Jun. 29th, 2013

stormerider: (Fred - Knowledge is power)
So, something I do is that I provide web hosting / tech consulting on the side for some friends of mine. Most of them are free, but a few of them are paying clients. Most of the people who do pay do so on a yearly basis, and with my memory, that leads me to often forgetting to invoice them. One client usually pays around tax return time, and just recently had a tech issue that he reached out to me on, and while we were talking he asked if he'd paid this year or not (he hadn't). While looking up whether he had, I realized that there was a whole year that I missed from him, a few years back-- obviously longer than I would like to bring up at this point.

I'm wondering if anyone knows of a simple, easy to use billing system that I could use for my small client base. I don't have the time or inclination to learn something like MS Money or Quickbooks or the like; I don't need anything nearly that complicated. Just something that can kick off on a monthly basis and send out invoices as needed. If I do it right, I can even have it do so for some of my free clients, with a discount applied; that way if they choose to toss me a donation towards hosting costs (as some have asked to do from time to time) they can, but they don't need to since the invoiced sum will be $0. Or one of the clients I have has offered to pay me, but I can't be their full-time on call person (my choice, spoons and all), but then I could invoice them when I do do things for them (updating WordPress and Invision Board mainly).

Operating system doesn't matter; I have Windows, Mac, and Linux available to me. Something web based or designed to run in the background (ie, not relying on me to remember to run it) on a scheduled basis would be preferable. If it can hook into Paypal to actually send the invoices, even better, since that's how I take payments.

Thanks for any suggestions.
stormerider: (Games - Mass Effect)
So our housemate Grey ([livejournal.com profile] moonbeamdanser) has an Xbox360 downstairs, and I'm wondering what we should look into in terms of games. [personal profile] elialshadowpine and I are both prone to tendinitis, so games that require button mashing are not a good thing. The box is, last I knew, not connected to the network, but that's just a matter of digging up a long ethernet cable (it doesn't have a wifi receiver due to the cost, but the wired setup is viable at this point... it's just a matter of spoons to do it). We also don't have a current XBL subscription; we might pick one up if we find it useful.

Personally I like RPGs and adventure games. Multiplayer would be nice as well. We also have either Guitar Hero or RockBand, not sure which, but I think the guitar needs to be cleaned. Just not sure if I'm coordinated enough to do something like that. I don't believe that it has a Kinect bar.

Things with demos are a plus, so we can try them out and see if we like them. I know that Craigslist is a good source of cheap used games as well. I just haven't been sure what to look for in the first place.

stormerider: (Misc - Reading One Book)
So, I've been doing a lot of reading this year. I'm tracking my progress over on Goodreads, as part of the 2013 Reading Challenge. For those that haven't known me long, until sometime last year, I had actually gotten to the point that I had actually stopped reading completely. Between my eyeglasses prescription being horribly out of date, and my arthritis in my hands making it physically painful to hold a mass market book (nevermind the hardcover monstrosities that I love so dearly)... I just couldn't do it anymore.

Some lovely friends of ours from Romance Divas (a site that [personal profile] elialshadowpine and I help admin at) ended up sending us a Nook Color out of the blue as a thank you for all that we had done. I'd been considering getting one, but at the time I was still a contractor at Livemocha and dealing with insurance (and Drake *sigh*), so I didn't think I'd be able to afford it anytime soon.

It made a huge, huge difference in our lives. We rapidly prioritized getting [personal profile] elialshadowpine one of her own, so we didn't end up squabbling over them (which I'm ashamed to admit did happen initially. I was still on / recovering from the prednisone at the time, I believe).

This year I wanted to read even more, so I set a goal of 250 books. So far, I've gotten 158 down.. which sounds a bit more impressive than it actually is, as a bunch of those have been comics, novellas, and short stories. To give you a better idea, let me show you some graphs from Goodreads:

cut for images )

As you can see, there's a significant discrepancy. Lately I've actually been reading on an iPad 3 which I have on loan from my work, which is working out really nicely with the size and weight (and it can handle streaming video, where the Nook Color kind of choked on that). That's been a big bonus for getting into comics, because the added screen real-estate makes a big difference (especially on PDFs).

I've really been loving the BN store, it's really easy to pick books up at 2am without needing to leave the house. There have been a few incidents of "I dont remember buying $50 worth of books last night, but I was on Ambien", but not really many... and [personal profile] elialshadowpine's done the same thing once or twice, so I don't feel bad. The Seattle Public Library has an amazing digital selection as well (including of digital comics, too, which is all kinds of awesome!), and since I have a job in Seattle I have a card through there and the local Timberland library (which doesn't have nearly the same kind of selection, but occasionally comes in handy). I've ended up reading a LOT of books borrowed from SPL, and I'm really grateful for them.

And really? I owe the fact that I can still enjoy reading to some amazing friends who surprised me more than I will ever be able to thank them enough for.


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