add-ons are specific to certain types of business or reporting requirements. By leaving them out it avoids unnecessarily cluttering up the app with features many businesses wouldn't want or need.
  • Because they're unbundled, you only need to buy the optional features you want (or can afford) as you need them.
  • They make it very easy to buy the add-on licenses. Not quite as convenient as Apple's AppStore - but damn close.

They also provide a full documentation wiki - but charge for electronic documentation ($20) if you really want it handed to you on a platter. I find them doing that extremely reasonable since you still get access to the full documentation online for free.

But what really makes this work for me was how they struck a sweet spot with what they give you. The free package is not basic by any stretch. It's a very powerful and capable business accounting system. You could easily handle most SMB's accounting requirements with the free version. This makes it a true PRO solution. You'll definitely need some previous accounting or professional bookkeeping experience to use it effectively right out of the box. But everything is in the online documentation. So if you don't have the experience, you'll need to do some reading.

What I especially admire is how there's no "lite" vs "pro" edition. Everything is there and available. All you need to do is decide how much (if any) of the "extras" you want to activate. And the fact they've unbundled them so you don't need large amounts of cash all at once is a very compelling proposition for many SMBs.

They've also minimized internal IT requirements by offering a hosted version on their servers for $25mo./$60qtr./$200yr. This is very reasonable pricing for this category of software. Very smart move on their part with many companies moving over to cloud deployments.

There's few things more frustrating than to get a piece of software in - either as a free or relatively inexpensive lite edition - and then discover it will cost something like $500 a month to continue using it once you exceed the initial 2 user or 20 transaction limit. Many exclusively online invoicing and accounting systems drop surprises on you like that. Nola avoids those bad surprises

Anyway, be sure check them out. Homepage here.

--------------------------------------
Obligatory Disclaimer: 40hz is not affiliated in any way with Noguska LLC. Nor does he get anything for saying nice things about them. He's just in the time consuming process of doing an in-depth review of Nola Pro for another website and wound up being very impressed by it. Which is a far rarer occurrence than most people would expect. mrgreen


5908  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine) on: July 01, 2011, 11:44:27 AM
But she's unusually nervous about "being down."

And quite wealthy.  Grin

Wealth is a poor substitute for peace of mind.


edited to make the phrase sexier.

I have it on excellent authority ("her" being my niece) that she sleeps like a baby most nights.

Not having to worry about money (at least not too much) has a lot to do with it. Which she'll be the first to admit, having experienced life on both ends of the financial spectrum.  Grin :

Money may not be everything - but "poor & happy" isn't all it's cracked up to be either.  Wink

At the very least, if you're well off, you can afford to pay someone to do your drive mirroring for you! Grin

5909  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine) on: July 01, 2011, 09:38:25 AM
Having just been through this, I realize that I should keep a log of the changes made to my main machine — I missed some. It all sounds very tedious but if one makes it a routine it's no worse than doing the dishes. When the crunch comes, you'll thank that previous you for spending an hour, then, to save you five minutes now.

If we are really insistent on complete redundancy, why not buy two of the same machine, make them identical on, say, a weekly basis through an imaging program like clonezilla or ghost if you are feeling particularly and ridiculously rich?

I know a business exec that does just that.

Actually, she has three identical laptops.

And she has someone do the imaging for her.

But she's unusually nervous about "being down."

And quite wealthy.  Grin
5910  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: YACT - Yet Another Copyright Thread on: July 01, 2011, 09:19:01 AM
In the US, it's also seen as a result of lobbyists spending their money to influence policy. They won't be happy until we pay for every single click, I promise.

Which the government doesn't have a problem with since it makes web usage easier to control.

Old US government trick. Anytime you don't have the constitutional authority to regulate something you climb into bed with business interests that will price it up high enough that it accomplishes the same thing. (Look at gas prices.)

