Archive for the Money Category

February 23rd, 2016

London Calling – with Credit Card Surcharge

I’ll be travelling to DrupalCamp London on the first Saturday in March. My wife and oldest son are in Riga, Latvia, in a football tournament, so I’ll take my two youngest children with me.

I got dirt cheap tickets from British Airways, €56 one way – leaving from Helsinki in the morning and returning at very late evening. So very good offer.

Still, I got somewhat bitter taste into my mouth from the reservation experience. The three tickets and all kinds of fees cost me total €297.66. Quite nice price for three people to pop over to London. Unfortunately, on top of that, I had to pay €22.50 credit card surcharge. That is whopping 7.56%. I’ve used to pay like 1-2% surcharges, sometimes a bit more when I pay with American Express – but 7.56% is like out of this world. And that was for all credit cards and also PayPal. It felt fishy enough to warrant writing a rant in the blog.

Maybe that’s the item in which British Airways make their profit? Or maybe they are counting that people can’t do percentage calculations. Or that people grudgingly pay – alas, I did – and be done with it.

Now I’m thinking that British Airways ripped me off – albeit their price for the flights was truly unbeatable. Was making a semiloyal customer angry and sad worth of extra 5.56 percentage points – or €16.55? Probably not.

July 5th, 2008

The most expensive glass of Pepsi ever

Wednesday seemed to be one of those normal hectic days at the office; emails were flowing and people were calling me at such a pace that I barely got myself out of the office to grab a sub for lunch.

The atmosphere changed drastically when I tried to savour my lunch between phone calls, and suddenly I knocked off a glass of Pepsi Max to my dear MacBook Air. It was a small wine glass, half full, so not that much of liquid — but it managed to splash shock middle my keyboard.

I instantly turned the laptop over and dried it with a bunch of paper. It seemed to be intact, so I continued working and went to a couple of meetings to a customer. While there, the keyboard started to send extra keypresses, from the QWERTYUIOP row. A dash of letters appeared three times during the afternoon.

When I got home, I plugged in my Time Machine hard disk to backup the system. I also opened Aquamacs to grab the keyboard input. When the backup was over, there were more than three thousand letters in the Aquamacs window. All from the same row.

Other rows had stopped working, too. I tried rebooting, but no avail. External keyboard worked, so I could log in and make another copy of my working files.

The rest of the evening was spent with friends, so I couldn’t worry too much of the computer. Thursday saw me copying files from Air to my old G4 12″. The old laptop wouldn’t recognise the backup disk at all, so I ended up copying 1.2GB of stuff with SCP.

While copying, I also upated Office, Thunderbird, Camino and Adium to newer versions — time seems to take its toll on software pretty fast.

Finally, the copy was ready and I walked to Humac, an Apple reseller and service center a couple of kilometers from the office. I (or Exove in fact) paid extra 75€ to get the system inspected and fixed right away.

They called me later on Thursday, informing that only the keyboard had got wet and changing it would cost 400€. What else can you do but just accept the price?

I gave the permission and they called me on late Friday afternoon. The laptop was fixed and available for picking up. I dashed to the store, got Air back with a shiny new top cover including the keyboard and trackpad.

Maybe I should invest to some kiddy mug or similar that can’t be spilled over…

October 26th, 2007

Enterprise 2.0: Business in the network

Some of my Finnish readers may know that I’ve been participating in Enterprise 2.0 ebook project. My chapter related to doing business in the network in modern age has now been published. Unfortunately, it is available only in Finnish.

June 14th, 2007

Enterprise 2.0 (in Finnish only, sorry)

I’ve been involved in writing a book about Enterprise 2.0. The book will touch a lot of stuff floating around the changes in the industry, as ways of working and communication are in constant flux nowadays.

The book is only in Finnish, as it is intended for the domestic markets. It will be published first in the Internet and maybe later it becomes a tangible printed book.

My Finnish speaking readers can go to www.yritys20.com. For the rest of you, I’ll provide short summaries from time to time, if anything interesting pops up.

November 8th, 2005

Google AdSense referrals

Google has opened a referral program for their AdSense website monetising program. The deal is simple: if you get someone start with AdSense, you’ll get $100 when the new applicant has reached his or her first $100. After that you don’t get anything.

I’ve added an AdSense referral banner at the very bottom of the journal pages. It should be non-distracting on its current location, but please inform me if it hurts your eye there.

Now keep on clicking and signing, so I could get my hosting costs covered…

November 26th, 2004

Nomadig.com Xmas store

I have opened a new section to the site: store. Currently, there is not that much, but I do hope that it will fill up in the future.

As Christmas is approaching on steadily pace, I have opened a special Christmas page for helping you to decide what you would like to give or receive. Hopefully you find something there. I’d rather receive most of them and could consider also giving some of them :)

Also, remember that No Windows, No Problems t-shirts and other merchandise would make a geek happy.

November 16th, 2004

No Windows, No Problems

At the end of the nineties, I and a few friends were actively spending some quality time in a student club in Helsinki University of Technology. As usually, the club was pennyless, but our visions were big. I came up with a slogan No Windows, No Problems that went well with the geekish image of the club, and we designed a T-shirt and sold them with minor profit.

Of course, I got my T-shirt, but unfortunately the printing went bad quite fast. A few weeks ago I spotted one of the shirts on a page of City magazine and started to ponder on creating the T-shirts again.

The design was really simplistic but still striking. I didn’t find any digital copies as my hard disks have died during round the world trip back in 1998 — can you imagine, two 4 GB SCSI disks stop working after been on for 33 days?

I couldn’t scan the image from my T-shirt as it was partly vanished, so I had to create a new design:

No Windows, No Problems

The new design is still striking, but it’s better composed and maybe better controlled. It also shows the passion better than the previous black and white logo.

As we nowadays have Internet with a lot of possibilities, I yesterday opened a shop in CafePress to get the shirts printed and delivered to whom they may concern.

Check out the site at www.cafepress.com/nowindows and consider showing that you care about having proper operating system.

October 8th, 2004

Does Google AdSense make sense with blogs?

Most of bloggers that are hosting their blogs themselves, are trying to scrape some income from the net to cover the hosting and other costs. I’m not an exception. In fact, my dream (or fantasy) is that Nomadig.com would provide enough money and contacts that I could concentrate fully on being a digital nomad…

With the current ad rates, it will take ages. Maybe my grand-grand-grand-children would have some possibilities with the current set of growth.

When I started to ponder this, backed with the data in my ShortStat stats, I found out that 20-25% of visitors check the journal front page, 5% see the site front page (no ads) and additional 5% reads the blog with RSS (no ads). Some of the most frequently visited articles generate additional 3-4% each and the rest is scattered with the information pages (travel, gadgets, money).

So the blog generates roughly more than half of the traffic. No wonder, as it’s updated frequently and it seems to contain some interesting articles. But, I think that the people reading the blog, people returning to the site, do not click that much of the ads. My eye, for example, has trained itself to skip Google ads in other blogs that I read frequently. It’s safe to assume that other people active in the blogosphere have similar habits. Also the contents of the blog change so rapidly that Google is not able to match it with ads that fit the text. The content is quite mixed, too, so you can’t really have a good set of targeted ads.

But those people that find this site, especially the pages outside the blog, with Google or other search engines are more prone to click the ads, as the ads are targeted to the content of the page. The same applies, at least partially, to individual blog entries.

In order to get more money from AdSense, I need to get more visibility in search engines. Not by spamming my links everywhere, but by writing interesting content and getting people to refer to my site.