Sunday, August 31, 2008

Make Money from Home with CashCrate

After doing a bit of research, I've found that CashCrate works, and its not a scam.

I know this is the kind of post you'd find somewhere else, but I am pretty impressed with the CashCrate system. I had heard about it in the comments to a post on Problogger. But after reading a couple of other sites, I decided to give it a try. I have been interested in trying out a pay-per-post or online survey system, but I found evidence that CashCrate was effective and not a fraud so I checked it out.

My account became registered at about 3:47pm (as noted by the email in my inbox) and by 4:13pm I was notified that I had made $10.75 in payments! All I did was fill out a survey and sign up for one product. Now, I admit that it is not a product I would probably use but at least I have learned a bit about the system. One of the survey's happened to be for IPSOS Canada, and I firmly believe that its important to take part in certain kinds of surveys that provide demographic information when its used in a meaningful way. I had filled out a $10 payout survey, and a $0.75 payout survey.

The program includes a very high rate for referrals on a two tier system. The different offers include filling out surveys or signing up for some sites or products. Many are free, but there are some really high payout offers that require you to either provide credit card payment or make a purchase. If you are only looking to make money and not spend it, I recommend only signing up for programs you are TRULY interested in... or at least remember to cancel a membership before you start getting billed. Just a friendly tip there. :)

I think CashCrate is the perfect solution to people working from home especially if you are a student, looking after children at home or just plain have lots of time on your hands!

Now, I wonder if they really will send me that $100 gift certificate for RockStar? :)
I'll post when they send me a cheque around the 20th of next month. Perhaps by then it will be higher than $10.75!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Free Star Wars Fonts

Today I've written a quick note at on where to find free Star Wars Fonts.

As an interesting aside, I've also learned that if proper physics were followed, then the explosion of the Death Star II in the Return of the Jedi would effectively end all life on the small, wooded moon of Endor. Yes, we are talking the death of all Ewoks via something called "The Endor Holocaust". :)

Special note, this has not actually been merged into the "Star Wars canon" as far as I can tell, but many works make reference to it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ASUS EEE PC Overview Review

A friend of mine recently asked what I thought of the Asus EEE PC so I took the time to write out my basic thoughts. I've included them here because other people might be curious as well.

To be honest, the EEE PC is the wickedest piece of computer I've ever bought. I heard about it from a friend at work who bought the Linux version (without the webcam) and he installed Windows XP on it. Works great. It even does this weird "Smart scroll" think that happens when you can't see the task bar or bottom portion of the screen on such a small display. UPDATE: One of the great things about the EEE PC is its solid state hard drive which has no moving parts (so no head-crashes or damaged plates). No CD-ROM, put it has 2 USB ports for storing data or connecting other devices.

We bought ours in the spring because my wife wanted something that would allow her to work more flexibly at home. We've got wireless to her office upstairs, but the room gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. I don't keep track of the model numbers, but Asus EEE PC is white, with a webcam, and pre-installed with Linux. However, the interface is just a collection of icons and tabs. This is perfect for what my wife does with it.

It contains some fun games, has a PhotoManager and should also contain the GIMP but at the moment you can't access the Gimp from the Photo Manager. I haven't bothered trying to fix it yet.

The Work tab contains icons for Web (which will open Firefox to a default page), Mail (which will open another tab, and it contains icons for various web mail hosts {Gmail, Yahoo}... they all open Firefox). As well as a Documents icon (which opens Firefox and takes you to GoogleDocs).

At first I was worried if my wife would be able to use Linux (since I hadn't seen the EEE PC run before) but I knew at least that I could install XP if I had too. But after 1 week she asked "Why do we even need Windows?" :) In reality, using the EEE PC as a user has nothing to do with Linux, as everything is point in click. Even setting up the wireless wasn't difficult, though if we have power failures due to storms (which happens a lot at my place) then it can take time to re-initialize the WiFi connection if our router goes down). However, you wait a few minutes and it comes back.

There are also plenty of sites that talk about hacking it. You can set the machine to boot to a standard Linux desktop (Start button, no tabs, clean desktop) and if it ever screws up you can easily reboot it to factory defaults (which clears the hard drive from what I understand).

You can easily get to a Linux console and edit some config files (in a program that looks like Pico... GNU Nano I think!) and alter the icons and tabs. There is also a CTRL-ALT-DEL feature to kill processes that might hang. Doesn't happen often, but some websites can be stubborn or try to do weird things.

This article contains links to 3 or 4 reviews:

So there you have it. If you have any specific questions just ask.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Easy Video Conversion - Make DVDs

I've just spend the last few days using Windows Movie Maker to create a video of some students who have been visiting for the past two weeks. Yesterday I ran a workshop where they got a chance to build robots and then create a movie using WMM and a webcam.

I've got all the movies complete, and for a free package Movie Maker has a lot of features and does a very good job. The limitation is that it only creates Windows Media (.wmv) files.

One of the students asked me if I can make the movies playable on a DVD so I figured I would look into how it can be done. I've got some calls in to my people and I'm waiting to hear back from them, but I did find some free software that might help.

First off, this one is time-sensitive: If you've never been to Giveaway Of The Day before, you should definitely check it out. Today's offering is a video and audio converter that lets you join video clips of different formats into one file, then save the whole thing in one of many options for a final format.

The deal with GAOTD is that you have a limited amount of time in which to download and install the software. After that, its not free, but you can buy the software from the vendor. So check it out for great software.

Now, after searching the comments very briefly, I found one COMPLETELY FREE piece of software you might want to check out: MediaCoder.

Not only is the software free (the author is of course asking for donations) but it appears to be extensible, and even programmable in XUL! I love XUL!
Oh I see. The guy is offering the software free because he has bigger products available for purchase. More power to him!

So if you are looking for media conversions or ways to make DVDs, check out the software I've just described. Also check with GiveawayOfTheDay and you might find a great new peice of software you've been looking for.