And as long as these businesses impose a modicum of control over the growth and development of their product or service, they'll be left alone by the government, free to abuse and exploit the public at will. Not to say there won't be some puppet theater (i.e. public hearings, speeches, token attempts to pass pre-doomed legislation, etc.) but that's primarily all any official protest will be.

It's not Internet access the government is afraid of. It's cheap, ubiquitous, unrestricted, unmonitored, and open access that scares them out of their minds. The government hates lack of regulation. And privacy for individuals. Probably because government itself knows what badness it invariably gets up to whenever it's not sufficiently regulated - or thinks nobody's looking.

Its a well known aspect of human psychology: Every cheater assumes everybody else cheats. Every thief believes everybody steals.

And no bastard I've ever met thinks he's the only bastard in the room.
 Cool
  
5911  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine) on: July 01, 2011, 09:00:06 AM
Having just been through this, I realize that I should keep a log of the changes made to my main machine — I missed some. It all sounds very tedious but if one makes it a routine it's no worse than doing the dishes. When the crunch comes, you'll thank that previous you for spending an hour, then, to save you five minutes now.

+1!

I've learned (through bitter experience) to keep a log on every machine and router I use or am responsible for. A small text file kept in the root directory can be a lifesaver. Especially for a heavily customized and tweaked server.

You can encrypt it if you decide to store passwords or other sensitive information in it. Something like f0dder's fsekrit app is perfect for that since it runs as a standalone. Keynote or something similar can also be used. I keep copies of all my logfiles on a heavily encrypted USB key which I always keep with me. This gives me immediate access to the data whenever I need it besides acting as an offsite backup.

I learned the wisdom of doing this the first time I had to rebuild my main machine and realized I couldn't remember half the clever and nice things I had done to it...
 smiley
5912  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: July 01, 2011, 06:44:14 AM
Or Fagoogle... Facoogle... Foogle... Fagle? Uh oh...

- Oshyan

I'd like to suggest they call it G-Spot.  tongue

It's hot. It's relatively hard to get to. And it's certainly provoking enough heavy breathing to qualify.  Grin



5913  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: June 30, 2011, 01:46:04 PM
Ok...I've got half my friends & family all over me asking what this thing is about.

If anyone  has a spare invitation I'd be grateful if you could extend it to me.

Thx.


UPDATE 05-Jul-2011: Cancel above request. Got a chance to see it in action while looking over the shoulder of a friend who did manage to get an account. It's...ok I guess.

I'm not planning on joining.  smiley
5914  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Sticky notes for Linux? on: June 30, 2011, 06:28:43 AM
I got Notezilla working under wine, ...

Sure. Why not?  Grin

I have to admire someone who refuses to take "not available" for an answer. (And wine has gotten pretty useful now that the average PC's hardware can handle what it does.) Done good! greenclp

P.S. BasKet is a little weird, so expect a minor learning curve if you decide to try it. It's no big deal. But it can be a little confusing at first. Just my 2¢.
5915  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: June 30, 2011, 06:22:17 AM

I thought up a terrible one before...

Google#

cheesy tongue

Wow! Does that mean it was written using .Net?  tongue

5916  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine) on: June 30, 2011, 06:05:40 AM
The best way to do it is with a two pronged shield.

The first line of defense is to protect your house power lines at the utility service entrance point. That provides "whole house" protection. But it can be a little costly since it needs an electrician or your utility company to install it. Prices range from about $200-$1000 USD depending on ratings and how fancy you want to get with status displays and blinkin' lights.

Quote
Residential Surge Suppressors are the first line of defense against damaging electrical surges and spikes that originate outside your home. They are installed by an electrician at your circuit breaker panel and safely reduce the severity of power transients caused by utility accidents, power outages and lightning.

Your second line of defense is a good quality UPS (best solution) or plug-in surge suppressor attached to sensitive equipment.

It's important to plug everything that is a part of your system into (at least) a surge suppressor. If you don't, a surge entering an attached but unprotected component (ex: monitor, cabled-in printer, phone line, etc.) can still damage your computer since there's a circuit path.

So a whole-house residential surge suppressor + local device protection is the way to go if you're that worried.

Carol's suggestion you look into if you're covered under you homeowner's/renter's insurance policy is a good one. Lightning damage is rare enough that filing a reasonable property damage claim seldom affects your rate going forward. Some insurance companies will also partially underwrite your getting a residential suppressor installed if you're in an area that experiences a lot of lightning damage. Worth asking about since they seldom volunteer that sort of information.

------------------------

Note: I've been told by an electrician that daisy-chaining two surge suppressors together boosts the level of protection to anything plugged into the downstream strip. I have no way of knowing if this is true, but it does seem to make sense since any residual surge that made it through the first suppressor would likely be stopped by the second.


eleman, how do we tell if we have an online UPS or not?

(Old IT joke: if it cost less than a grand - or you can pick it up by yourself - it isn't an online UPS - no matter what the brochure calls it.)

There's no way you can tell just by looking at it - although size and price is a good clue. The manufacturer's site however, should have that information available. "Online" is also sometimes called "zero switchover" or "continuous" in the product literature.

Basically in an online system ALL power at the device plug is coming through the battery circuit in the UPS. In cheaper UPS systems AC power goes though a suppressor circuit (just like a power strip) but switches over to battery in the event of a surge or power loss. That switchover takes a minute but definite amount of time. If the surge is large enough that it too rapidly blows through the suppressor circuit, the UPS may not have enough time to switch to the battery circuit before it - and whatever is attached to it - gets roasted.

It's pretty rare having that happen. But it does, so that's why there are "online" or "continuous" UPSs.

Good article here if you're interested in a more in-depth description of how they work. The article is a little old. But it's still accurate since UPS systems work the same now as they did back then.

5917  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Sticky notes for Linux? on: June 30, 2011, 05:27:48 AM
I'm not aware of anything running on NIX that duplicates Notezilla's complete feature set.

But that doesn't surprise me since the underlying Unix philosophy semi-frowns on 'kitchen sink' feature sets, preferring the "this program does one thing only - but it does it extremely well" approach. I guess that assumes everybody is a shell script maven (and all the data is still stored as plain text files) so it sould be a "simple matter" to just write a script that pipes things back and forth between ten different apps to get whatever features you want.

Yeah, right! undecided

Anyway, as you probably already know, the top notetaking apps for NIX are Tomboy, BasKet Note Pads, KNotes, and Xpad.

FWIW I use BasKet and Xpad. smiley

5918  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: June 30, 2011, 04:04:00 AM
Odd. I'll try again with the email. That at least should have gone through.

- Oshyan


Google hates me~!  ohmy

Same thing. Didn't go through. My guess is that they've got a serious backlog. Hmmm... Wonder if there's an "ex-lax for email servers" app out there... Or maybe they're just not using iPhones at Google. smiley

I did check the spam folder. Alas, only rolex watches and viagra there...

Won't matter for the moment. They have an apology posted if you've received an invite but can't get in: Already invited? We've temporarily exceeded our capacity. Please try again soon

It feels like Wave all over. Grin

5919  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: YACT - Yet Another Copyright Thread on: June 29, 2011, 09:33:24 PM
It does. But this one is a battle they really can't win. I think it boils down to the fact the backbone the Internet runs on was built and paid for mostly by national governments. Its their bat and ball. And I think all the ISPs know if push comes to shove the government will have the final word. So rather than force the issue and bring an unwieldy set of laws and a meddling bureaucracy down on their heads, its easier to seek some token compromise or act of symbolic capitulation to satisfy those calling for regulation.

It's your classic (at least to me) "render unto Caesar" strategy.

5920  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The law is for YOUR protection. Honest! on: June 29, 2011, 02:53:16 PM
@worstje - There may be some faint hope. Looks like some government officials are waking up to what the proposed ACTA treaty represents - and behaving responsibly in the face of it:

Quote

 
Did Mexico Pull Out Of ACTA For Real? For Now, Yes, But Maybe Not For Long


After discussing the recent move by the Mexican Congress to sign off on a statement urging the country's President not to sign ACTA, we asked Geraldine Juarez, who has been following the situation closely in Mexico to weigh in with more details on what's happening there on this issue.

Last Tuesday, the Second Standing Commission of the Mexican Congress approved unanimously a resolution, promoted by Senator Francisco Castellon, to exhort the Executive to not sign ACTA. The resolution was tabled and then voted on Wednesday by Congress (this voting included Congressmen and Senators). The text of the resolution is explicit about this request:

ÚNICO.- La Comisión Permanente del H. Congreso de la Unión, exhorta respetuosamente al titular del Poder Ejecutivo Federal para que, en el marco de sus atribuciones, instruya a las Secretarías y Dependencias involucradas en las negociaciones del Acuerdo Comercial Anti Falsificación (ACTA), a no firmar dicho Acuerdo. Dado en el salón dos de comisiones del Senado de la República.

Translation
UNIQUE.- The Standing Committee of the H. Congress, respectfully urges the Federal Executive Power so that, within the framework of its powers, instruct the ministries and agencies involved in negotiating the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), not to sign the Treaty.



Full article here.
5921  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: June 29, 2011, 01:17:47 PM
@mahesh2k Wow! That's even worse than I thought it was.

And I already thought it was pretty bad.  Grin

5922  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: June 29, 2011, 09:40:42 AM
It pays to remember Google's primary goal is to deliver advertisements and ad related services. And collect data on usage patterns which they sell back to advertisers.  

This is no different than what Facebook does.  

While that may be true, there's a huge difference in the scale and sophistication of what Google does compared to Facebook. Google is a marketing company that offers free web services to facilitate its marketing and data collection businesses. Facebook is primarily a social network that supports itself through advertising and the collection of demographic data. That's a small but very significant difference.

Google also isn't a one trick pony. If Circles fails, Google just moves on to other opportunities. (Look at Buzz.) Facebook has one product so all its eggs are in one basket. Admittedly it's a very large basket. But so was MySpace's basket at one time.

I personally think the best Circles will be able to accomplish is a peaceful coexistence with Facebook due to the incredible gravity well having a membership approaching the billion mark creates.

There's also nothing in Circles that Facebook couldn't duplicate from a purely technical perspective. It's just a question of will they - and would anybody care if they didn't?

Time will tell.  smiley

5923  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Opera 11.5 Released on: June 29, 2011, 09:04:22 AM
@Ren- According to the Opera website: Opera Mini is the same as Opera Mobile minus Opera's own rendering engine and support for Adobe Flash and HTML5.

Those 'omissions' seem to be because Apple won't allow Flash; or any rendering engine other than their own in a browser if it's going on an iPad/Phone.

I'm guessing Opera decided to differentiate because they wanted it to be known their mobile browser's limitations were due to having arbitrary limits put on it by Apple. In short, if it's on Apple, you're not getting the full Opera experience.

That said, this new Mobile version (I'm using it right now) is still significantly faster, and feels more 'solid', than the latest Safari. And +1 w/capitalH. It does seem to have a smaller memory footprint than previously.

It's just a better browser than Safari. No surprise there.  Grin



5924  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: June 29, 2011, 08:47:51 AM
^Absolutely. No doubt about it  Grin

My point was just that social networking would merely be a byproduct for Google, not their real business.

5925  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Google+ on: June 29, 2011, 07:33:03 AM
It pays to remember Google's primary goal is to deliver advertisements and ad related services. And collect data on usage patterns which they sell back to advertisers.  

For Google, it's not a question of doing anything other than attracting and retaining eyeballs. Everything after that is secondary. They could care less about winning hearts. If a popular product or service emerges as a side effect of their main goal, all well and good as far as Google is concerned.  But it's not their primary objective which is to get your attention and analyze how you use the web.

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